Martins Ferry, Ohio
A preventable accident. This Swift Transportation driver did everything he wasn't supposed to do. He never took a look at this inside dock nor did he line up straight. If he had lined up straight he would have noticed bright yellow markers to center his trailer on. About midway in he struck the support pole on the left side of the trailer. When he went to correct his mistake, he drove it further in. On the third try, still unsure of what to do, he turned his wheel the wrong way tearing the door from the hinges. Can we really blame him for this? Yes and no. I lay most of the blame on the giant companies for their efforts to rush as many student drivers through training as possible. Reason? Turnover! When you have thousands of customers to service you need many trucks to service them. The top ten companies in my opinion are "puppy mills" for drivers. From my source at Swift, their training is as follows, following a 3 week crash course on truck driving and being tested in minimal areas for a CDL: 240 hours behind the wheel. 40 back-ins, this used to be 28 and changed recently. The trainer only needs to be with the student the first 50 hours of driving, after that he may go to sleep. That also includes backing time. Who can be a trainer? If you lease purchase a Swift truck you are eligible to train students after 3 months of driving. If you are a company driver you can train new drivers after 6 months. Anyone see a problem here? I received an email from George H. after my last post asking who am I to judge? Well, first off, I am not judging anyone, I am showing what I saw and stating a few facts. Right or wrong I have earned this. 20 years of driving experience, driver trainer for many years, training and safety supervisor for two years, school instructor for 5 years, 2 of which I lead the program and certified by the State of Ohio for instruction in Motor Vehicles all classes. And most of all, over 2,500,000 miles accident free. Therefore I shall continue showing what's going on in the world of trucking, good, bad or indifferent.
Overdrive's Most Beautiful contest is back for a second year. Submit yourself or a female truck driver you know! The first-place winner will win a trip to The Great American Trucking Show in August and will be featured in a story in Overdrive. Submissions accepted through March 20.
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