Was I unreasonable?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by brett636, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    So I am covering for one of our air shuttle drivers while they are on vacation, and on my back to the building my rear view camera decides it no longer wants to work. I write it up and put it under "safety" on the DVIR. As usual the two guys who grab these trucks to setup for preload was about to take it when I mentioned the write up. I was promptly told that the rear view camera not working is not a safety issue and that I needed to tear out the DVIR page I already signed and redo it as non safety. I refused as I always viewed a non working rear vision camera as a safety issue(the rear view camera is safety equipment after all right?). I stood my ground and guy doing setup moved on. I realize you can get by without a working rear view camera, but this was a 24 ft. box truck, and I felt it was necessary. Was I being unreasonable denying them the use of this truck over a rear view camera? Is it right for anyone to tell a driver that they need to redo a DVIR because they think the issue isn't safety related?
  2. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    The rear view camera is considered to be a third mirror in the depth of knowledge questions. It would be a safety issue if one of the other mirrors was broken so I agree that the camera not working is a safety issue and was written up correctly on the DVIR.

    It is true that the vehicle can be operated without the camera but does that make it safe to do so?
  3. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    I think you did the right thing. It's not your call to tear out that page it needs to be addressed.
  4. Richard Harrow

    Richard Harrow Deplorable.

    Sure. One must assume those camera's were not there when the company started using Ford Model T's in 1913, that didn't render those vehicles unsafe. Feeder drivers operate much larger vehicles without cameras.
  5. cosmictrucker

    cosmictrucker counting the months

    Since the truck is equipt with the camera, I would consider it a safety issue as you did.

    The only person in my eyes with the authority to over rule your write-up is the mechanic in charge of that vehicle. That mechanic must sign off on the DVR, which then transfers liability to them, not you.
  6. bigbrownhen

    bigbrownhen New Member

    Yep, I would have written it up as a safety also. Same as if one of the other mirrors were broken. Just because they wanted to use it quickly is no reason to cut corners. They could have asked the mechanic to look at it asap if possible if they needed it that bad. It was probably just a loose wire. Quick fix.

    Now what would have happened if you didn't write it up as a safety and the next driver to use it backed into something??
  7. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    The rear view camera is an added safety feature, not a required one. Mine didnt work for months, and this is what I was told.
    You will be in big trouble if it isnt turned up, and you hit something because you didnt use it, but if its not working thats Ok too. See?
  8. It's a safety issue. I agree with every one else. If it's on the DOK questions and put there for safety reason's it's safety. I think you did the right thing.
  9. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    I also feel you did the right thing. By writing it up you've covered your rear. Better safe than sorry!
  10. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    You did the right thing simply because if you had taken it out,and backed into something, they would be more than happy to point out that is is your fault especially when you should have had it repaired first.

    That being said, using proper backing techniques, there is no need for a backing camera.
  11. Blizzard

    Blizzard New Member

    safety issues have to violate DOT standards. mechanic would still have to sign off on it if you had listed it as a non safety so no harm no foul.
  12. FracusBrown

    FracusBrown Ponies and Planes

    Theres a double standard.

    To UPS everything is a safety issue when it can be used against you, but in the case of non working back up cameras they flip flop and revert to DOT rules. Its not a DOT requirement, so it not illegal to operate. There is a memo out about this topic from way back when the first ones were installed. You can be disciplined for refusing to drive it on the basis of the camera not working.

    The DVIR is separate issue. It is against the law to remove or destroy the original DVIR. It is not against the law to operate the vehicle with a non-DOT safety item listed as needing repair, but it is against company policy. Company policy indicates that only a qualified automotive person can sign off the DVIR, but DOT allows any agent of the company (including the driver) to sign it off if they are satisfied that it meets DOT safety requirements.

    I'd say it's unreasonable to refuse to operate the vehicle because of the non working camera. It's legal and 95% or more of all trucks on the road don't have them.
    It is not unreasonable to refuse to tear the page out of the book. Its illegal.
    Refusing to operate the vehicle because the DVIR is not signed off is a toss up. Against policy, but not against the law. You could get into trouble, but it probably wouldn't stick.
    Although its common, it is unreasonable that no one involved knows the policy or the DOT requirements.
  13. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Strictly my opinion, but I think you were being unreasonable. Personally I hate backing cameras. People get lazy and rely too much on them. If you're not sure? Get out and look. Is it possible you simply got in a pissing match and couldn't back down? Yeah, I know something about those too. Should probably be fixed but really, dead-lined for a backing camera? Bit much there.
  14. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    I guess that's the difference between UPS and Fedex.
  15. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    bbsam, it took me about 2 weeks to get used to the rear camera. Now I'd be hard pressed to back without it. I think the word "lazy" is a bit harsh but I know for a fact that I rely on mine quite a bit, especially with tailgaters. I have had one close enough to where I could read the license plate. We are still instructed to get out and look.

    Did you ever wonder why we don't have backup beepers on our package cars? They say that we are more aware if we beep the horn during the back along with using the camera and mirrors. I think having the beepers would give a false sense of security.
  16. BrownArmy

    BrownArmy Well-Known Member

    In a previous job I drove trucks a bit bigger than the 24 ft UPS box truck for two years, no backup camera. No backup accidents, no problem. Drivers have driven (and backed up) large trucks for decades without backup cameras...the camera is the fifth mirror, but there are four others.

    Having the backup camera is certainly nice, it gives you more visual information in addition to the sound when in reverse gear.

    Three times in my UPS career I've had a backup camera go AWOL. Once it was a simple bad camera connection I temporarily solved by wedging something in to hold the cable. The other two times I messaged the center to let them know. Both times I was instructed to carry on, but you know, be careful.

    Did you do the right thing? I'd have to say yes, if only because it covers your own behind.

    Will UPS instruct you to carry on without a backup camera? Certainly.

    Will UPS discipline you (or the next guy) later for hitting something while backing with a non-functioning backup camera? Certainly.

    Personally, while I feel the camera is helpful and a useful tool, I also feel that hitting a fixed object while backing is on par with filling a package car with the wrong type of fuel: people do it all the time, and it's just plain dumb.
  17. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    The company can't afford batteries for our flashlights so we can do proper pre-trips and post-trips.
    The company can't afford brooms to sweep the customers trailers out to present a caring, professional image.
    Would you guess economics might determine why we don't have OSHA/DOT recognized beepers on all our vehicles that sound when vehicle is backing?
    It's not rocket science.
  18. SmithBarney

    SmithBarney Well-Known Member

    You did the right thing, its up to the mechanic to correct you.

    My mechanic would just note "not a safety item" on the DVIR... no big deal. (he did that a couple times for some odd thing I wrote up)

    If he wants to rip out a page, let him.. then when the DOT guy looks at the DVIR(unlikely) and sees a ripped out page(remnants) he can ask UPS where'd it go.
  19. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    Geez...Hike up your skirts....When in doubt , walk it out....We drove w/o back up camera's for years.... all of a sudden our back up camera's become your security blanket...pleeezz... I know for sure our mechanic would red tag that big bertha for the duration it took for the parts to arrive if it was written up as safety issue, and believe me, it wouldn't be his priority to expedite that vehicle back in the line up any time soon...
  20. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I disagree. I have been told that they will not install the beepers as they feel we would tend to rely upon the beepers and not be as aware during the back.