Feeder Drivers Opinions On This

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by upsdavz, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    A couple Fridays ago I hooked up to my set and completed my full pre trip and proceeded out of the yard, on my first heavy brake application I felt my brakes were not reacting correctly. I then drove round the block and again tested them using only the spike. I found that there was approx a 200 hundred foot delay before my brakes reacted at about 15 mph. I headed back to the yard and began looking under my trailers for any problems. I found one of the main brake lines had been replaced but was completely twisted, allowing very little air to the brakes. I later found out that the trailer had been just serviced by our outside mechanic.
    Before you say it, yes I did do a tug test in the yard before leaving and the brakes did lock up as required. I found it to be only on a heavy brake application that there was any delay.
    Any opinions on this????
  2. hondo

    hondo promoted to mediocrity

    Apology in advance, not a feeder driver here, but isn't the tug test against the spring applied/parking brakes and not the air applied/service brakes? I do commend you on taking action appropriately and remedying the problem.
  3. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    I guess your right, the tug test would be against the spring brakes. we also do a test with just the spike which ensures that the brakes are working. Although in my case a 2 or three foot roll did not find the problem that I outlined earlier, it was only during a hard application that the brakes failed to apply as they should.

    I guess my question is more of one relating to the outside service working on the trailers. As trailers have no dvir, at least not in my centre, a driver has know idea what if any work has been done on a trailer. This is not the first time I have had problems with trailers serviced by this outside service, other examples of problems I have had are over torqued bearings ( they catch on fire ), loose wheel nuts, hub nuts only finger tight, numerous air leaks from valves not being put together correctly, air lines blowing out of fittings due to not having the furl put in etc etc..... Just wondering if this is typical, or have I a uniqe situation????
  4. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    Great job....It justs shows how important it is to do a quality pre-trip.. You exercised the proper judgement to go back to the yard and check it out.

    Your safety and the safety of the general p[ublic is the top priority. It is critical that you get feedback to that outside mechanic and let them know what you found. If there is any lack of concern on their part make sure you take it to the next level. Nice job again!!
  5. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    Please help me with the next level........... This outside service appears to run the show.......... Feel free to e-mail me for some pictures of what they felt was road worthy.
    Cheers D
  6. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    It has been my practice that when first hooking up (snapping to the king pin) I tug to check for hook. Essentially testing the spring brakes on the trailers, that is, to see if they have automatically locked up due to air being disconnected.

    After air lines are hooked up, proper pre-trip is completed, air is built up to normal PSI and ready to go, I tug on whole set with hand valve, you call it a spike, some call it a trolley, whatever, to see how service brakes are performing. When so doing, I try to bend around a corner to see if dolly and back trailer(s) are responding.

    It sounds like you did exactly as you should have.

    It could have been that this kink in the line could have gotten worse with a little road vibration, turning out of the yard, a miriad of sniggly reasons. It could be that you just didn't notice it as much in the yard.

    You state that you don't have DVIR for trailers at your center. You DO have a Car Condition Report that you have to sign off after every trip, don't you? It is DOT requirment. You have a responsiblity to sign it but you also have a RIGHT to go back and review it if you feel something has been, uh, "fixed".

    I DON'T understand how an outside service can be performing these tasks. We have never, at least here, resorted to that, only when trailers are in need of severe repair that cannot be done here or in need of body work where they are sent to UPS trailer shop. I see by other posts, tho, that that is happening.

    I would recommend that, from now on as has been alluded to on this thread by other posters, you do a COMPLETE pre-trip, even it that means crawling under the trailers to inspect lines, u-bolts, brakes, springs, etc. If hassled by supes, merely point to the example you gave in this thread. This is a LIFE AND DEATH situation here! Not merely a package delivery issue! And with these outside services you DONOT feel safe until every base is covered!

    A few examples I have personally seen:
    This and a few other hubs and centers around the country, insist on snapping all doubles together for the drivers. One of our drivers (now retired) insisted on breaking em apart every day because HE wanted to know what he had and felt. Company was indignant but he lasted til retired!

    Another driver insists on wiping down Compliance Reflective tape around sides and back of every trailer. Company wants to shoot him! He's still around!

    Other drivers DO crawl under trailers to do just what I stated above. Now with these "bargain" container trailers we've had for the last few yrs, we've had cracked frames (chassis), glad hand connections falling off, broken springs, loose u-bolts, on and on.

    Company wants to light a fire under em, but, you know what? They're all being safe. What's more important?

    Do what you gotta do to be safe. Not be fast!
  7. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    Thanks for all of the good advice re: pre trips. To find some of the things that are wrong with these trailers when they have come back from the outside service shop, one would need a hoist and shop of their own to complete the pre trip.

    In my centre we do not have a full time ups mechanic as there is no mechanics in the city I live in that would even consider the pathetic starting wage for a mechanic, that ups is offering (average $10 per hour less than anywhere else). We currenty have a young fellow (temp) trying to do what he can for the package cars and haven't had in-house trailer or tractor mechanics for over 10 years now.

    We did have a trailer condition report in the auto bay, but with the "temp" mechanic, well lets just say it's been hard to find. Also I should mention that the outside service has never, ever, signed off my tractor dvir. When it goes for service I have no idea what he does to it and the only way I can find out what has been done is to call the automotive clerk (who is in another city) to find out. Funny thing last time it was serviced there was a charge for some work on my wipers, they worked fine when I dropped it off and didn't do anything different when I got it back.... strange.

    As for the original problem with the air line, it was total incompitence by the person who changed it. I guess my question is how would one get someone held responsible for this kind of work??? If I had made it to a red light that Friday morning.... God only know's what would have happened.

    Have a Great Day!!!
  8. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Have you discussed your concerns with management?

    Whats their track record like. Can you document a lot of instances where shoddy maintenance was performed?

    Are the trailers being fixed through an outside vendor or a ups trailer shop? I've never heard of a vendor working on our trailers usually our tractors.

    Is there any committment from management to use a different vendor or to address these safety concerns with the vendor?

    Has it been addressed through your safety committee?

    I'm obviously not a grievance guy but if you can document many instances of shoddy work from the one vendor and no support from managment then this might be the time to get everyone sitting at one table talking about it.

    Your safety and the service of our packages depend on quality automotive care and immediate addressal of any instances of shoddy workmanship.
  9. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    I was wondering if you would way in on this one TieGuy.. I have read some of your comments throughout this website, you always (most always) seem to make good sense.

    Of course I have addressed my concerns with management over this matter and countless other equipment concerns. It seems though that my concerns have been falling on deaf ears. Concerns have also been brought to the attention of the "safety committee" and as expected nothing has come of it (as nothing has come of any concerns regarding safety in our hub since it's inception)

    The general response from ups automotive has been that this particular outside service gives ups a far cheaper hourly rate than any other in the city (not surprising when they charge for fixing wipers that weren't broken) You get my drift?

    I also relate to the concerns for the safety of myself and those around me. As for the service of our packages my co-workers and I do the best we can, with the tools we have been given.

    One thing that we all might not want to forget is, these ups trailers move all over North America, I rarely pull the same trailer twice (maybe over time) but not very ofen.

    As for documentation of breakdowns and such, I believe when I fill out breakdown reports and enter breakdowns on my ivis (timecard) ups should be aware, and should be addressing these concerns. I know that if I was in management and I had a driver fighting a trailer fire on the side of a highway or leaving the yard with a trailer that had just been pmi'ed and had no brakes i'd be mighty concerned.

    Looking foward to your feedback...... D
  10. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    You mentioned that the CCR is kinda hard to find. That may be. You also stated that your tractor is never signed off by the outside mech. Well, if it just goes in for PMI, it won't be signed off. If you write up a "needs service" report on it tho, then it is MANDATORY that it is signed off by mech. You cannot drive that piece of equip if it is not signed off by mech, especially safety item.

    Now, I don't like to do this, but I will if it's necessary:

    Get anal. By that I mean, when you're punched in, look at your tractor DVIR, see that required writeup is not signed off, then refuse to drive it until it IS signed off. Radical? Yes, but what are you supposed to do? Drive it with unsigned-off item pending? What if then you DID have crash and it could be tracked back to item you checked but was not signed off? You know the answer to that.

    You cannot be forced to drive something that is unsafe. If so, I have DOT safety 800 # here if you would like.

    Just be safe and do what's right.
  11. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    Thanks Race, there will be no chance of me taking out any equipment that is unsafe, i've been playing this game for almost 19 years now. As i've said my concerns are with the crap work that is being done by the outside service and what he is getting away with. As for the paperwork, my side is filled out (dvir) as for the trailer report, if the temp mech is going to move it or trash it, there is little I can do (maybe i'll mention it to the biz agent next time I see him ha ha)
    Also I should mention that I'm not located in the US, things are way different up here I'm thinking. Not much support when your the only feeder driver in a hub............. Yes, the rest are all contract drivers.
  12. upsdavz

    upsdavz New Member

    Thanks All, have taken things up with the new automotive super. Guess we will see what comes next.