TedTAce
Topic Author
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Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:21 pm

So we all know I'm a really jaded person when it comes to death; especially under unusual circumstnces... So I was reading an article about a missing trucker who was found dead not too far from where I live, and apparently he died of a pre-existing condition. Ok fine, that kind of thing happens. I'm not going to say anything either way about that part of the subject.

The thing that AMAZED me though about the story was the following:
http://www.wftv.com/news/9330700/detail.html

Quote:
The man and his cargo had been missing for about two weeks.



Quote:
The man's truck was running with the air conditioning on when he was found. There were no signs of foul play.

Now I knew that semi's are made to be efficient, and carry more gas then god needs, but TWO WEEKS??? If the rest of the story wasn't so morbid I'd be looking at advertising my trucks durability here.

[Edited 2006-06-07 13:22:32]
This space intentionally left blank
 
ltbewr
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RE: Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:42 pm

Maybe he had just filled up his tanks? Usually, such rest stops have time limits (12 hours or less) that one can be parked at them to discourage people from living at them. To me the police didn't do their job and that they should have noted that the same truck had been parked their for several days and taken action under the established law. Also, most truck or trucking companies have check in procedures for their drivers or tracking devices on the trucks or trailers to prevent abuse or theft of their trucks or their cargo. One also has to wonder why his family didn't take action sooner to figure out where he was. Most probably he died of a stroke or heart attacks, perhaps too late to get help, but still for his dignity this was a horrible situation.
 
Go3Team
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RE: Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:50 pm

I drive a truck for a living. I doubt that a truck would be able to idle for 2 weeks. I have heard that some engines will burn 1/2 gallon an hr at idle, but in my experience, its more than that. I have found it tends to be about 1.5 -2 gallons an hour. Efficiency at idle has really never been a selling point, its all about the general average. I usually average about 4.8 - 5.0 mpg. Some have been able to get close to 7.5, but general comfort during downtime has to be questioned. If you don't run your engine to be comfortable during downtime, you have to have the windows open, and that tends to bring in the bugs and smells from the parking lot. Those smells tend to be urine and logs, that the deviants leave on the parking lot, as they are too lazy to walk inside to use the restroom.

The company I work for had a driver die in Mississippi a few years ago. Even with satellite tracking it took a week to determine that somethings wrong, get the precise location, and send the local authorities to locate the truck. That truck has been a source of bad luck thru the years, until it was totalled - after a driver had a massive heart attack, and died before he impacted into an overpass. Another driver had a stroke while driving the same truck. It is still at work, even though it has been 2 years since it was totalled.
Yay Pudding!
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:04 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Thread starter):
So we all know I'm a really jaded person when it comes to death

Sorry you're not that important to the rest of the world  Wink
 
don81603
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RE: Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:45 am

On average, an idling truck will burn 4 gallon per hour with the A/C running. In two weeks it would use 1,344 gallons. I'll assume he wasn't using a Webasto Climate Control, as the article says the truck was idling. With the Webasto, it could "run" for months, but I've yet to see a truck that can carry that much fuel. Most carry between 200 and 600 gallons to limit the tare weight, which allows more freight, and in turn more revenue

Also, once I expanded the picture, I see that this truck was satellite tracked. Missing for 2 weeks? I highly doubt it. Qualcomm satellite tracking gives the dispatcher real time position reports, accurate to within 30 feet of the vehicle's location.

The trucking company would know his route from A to B, and having missed either a loading or delivery appointment by more than 3 hours would set off alarms everywhere, and at the very least, they would have tried contacting him via the satellite or cell phone. Failing that, they'd be sending a state trooper to check on him.

Drivers are also required to call in to the company every day, either by telephone or on the satellite to update ETAS and report current positions. This is required by federal law, and the trucking company uses such information to update customers, reschedule appointments (if needed) and to update the driver of schedule changes, if any. Many times I've called in and had my mind changed for me. In this industry it happens quite frequently.

As for the previous medical condition, if it was as severe as they're suggesting, the DOT would have pulled his license after his last medical. MDs are required by law to report such conditions to the jurisdiction issuing the CDL (Commercial Drivers License).

All in all, the more I think about this situation, the more it (pardon the pun) stink
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
Go3Team
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RE: Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:02 am

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 4):
Qualcomm satellite tracking gives the dispatcher real time position reports, accurate to within 30 feet of the vehicle's location.

Not with every company. Qualcomm offers a service range, just like a cell phone company does. My company chose the basic package which includes messaging, and a "basic" position report. The position report consists of a distance from a place, such as: Date, Time, 4.1 miles SW of Ashland, and the ignition status - on or quiet. Getting the actual position requires a phone call to Qualcomm. This is what would happen, if the satellite has signal. Many times, I can park in a certain way, and have the satellite lose signal. This is not a rare occurance, but happens plenty of times. There are times where I can have a signal, and still not get a message thru to the company, or be able to receive a message. And of course, there are the times where the driver will actually interfere with the Qualcomm. That is pretty easy to do in here, pull the circuit breaker and ride.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 4):
The trucking company would know his route from A to B, and having missed either a loading or delivery appointment by more than 3 hours would set off alarms everywhere, and at the very least, they would have tried contacting him via the satellite or cell phone. Failing that, they'd be sending a state trooper to check on him.

The company does not always know the route, unless they specifically tell you to run a certain route. Even then, its at the driver's discretion - traffic back ups, road closures, etc. Most of the time, I do not have an appointment, but a window. I can understand missing for a day, maybe 2 at the most - *sometimes* chaulked up as a miscommication, usually between maintanance and dispatch. Having this driver missing for 2 weeks showed a breakdown somewhere. I would bet that it was something with the Qualcomm. Not knowing the general location of the driver, would mean that the search area is huge.
Yay Pudding!
 
don81603
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RE: Oh Boy, How Do I 'do' This Thread? Missing Trucker

Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:23 am

The Qualcomm still auto-updates location every hour, so if he was sitting for 2 weeks, the position wouldn't change, and that in itself should have raised a flag or 2. Anyway, aside from the qualcomm issues, I still have a hard time seeing a truck carrying the 1300+ gallons to idle for 2 weeks straight. Not to mention that the truck had been stationary in a rest area for 2 weeks. So much for the "See Something, Say Something" DHS has been pushing...
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

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