Punished For A Hard Brake

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Truck Operations IdeaI’m looking at maybe switching trucking companies. One has a policy of a $25 deduction for each duty violation including a hard brake.

Say what? If some yahoo cuts in front of me and I have to brake hard to keep the truck from being involved in an accident, why should I be punished?

Response from Vicki:

Thanks for asking a question through the truck operations page of our site.

Frankly, I don’t know the reason for this. If the trucking company that has this policy in place is otherwise a good fit for you, please ask. We’d be interested to know for the sake of our readers.

Speculating, it is possible that the company does not want to risk having its drivers jackknife their rigs. Or perhaps it has something to do with their insurance policy.

We know from reading trucking news articles that more and more controls are being installed in trucks to keep tabs on drivers. There is a rise in the use of “telematics” (Wikepedia definition) in commercial motor vehicles. Some drivers resent being micro-managed with such things as cab-facing truck cameras.

Mike had a co-worker who had to slam on his truck’s brakes because the driver of a four-wheeled vehicle cut him off. Had the trucker not slammed on his brakes, there most assuredly would have been a nasty truck accident and possibly a fatality (of the driver and/or the passenger). Yes, the trucker’s load shifted and there was an expense associated with fixing that, but which expense is greater: moving a shifted load or the aftermath of a fatal truck accident?

If any of our readers know the answer to why a trucking company would punish a professional truck driver for a “hard brake”, please comment on this below. Thanks in advance.

In the meantime, if you feel uncomfortable in driving for this company, press on in your search.

Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons


—– Comment —–
Punished for Hard braking? Check this out… by Anonymous
Date: Jan 08, 2016

To put it bluntly, trucking companies AND governments don’t really care about safety.
They claim they spend a lot of time and money on safety but really, it’s a smoke screen to cover their stratospheric level of ignorance and stupidity.

I offer my services to the next President of the United States to get the transportation state of affairs back in order.

G. F. Rimes

Response from Vicki:

Hello, G.F.,

Thank you for your comment. If I understand what you’re saying, I can summarize it as “control”. And if that is correct, I stated that very thing in a guest blog on August 1, 2013 about the 2013 Hours of Service regulation change.

Ours is not a political website, but it would be interesting to know how — were you in charge — you would change “the transportation state of affairs”. Perhaps you have a website with your views already written and ready for consideration?

Back to the point of the article about which you have commented, though, I would be interested to know if the company that has the hard brake punishment policy actually instructs its drivers as to the definition of a “hard brake” and under what circumstances it is and is not acceptable. (I cited an example of when a trucker chose to hard brake rather than be involved in a possibly fatal truck accident.)

This kind of question is the kind of thing that I would love to address to the Director of Safety at any trucking company regarding safe truck operations.

Thanks again.

If you are a professional truck driver, Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.