Safe or unsafe trailer load?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Dutch Dawg, May 22, 2006.

  1. Dutch Dawg

    Dutch Dawg Active Member

    I recently encountered a W style drop frame 28’ trailer with a 100% load. The belly (under flap area) to the 5<SUP>th</SUP> wheel deck was loaded exclusively with empty forever bags bundled within themselves for return to a hub. The above flap area was loaded as normal with packages. I questioned this practice among other hourly employees and was surprised to find a wide range of opinion regarding a high center of gravity and safety.

    There were estimated to be aprox. 40 bundles of bags weighing about 30# each for roughly 1200# in the belly of the beast.
    Among the comments I heard was “Well it’s really no different than a loaded flat pup.”

    I, being somewhat height challenged can peer across the floor of a flat without standing on my tiptoes from the ground. Looking across flaps to the front of a trailer is not possible for me without an elevator, jumping on a trampoline, step stool or like device. So I think it’s safe to say flaps are considerably higher than a flat’s floor.

    In your opinion, is this a bone-fide concern?
  2. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    I believe "center of gravity" is as much, if not more, of a concern as having the heavy trailer in front not only because it affects how that trailer tracks as well as corner but because the original equipment manufacturer designed that "drop frame" pup to be loaded correctly.
    Had you been involved in an accident, the opposing attorney would have a buffet with it.
    The kids and part-time sups (more kids)that load the trailers don't know and don't care about load distribution. their biggest concern is how fast they can load that trailer and then report it as 100%
    Some drivers would have refused to pull it.
  3. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, I hope you took it easy on the corners!
  4. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    yep you have a reason to be concerned and you have the right to refuse to move the load if the wieght is not balanced. I would raise the issue and express your concern about the safety of the load.
  5. retired2000

    retired2000 Active Member

    i understand your concern but they only weighed 30lbs. each you said. what would you have done if each of those bundles had an address on them?
  6. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Retired I understand your point about making service on the bundles but if he rolls the trailer those bundles won't make service anyway.

    1) As part of his CDL requirements he has specific responsibility to ensure the load he pulls is balanced. He can be held liable by DOT if he does not inspect the load and ensure its balanced and secure.

    2) In this case he has a legitimate concern because there clearly is a lot less wieght in the bottom of the load.

    3) He actually has a right to refuse to pull that load for safety reasons.

    4) A more service conscious solution would be for him to raise the concern about the wieght distribution to educate those who do not normally think about and deal with these issues. And then to ask that some of the heavier boxes / from the top of the load be moved under the flaps to add more wieght under the flaps. They could easily redistribute some of those packages from the top and move some of the bags from the bottom to the top of the walls above the flaps. With a little help from the driver this would not take more than 5 or 10 minutes.
  7. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    Here we have a problem with them putting them in the nose of the trailer. That makes the weight of the packages move back further. Then add to that the over 70's are usually loaded on the very rear of the trailer, would not that also be a safety concern?

  8. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    One other point to add perspective to this subject. Driver estimates total wieght of bags at 1200 pounds. I think he is being generous. If the average wieght of a package is around 30 pounds then 40 packages equals the estimated wieght of those bags.

    The bottom of a W trailer equates to 24 percent of the total trailers space. Your average W trailer probably holds about 1200 packages. Therefore the average the bottom of one of these trailers should hold is 288 packages or 8640 pounds vs 27360 up top.

    Big difference.

    So I do think feeder drivers should use these opportunities to educate inside personel on the importance of filling up the bottom of a trailer ( with packages in this case) .
  9. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    Maybe there is a God.
    You and I actually agreed on something!
    I had so expected you to publish how stupid I was and how I was out to subvert, topple and destroy the company.

    Question: why is it the feeder drivers job to educate the loaders and PT sups?

    I would think the feeder manager should talk with the hub manager regarding this. Then the information can trickle down through the ranks and actually stand a chance of being implemented, whereas if a feeder driver said something to the PT sup, he (feeder driver) would get dumb looks.
  10. retired2000

    retired2000 Active Member

    i am confused. who is complaining about the forever bags in the noise of the trailer? is it the driver or the unloader. i took the first post as bing from the unloader.
  11. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

  12. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Agreed. Bags should be used as filler in the top part of walls.I may get some debate on the subject but while the nose is important I think the bottom is critical. I woulld guess this issue is another reason we stopped making and buying drop frame pups and went to the new short flat floor WW type trailers. If the loader at least applies average load building skills then you have a safer load to pull down the road.

    Another issue that I've seen affect this is special shipments that throw the wieght balance off. Someone loads the bottom of a trailer with your average type ups packages. You then run a special of phone books that greatly increases the wieght of the area above the flaps. We had one like that one time that made it all of a quarter mile from the building before it just keeled over on its side. Luckily the driver was sitting at a light waiting to make a left onto the interstate and the trailer tipped over into the median strip.
  13. Here we have caster decks for air cans, so they load the cans into back of trailer after loaded. Well they want to ensure the last air pull leaves on time so what do they do, they place three empties in the front and load two full ones last. Made them pull them out and reload properly and told sup. the importance of being loaded properly. Next day 5% can in front followed by two empties and two full, had to reload again. This time told feeder sup. of problem, so they talked to air dock sup. too. Next day feeder sup. comes down to air dock to ensure proper loading. However the next day was back to normal empties in front. All the shortcut the part-time sups. make to leave earlier and make their numbers.
  14. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Occasionally I have to admit to the stupidity of some of my managment brothers. Take it up a higher level.
  15. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Aw come on now tie. Maybe some of the ones in an upper level need to admit it more often?

  16. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    We do. The first sign will be when that driver hears the p/t air ramp sup who keeps loading the cans wrong has found an exciting job opportunity somewhere else. Location to be named later. :thumbup1:
  17. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    OK....., so only part time sups that work the air ramp screw up? That explains a lot.:closedeye