Bridge Strike

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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Has anyone obtained a day pass for NYC ?
There's too much frieght there to ignore.

When Diane and I were at FedEx Custom Critical, we spoke with people at headquarters about obtaining day passes for trucks they sent in. We were told that the process for obtaining a day pass is cumbersome and takes more than a day to complete.

We did not follow up by trying to get a day pass ourselves. Even if it was possible to get a day pass in the rapid fashion expediters would require, I don't think we would go in. Yes, New York City has lots of good freight, but so do other cities in the Northeast. We can only haul one load at a time and New York City is one city we can do without.
 

ATeam

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Retired Expediter
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And Canada, as well. Lots of folks avoid both. The confused mind always says, "no". We see them both as opportunities.

The confused mind always says no, except in matters of sex, purchchaes of luxury goods that are beyond one's ability to pay for, and the decision to become an expediter.

Seriously, Diane and I are not confused about New York City. It is illegal to drive a 40 foot truck in that town without a permit. Period.
 
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Humble2drive

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And Canada, as well. Lots of folks avoid both. The confused mind always says, "no". We see them both as opportunities.

Thank goodness for people like you.:)

We compared one full year of going anywhere to one full year of avoiding NYC and Canada.
We actually brought in more revenue the year that we avoided them.
Of course this may not be the reason for the difference but we were able to complete more loads
at the same rate per mile.
I am not advocating limiting your options. It just seems that for us (wg,t-Val) it does not make a difference.
 

Deville

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When we first started with FedEx, we knew our truck and every other 40 foot straight truck FedEx sent into the five boroughs was illegal by virtue of them being over length. We also knew that the law is not enforced by the city and that our carrier was sending trucks in every day. When we questioned this with dispatch, they offered to pay the fines we would get if we ever got a ticket there.

Then CSA came along, in which a citation may involve more than a fine. Also, our discomfort with the city increased, as did our concern about liability. We finally pushed back and discovered that if we told dispatch that our truck is over length and that is the reason for the refusal, they would not charge us with a refusal (that was back when refusal rate meant something). We also learned that (back then at least), no dispatcher has the power to remove you from a team or to pull your White Glove status. The threats that were made were empty threats made by a frustrated dispatcher and, in once case at least, our protests were acted upon by higher-ups and the dispatcher was counseled about his errant deed.

The liability thing still scares us about New York City. Our truck is still 40 feet long and the legal limit is 35 feet, and even less in some parts of the city.

You could be sitting at a red light, legal in all respects except truck length; and then a drunk mother with a revoked driver's license, driving an uninsured car with a lapsed registration, texting on her cell phone could rear end your truck, killing her baby who was in the car but not properly secured in a baby carrier. You would not have a leg to stand on in court, we believe, because you were not supposed to be in the city in the first place. The jury would side with the loving, caring, unnmarried mother who was deprived of the opportunity to see her child grow up and become the President of the United States.

Not wanting to subject ourselves to such risks and put that legal theory to a test, we stay out.

Paranioa at it's best. he NYPD could care less about the CSA. They most likey don't even know about the CSA. The NYPD will not stand there with a tape messure & messure you're truck. I have only witnessed that once. It was a 53ft tractor trailer in the heart of midtown in the afternoon. That driver was begging to be made an example out of.
 

Deville

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New York City.
Have taken a 13'5" truck under a bridge marked 12'2" on a surface street and under 12'6" on I-287.

Height is messured from the axles up in NYC. That was 278 you were on the BQE, going under the Manhattan & Brooklyn bridges. It's always amusing to see the out of state trator trailer driver get all paniced & stop in the middle of the road trying to figure out what to do & make a bee libe to exit at Atlantic ave. The reality is that they will fit.

You people should just PM me if you need info about NYC.

The best advice I can give any of you is this.

Stay off parkways!
 

Deville

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New York City bridge height signage is a joke and at least some juristications in New York state know it. Diane and I have seen New York bridges marked with a number and the words "Actual Height" on the sign.

It serves no useful purpose to post a false bridge height but, for whatever reason, the officials responsible for that false information seem to think it best to confuse truck drivers and undermine the faith that could otherwise be placed in bridge height signs. Bridge height information is accurate in all other states, as far as I know. Why New York chooses to be different is a mystery to me.

When those signs are maked actual they mean ACTUAL! Usually those signs are white.
 

Humble2drive

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The NYPD will not stand there with a tape messure & messure you're truck. I have only witnessed that once.

They won't but they did?;)

I would never make an assumption regarding what the police will or will not do. That is not paranoia but simple risk assessment. The fines and the possible liabilities are too great to chance.
Just my opinion of course.
 

ATeam

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Retired Expediter
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Paranioa at it's best. he NYPD could care less about the CSA. They most likey don't even know about the CSA. The NYPD will not stand there with a tape messure & messure you're truck. I have only witnessed that once. It was a 53ft tractor trailer in the heart of midtown in the afternoon. That driver was begging to be made an example out of.

Recklessness at its worst.

It's not about what the NYPD cares about. It's about how the picture will be painted by lawyers six months after the event if a serious accident occurs. Prudent liability management keeps us out of New York City. Granted, prudence is in the eye of the beholder, but since we are the ones doing the beholding, it is that level of prudence that applies when it is our truck and careers being placed at risk.

We've been in and out of that place many times, mostly in fleet owner trucks early in our expediting career. Now driving our own truck, and having evaluated the New York City risks and rewards in that light, out of the city we stay.
 
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BigCat

Expert Expediter
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Went through manhattan once in straight truck not even knowing the 35' law. Always knew to stay out with 53'. I went through once with a 48' and was stopped to ask length being it wasn't marked on the trailer. Never went back in t/t.
 

Deville

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They won't but they did?;)

I would never make an assumption regarding what the police will or will not do. That is not paranoia but simple risk assessment. The fines and the possible liabilities are too great to chance.
Just my opinion of course.

Recklessness at its worst.

It's not about what the NYPD cares about. It's about how the picture will be painted by lawyers six months after the event if a serious accident occurs. Prudent liability management keeps us out of New York City. Granted, prudence is in the eye of the beholder, but since we are the ones doing the beholding, it is that level of prudence that applies when it is our truck and careers being placed at risk.

We've been in and out of that place many times, mostly in fleet owner trucks early in our expediting career. Now driving our own truck, and having evaluated the New York City risks and rewards in that light, out of the city we stay.

It really makes no diffrence to me what both of you do. I'm not trying to change you're minds, i'm just telling you how it is out here. A-team you're scenerio just isn't based in reality.

Better for me anyway, I get more freight to haul. I will run a a few loads a year out of NYC because out of towners are afraid of the big city & don't understand how things work over here. I'll bring freight to a Fedex location & get paid handsomly to do so. I once met a team in Allentown, PA because they wouldn't cross into NJ because it's too close to NYC. It's laughable.

But, if you or anyone else ventures into NYC i'm more than happy to assist if I can.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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It really makes no diffrence to me what both of you do. I'm not trying to change you're minds, i'm just telling you how it is out here. A-team you're scenerio just isn't based in reality.

Better for me anyway, I get more freight to haul. I will run a a few loads a year out of NYC because out of towners are afraid of the big city & don't understand how things work over here. I'll bring freight to a Fedex location & get paid handsomly to do so. I once met a team in Allentown, PA because they wouldn't cross into NJ because it's too close to NYC. It's laughable.

But, if you or anyone else ventures into NYC i'm more than happy to assist if I can.

As I said, Diane and I have been in and out of New York City several (many?) times. But we do not do it any more because (1) we do not have to and (2) we arrived at the judgement that the risks exceed the rewards. We do not laugh at anyone for going in or staying out of New York City, but reserve for ourselves the decision to stay out, based on the liability risks we see.

I should add that my liability concern -- my perception of liability reality, if you will -- is conditioned by personal experience.

I once served ad the foreman on a jury in a traffic case. Crucial to the decision we reached was a question of fact; was the defendant speeding at the time of the crash? If she was, she, under the law, lost all rights she would otherwise have in the intersection. If she was not speeding, and thereby retained her rights in the intersection, the fact that the plantiff ran a stop sign to enter the intersection was more relevant.

I sat in a court of law and saw with my own eyes how someone's rights could be taken away if circumstances were one way but not another. The more I put that experience together with the experiences we were gaining by driving in and out of New York City in 40 foot trucks, the more reluctant I became to take on the New York City risks.

I do not know New York traffic and liability law. I only know that what I saw in a Minnesota court case was enough to motivate me to minimize, not maximize the liability risks we take as truck drivers. Driving a 40 foot straight truck into a city where the maximum legal length is 35 feet increases liability risk, and that is not something we are willing to do.
 
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mjmsprt40

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
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I think A-Team is right, given an earlier post in this thread. You might be able to drive in and out of NYC many times without a problem. Get hit one time in the rear, even though the other person is at fault, and the whole issue could break down to what you were doing in the city in an oversize truck in the first place.

I've been in NYC once. It wasn't that big an issue for me as it turns out, NYC traffic didn't look substantially different from what I encounter in Chicago. Difference: I'm in a standard cargo van. That changes things quite a bit.
 

BigRed32771

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I grew up in a town that has an 11'8" underpass at a railroad. As long as I can remember there have been warning signs before entering the block (and passing the last chance to turn), the street is actually wide enough that I think a T/T could turn around, and it has flashing lights on each side of the bridge to call attention to the height sign. And all my life at least several times a year a truck has hit the bridge.

What it boils down to is you can't fix stupid, no matter how many laws or government programs you institute.
 

paullud

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I grew up in a town that has an 11'8" underpass at a railroad. As long as I can remember there have been warning signs before entering the block (and passing the last chance to turn), the street is actually wide enough that I think a T/T could turn around, and it has flashing lights on each side of the bridge to call attention to the height sign. And all my life at least several times a year a truck has hit the bridge.

What it boils down to is you can't fix stupid, no matter how many laws or government programs you institute.

As groups like the ATA push the industry in a direction that requires lower quality drivers this will become a more frequent problem. Of course there is also the stupidity of the people in charge of the road that simply don't dig the road down when it is repaired to solve the problem completely.

Sent from my ADR6400L using EO Forums
 

pearlpro

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I too grew up in a town that had several LOW BRIDGES that were hit often by travelling truckers, I gladly add my name to this CALL FOR PROPER SIGNAGE AND WARNINGS, REGISTRY ETC...After reading Senator Chuck Schumers ridiculous claim that GPS units were causing too many low bridge strikes , repeated etc....If I come to a bridge with no markings I stop, I look, and I determine if its of proper height, I dont care if Im blocking traffic for the President, Im not going under that bridge till I know whats what....GPS doesnt make anyone drive under a LOW OVERPASS, Lack of common sense is the culprit, but its high time this was enacted and enforced, if you come to a bridge and its not marked, take a picture and mark its location, maybe we can help compile locations....PLEASE ADD MY NAME TO THAT LETTER.
 

Deville

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I do not know New York traffic and liability law. I only know that what I saw in a Minnesota court case was enough to motivate me to minimize, not maximize the liability risks we take as truck drivers. Driving a 40 foot straight truck into a city where the maximum legal length is 35 feet increases liability risk, and that is not something we are willing to do.

NY is a no fault state.

Like I said earlier i'm not trying to change you're mind. I was born in NYC & have lived here all of my life, 20 years in the trucking industry out here, but hey, what do I know.
 

ATeam

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Retired Expediter
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NY is a no fault state.

Like I said earlier i'm not trying to change you're mind. I was born in NYC & have lived here all of my life, 20 years in the trucking industry out here, but hey, what do I know.

Minnesota is a no-fault state too, but there I sat, one week on a jury in a personal injury traffic case where our task was to determine fault.

Your posts prompted me to do a quick Google search of New York City traffic cases. In that no-fault state, it was interesting to see lists of multimillion-dollar awards won by lawyers for their clients who were injured by trucks in New York City.

You can try this yourself. Do a Google search for "New York City Truck Accident Lawyer." Click some of the links that appear and drill down in those sites. You will find many New York City traffic cases where huge awards were won because the truckers were found to be at fault (negligence, gross negligence).

Just as you are not trying to change my mind, I am not trying to change yours. I am simply sharing with all readers our reasons for staying out of New York City. It is of course up to each one to decide about NYC. And as I said above, I laugh at no one for a decision made either way.

Among investors, there is a range of risk tolerances. Some people cannot sleep at night if their money is not fully invested in FDIC-insured bank CD's. Others can sleep like a baby with all of their money invested in commodity futures that can be wiped out with the next news story. Some people are ignorant of the risks -- sometimes intentionally -- and proceed happily along, and some of those get crushed, never understanding what happened or why. It is the same with liability risk management. Some people think about it a great deal. Others think about it not at all.

Diane and I think about it a great deal. That thinking manifests itself in a well-defined risk management strategy. We have a risk-management plan. It is part of our business plan. It directs our choices and behavior in a way designed to minimize the liability risks we subject ourselves to as truck owner-operators.

That sounds like a lot but it's actually quite simple. Short version: Don't drive where it is illegal to drive. Comply with traffic laws. Make every effort to drive safe at all times. Maintain the truck to keep it in safe operating condition.

Our decision is to stay out of NYC because our truck exceeds the legal limit of 35 feet in the five boroughs. In that crazy-streets environment where people drive on the sidewalks, bicyclists grab onto our liftgate to be towed up the street, jaywalkers on cell phones are met by the hundreds, turns are tight, lanes are narrow, the pace is fast, etc., it just seems better to stay out.

If a personal injury accident developed, the victim, not the person, but the victim, - even if he or she was totally at fault - would immediately answer one of the truck accident lawyer ads that are easily found. And when the law firm discovered that an over-length truck was involved and it did not have a permit to be in the city, they would be rubbing their hands with glee.

Not wanting to be some law firm's jackpot, we avoid situations where the likelihood of that happening is increased.

We have other reasons for staying out of New York City, but minimizing our liability exposure is the main one.
 
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Humble2drive

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NY is a no fault state.

Please don't find comfort in the "no fault" provision of your insurance.
You can be sued for any bodily injury significantly above what the primary insurance will cover and yes the court system will assign fault.

The problem is the word "significantly" above. Attorneys know exactly how much the threshold amount is that can be sued for and can simply inflate the claim to bring it to court. This means your liability can be extremely significant.

Just saying keep an open mind to others thoughts and suggestions. Sometimes when we think we have it all figured out that's when we get bitten.:cool:
 

moose

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Don,thanks for bringing it up, that letter was the rezone for the OP.
there many hidden concerns for truckers in Senator Chuck Schumers letter to Ray LaHood the head of the DOT.
to begin with, in his position as a us senator, his demands for NITSA to spend tax payers money and resources, on investigating GPS's will probably be answered.
but there is more,
his state mismanaged road spending cannot afford the replacements of thousands of road signs, so he is looking for federal hands outs in a federal budget that outlawed earmarks.
corruptions at it's best.
but wait, it gets better,
every time a bridge is strucked, the state needs to shell out thousands of dollars for the traffic diversions, the accident clean ups, and the repairs for the structure, (in many cases including the replacement of the signs...LoL).
without a federal law, Senator Chuck Schumers will not have a leg to stand on,
WHEN HE TRY TO FORCE THE TRUCK ACCIDENTAL INSURANCE TO COVER THOSE COSTS.
if the Senator will get away with his scam, this will result in opening up insurance providers for a LARGE exposure, which in return cost us all more (way more) in insurance premiums .
 
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