Can a company fire an employee for refusing to haul an overweight load?
Can the company make me haul a load that is overweight?
Can the dispatcher make me drive in bad weather?
Can the company make me pull an unsafe trailer or drive a truck that is not safe?
The driver has the last say in what he or she “has” to do. If the company “dispatcher” tells you that you MUST pull that trailer that is unsafe, DON’T DO IT. The driver is responsible, you will take the fall, not the dispatcher or the company. Same thing goes for weather, exhaustion and fatigue, etc. it is you the driver that makes that decision. Not the dispatcher, owner or anybody else.
If I worked for a company and the dispatcher told me to haul a load that was overweight, and there was no way to get it legal, I would laugh in his/her face and tell them HELL NO! If a company is too stupid to figure out how much weight they can haul…and bids on a contract for too much weight for each load…they should not be bidding on contracts.
A friend of mine today posted a picture of a weight ticket from a CAT scale, it showed the load over 80,760 pounds.
If there was no way to slide the tandems to get it legal, and the shipper would not unload it and reload it, then somebody else would be pulling that load. Pulling an overloaded trailer is not only dangerous, but it is illegal. Plus there is so much risk involved in doing it. What would have happened if a car would have made a mistake and hit the truck overloaded?
It would be the driver of the tractor trailers fault automatically because of the overweight load. What would have happened if the truck was pulled over routinely? The driver would probably receive whatever ticket for the reason they were pulled over for plus an overweight ticket. What would have happened if something had broken on the trailer, or the truck? The company could use it to fire you, or make you pay for the broken part. There is too much risk involved with hauling an overweight load, when you are NOT PERMITTED to do so. Even if a dispatcher were too “suggest” to the driver to go a different route to avoid the scales DON’T DO IT.
A truck driver cannot legally be fired for refusing to haul a non-permitted overweight load, or to drive an unsafe truck or trailer. If there truly is nothing you can do to either fix the overweight or make the equipment safe. Even if the company says you MUST DO IT! If the driver does do it, the driver is held responsible for anything that happens. If a driver is fired and has the proof to show that the load was overweight and or the equipment was unsafe to drive or pull. Then, the first phone call I would make, would be to a lawyer for a wrongful termination suit.
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