The Cab Is Down For The Count
I turned the cab in last week for a grinding noise coming from the transmission. The next day I have my cab back and what do you know? The noise is still there. They didn’t do a thing and they never do. Cabs are driven hard and serviced just enough to keep them in running shape. But one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that some issues never get fixed. They just let them go until they blow.
Transmissions are the biggest issue that the shop does nothing about. I understand the business reason for that. It would be more costly to work on the transmission then to just replace it when it goes out. I’m fine with that approach with just one issue. If the car comes in and the gears are already grinding why send it out knowing it’s not going to last more than a few days. Why don’t they change it out then? I’ve asked this question to everyone who’s anyone at my company and no one has a straight answer. Is it laziness? I don’t know, but what I DO know is the money it costs me and the company when it does go out.
It’s exactly 5 days after I turned it in for the noise. I had 2 more hours on the road to make money and my transmission took a dump. Over an hour passes before the tow truck gets there and I still have to go back to the yard to get service papers for it. Then I have to report to my supervisor and go hunting for a new cab. The full elapsed time averaged almost 2 hours. Those 2 hours took about $100 from my daily book and cost the company a tow fee. Now, if they want to stay with the policy of “drive it till it breaks” then lets work on the turn over time. Other companies get you on the road as soon as you are towed in. At my company, they have a ton of people who are contacted during a break down and no one seems to share the info with anyone.
1) Turn your two-way radio to emergency to report the problem and ask for a tow (this person is supposed to call my supervisor and get another cab on the way if needed which never happens)
2) Go back to main dispatch and ask for another cab if you need one
3) Go back to emergency and ask for the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of the tow (hoping they called because sometime they don’t)
4) Do all paperwork while waiting, write a blog about it, and sometimes take a nap
5) Get in tow truck and head to yard to be stopped at gate so security can get all the info of what happened
6) Pull around to fuel pumps to fill car that is still hooked to the tow truck
7) Show new tow driver where to put car because no one at gate told him a damn thing
8 ) Go to service writer and get service paperwork to go back in cab
9) Go see supervisor and hope they have a cab for you
10) Hunt down cab and usually fuel it up and clean it inside and out (you can’t leave the yard with a dirty cab)
11) Pull it up to supervisors office to get medallion put on so you can work
12) Pull to gate hoping you don’t get sent back for a bad brake light
13) Try to catch up from the hours already lost
How nice would it be to just radio in what happened and have the dispatcher call for a tow, get another cab on the way, let your supervisor know and call the gate to let them know what tow company is coming in? That way we can just get waved on in. Then, what if the supervisor (in the hour time he has) finds a cab, sends it to the in-house car wash (if needed) and pulls it up where they can put the medallion on. Then he could head to the service writer and gets the paperwork for the broke down car.
That way, when the towed cab gets back to the yard it would go something like this:
1) Get waved through gate and pull up to where the shop is (save fueling till after shop is done) They can fuel it before they put it back in service and wave the fuel cost to the driver to make up for time lost)
2) Supervisor put medallion on new cab and sends you on your way
I don’t know, maybe its just me but that would cut off about a good 30-40 mins