Case Study – Fast Jimmy
Jim arrived to work at his usual 06.30 start time. It was a wet miserable morning. He got out of his car grabbed his work bag with his lunch, Hi-Viz and gloves in it, then went and collected his keys and paperwork from security. He noticed that the keys he was given were for a DAF and not his usual Volvo, “Hey Pete what’s the story, do you have the keys for my truck?”, “No Jim, Volvo were in here last night and took your truck away. The DAF is in from National Truck Rental as a replacement while yours is being sorted, Jim can you put your Hi-Viz on?” “It’s in my bag I will do when I get in the truck” Jim replied.
Jim shrugged his shoulders and headed to the truck park. He hopped into the cab looked around for the internal cab light, through his bag on the bunk, had a quick look around the cab and everything looked fine. The truck was less than a year-old. He switched on the ignition and saw that it was full of fuel, then started the engine. Jim looked to see what was on for today and saw that he was not getting the one dropper to Limerick but instead he was getting 6 drops and three collections in Wicklow. Jim felt a little put out and wanted to talk to someone in the transport office to see if they could change his run back as he had made an arrangement with his friend to collect a part for his car. Now that he was going on a different run this was not looking like he would get it collected. When he made the call he got no answer. He thought that the duty manager must have been asleep or just couldn’t be bothered answering the phone. He looked to see if he could connect his phone with Bluetooth but the DAF setup was different to the Volvo so he decided to do it later in the morning.
Jim put his card in the tacho and hopped out of the truck and went to the toilet, hoping to meet someone who might be able to change his run. Anyway he though” what’s the point, they will probably fob me off, that’s the last time I am going to do any favours for this lot”. On the way back he could see she was this year’s model.
The DAF was the same large cad as Jim’s Volvo. Same kind of layout except the auto gear shift on his Volvo was all contained in one area on the floor while the DAF had a knob on the dashboard with no gearshift just drive, neutral and reverse. Jim re started the engine as it had shut off while he was away from the truck. He then loaded the first drop from his manifest into his google maps and seen that it was an hour and fifteen minutes away. Grand he thought and grabbed his paperwork and started to complete the vehicle check list. All done he threw the paperwork into the dash, pulled on his seat belt had a quick look at the gear switch, selected drive, a quick look around for the hand brake, released it and off he went. As he was going out the gate he realised that the seat was too far back so he adjusted the position as he headed up the road. Jim is very particular about the seating position and hates it when others use his truck and move the seat.
Within five minutes he was making his way out of the industrial estate when the phone rang. Jim looked at the display and it was the transport office, he picked up the phone “Hi Jim, Paddy from the office here. You were looking for us are you OK?”. “ Ah, Paddy why was my truck taken last night?” “Jim, you mentioned that the back lens was broken and when the Volvo guy came out he noticed that the bracket on the mud guard was bent back and had pushed into the fuel tank. So he took it back to the workshop for repair” Jim was quiet for a moment, then he said “well I know nothing about any damage to the mud guard or tank, must have been the shunter”. “And anyway why have I been sent to Wicklow when Sean ‘O was meant to be doing that run? This is the usual mess up and I always get the worst runs here.” Just as he was saying that he had to rest the phone on his shoulder while he went to put the wipers on but instead pulled on the engine brake instead. Struggling to see through the screen, when he did find the switch he straightened his head and got the phone back in his hand.
Suddenly Jim said “oh no” he dropped the phone, as he heard a crushing noise and dump on the passenger’s side. “What the hell was that” he thought. His heart rate rose as he knew something bad had just happened. He had just gone through a set of lights and stopped less than a truck length from them. He looked in the passenger side mirror but it was not set so he could clearly see the back wheels. He pulled on the hand brake and went to put on the hazard-lights but fumbled to find the switch as it was not in the same position as the Volvo. When he found it he jumped out of the cab, not sure of exactly what he was looking for. It was still dark and raining as he made his way around the front of the truck to the passenger side. As he looked down the passenger side of the truck he could see something dark sticking out from under the back axel. His heart beat rose again and his breathing got faster. Just as he was about to investigate a police car pulled up and put its blue lights on because the truck was stopped in a dangerous position.
In one respect Jim was glad that there was someone else there. The Garda, came from the back of the truck and the Garda was shining his torch up the side of the truck. Jim could see something large at the wheel and something sticking into the curtain. As he got closer he could see from the Garda’s light that a strap had come down and caught around the back wheel pulling a pallet and its contents out through the curtain. “Thank Jesus, I thought someone had gone under my back wheel”. The Garda was not as impressed with Jim as Jim was with himself, and said “you will need to get someone out to get the load put back and the strap removed from around the wheel. Do you have a warning triangle? “ It’s not my truck Gard” Jim said. The Gard asked Jim “Did you check this vehicle before you left the yard?” Jim replied” I filled out the walk around check list, it’s not my truck, it’s a hired one.” “Well, I can see that there is no insurance cert displayed in the windscreen” the Garda said pointing at the windscreen. “I, will need you to present your Insurance and licence at a station within the next 10 days. You know it’s an offence to shed a load on a public road and it’s also dangerous and very unprofessional not to check your vehicle before a trip? I would expect more from a professional driver to be honest”