Loose Screw

I was goofing off reading Twitter to pass the time on the bus ride home today when I heard something hit the floor on front of me. I though someone on the upper level in the back had dropped a quarter or something, but I was wrong.
When I looked down I could see a screw on the floor and the lower handrail bracket vibrating back and forth. I put the screw back in the hole and gave it a partial turn, but it wasn’t going in much. At the next stop I let the bus driver know what had happened, so hopefully it will be repaired tonight before it fully comes loose.

Screw and the bracket it fell from

Screw and the bracket it fell from

It is kind of unsettling to see something like that happen on a DOT regulated vehicle. Granted, I don’t know what might have caused it to come loose, but for two screws to come loose (both were loose, only one fell out) I don’t think it happened just today. I also think if something had struck it hard enough to pull the screws out, there might be some damage to the pole it was attached to.
Thinking back, I wish I would have jotted down the bus number so so could report it just on case the driver forgets.
I just hope that OCTA is not skimping on their pre-trip and post-trip vehicle checks, because who knows what other things may be loose.

6 Comments so far

  1. DanGarion (dangarion) on October 20th, 2008 @ 10:07 am

    You honestly think they check every little screw? What world are you living in? Do you check every screw, nut, and bolt, on your own vehicle everyday?

  2. Jeff Donaldson (fejsez) on October 20th, 2008 @ 11:44 am

    Apples and Oranges comparing it to a personal vehicle.
    To answer your questions in order:
    1) Obviously not.
    2)One where the public transportation my taxes pay would hopefully follow the guidelines set forward by the DOT
    3)Yes, when I worked for FedEx (for 15 years) and was DOT certified, I did. When I checked the vehicle out for the day and brought it back I was required to do a visual inspection of the vehicle both inside and out. If something like a loose screw was noticed, then it would have been reported to maintenance and then fixed. Especially if it was a potential safety hazard.
    That is the part of the job of the driver, to report issues like loose screws.
    While you cant see it in the picture too well, it is not something that happened instantaneously or overnight. Two screws worked themselves out. Being in plain sight and right next to a door and stairwell, it is something that should have been easily noticed.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love OCTA and the bus system. I use it when not riding the bike a lot. I know this is probably an isolated incident, but it is also something that I felt was worth mentioning just in case it isn’t.

  3. Dave Share (daveshare) on October 20th, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

    while I’m not as outspoken as dan is (BTW Dan we do love your comments here….even though we usually give you a hard time) :-) But I don think you’re being a little nit picky. I drove an ambulance for 4 yars (talk about a pre-work vehicle check) and I admit to missing some sometimes obvious things. you get in a routine and occasionally you can look at something slightly wrong and not even notice it. For all we know it was barely loose and some punk kid got bored and kept unscrewing it.

    i’m glad you reported it to the driver though. It is a safety issue that hopefully got dealt with.

  4. Dave Share (daveshare) on October 20th, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

    stupid type-o

    "I *do* think you’re being nit picky"

  5. Jeff Donaldson (fejsez) on October 20th, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

    David, true it might be a little nit picky, and as I stated originally probably an isolated incident. It still made me feel a little uneasy.

  6. DanGarion (dangarion) on October 20th, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

    This is not comparing apples to oranges, it’s just as important to check your own vehicle as it would be for a public transportation company.
    I commend you for notifying the driver. I’d be much more worried about nuts, bolts, and screws loose on wheels and the like.

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