Feeder drivers at UPS are often frustrated by company policy on the use of the snubber or plunger on the pintle-hook assemblies that secure the dolly on doubles units. The air-activated plunger is a safety devise that limits play in the hook on the rear of the front trailer. This device prevents the 1″ to 2″ slack that would otherwise allow movement at the dolly connection.
This safety devise has somehow missed the eye of the Department of Transportation: the DOT does not mandate its use. Therefore, in spite of the opinion of the vast majority of feeder drivers and the manufacturer of the unit, Holland USA, UPS contends that this device is optional, and sometimes forces drivers to move units without it working.
Memos from Holland USA clearly state, “…pintle- hook must be operated in conjunction with a snubbing air chamber, …failure to do so may result in damage to coupling and failure of the locking mechanism”.
Once again the company that talks that talk will not walk that walk. Is it any surprise to those of us who do the work? This hypocrisy will continue until we, the people that do the work, take an take a stand for safety. Until you, driver, are ready to take the plunge for safety don’t expect UPS to do the same!
By Michael A. Savwoir, UPS Feeder Driver, Local 41, Kansas City