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Old 06-09-2015, 08:42 PM   #31
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I also like to add braking from the trailer when going downhill. It allows the trailer to straighten itself out and doesn't cause the tt to push the tv. The tendency is to hit the truck brakes and have the trailer grab a moment later, I will use the tt braking lightly and then apply the tv brakes...works for me.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:18 PM   #32
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I want to thank everyone for their input and opinions. Most is just what I believe. I also want to address a couple of points I picked up from this thread.

First, the insurance is covering both the TV and TT in this situation. They did not find the driver culpable. IMO, lucky for him.

Second, the trucker's comment to the troopers in the accident report was actually asked for by the trooper because it was believed (and often times is in almost any situation) that a CDL driver who tows for a living would have a sort of professional knowledge input, if something were to end up in court for this matter. My friend did not think much of it at the time but upon reflection is a bit in sensed at the trooper for asking for any advice or opinion from witnesses at the scene of the accident. They should have just been concerned with obtaining the facts of what happened.

For anyone else, please feel free to offer any more comments and advice on this topic, as I believe it could help others from encountering a similar situation. Also, I am sharing this information with my friend and with a couple of other people who are looking into purchasing a TT.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:41 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVGun40 View Post
I want to thank everyone for their input and opinions. Most is just what I believe. I also want to address a couple of points I picked up from this thread.

First, the insurance is covering both the TV and TT in this situation. They did not find the driver culpable. IMO, lucky for him.

Second, the trucker's comment to the troopers in the accident report was actually asked for by the trooper because it was believed (and often times is in almost any situation) that a CDL driver who tows for a living would have a sort of professional knowledge input, if something were to end up in court for this matter. My friend did not think much of it at the time but upon reflection is a bit in sensed at the trooper for asking for any advice or opinion from witnesses at the scene of the accident. They should have just been concerned with obtaining the facts of what happened.

For anyone else, please feel free to offer any more comments and advice on this topic, as I believe it could help others from encountering a similar situation. Also, I am sharing this information with my friend and with a couple of other people who are looking into purchasing a TT.

Thanks again.
Thanks for updating. I was really curious about the insurance coverage. I'm glad they're doing the right thing, and I agree, your friend is pretty lucky.

I would be absolutely furious about the inclusion of the trucker's opinion. Did the trucker look at the weight plates of any of the vehicles involved? Did he weigh the truck or the trailer before or after the incident? Does he know anything at all about the specific WDH employed? Just because he has a CDL doesn't mean he knows how much those things weigh or weighed at the time of the incident or what they're capable of. And why should wheelbase come into play at all? My current truck (Ram 2500) has almost the same wheelbase and overall length (certainly within 12" at most) of my old truck (GMC Sierra 1500) and the RAM tows a far sight better than the GMC, but not at all because of the wheelbase.

Sorry, it just absolutely slays me that the trucker was essentially asked to give "expert testimony" on the roadside with little to no knowledge of the vehicles other than what he saw whizzing by or from his rear view mirror. And that his comments were even acknowledged by the officers on scene or the insurance company just completely floors me.

Again, my apologies, rant over.
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:32 PM   #34
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Second, the trucker's comment to the troopers in the accident report was actually asked for by the trooper because it was believed (and often times is in almost any situation) that a CDL driver who tows for a living would have a sort of professional knowledge input, if something were to end up in court for this matter. My friend did not think much of it at the time but upon reflection is a bit in sensed at the trooper for asking for any advice or opinion from witnesses at the scene of the accident. They should have just been concerned with obtaining the facts of what happened.
Your friend is absolutely wrong. Police routinely interview witnesses. Suppose you friend was leaning out the window waving a liquor bottle at passing traffic. Good chance he wouldn't volunteer that, but the truck driver would. So incensed as he may be, the trooper probably has a better handle on what his duties are than does your friend.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:20 PM   #35
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Police do routinely interview witnesses. I am not sure they should be asking opinion questions though. There is a difference in someone seeing a liquor bottle being waved out a window and some thinking someone was drunk
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:52 AM   #36
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Your friend is absolutely wrong. Police routinely interview witnesses. Suppose you friend was leaning out the window waving a liquor bottle at passing traffic. Good chance he wouldn't volunteer that, but the truck driver would. So incensed as he may be, the trooper probably has a better handle on what his duties are than does your friend.
I disagree. The trucker saw a truck with a trailer lose control while passing in his rear-view mirror, then he pulled over to offer assistance. That is pretty much the end of his contribution. If the driver was weaving around out of control or whatever, before the incident, or the driver was behaving erratically afterwards (like he may have been physically impaired before the incident) that may provide some valuable insight to the investigation. When asked about what the trucker thought about the driver's setup, his response should have been "I don't know, I have no idea what those items weigh". If the trooper pressed the issue, the trucker could have offered general guidance on what information the trooper needed to collect to make some kind of assessment and that may have contributed to the investigation. But to offer up his opinion as expert testimony that the rig was somehow unsafe without a thorough collection of information and evidence is just not right.

Example: I was once part of a serious accident investigation. A girl driving a mustang lost control of her vehicle while changing lanes in front of me and went nose-to-nose with a Lincoln Town Car coming the other way at about 50 mph. When the investigating officer asked me what happened, I told him exactly what I saw. It looked like she had tried to change lanes and make a correction and began to swerve, then repeatedly overcorrected until she had swerved far enough over to get into oncomming traffic. He asked if she could have been intoxicated or impaired in some way, and I stated I had no way of knowing that, and that's the truth. Any number of factors could have caused that incident from a bug hitting her windshield to a blown tire to a faulty power steering pump to a health issue (think diabetic shock). It could have been ANYTHING that caused that accident. As a witness, that is NOT for me to investigate; it's my job to tell the officer what I saw, plain and simple. My opinion has nothing to do with it. Full disclosure: my opinion is that she was a young driver and didn't know how to handle it when she began the downward spiral of overcorrecting an out of control vehicle. But I don't know that to be TRUE, and I did not investigate the accident.

To ask a witness what they think may have contributed to or caused an accident (or whatever) is to invite speculation and conjecture; neither of which have any place in an investigation.
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:16 PM   #37
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I respect your opinions, but offer these comments:
Quote:
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...When asked about what the trucker thought about the driver's setup, his response should have been "I don't know, I have no idea what those items weigh". The trucker answered in his way, not the way someone thinks he should answer.

If the trooper pressed the issue, the trucker could have offered general guidance on what information the trooper needed to collect to make some kind of assessment and that may have contributed to the investigation. It's seldom taken well when one offers guidance to a LEO on what his job is.

But to offer up his opinion as expert testimony that the rig was somehow unsafe without a thorough collection of information and evidence is just not right.Your arguments may be accorded some validity in a court of law, but not at the scene.

To ask a witness what they think may have contributed to or caused an accident (or whatever) is to invite speculation and conjecture; neither of which have any place in an investigation.
Again, that's courtroom business. The object at the scene is to get people to talk. Inadmissible statements can be determined after the fact.

I've attended hundreds of TA depositions and trials over a 40-year career. These matters are messy. Cops are trained in many areas, as a rule they are not lawyers. Lawyers themselves often ask for opinion, speculation and conjecture, ergo, objections as to questions calling for opinion, speculation and conjecture!
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:14 PM   #38
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I respect your opinions, but offer these comments:Again, that's courtroom business. The object at the scene is to get people to talk. Inadmissible statements can be determined after the fact.

I've attended hundreds of TA depositions and trials over a 40-year career. These matters are messy. Cops are trained in many areas, as a rule they are not lawyers. Lawyers themselves often ask for opinion, speculation and conjecture, ergo, objections as to questions calling for opinion, speculation and conjecture!
Tend to agree - my concern is before it reaches the courtroom. I could just hear an insurance person saying "It says in the police report the trailer was too long for the truck..." as if it was fact because it's written down. I, like most of us, want to avoid the courtroom!
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:59 PM   #39
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B J's are, let me try to do this using the microphone on this cell phone. I see the B and the J and the letter R are already screwed up. Anyhow, me insurance people generally have ceded the case to the lawyers by the time it gets to court. And as for speculation rumor and innuendo, police conducting investigations will usually follow up on rumor etc. I think I will go back to typing out my response but it was fun.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:53 PM   #40
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I would just like to add that these frost heaves that we have up here are absolutely no joke. They sneak up on you and appear today where they weren't yesterday and could be gone tomorrow, this is exaggerated during break-up. GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, TT weight, all these aside, the Alaskan roads will test the equipment to the point of failing and beyond. When/if you travel up here please be careful and remember.....The Milepost that everyone relies on when they travel up here (including me everytrip) is only as good as when it was editted, the previous summer.

NVGun40--I'm glad everyone is ok and all is working out.
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