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Disciplinary Over Harsh Braking (HGV)

SyStemDeMoN

Distinguished Member
I'm being called into the office at work for a disciplinary about my harsh braking.

I drive a MAN lorry with a trucknology thingy in that reports all your driving behaviour such as green band driving, over-reving, harsh braking, engine idle and so on.

This hasn't been a problem for me as I've always been in the top 3 drivers, but recently had new motors (60reg) and it seems to me its randomly giving me an 'E' in harsh braking.

Now I drive from 6pm till about 5am. At 6pm around dudley and wolverhampton the traffic is appaling and other drivers everywhere seem to want to kill themselves under my wheels.

I had a driving assessment about a month ago as this harsh braking thing kept cropping up and on that assessment I had to harsh brake 3 times in one trip (normally 5 trips a night).

I don't know if anyone knows anything about how I stand here, I am going to refuse to sign anything as a computer cannot see what I see and cannot react to the world as I do. Can they give me a warning about this ? In everything else I get an 'A' but only in harsh braking do I get an 'E'.

Please help !
 

MIghtyG

Prominent Member
id be inclined to stand your ground.

Ive heard stories of I think it was Schlumberger introduced those car trackers to all its employees cars and you werent allowed to do over 60mph even on motor ways. Someone got pulled over by the police and asked why she was driving slowly on the motorway as it was a danger to other road users "im not allowed to" was the response. "says who?" "company I work for"

The police then made a visit to Schlumberger to point out that the UK government makes laws regarding what people can and cant do in the UK, not you.

They removed the restriction.

Could be a lie though, was a story a friend told a friend told a friend who told me sort of thing.

But yeah, I think you have a valid point. A little electronic box cant see and react to what you see on the roads.
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
Is it happening to any other drivers you know of?
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
The police then made a visit to Schlumberger to point out that the UK government makes laws regarding what people can and cant do in the UK, not you.
They removed the restriction.

I've noticed the post office, for one, have stickers on their vans saying they are restricted to 60mph.
Which is the legal limit for vans, even on motorways.
But the vans themselves could do more, easily.
So it seems your employer can place restrictions on vehicle performance.

In the case of the OP, surely he could ask for his vehicle to be checked?
Or for someone else to drive it and see how they fare?
 

7ofnine

Prominent Member
Could be a lie though, was a story a friend told a friend told a friend who told me sort of thing.

Sounds like BS. 60mph is not a hazard on motorways, lots of vehicles travel at that speed. Doubt the police would pull someone over for this.
 

SyStemDeMoN

Distinguished Member
... go easy on the brakes! ;)
;)
So what would happen if you eased off on the brakes, but ran over one of those idiots you mentioned?
It would be my fault again, it seems to always be the drivers fault.

Is it happening to any other drivers you know of?

Yes a quite a few ! They do not know how to react to this, onen person is even in contact with his solicitor.

Last night I drove another vehicle, so I suppose we will see how I fared last night. Its not about the speed as I don't really do any motorway driving. I deliver steel coils for TATA from their main hub in dudley to the other steel processing centres around Wolvo and dudley.

Thats another thing, If I was harsh braking that badly my coils and sometimes steel plate, would not stay on the trailer.
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
Yes a quite a few ! They do not know how to react to this, onen person is even in contact with his solicitor.

I think this is a good sign. Provided that the other guys were also previously not experiencing problems, it would suggest that the new system is a bit touchy rather than everyone has developed red mist overnight. A sane company ought to be able to work this out.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
I would think any suggestion of disciplinary action opens up a can of worms for the employer, as there are clearly opportunities for the technology to be wrong.
The box could be wrong, for one.
There could be a problem with the brakes, for another.
And, as the OP says, there may have been outside influences which forced the hard braking.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I was pulled over for driving at 40mph on the A52 near Nottingham. This was after an articulated lorry which was about 100 yards behind me started to flash it's lights at me I'm assuming as a signal for me to speed up as we were approach the foot of an incline. I had to drive slowly because a fault with my car where it kept over heating and was advised by the AA mechanic not to drive above 40mph until I got the problem fixed. I explained all to the traffic cop and he let me on my way without a word.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
@ SyStemDeMoN , do you drive the same Tractor unit everyday ? , does anyone else drive it when you dont ? ...........
 

SyStemDeMoN

Distinguished Member
@ SyStemDeMoN , do you drive the same Tractor unit everyday ? , does anyone else drive it when you dont ? ...........

Usually I drive the same unit each day.

I asked for some telematics today and on monday last week I got a 'B' but had 2 instances of harsh braking. Tuesday I had one instance of harsh braking and I got an 'E'.
 

IL Cattivo

Distinguished Member
Far too much 'Big Brother' watching for my liking going on in this world. Just let people do their bleedin jobs to the best of their ability and stop putting unnecessary pressure on people with monitoring their every darn move. It's getting ridiculous now! :thumbsdow
 

wack

Prominent Member
This is only going to get worse, in 2014 the Euro 6 spec diesel engine has to be adopted by the truck manufacturers, amazingly it does LESS MPG than the current engines and weighs 200kg more.

This will mean more emphasis on achieving the most MPG they can get, as they're losing 200KG payload I can see truck drivers being banned fron transport café's or having a scale built into the seat before the engine will start.:D
 

Deadringers

Distinguished Member
First off mate I would get in contact with the other drivers, exchange email/phone numbers etc and see what they are thinking of the new systems and ask if they are getting the same errors.

Once you all know that suddenly you are all being scored differently then it is time to approach the company and question their new kit.

Also I would have to question how a device such as this really helps to make you guys safer?
Apart from the speeding issue with a 40+ton lorry I would have thought that it would be far safer to not question every single move you make inside the cab so that you have to then second guess yourself each time you have to make a decision which could result in someone getting injured.

e.g. someone pulls out in front of you...
your train of thought would be oh crap got to put on the breaks...
hang on though I may get marked down for this and could look bad..
But on the other hand I do not want to hit the car in front..
That would also get me in trouble..

As far as I can see it is a system which is holding you responsible and attempting to put the blame on you either way.
If you break harshly then you get "marked down".
If you do not then you run the risk of injuring someone else, possibly taking their life and indeed yours.

Really does not seem fair on you.
 

Jenn

Distinguished Member
I can see why the checks are put in place, to stop driving that could be dangerous.

If you were the only one to have that problem, it would point out either a problem with your driving or a problem with the equipment in your truck. The easy way to check that is to get someone else to drive your truck on the same trip and see how they score.

If everyone else suddenly started having the problem, then it's obviously to do with the change in equipment and it's either too sensitive or the old stuff wasn't enough.

If I was a manager at the company, I would have someone (safety guy or whoever is qualified for it) sitting in the truck for a few trips and see if indeed it's to do with your driving or if the truck is being "picky".
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Also I would question who put this system in place?
How can someone make an informed decision as to whether this device should be put in place or not if they do not drive the trucks on a regular basis.
Seems like jobs worth to me.

There's probably three reasons the company who makes this product was given the time of day.

1/ Health and Safety - "Do you want dodgy drivers?...well...DO YOOOOU??"
2/ Green issue - "Do you want fuel wasting drivers?...well....DO YOOOOU??"
3/ (least likely) - Insurance savings

We get calls trying to sell us fleet monitoring hardware/software every flipping day.
We ignore them all.
Really, what would it gain us?
What would we do if we found one of our best drivers was a bit rough on the throttle/brakes?
 

unique

Moderator
did they give you a letter inviting you to attend a formal disciplinary hearing, and on the letter it gives details of the allegations and advises the outcome of the meeting?

if not then it would likely be an informal meeting and formal warnings shouldn't be given. normally best practice is to deal with disciplinary issues informally first, and if informal warnings aren't adhered to or it's a more serious matter then the formal path is taken

in a formal hearing you must be given notice and details of the complaint so you can prepare a case, and be given opportunity to bring a witness with you. it should be worded in such a way that you are clear that it's a formal hearing that may result in a warning

warning system is usually a verbal, first written, second written, final warning and if you are found to do the SAME thing after a final warning you could be dismissed for exhausting the disciplinary process (ie. you run out of warnings and fired for running out of warnings)

if it's gross misconduct you can be dismissed at the end of the hearing, but the letter should state this. from what you said it's not a case of gross misconduct

normally warnings go in your file and you get a written copy, you don't have to sign anything for it to take effect (thus refusing to sign anything means nothing)

the idea of the hearings is to hear both sides of the story, so you can raise concerns over the vehicle, equipment etc, and if you think the vehicle or equipment is at fault you can ask it be checked, if your employer blames your driving you should ask them to arrange training and support so you can drive the way they want you to drive. if they don't do that then they can't blame you as much if you continue to drive the way they don't want you to (that same principle always applies in disciplinary cases, if your employer doesn't like the way you do something, ask them to provide training and support - if they don't then it helps your case)
 

7ofnine

Prominent Member
What would we do if we found one of our best drivers was a bit rough on the throttle/brakes?

Exactly. As we all know, braking suddenly is often necessary. How does that make you a bad driver? If anything it shows you are on the ball and react quickly to sudden dangerous situations. I can understand acceleration monitoring to conserve fuel, but harsh braking?? What purpose does that serve?
 

SyStemDeMoN

Distinguished Member
Apart from the speeding issue with a 40+ton lorry I would have thought that it would be far safer to not question every single move you make inside the cab so that you have to then second guess yourself each time you have to make a decision which could result in someone getting injured.

e.g. someone pulls out in front of you...
your train of thought would be oh crap got to put on the breaks...
hang on though I may get marked down for this and could look bad..
But on the other hand I do not want to hit the car in front..
That would also get me in trouble..
Thats how I feel everytime !!

Also I would question who put this system in place?
Its actually MAN themselves. One of our lorrys tipped over a few months ago and they said that it could of been prevented because this guy kept getting bad scores on harsh braking but no one pulled him up on it.

Mind you he was a distance driver, not like he was battling through wolvo and dudley every day.

did they give you a letter inviting you to attend a formal disciplinary hearing, and on the letter it gives details of the allegations and advises the outcome of the meeting?

if not then it would likely be an informal meeting and formal warnings shouldn't be given. normally best practice is to deal with disciplinary issues informally first, and if informal warnings aren't adhered to or it's a more serious matter then the formal path is taken

This one will be a verbal and I keep telling them I can't attend as they want me at 12pm in wolvo and im asleep then becasue Im at work all night, plus the fact I dont have the car at that time as my wife is out working.

What really narks me about this is my company 'Harsco' is finished at the end of June. They have lost the contract to TATA and we are being TUPE'd over to Hingleys.

Hingleys do not use telematics or spy on their drivers, so why are they pushing this now ??
 

SyStemDeMoN

Distinguished Member
They tell me it records harsh braking through Speed, distance and time.

If it takes me 20 secs to stop from 30mph then it will calculate that, if the next time I stop I do it in 12secs, then thats harsh braking !!

Stupid is as stupid does.
 

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