Incorrect Coupling of Tractor and Trailer Causes Unintended Disconnect
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  URS CH2M Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge, TN

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Vehicle Safety, Construction/Project Management, Transportation and Packaging, Heavy Equipment

A truck driver did not properly couple the tractor and trailer that he was driving. When the driver repositioned the trailer it disconnected from the tractor. After completing these steps, a staff member requested that the trailer be moved rearward several feet to ensure that the equipment being loaded would not come in contact with a overhead line. The driver then lifted the landing gear on the trailer enough to safely reposition the trailer and reconnected the air and electrical lines but inadvertently forgot to re-engage the king pin lock.

Lessons Learned: All steps for insuring a tractor and trailer are properly coupled must be completed prior to moving the tractor or the trailer. Any missed steps could inadvertently cause the trailer to disconnect from the tractor during transit.

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