Three Bungee Cords and a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Jokes about bubble gum and bailing wire, band-aids and duct tape are commonly used to describe shoddy workmanship or slapstick repair in every workplace.

But who would ever think UPS, a multinational corporation, would actually employ such remedies? That’s just what happened on Oct. 5, when a broken fuel tank strap on a ‘94 Mack truck was replaced with a single rubber bungee cord.

A senior driver had refused to move this vehicle from Earth City, Mo. to Kansas City, Kan. (some 240 miles) the previous day, stating the obvious: “This repair is not road worthy.” So management forced a junior driver to make the move with the improved security of adding a second bungee cord.

After a intense debate and an eerie silence when asked, “Would you want your family following this vehicle down the road?” the junior driver sarcastically added a third bungee cord for good measure and hoped for intervention at the scale house 25 miles down the road.

We all know about UPS and “Safety First” but does management even know what safety is?

Maybe someone should tell them what it is not!

Safety is not reciting the ten point commentary. It is not putting yourself, your company, or the general motoring public at undue peril by taking unnecessary risks. And it is certainly not sending a tractor down the road with one soon-to-fail fuel tank strap and three bungee cords!

By Michael A. Savwoir, UPS Feeder Driver, Local 41, Kansas City

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