Paying Attention is the First Step of Professional Truck Driving
There are many things that drivers need to be aware of on the road with the most important thing being the safety of themselves and those around them. Yesterday in Toronto we had an incident that is becoming a common occurrence on roadways over the last few years with truck drivers having their dump boxes up and smashing into bridges on the highway. Since 2014 their have been an average of one per year in Canada and based on articles written from the United States it is not uncommon there either.
The first incident was the Skyway Bridge incident in 2014 when a driver caused 1.2 million dollars of damage by driving with his dump box up and driving intoxicated at the time. Read the story here:
The second incident incident was in 2016 where a dump trailer was up when the driver hit a bridge on Highway 400 in Ontario Canada. The driver was charged with careless driving and over-height vehicle. You can read the story here.
In early 2018 a Quebec driver with his dump trailer up hit a bridge on Highway 40 at full speed unaware that his box was raised with a full load of Canola Seeds. Read the story here: https://www.autoblog.com/2018/04/05/dump-truck-raised-trailer-bridge-video/
Now yesterday we have had this happen again on Highway 401 as a dump truck hit an overhead sign with the dump trailer raised when driving down the Highway. Read the story here:
So how does this happen?
In my 35 year career in the industry with 25 years of that as a driver I have seen many things. I have never been involved in dump equipment or heavy equipment so I can’t speak to why the above mentioned incidents happened to these drivers, but in most cases from what is reported was that the drivers were charged for driver negligence in most cases. Is this driver error, faulty equipment, or other issues? Do we need to implement better training?
From what I have been reading about dump trailers online is that there is safety features that would alert the driver the dump box is up but in many incidents these trucks didn’t have the equipment installed or working. There also seems to be techniques that drivers have learned over time to ensure the the dump box doesn’t raise without intentionally dumping a load.
From what I know from reading online and my knowledge of industry inspections taking the time to inspect your vehicle before leaving on the road is the first defence against having these issues happen in the future. Drivers need to pay attention to their equipment, do proper inspections, and have a professional attitude to the job of being a professional driver.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com