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Old 01-05-2011, 04:43 AM
 
51 posts, read 76,584 times
Reputation: 29
Default What should I have said? I got written up and fined.

I was carrying a load of cardboard for my employer in their full size pickup truck. A car slammed on brakes in front of me to make a last second turn into a mall. The cargo slid forward damaging the bed of the truck. I did not hit the other vehicle. I am being charged for half the cost of repair.

I was told I did two things wrong. First, I was told I did not secure the load. That is true. But there was a reason...I was never shown how to secure that particular load, nor did I have the equipment to do it with. I did have a brace bar but I did not have a way to put it in without taking a chance I would not be injured trying to jump off the side wall of the truck. I had a rope, but it was not long enough...would need maybe a twelve foot plus long rope.

Second, they said I made a poor decision to do my route deliveries before delivering the load of cardboard. My previous manager told me "customer deliveries come first." Knowing the end of the day was nearing, and not knowing how long it might take to get the cardboard dropped off, I went ahead and did my deliveries. I had never had the cargo budge in the few times I had done deliveries first.

They told me my poor judgement caused the damage. I feel I did not recieve instruction on how to secure that particular load and drove cautiously with it since in my mind there was no option of securing it. I also feel I went with what management told me to do. They are now saying I should have told my supervisor I had deliveries and could not make the cardboard drop until afterwards. I did not want to tell my supervisor "No" and be in trouble for denying his request. Nor did I have a reason to until this incident.

I am appreciative of still having a job and appreciative they cut the bill in half but I am not sure why they are reprimanding me for something I had no control over. I do not want to lose my job. I love working there.

The one phrase that sticks out in my mind was one the assistant manager said..." We need a driver who can secure the load, and if you do not feel you are up to that, maybe we do not need you as a driver." As a person who goes beyond the call of duty.... putting up stock, pulling orders, assigning the pick up orders to the desk of the other drivers instead of putting it on the shelf of the sales person who ordered it..so the drivers do not have to go find it, does deliveries for other routes when mine has nothing going on instead of waiting for a delivery....I was hurt and stung by his remark.

In summary, I know in hindsight what I could have done differently but I felt the accusation of irresponsibility was not fair given the circumstances.

Last edited by stevewl1164; 01-05-2011 at 04:44 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
3,394 posts, read 2,506,479 times
Reputation: 1966
Just take the advice in good measure and move forward. Make sure you cover all bases in the future. It sounds like you could have used better judgment, but that it could also have been their fault for not training you better. Chalk it up to life/work experience and put your best foot forward/tell them it won't happen again with a smile on your face.

And good luck!

Last edited by buzzpost; 01-05-2011 at 05:00 AM..
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1 posts, read 930 times
Reputation: 10
The situation is unfortunate for you, but when you put yourself out there to do a job, never expect someone to advise you on how to do it. Safety and responsibility are ultimately on you. I trust ME to educate MYSELF. I spent a few years on a Construction Site, and believe me....educating myself was time well spent. Stay one step ahead to keep liability off of you, it pays in the long run.
I wish you luck in the future, and keep yourself and those around you safe.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:01 AM
 
24,522 posts, read 14,235,028 times
Reputation: 24862
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewl1164 View Post
I was carrying a load of cardboard for my employer in their full size pickup truck. A car slammed on brakes in front of me to make a last second turn into a mall. The cargo slid forward damaging the bed of the truck. I did not hit the other vehicle. I am being charged for half the cost of repair.

I was told I did two things wrong. First, I was told I did not secure the load. That is true. But there was a reason...I was never shown how to secure that particular load, nor did I have the equipment to do it with. I did have a brace bar but I did not have a way to put it in without taking a chance I would not be injured trying to jump off the side wall of the truck. I had a rope, but it was not long enough...would need maybe a twelve foot plus long rope.

Second, they said I made a poor decision to do my route deliveries before delivering the load of cardboard. My previous manager told me "customer deliveries come first." Knowing the end of the day was nearing, and not knowing how long it might take to get the cardboard dropped off, I went ahead and did my deliveries. I had never had the cargo budge in the few times I had done deliveries first.

They told me my poor judgement caused the damage. I feel I did not recieve instruction on how to secure that particular load and drove cautiously with it since in my mind there was no option of securing it. I also feel I went with what management told me to do. They are now saying I should have told my supervisor I had deliveries and could not make the cardboard drop until afterwards. I did not want to tell my supervisor "No" and be in trouble for denying his request. Nor did I have a reason to until this incident.

I am appreciative of still having a job and appreciative they cut the bill in half but I am not sure why they are reprimanding me for something I had no control over. I do not want to lose my job. I love working there.

The one phrase that sticks out in my mind was one the assistant manager said..." We need a driver who can secure the load, and if you do not feel you are up to that, maybe we do not need you as a driver." As a person who goes beyond the call of duty.... putting up stock, pulling orders, assigning the pick up orders to the desk of the other drivers instead of putting it on the shelf of the sales person who ordered it..so the drivers do not have to go find it, does deliveries for other routes when mine has nothing going on instead of waiting for a delivery....I was hurt and stung by his remark.

In summary, I know in hindsight what I could have done differently but I felt the accusation of irresponsibility was not fair given the circumstances.

I'm not sure what experience in this area you told them you had, but driving with a unsecured load is illegal and the company could be fined and it is ultimately their responsibility to go over procedures with you. Items simply blowing off a truck while you are moving your own stuff is still subject to the same laws. I worked in an industry that dealt with this all time. Unfortunately, in many instances the driver and the company can be at legal fault. Cardboard in particular can just blow off on the windshield of another vehicle behind you and while I don't want to sound demeaning - it's sort of common sense, but I see it all the time.

A friend of mine was killed instantly when a semi truck coming from the other direction on the highway, carrying those large steel rolls chained down to the truck broke loose, bounced on the cement divider and smashed him in his vehicle head on. Both the driver and the company were hit with manslaughter and other fines.

Here is a site that reviews Fed and State requirements or securing loads.

State and Federal Truck Tarping Laws | Pulltarps Truck and Trailer Tarps
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:39 AM
 
23,579 posts, read 31,110,042 times
Reputation: 10610
Agreed. Even in a car, a driver has a legal obligation to secure their load. Frankly you're lucky you weren't fired for unsafe operation of a company vehicle. If you didn't know how to secure the load, you should have asked for help. At that point the onus would have been off you and onto the employer. Period.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:08 AM
 
537 posts, read 695,100 times
Reputation: 387
The assistant manager's comment was tactless. It's easy for me to tell you not to let it get to you, but all of us have our pride and can't help getting hurt by such comments. This being said, say 'eff off' under your breath, and you'll feel better.

Agreed with the other posters, the company is responsible for training you, but you're responsible for the load which is the real issue here. You are able to defend why you saved the cardboard delivery for last, given the advice from the previous manager. If you quote the previous manager, that is not enough. Say why YOU believe in that approach. If they want you to do it otherwise, you need to abide by it in the future.

The info on tarping laws posted by 007 is interesting. Notice it says 'the driver and the company' were hit with manslaughter charges, so shared responsibility for damages.

All the best! Keep up the hard work, they'll soon realize you are a valuable asset to the company!

Last edited by Nick99; 01-05-2011 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,834 posts, read 9,585,871 times
Reputation: 6517
Make sure that your employer deducts the amount of repair from your pay so you at least get a tax break on the lowered income. And he has to spread out the cost over pay periods to ensure your base rate, after deductions, never goes below minimum wage. He must also get your consent in writing to make this a "legal" transaction.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:48 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 20,080,519 times
Reputation: 15382
If that was me and I had some other job to go to I would not pay the fine and tell them to go jump in a lake. It was their poor judement to not ensure you had the training and equipment to do the job.

But, that doesn't do you much good if you still need the job. I guess you don't have much choice then.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:08 PM
 
3,573 posts, read 3,274,119 times
Reputation: 3350
Use common sense and if you don't know how to do your job, ask someone.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:27 PM
 
51 posts, read 76,584 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzpost View Post
Just take the advice in good measure and move forward. Make sure you cover all bases in the future. It sounds like you could have used better judgment, but that it could also have been their fault for not training you better. Chalk it up to life/work experience and put your best foot forward/tell them it won't happen again with a smile on your face.

And good luck!
Good advice, will do. Thank you.
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