Leased O/O: explain how this is my fault?!

bigtime

Active Member
I had an "incident" where I was heading down a street to my pickup - I had directions from the customer to be on this road! I was 3/4's down the street, next thing I know my trailer hits a low powerline. In the process it takes out power to two houses. According to safety its my fault, I should have checked the height of the powerlines. Is that really practical??? The power company is required to install all powerlines at a minimum height over the road. If this line were installed correctly at that required mimimum height everything would be fine. I had a delivery today in NC, lots of powerlines. Its driving me insane now! Thinking it could happen again.

The problem with our "industry" is they require perfection! But nobody is paying for that! I've given this company lots of miles and years of service. I am about ready to sell the truck. The liability you assume nowadays as a driver is insane. Why bother? Become a broker! Or get a "real" job.

If thats not bad enough, I am tired of being told how much the company appreciates me, I am so important, etc. B.S.! I haven't always been an O/O, and I've heard this as a company driver. Its complete bull. They want you, but when it comes time to back you up. NOPE. I will say I had one company who actually "had my back." When I first started driving I was navigating behind a shopping center in almost total darkness trying to find the dock. BAM! I hit a little dumpster on wheels that had been pushed out into the roadway. That company didn't punish me at all for that, I think most would. Thats how it should be. Why screw up a drivers record on some freak thing? Later they were bought out by another, and the company went down the S-er. Imagine that. The only reason I became an O/O was because they got bought out. Otherwise I would still be there. It was that great of a company.

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant a bit. I can't stop thinking about what happened and what I could have done differently. Thats the real question. Should I have got out at each powerline and measured, holding up traffic? Afterall, I was 3/4's down the road. Called the customer even though I had directions, and asked "are ya sure this road is ok?" What???

Its easy when your behind a desk in some corporate office, but I have a lot of my life and a lot of money invested in this job. For anyone out there thinking about becoming an O/O. Don't. Its not worth it. I also suggest you stay debt free your whole career, or live in an area where you can find a job quickly if you ever lose your driving gig. The liability is too great these days. Unless you like sleepless nights worrying about how you might have to quickly sell the truck and figure out how to pay your mortgage.

If you want to be a truck driver for a fews years to sock away some money, go for it. But as a career, don't even think about it! Thats where I screwed up. I originally did it to put away money, than I made the mistake thinking this would be a good "career." Go on a website like "monster.com" and see how many jobs you can get having mostly driven a truck your whole life. Hmmm. Trucking and more trucking. And your record better be spotless, or your going to end up flipping burgers. : / AND IF THATS NOT BAD ENOUGH! Freight rates for the most part stink! Fuel is too high!

Thanks again.

- Frustrated O/O
 

BANDIT

Dispatch Me Home
Your safety dept. is wrong. It isn't your fault, and it isn't a chargeable. It is in fact the responsibility of the company that is maintaining that powerline to make sure it is legal minimum height, which I believe is 14'. I would fight to get it changed on my record if I were you.
 

aintgotno

Member
Heres how it works. If the company you work for is out one dollar, its preventable. It has nothing to do with the circumstances its a money thing.
 

flattire

New Member
bigtime bandit is right powers lines should be a min. of 14 feet high. i would fight it you might call the power company too see what they say. i my self have takeing out some phone lines i called the phone company and they came out to fix them they are the ones who told me that they are too be a min. of 14 feet.
 

Tn. Trucker

Well-Known Member
Not at all your fault and your company is not out a dime. They might pay but that is their own fault if they do. I live on a highway, my cable line has been taken out several times, once taking my electrical line off the house.
The cable company claimed my pole is too far from the street but electric co installed it. long story short. I paid for the electrical pole to be reconnected, cable replaced their line cause they wanted me to have cable and electric company just stayed out of it.
There was never a question that the truck was at fault. All lines are to be a minimum of 13'6'' or installer(company) is responsable for all damage resulting.
 

bigtime

Active Member
Here's the new spin the company has put on it. They say since the officer on the report cited a code, citing "driver inattention" or some crap - than its my fault. If the officer hadn't listed that code than I would be fine. WTF?! Excuse me? The officer himself said it wasn't my fault on scene! I would suspect he has to pick a code to put on the report, so he picked that one. No tickets were issued, he said it wasn't my fault YET, my company says it is!
If thats not bad enough, I took a class as required by my company and in their manual it says its preventable if something reasonable could have been done. Safety said I should have seen the line and stopped and called the customer. Yeah, thats reasonable. Let's see, I drove almost all the way down the street under 50 wires and was fine. I should have seen the last couple were lower, because we all should be able to judge a 13'5" line versus a 13'6" line from inside our cabs, and stopped. Holding up traffic of course and called the customer. Than what? Cops come out and back me out? Probably citing me for impeding traffic? Powerlines are not like bridges. Powerlines as required by the NEC - National Electric Code MUST be a minimum height off the ground depending on the current they carry. That minimum is ALWAYS at least 14'!
AHHHHHHHHHHH! Just thinking about it gets my BP up. Insanity!

This business makes no sense at all.
 

Flatbedpete

Drivers unite
I would suggest a simple phone call to an attorney. The company knows good and well they can't punish you for hauling a safe legal dimension load that they set up for transportation of the highways on a truck authorized route. Its not your fault, its also not your companies fault. The officer on scene, if not a D.O.T. officer is at fault since he has no jurisdiction over you if you are operating a CMV that was involved in an accident. When ever a CMV is involved in an accident concerning property or life, you should have been issued citations by a authorized State or Federal D.O.T. compliant and trained officer for the accident and taken by an officer to go immediately and take a urine test at a hospital. With out this you are not in any way liable for damage because they did not follow the Federal rules of trucking. As far as the power lines, this would be the fault of the State,County, city, township or village to cover any and all damages to all parties or for them to have the company responsible to all parties for the wires not at a legal height standard, or with proper signs to say different. I have seen in the past bridges hit with loads that are of the legal height because no one changed the signs on a designated truck route from resurfacing the road. Guess what its not the drivers, or trucking companies problem, Its the tax payers to fix it.
 

r&c

Member
I hit a power line once put up by the owner of a fireworks stand. We called the police (mainly because he was saying he was going to get me fired if I didn't pay him some money). The cop showed up measured the hieght of my rig and then wrote the owner a ticket for not properly installing the power line. This was in TN some 10 years ago. TN has a law requiring all power lines to be at least 14 feet at thier lowest extant. By the way the owner 6 months later filed another accident report with the company that he paid a justice of the peace to file. I turned in the orginal filed by the police officer. Then we sued him for attorney fees, in small claims court.
 

bigtime

Active Member
I hit a power line once put up by the owner of a fireworks stand. We called the police (mainly because he was saying he was going to get me fired if I didn't pay him some money). The cop showed up measured the hieght of my rig and then wrote the owner a ticket for not properly installing the power line. This was in TN some 10 years ago. TN has a law requiring all power lines to be at least 14 feet at thier lowest extant. By the way the owner 6 months later filed another accident report with the company that he paid a justice of the peace to file. I turned in the orginal filed by the police officer. Then we sued him for attorney fees, in small claims court.
Thats interesting. I would have had the biggest grin on my face if the two homeowners got tickets. Ha!
 

Robert929

Platinum 929
I hit a power line once put up by the owner of a fireworks stand. We called the police (mainly because he was saying he was going to get me fired if I didn't pay him some money). The cop showed up measured the hieght of my rig and then wrote the owner a ticket for not properly installing the power line. This was in TN some 10 years ago. TN has a law requiring all power lines to be at least 14 feet at thier lowest extant. By the way the owner 6 months later filed another accident report with the company that he paid a justice of the peace to file. I turned in the orginal filed by the police officer. Then we sued him for attorney fees, in small claims court.
Dude, do you personally have a copy of that law, or a reference to it? I haul oversize, typically high loads and I was just wondering where you got that notion that there was such a law on the books. I've had loads skidded and stripped by myself and by bucket truck companies and I've still pulled down power lines. When the authorities were contacted, as well as the utilities company or cable company, noone has ever recited that law. This has happened to me in several states, Tennessee being one of them. I've heard this for the last 15 years and no one has been able to produce a copy of said law. If you have a copy of it, please forward it to me so the next time it happens to me, I'll have something to fight with, other than an oversize permit............. Thanks.
 

Robert929

Platinum 929
Here's the new spin the company has put on it. They say since the officer on the report cited a code, citing "driver inattention" or some crap - than its my fault. If the officer hadn't listed that code than I would be fine. WTF?! Excuse me? The officer himself said it wasn't my fault on scene! I would suspect he has to pick a code to put on the report, so he picked that one. No tickets were issued, he said it wasn't my fault YET, my company says it is!
If thats not bad enough, I took a class as required by my company and in their manual it says its preventable if something reasonable could have been done. Safety said I should have seen the line and stopped and called the customer. Yeah, thats reasonable. Let's see, I drove almost all the way down the street under 50 wires and was fine. I should have seen the last couple were lower, because we all should be able to judge a 13'5" line versus a 13'6" line from inside our cabs, and stopped. Holding up traffic of course and called the customer. Than what? Cops come out and back me out? Probably citing me for impeding traffic? Powerlines are not like bridges. Powerlines as required by the NEC - National Electric Code MUST be a minimum height off the ground depending on the current they carry. That minimum is ALWAYS at least 14'!
AHHHHHHHHHHH! Just thinking about it gets my BP up. Insanity!

This business makes no sense at all.
UHHH, where can I find in the National Electric Code that it states a height minimum? I'm not calling you out, but I would like someone to cite a referrence point where I can go. I also have read all of the posts on this thread and I'm not gonna call any names, but I personally think you are getting some bad advice. If you can't successfullly argue your point and they want to hang you for this, then maybe this company that you are leased to may not be all that great for you. I'm just sayin', that's all.
 

bigtime

Active Member
That info. is available in the NEC - National Electric Code Book. You can find it on the net if you really look, I found two sources - a Nebraska Utility Co. and Sacramento Power. Both say 18'0" minimum vertical clearance over a street. They both site the the NEC book as sources. Below is an excerpt from one:

7.4.1 Vertical Clearance for Service Drops
Service drops shall have a minimum ground clearance as follows:​
a)​
Over the center portion of a street - 18 feet minimum. (See Attachment
T005.4.) For the minimum height over trolley's, railroad tracks, telephone
lines, etc., consult SMUD.
b) At curb or outer limits of possible vehicular traffic - 16 feet minimum. (See
Attachment T005.4.)
c) Over private driveways or other areas accessible to vehicles.
1) Commercial/Industrial Premises - 16 feet minimum.
2) Residential Premises - 12 feet minimum.
d) Over areas accessible to pedestrians only.
1) Commercial/Industrial Premises - 12 feet minimum.
2) Residential Premises - 10 feet minimum.
e) If the above clearances cannot be obtained with a standard length service
pole, the required clearances shall be obtained by using a longer pole with
installation and setting depth in accordance with attachment T005.4.



Robert929, its in the book. Thats guaranteed, a fact, period end of story. I have emailed several utilities and even called my local one and they have all said its in their and its 18'0", and even in extreme, weird, bizzaro circumstances the clearance is always 14'0" minimum. Line voltage determines the height, all thats in the book.

According to my safety dept. none of that matters ALL because the officer cited a code on the report that says I was a contributing factor - driver inattention. Even though on scene he told me and another officer there was nothing I could do, it wasn't my fault. B.S.!

Thanks for getting my B.P. up. : /

 

Robert929

Platinum 929
That info. is available in the NEC - National Electric Code Book. You can find it on the net if you really look, I found two sources - a Nebraska Utility Co. and Sacramento Power. Both say 18'0" minimum vertical clearance over a street. They both site the the NEC book as sources. Below is an excerpt from one:

7.4.1 Vertical Clearance for Service Drops
Service drops shall have a minimum ground clearance as follows:


a)
Over the center portion of a street - 18 feet minimum. (See Attachment
T005.4.) For the minimum height over trolley's, railroad tracks, telephone
lines, etc., consult SMUD.
b) At curb or outer limits of possible vehicular traffic - 16 feet minimum. (See
Attachment T005.4.)
c) Over private driveways or other areas accessible to vehicles.
1) Commercial/Industrial Premises - 16 feet minimum.
2) Residential Premises - 12 feet minimum.
d) Over areas accessible to pedestrians only.
1) Commercial/Industrial Premises - 12 feet minimum.
2) Residential Premises - 10 feet minimum.
e) If the above clearances cannot be obtained with a standard length service
pole, the required clearances shall be obtained by using a longer pole with
installation and setting depth in accordance with attachment T005.4.



Robert929, its in the book. Thats guaranteed, a fact, period end of story. I have emailed several utilities and even called my local one and they have all said its in their and its 18'0", and even in extreme, weird, bizzaro circumstances the clearance is always 14'0" minimum. Line voltage determines the height, all thats in the book.

According to my safety dept. none of that matters ALL because the officer cited a code on the report that says I was a contributing factor - driver inattention. Even though on scene he told me and another officer there was nothing I could do, it wasn't my fault. B.S.!

Thanks for getting my B.P. up. : /

Thank you for the referrence points I appreciate it. As far as your B.P. it was never my intention to get your B.P. up or whatever you said, but I could care less about something like that. I was looking for some real information, and was being sincere, so wtf ever dude!!!! Peace.
 

bigtime

Active Member
Thank you for the referrence points I appreciate it. As far as your B.P. it was never my intention to get your B.P. up or whatever you said, but I could care less about something like that. I was looking for some real information, and was being sincere, so wtf ever dude!!!! Peace.
[/left]
GFYM. Peace. : P lol
 

Robert929

Platinum 929
:blah:
GFYM. Peace. : P lol
I thank you for that, just shows the intelligence level of SOME of the so-called professionals that chime in here, and your an owner-operator. Thank God for that, 'cause with statements like that (GFYM) it only makes you look like the moron that you are. Truckers are almost always thought of as idiots, and then there's always one, like this guy who opens his pie hole and prove 'em right. With that being said God Bless you and God Keep you during this time of turmoil with the fuel, rates, and economy situation. I was being sincere about finding the reference points, and your BP. You wanna make it personal, whatever, this is the last time I play interenet thug with you about this. You win, now go buy you some of that $4.68 a gallon fuel, if you can afford it....................Late..... Be a man and STFU!!!!!!!!!!! :stirpot:
 

bigtime

Active Member
:blah:

I thank you for that, just shows the intelligence level of SOME of the so-called professionals that chime in here, and your an owner-operator. Thank God for that, 'cause with statements like that (GFYM) it only makes you look like the moron that you are. Truckers are almost always thought of as idiots, and then there's always one, like this guy who opens his pie hole and prove 'em right. With that being said God Bless you and God Keep you during this time of turmoil with the fuel, rates, and economy situation. I was being sincere about finding the reference points, and your BP. You wanna make it personal, whatever, this is the last time I play interenet thug with you about this. You win, now go buy you some of that $4.68 a gallon fuel, if you can afford it....................Late..... Be a man and STFU!!!!!!!!!!! :stirpot:
Glad to see you were the "bigger" man. Really showed me. As for truckers always being thought of as idiots, way to prove that stereotype right!

STFUYAFIACFLWSGODA!!!!!! Dur dur durdur! (Insert stupid animated thing here)
 

nick2008

Well-Known Member
looks like tyhe cats are out meowwwwwwww
and you wonder why the countrys in the state its in
this is just another reason why you should be re-writing the books each state has its own rules what i can see. you should be getting laws pased that any obstical under a min ( in the UK ) 16'6" is marked on that route with a low headroom marker then its up to you to decide that if you have a load over that height you call the authorites for routing advice .
 

Chemguru

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the words of encouragement! I'll sleep real good knowing that. I'm starting school in 2 weeks...........or not!
 
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