Drivers' Corner - Caring in Action

Have you experienced backing up in congested areas? Who hasn't? A driver in Houston, Texas, one afternoon was backing up in a tightly congested area. He needed to go in the other direction and the only way to leave was to turn around. His forward path was blocked by four-wheelers.

As he made his turn in backing, he sent his trailer into a nearby warehouse wall that he had checked for distance and height. Everything was progressing normally when he heard the breaking of metal. Stopping immediately, he went to inspect.

He had hit a valve that controlled the sprinkler system in the warehouse with the top of his trailer. He also heard excited screams coming from inside the warehouse, indicating people were getting wet. They were running out of the building.

His first inclination was to drive away before being discovered, but he stayed and reported the damage to the company. It went on his driving record as a chargeable, preventable accident and wiped out his clean driving record.

Fortunately, only a few people got wet and nothing else was damaged.

An accident of this nature is preventable by following a few simple procedures:

  1. Admit to yourself when help is needed. Too often, we envision ourselves as a Super Trucker with this macho image that we can handle our rig under all circumstances.
  2. Get a friend to guide you. Be sure you agree on hand signals up front and that he knows to stay in your sight at all times.
  3. Avoid congested areas if possible so as to alleviate the problem completely. There are places that you just should not try to get in without changes being made first.