May 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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96 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | MAY 2015 PREVENTABLE or NOT? Doe goes slip-sliding away in parking lot J ohn Doe's lunch at the Roughrider Truck Stop outside Billings, Mont., had been enlivened by Bobby "Flatbed" Braswell's tale of a tractor-trailer driver who'd fallen asleep at the wheel and rear-ended a passenger vehicle. The motor carrier, sued for damages, successfully defended itself by documenting that its driver had been negligent in treating himself for sleep apnea and was hiding it from his bosses. At the moment, however, Doe's attention was devoted to fi nding a suitable parking place for his 18-wheeler near the snow-covered Billings BurgerHouse on Sweetbriar Road, where he was scheduled to deliver some buns. While there was ample room to park and offl oad freight on Sweetbriar, which was relatively fl at and merely slushy, Doe wanted to get closer, so he inched his way into the establishment's large, steeply inclined ice-covered lot and parked 10 feet behind a straight truck whose driver was engaged in munching a burger while updating his paperwork. Alas, the stage now was set for disaster. Departing his cab, Doe entered the BurgerHouse in search of the shift manager, only to be interrupted moments later by the arrival of the straight-truck driver who loudly proclaimed that Doe's tractor had slid into, and dented, his brand new rig! Adding to the other driver's dismay, the impact had caused his half-eaten Cheeseburger Supreme to be thrown to the cab fl oor and ruined! Since Doe contested the preventable-accident warning letter from his safety director, the National Safety Council's Accident Review Committee was asked to resolve the confl ict. NSC immediately ruled against Doe, noting that park- ing on the icy steep downgrade had been unnecessary and risky. John Doe had parked his tractor-trailer in a steeply inclined ice-covered park- ing lot, but his rig slid into and dented a straight truck parked nearby. Was this a preventable accident? BurgerHouse

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