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Need some advice about a bad situation

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Mar 12, 2013, 9:44 PM

Post #1 of 8 (1601 views)
Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

I have been working with and trucks and buses for 33 years. Well last spring I sent a vehicle with a load of people on a trip that was 600 miles round trip.before they left I checked everything over. I looked at the brakes and the pads on the 4 wheels had about 35 % percent left on the pads.This vehicle is like a mini bus.One of those Ford E450's.i assumed this would be enough pad to get the bus over and back on a 600 mile round trip.The trip was mostly highway with some passes. On the way back the driver felt the brakes get soft and pulled into a town.he looked at one of the back brakes and saw fluid.the next morning the bus was repaired and came back. After driver came back she went to my boss and said the mechanic said the brakes had been neglected.I saw what was repaired and the rear caliper had ot be replaced as well as the rotor and pad.The pads wore everything down till the piston came out.I told my boss that I had checked everything over before the bus left and didn't know why or what happened.Well I got the blame and the consequences for what happened.I am willing to accept some blame because I was the last one to tell them the bus was safe to take.But they feel I shouldn't work on the vehicles anymore because of this.This is the first time this has ever happened to this company in the 33 years.There are about 7 vehicles and I am the only mechanic.How do I or can I salvage my reputation?I didn't hear anything about what happened until months down the road that the company was unhappy with me.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 13, 2013, 3:08 AM

Post #2 of 8 (1563 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

Sounds like you missed something back there. A failure within a couple hundred miles would have to have been present at the time of the inspection.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

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zmame profile image

Mar 13, 2013, 5:31 AM

Post #3 of 8 (1552 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

Maybe you didn't inspect the pads close enough perhaps the pad had separated from the backing.
What's done is done, you have to accept responsibility at the same time we are only human and we do make mistakes.
Any company should realize this if this is a chronic problem then deal with it as needed.

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nickwarner profile image

Mar 13, 2013, 5:59 PM

Post #4 of 8 (1522 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

I've seen plenty of disc brakes that use bonded pads instead of riveted ones have plenty of life left, but the adhesive failed and did exactly the situation you described. Then again, I wasn't with you in the bay looking it over. Even us mechanics are human. With Zmame that this shouldln't be an issue if it was a one-time deal. Check this vid out, the guy has some good points in it.

(This post was edited by nickwarner on Mar 13, 2013, 6:04 PM)

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Sidom profile image

Mar 13, 2013, 7:44 PM

Post #5 of 8 (1512 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

Sounds like a bad deal....

It sounds like the static is coming from the company you do repair work & inspections for and not the company you work for??

If your record is what you say it is, then any half way reasonably person would be able to see all the trouble free years of service and this incident can't even be proved as tech error.....This could be an unforseen failure or tech error....

Just a word of advise to protect yourself....I'm assuming you have inspection sheets your fill out??? It's better to put down spec numbers & not %. How many x/32s is 35%? Whats 35% to one tech can be 15% to another or 50 to another%.

If the legal eagles get involved they can't argue 7/32s...The pads were at 7/3s, if they are at 3/32 we suggest pads, if they are at 2/32 or lower, pads are required and you completed inspection sheet would back that up.....

Unfortunately, there are some unknowing idiots other there with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. You will never convince them of the real facts, they have their minds made up & you or boss won't change it.....

Hope things work out for you.......Good luck

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 15, 2013, 12:44 PM

Post #6 of 8 (1481 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

Hey - If you looked and deemed them OK for a trip then they probably did look OK. None of us are Gods or can predict any possible failure IF SOMETHING LOOKED OK upon inspection.

Sorry it happened but stuff happens. Jeeeeez - they make new vehicles and have to push them off assembly lines so what does anyone expect of us?

YES - here especially the lining of good looking pads (some drum shoes too) can just come off by surprise even when they looked fine! Yup - a disc brake or any can have a piston fall right out - a horror nobody would want.

IMO if it looked OK to you and you did your honest best assessment of whatever than what can you say?

If worried all the time then everyone should just toss everything all the time and even then things can mess up.

Just my 2 cents,


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 15, 2013, 1:19 PM

Post #7 of 8 (1476 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

Sorry for another post on same subject. YES - this check out a vehicle thing is something I did and sorry folks - things made of parts can fail with even the best inspection.

Happened just once. Customer was going to do a couple thousand miles and checked every flucking thing I could. Sure enough an unseen by me flaw in muffler was weak and did break on that trip and I was blamed for not seeing that! I did look and it looked fine when here.

Do you really think if I saw something questionable that I would have purposely let that go? Not a chance! Guy was ticked (no surprise) and I doubt I even charged him for the check out to begin with as a regular customer!

Anything made of parts can fail at any damn time and we know that.

People would ask me and my response always was that anything could fail at any time checked or not so be prepared and drive accordingly always.

If you gave it your honest best you are off the hook IMO.

Hey again. Can't tell you how many new things failed in my face so what the heck are we supposed to be, mind readers of everything?

Done with any biz of this and I would feel bad too. Unless you really messed up I can't blame YOU personally for a surprise failure,


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re-tired profile image

Mar 16, 2013, 9:57 AM

Post #8 of 8 (1461 views)
Re: Need some advice about a bad situation Sign In

Just a few thoughts . Was it the regular driver ,normal load?Was it hilly or steep grades ? Is the driver a two footer ? (drives with left foot on brake). I always error on the side of caution. Better to be chewed out for replaceing pads too early rather than what you have now .


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