Unsafe Vehicles

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    As the recession drags on, I see vehicle safety becoming less of a priority at FedEx. Our station mechanics seem less willing or able to fix stuff that used to get taken care of quickly.

    I'm guessing this is another way of saving money....at the expense of our safety and comfort. This has become enough of a concern that one of our couriers recently called the local DOT office to file a report. When the DOT came to the station and did a spot inspection, they passed, but just barely.

    Any other locations out there experiencing similar issues?
  2. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    The Express drivers here have told me that they are being forced to drive rental vehicles for the reasons you stated above.

    I was also at Sam's the other day and Paul, an Express driver and friend, pulled up to make his delivery and I looked inside his pkg car and, other than the fact that it was nearly empty (at 9am!), I noticed the poor condition of the vehicle. Shelves were bent and there was rust in spots.
  3. Brown287

    Brown287 Im not the Mail Man!

    The sad thing is that from what Iv seen atleast the Express vehicle are in some state of repair, have you seen the dilapidated state that most of the Ground vehicles are in. Ive discussed with the Ground drivers many times about the condition thier cars are in, they all say the same thing. They say that first they dont have a D.V.I.R. book like we do, they apparently input something in thier scanner at the end of the day. Secondly there is an extreme amount of pressure put on them from thier contractor not to EVER put anything down as wrong. Its just another example of many of how Fed-Ex want the rewards of the Ground unit, but doesnt want any of the responsibillity of the Ground unit.
  4. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Doesn't sound like safety is a high priority, does it? When I see a UPS vehicle, even if it's old, at least it's clean and looks good. Our trucks are rusty inside and out, especially wheels and bumpers, which look like crap.

    This is especially evident on the larger trucks. Almost all the FedEx "feeder" vehicles look to be in poor shape. On the other hand, the UPS tractors and trailers are universally clean, with no rust or dents. I wonder which company conveys a more professional image to both the general public and shippers.
  5. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Did it have a 3-point seat belt?
  6. FedExer267

    FedExer267 Member

    Vehicle safety at ground is the last thing on their minds. I have had more problems with the truck I am provided in the year I have been there than anywhere else I have worked. My UPS buddy tells me I have had more problems with my truck than most of them see in their career.. From breaks going out, flat tires, No emergency break, no 4th gear, broken roll up door cables snapped that only took 3 months to fix, bulkhead door doesnt stay closed, broken leaf springs the only reason I saw that was because the mechanic was doing my breaks he told me straight up that the contractor new about it for a year and still hadnt gotten it fixed. Lets see gas pedal cable spring snaps. There are more problems with those trucks because they are not properly maintained which is sad I mean its only our lives not theirs. Windshield wipers werent working last winter and they told me to drive anyways put some rainx on the windshield. Just another point in the fact Contractors dont give a crap about their drivers as long as packages get delivered. There are no D.V.I.R's when i put in the scanner last year the vehicle wasnt safe because the breaks went out driving in that night the contractor called me and tried to rip me a new one. I told him if he expected me to drive that truck in that condition to go pound sand. Truck was fixed the next day and I used terminal spare. Thats what you have to do however to get anything taken care of when working for a Contractor its truly SAD!!!
  7. SmithBarney

    SmithBarney Well-Known Member

    While our Express Fleet is in good shape mostly due to the fact that a hurricane in 99 that destroyed the fleet.
    My biggest issue is our econoline vans, they use highway rib tires on these vans.
    and if its raining, these are the most dangerous vehicles you can imagine.

    Otherwise everything gets fixed in good order.
  8. prickle&goo

    prickle&goo New Member

    I feel like a lot of drivers hesitate to write anything up in the VIR just because they don't want to drive a spare for a day. When I write something up, it gets addressed pretty quickly.

    Our trucks do look terrible though. Rust, dents, peeling decals. Those things never get addressed.
  9. Well, you've certainly cut down the number of flipped MD11's and DC10's.
    The last one in Narita was tragic. Pilot error or "wind gust"?
  10. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    They haven't said yet. I'm guessing they'll blame the pilot.
  11. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Personally, I take alot of the decision making for repairs out of my hands. I am on a first name basis with all the mechanics who work on my trucks. I have a standing order with them. "If it's broken, don't bother asking, just fix it." I spend a small fortune on oil changes alone with these guys, but the things they've found and fixed during those $200 oil changes saves me all kinds of headaches during the days.


    Ours are fairly (and I use that loosely) well maintained. When they break down, I'm usually the guy shuttling a truck out and riding back with the wreckers, so much so that I am on a first name basis with the company we use...lol On the upside, I find out from the driver what's wrong and convey it to the mech's.

    Still get plenty of "within specs, ok for service" though. The truck I've been driving this week, the brakes scream so loud that small children literally run or cover their ears...lol! Comment was "glazed, ok for service" 30 seconds worth of sanding with a small grinder would take care of it...
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    For a company that wants to portray itself as "professional", our vehicle fleet doesn't do a very good job of conveying that image. While I'm sure there are some model stations out there that are all-hybrid, or have new stuff due to stiffer pollution laws, most of our trucks look like crap.

    For those of you in states with lax air pollution standards, get ready for a steady stream of garbage from California and other places that are forcing older vehicles off their roads.
  14. HomeDelivery

    HomeDelivery Well-Known Member

    i'm late to the thread, but I'll add my 2 cents...

    ... I am a proficient car guy & noticed that the parking brake had started to not hold the vehicle; I looked at the rear brake rotors/ pads & noted that the rear brakes are probably worn out.

    reported to the contractor & he said don't worry about it <shrugs>

    a few weeks go by... squealing is now heard at the rear end when the brakes are applied. I know what that means! those brakes are going to be metal-to-metal soon!

    reported to the contractor & he said he'll get someone to look at it during the sunday-monday weekend <shrugs>

    I returned to the vehicle on tuesday & it's still squealing... he lied to me & said most of the braking takes place in the fronts anyways & it should last another week.... wrong!

    as I was coming to a stop sign, I applied the brakes and heard a "pop"

    rear brake caliper piston had came out & I lost all brake pressure! almost T-boned a white SUV with her kids in the back seat!

    since the emergency/ parking brake works with the rear brakes, that was useless as well; I just shifted to N & turned on my hazards to cross the intersection & slowly go to the curb.

    called the contractor to yell at him & send a temp box truck so I can try to salvage the rest of my deliveries (took him an hour to stop by with a budget rental box van) I transferred my packages & said to him that I was lucky that my immaculate record wasn't tarnished by this close call.

    he learned his lesson and now has a mechanic for his fleet of delivery vehicles, similar to bbsam
    I've had other situations but not as severe

    like a stuck brake pedal switch that drains the battery down overnight,
    mechanic overfilled the crankcase oil by a few quarts (that'll surely kill your engine in a few hundred miles)
    bulbs burned out that I can replace by myself and just get reimbursed by him at a later time
    I'll clean the vehicles myself & tell him that this particular van will be my own when I work for him
    battery cables coming loose from just the constant vibration
    alternator not working

    I had another contractor that had a stepvan without abs & it was a monster to drive when the weather is wet or icy (white knuckles) & told him that I don't feel safe driving this vehicle; he knew about it & promptly gave me a rental during those times. To this day, I still see it on the road, driven by a poor sucker who doesn't want to bring it up to him :(
    I'd rather be safe than sorry.
  15. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I absolutely hate ABS.
  16. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I have six pack abs.
  17. HomeDelivery

    HomeDelivery Well-Known Member

    you mean you rather have a non-abs equipped delivery vehicle?
  18. FedExer267

    FedExer267 Member

    It was recently my Contractor's birthday and as well as he maintains his fleet I decided to go above and beyond, and gave him a roll of duct tape. I still have issues with a guy who is not a mehcanic doing all the repairs himself and then he wonders why the trucks keep breaking down.
  19. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Most of the time yes because too many people don't know to apply constant pressure so they pump the brakes and have worse stopping perfomance than non-ABS brakes.


    Really?!?! I mean...REALLY?? Did you make sure to tell him that "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.." when you gave him the duct tape?