Oct

How NOT to do it

2010-10-01 14:59
Incorrect 5th wheel which could have disastrous consequences and put all other road users in his vicinity at serious risk.

Usually we have one Moegoe of the Month but this month we have two who were spotted out there operating on our roads, one of which was identifiable and the other unfortunately not, writes Patrick O’Leary.

The first picture was taken by Jannes Venter from Jost who spotted this Moegoe on September 17th while travelling on the N12 in the Germiston area. It was sent to us by Manie Roux, sales and technical manager of Jost. Here’s what he wrote: I thought you would be interested , or disgusted , by this ‘˜operator’. As can be seen on the photograph, the Copelyn tipper is coupled to a Jost JSK37C fifth wheel, which is the incorrect fifth wheel for this application. The correct fifth wheel would be a JSK36C fifth wheel and it should be blocked.

Every time the driver stopped or pulled away, the Copelyn tipper would rock dangerously forwards or backwards which could have had disastrous consequences and definitely put all other road users in his vicinity at serious risk. Needless to say, there were no markings on the truck nor the Copelyn tipper and judging from the general condition of the combination, the driver and/or owner simply does not care about their own safety or the safety of other road users.

Just another slap in the face of all the conscientious transporters out there who are continually striving to create a better image for their industry!

Editor’s Comment: You’re so right about this being yet another slap in the face to those striving to create a better image for the industry , of which there are many. The sooner such guys are taken off the road the better it will be for all. He definitely gets labeled a Moegoe.

Second Moegoe
The second was sent in by Keir Guild, technical manager of Wabco who, as a member of our Brake & Tyre Watch team, I can vouch for as being a man who is not only incredibly knowledgeable on braking systems but is passionate about road safety.

Cowboy Driver! In this first picture, the yellow suzy hose wasn't plugged in meaning the trailer had NO BRAKES at all.

Cowboy Driver! In this first picture, the yellow suzy hose wasn’t plugged in meaning the trailer had NO BRAKES at all.

He sent in the accompanying photographs along with this note: I was recently travelling on the N1 South when I passed an MSC Logistics combination and immediately noticed that the yellow suzy wasn’t plugged in. This was of great concern to me as it meant the trailer had absolutely no brakes, which was exasperated by the fact that it was fully laden and travel linghigher than the speed limit in the far right hand lane!

On top of the rig being unroadworthy, the driver was driving at high speed and veered across four lanes to get to the left off-ramp without any consideration for the safety of following traffic.

On top of the rig being unroadworthy, the driver was driving at high speed and veered across four lanes to get to the left off-ramp without any consideration for the safety of following traffic.

I took photos of the combination and got all the details of the vehicle so I could phone MSC Logistics to tell them they had a dangerous situation. The vehicle’s details were: Fleet Number: MSCL281; Truck Registration Number: YWN232GP; Trailer Registration Number: WTV348GP. While getting these photo’s, the truck driver braked twice and the trailer pushed the truck so hard that the trailer actually swung into the left lane forcing a white VW Polo to swerve to the left to avoid a collision. The truck driver then put on the truck’s indicator to take the left off-ramp to MSC Logistics yard. However, the right indicator on the trailer came on. The truck driver then moved across the entire four lanes in one quick movement not worrying about the cars coming up on his inside.

MSC Logistics has its name on the trailer and is responsible for the safe operations of its trucks on public roads , whether they be employee driven or sub-contracted.

MSC Logistics has its name on the trailer and is responsible for the safe operations of its trucks on public roads , whether they be employee driven or sub-contracted.

In my state of amazement of what is going on our roads, I decided to phone MSC Logistics, where I spoke to a Louis in the fleet management department. He informed me that he would get someone in the customer care department to call me. After four hours passed, I decided to call back! I then got through to a Giel in the customer care department, who informed me that they sub contract the road transport out and thus would speak to the person involved and get back to me. This never happened either!

The question I ask is: If your name is on the side of a vehicle transporting goods, shouldn’t there be some onus of accountability and responsibility on you when you are using transporters which, like this driver, don’t take the lives of other road users into consideration? It was obviously not this way for MSC Logistics as not once did they sound concerned or get back to me on this issue!

Editor’s Comment:
Firstly, thank you for having the courage of being a responsible citizen by taking the action you did. The response you got from the company to your concern was totally contrary to the response I got from a company who driver I saw skipping a red robot , driving an interlink – passing other cars which were stopped at the red light. He had ample time to stop but just went right through the red light.

Luckily there were no other cars coming the other way. I chased the truck and got the name of the company. I then phoned the MD and he was most appreciative saying he would contact the driver there and then and action would be taken. So too with another company whose truck was bolting along at no less than 105kph on the N1 between the Rivonia and William Nichol off-ramps. I know that was the speed because I had to speed up to chase him.

So, here we have an unroadworthy combination driven by a cowboy driver.

So, here we have an unroadworthy combination driven by a cowboy driver.

There was a lot of traffic around and not only was this driver way over his legal speed limit, but was driving downright dangerously. I, in fact, felt nervous travelling at that speed in that traffic and slowed down when I had got the name and telephone number of the company from the side of the truck. I then phoned the MD who asked if I had the fleet number of the truck , which I did , and he said he would immediately go into his vehicle tracking system to record the speed and location and the driver would be immediately contacted and later disciplined. He too was most appreciative.

We know both of these companies and know that they operate to responsible standards. We also know that there are drivers out there who do not follow company rules and go about things their own way putting the good name of the company as well as the lives of other road users at risk. When such drivers are reported, however, the response from management should be proactive rather than defensive. It seems, however, that the response you got from MSC Logistics was the exact opposite , disinterest and a lack of concern for your rights as a road user against his irresponsible driver, whether that driver be an employee or subcontractor.

Shame on you MSC! During our first Brake & Tyre Watch exercise in 2005, we took this MSC Logistics rig off the road for being unroadworthy. It seems not much has changed over the years. MSC, you need to change your ways. Read Section 49 and Section 50 of the Road Traffic Act.

Shame on you MSC! During our first Brake & Tyre Watch exercise in 2005, we took this MSC Logistics rig off the road for being unroadworthy. It seems not much has changed over the years. MSC, you need to change your ways. Read Section 49 and Section 50 of the Road Traffic Act.

I highlight this case as it was back in 2005 when we conducted out first Brake & Tyre Watch exercise at City Deep and among the many trucks we brought in off the road for testing, were a few operated by MSC Logistics – and we failed them. I distinctly recall one which had flat tyres almost popping off the rims (see photograph). I also recall the shoddy suzy hoses on these units. A gentleman from the company arrived at our test location at first loudly protesting but then going quiet when I showed him the state of his combinations. The company was hauling containers out of the City Deep container depot using those 20-or-so year old skeletal trailers previously used by Spoornet to haul containers. Those were the days when Johannesburg had hundreds of Oshkosh E-Series truck tractors hauling skeletal trailers with containers around the city. But in those days, the trailers were in pristine condition.

This picture shows a cracked chassis welded over and over! Illegal!

This picture shows a cracked chassis welded over and over! Illegal!

Now, most of them are in dire need of maintenance , or scrapping. The gentleman told me at the time that they hired these from Spoornet. The point is: The company was operating to low standards back in 2005 and it seems from what Keir Guild observed, that it is still doing so. This is just so unacceptable. As for the abrogation of responsibility via the comment that they sub-contract their transport, this does not hold water.

As Jo Grové, CEO of Unitrans Holdings said in a FleetWatch interview: “If you are involved in trucking in any way, you have a responsibility to other road users to ensure your trucks are roadworthy.’ MSC Logistics has this responsibility and is obviously not living up to it. For this, it gets the label of Moegoe of the Month.

Open invitation
We also extend an open invitation to MSC Logistics to have us visit their depot and inspect their trucks to identify faults. They can no longer operate as they do on our roads , and there is a better way. As I said to the gentleman who stormed onto our test site back in 2005: “Are you able to sleep at night knowing that your trucks are operating on public roads in such a sorry condition?’ My advice to the management of this company would be for them to read Section 49 and then Section 50 of the National Road Traffic Act.

C’mon MSC Logistics. You’re providing a service to the economy but you’re doing it in such an irresponsible way. There is a better way so change your ways so that not only you , but we too , can sleep better at night. As per our usual practice, our two readers who sent the photographs in with their comments each win a bottle of the finest Chateau Collapso compliments of FleetWatch. We salute you for your good citizenship and fine sense of responsibility.

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