Safety Truck Owner's Manual
by William B. Trescott


     The Trescott Safety Truck may well be the easiest and the most difficult truck you will ever drive.  Easy, because the controls are intuitive and simple.  Difficult, because the truck's additional width will require more accurate parking and lane keeping than other trucks.

     Entrance is through the large door in the front.  There is luggage space in front of the steering column.  As you sit in the driver's seat, you may have noticed the lack of an instrument panel.  All important data is superimposed on the rear view camera monitors.   A thumb button on the left spoke of your steering wheel cycles the display through the status, logs, on line maintenance manual, and GPS (Global Positioning System) map functions.  Read the on-line maintenance manual to learn how to perform a pre-trip inspection.  Take time to adjust the seat, steering wheel, and pedals for comfort.


Driver view      Placing both feet safely on the floor, turn the key switch to RUN.  WARNING:  The truck will now move if you touch the forward or reverse pedals!  The four overhead rear view video displays and the two blind spot mirrors on either side of them will now provide you with an all around view of your vehicle.  The Trescott Safety Truck has no blind spots.  Take time to adjust the brightness of the monitors.  You can now step on the forward or reverse pedal.  Stepping on either pedal automatically releases the parking brakes.  Use the reverse pedal to slow down when going forward and the forward pedal to slow down when in reverse.  Removing your foot from both pedals or pressing both pedals at once will automatically set the parking brakes after one second.  Stepping on the large emergency brake pedal sets the parking brakes instantly.  As a precaution, the vehicle cannot be driven unless there is at least 110 pounds (50 kg) of weight on the driver's seat.  If you weigh less than that, you will need additional weight placed on the seat. 
rear view cameras      Once on the highway, accelerate up to speed.  If you are unfamiliar with the Safety Truck, attempt a panic stop by hitting the emergency brake when you are clear of other traffic.  Note that the Trescott Safety Truck is intended for PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS ONLY.  It is NOT equipped with an anti lock brake system.  The computer performs an anti lock and anti spin function using the rear drive motors to keep all of the wheels turning at approximately the same speed, but AS A PROFESSIONAL DRIVER, your decisions will never be overruled by a computer, so it is still possible to lock up all of the wheels by locking up all of the front wheels first.  The rear wheels will not lock up as long as at least one front wheel is turning.  You will always be able to stop the truck by pressing the emergency hydraulic front disc brakes.  Turning the key switch to OFF will always set the parking brakes.


     If you are driving without a container, you will notice that the rear of the truck flops around a few inches to the right and left as you go over bumps.  This is normal.  Even with a container on, the rear will feel "loose."  This is because of the rear self steering feature.  Whenever one side of the truck is below its normal ride height, the rear wheels on that side will have toe out.  When the ride height is higher than normal, they will have toe in.  This feature will reduce the possibility of roll over in a sudden evasive maneuver, but it requires greater skill in handling.  If you turn the steering wheel all the way to the lock, the computer will automatically induce a lean that will give the truck additional cornering ability by steering with the rear end.  Unfortunately, this "race car" handling makes the Trescott Safety truck dangerous for unskilled motorists to attempt to drive.  The Trescott Safety Truck is for PROFESSIONALS ONLY!


     The rear self steering feature is of vital importance when hooking a container.  On the right spoke of your steering wheel are five thumb buttons labeled FRONT PINS, MIDDLE PINS, LOW, NORMAL, AND HIGH.  When backing around a container, pressing the LOW button will lower the truck to only 2 or 3 inches from the ground and cause the sides of the truck to steer toward the center, pinching the sides of the container.  Hitting the LOW button again will cause the skid plates on the bottom of the truck to slide on the ground.  You will hear bangs and a grating sound as the pins in back of the cab engage the holes in the front of the container.  Two RED warning lights on the dash will come on momentarily.  If the lights fail to come on, the truck needs repair.  If the RED warning lights do not go out, rock the truck forward and back with the forward and reverse pedals until the front safety pins click and the lights go out.  WARNING:  Do not lift the container unless both RED lights light up and then go out or the container may not be safely latched!  If the container is equipped with extended corners, two GREEN lights will light up to indicate that the rear lifting spades are properly engaged.  You can then press the NORMAL button to lift the container and drive away without having to get out of the truck.  There is no reason to perform a pre-trip inspection as long as both GREEN lights lights are lit and none of the RED lights are lit if all of the lights on your dash are working properly.
extended corner      If the container is NOT equipped with extended corners, the GREEN lights will not light up and the REAR SAFETY SHACKLES MUST BE ATTACHED MANUALLY!  Get out of the truck and SLIDE THE REAR SAFETY SHACKLES INTO THE OVAL CORNER HOLES OF THE CONTAINER, then ROTATE THE "T" SHAPED KEY ON THE END OF THE SHACKLE IN THE HOLE UNTIL THE SPRING LOADED SAFETY PIN POPS OUT.  REPEAT THE PROCEDURE ON BOTH SIDES.  If the shackles cannot be rotated in the holes, the truck is not parked properly.  You must pull forward and try again.  Without the rear safety shackles or lifting spades engaged, the container could fall to the ground and be damaged.  


     Most Safety Malls require far more accurate parking than loading docks for conventional trucks.  Black and white targets will be painted on the building on either side of the loading dock that match up with the rear video cameras.  Drive the truck forward and back in NORMAL mode until it is lined up with the dock exactly between the paint lines, then hit the LOW button and  back up to within a few inches of the building.  Traveling backwards in LOW mode will cause the truck to pinch the container to relieve tension on the lifting spades.  Press the LOW button again just before you touch the building to drop the container on the ground.   Apply reverse power while pushing the FRONT PINS button.  RED warning lights on the dash will light up.  Hold the button down to keep the front safety pins retracted while pulling forward.  You will hear a grinding sound as the lifting pins in the back of the cab come free.  You can then release the FRONT PINS button and press the LOW button to raise the truck a few inches above the ground to pull away from the container.  The red lights will go out.  (Note:  pressing the LOW button repeatedly will cycle the truck between LOW and DROP mode.)  Keep the truck in LOW mode until you have cleared the container.  Pulling forward in LOW mode creates toe out on the rear wheels to spread the sides of the truck apart so as not to mar the paint on the container.  If the container does not have corner extensions and the rear safety shackles are engaged, you will need to get out of the truck to manually release them before pulling away from the container.


loading docks      If you are backing around a container in a tight space, pressing the HIGH button will create rear toe in which will spread the rear of the truck apart to reach around the front of a container in a tight space.  If your truck is equipped to carry 20' containers, you may need to press HIGH to prevent the middle lifting spades from being caught on the front of the container.  Be careful, YOU CAN MAR THE PAINT!  If the rear of the truck is spread too far apart you may need to pull forward and back several times to get the rear of the truck to pinch the container.  To do this always pull forward in HIGH mode and reverse in LOW mode.  Always press the NORMAL button when switching between HIGH and LOW as switching directly from HIGH to LOW will cause the truck to lower only slightly.


     Pressing the HIGH button twice will raise the truck high enough to use many conventional loading docks.  Always back up within a few inches of the dock before hitting the HIGH button.  Traveling backwards in HIGH mode creates tension on the REAR SAFETY SHACKLES and lifting spades.  WARNING:  Pressing the HIGH button twice lifts the truck to the limit of its suspension travel and may cause unpredictable handling.  (Note: repeatedly pressing the HIGH button cycles the truck between HIGH mode and the limit of its suspension travel.)  WARNING:  If railroad ties or ramps are used to give the truck additional height at the dock, chock the FRONT WHEELS before driving into the truck with material handling equipment.


     WARNING:  Single 20' containers can be carried in the rear position only.  The highly flexible chassis of Trescott Safety Truck depends on the containers for its rigidity.  Carrying a 20' container at speed in the front position only would over stress the chassis and result in DANGEROUS handling qualities.  To carry two 20' containers, place the first container on the ground and slide it against the second one.  The rear steering buttons will allow the truck to crab sideways to get both containers in alignment.  If the front container is not equipped with extended corners,  the GREEN middle lights will not light up and the MIDDLE SAFETY SHACKLES MUST BE ATTACHED MANUALLY!   Use the same procedure as described above for the rear safety shackles.  When dropping multiple containers,  Press both the FRONT PINS and MIDDLE PINS buttons together and pull away from both containers completely.  Then extend the middle pins and back up again to latch the front container in the rear position.  The container can then be carried to another door.


     Pressing the HIGH button will gain additional ground clearance for off road driving or crossing ditches or steep driveway aprons.  It will also create toe in to grip the container better during a violent collision avoidance maneuver.  It is not necessary to press this button when driving off the road at high speed because the computer will detect the violent suspension action and automatically raise the truck.  You should always press the HIGH button if you anticipate driving onto uneven ground at low speed.  Remember to press the NORMAL button when returning to hard pavement.  Driving in HIGH mode for extended periods will result in unusual tire wear.  WARNING:  Pressing the HIGH button twice lifts the truck to the limit of its suspension travel and may cause unpredictable handling or uneven weight distribution, perhaps even causing a wheel to sink into soft ground.  If the truck gets stuck or has a flat tire, use the left thumb display button on the steering wheel with the key switch in STANDBY to cycle the display to the STATUS page and use the cursor and command keys to select a wheel individually, then press the LOW key twice to remove weight from the tire.  Hitting the NORMAL button will return the truck to normal operation once the truck is unstuck.
     The truck can be driven a limited distance with a flat tire by selecting the tire in STANDBY and pressing the LOW key twice to remove all weight from the wheel.  In this case, DO NOT hit the NORMAL button!  WARNING:  DRIVING EXCESSIVE DISTANCES WITH A FLAT TIRE WILL CAUSE THE TIRE TO OVERHEAT AND CATCH FIRE!  To change a tire, there is no need to jack up the truck.  Just press the HIGH button twice.  The tire without weight on it will be lifted off the ground. 


    Not all containers can be picked up from the railroad.  Some have an "I" beam bottom girder with a flange that prevents the Safety Truck from lifting them except when they are sitting on the ground.  Safety Mall containers have a "T" shaped beam with the wall of the container welded to the top of the T.  All containers with T cross section bottom girders can be lifted on and off of railroad cars provided the roadbed is properly ballasted.
    To pick up a rail car, maneuver around the FEMALE end of the car as you would any container.  Use the HIGH button to spread apart the rear of the truck you back around it.  Once the rear of the truck has cleared the front of the container, push the NORMAL button and then the LOW button to lower the truck to the ground.  The front skid plates will probably slide on the rails in LOW mode.  This is normal.  Back up until the cab is about a foot from the container, then push the NORMAL and then the HIGH button.  If the roadbed is properly ballasted, this should be the right height to engage the container.  If the pins in the back of the cab miss the holes in the container or if the lifting spades fail to engage their slots in the rear corner extensions, the truck is at the wrong height and you should press the HIGH or LOW buttons incrementally WITHOUT pressing the NORMAL button to adjust the height by a slight amount.  If the roadbed is uneven, rutted, or the front of the truck is sitting on a level crossing, an optional joystick can raise or lower the front or rear of the truck independently until all the pins and lifting spades can engage.  If the RED lights go out and the GREEN lights light up to indicate that the container is properly hooked, you can hit the HIGH button twice to lift the car off of the rails.  Steer to the side so the car's rail wheels are no longer aligned with the rails and then hit the HIGH button again to drive in HIGH mode.  Driving over railroad tracks with the suspension at the limit of its upward travel is a very uncomfortable experience and the uneven weight distribution can cause rutting of the road bed.
    If the truck's suspension cannot lift the car high enough to clear the rails or uncouple it from the rest of the train, you will need to get out of the truck to uncouple the cars manually.  DO NOT DRAG THE RAILCAR!  This will cause flat spots on the rail wheels—an expensive repair!  Instead, connect the shorter of the two glad hands in the back of the truck to the rail car's air line.  This will release the car's brakes and allow them to function together with the truck's brakes.   On a 40' railcar, the coupler in back of the cab will automatically release the car's brakes and supply electrical power to the car's drive wheels.  Once the truck is safely attached to the car, you can press the NORMAL button to transfer some of the weight of the truck onto the car and drive the entire train down the rails as though you are driving a locomotive.  Steer straight or let go of the steering wheel when driving on the rails to prevent unusual front tire wear.  When you arrive at a level crossing, press the HIGH button to lift the car off the rails and drive to a place that the rail car can be dropped.
    Driving excessive distances in HIGH mode will cause unusual rear tire wear.  To drop the rail car and make final delivery, press the NORMAL button to lower the car onto its solid rubber wheel flanges, then get out of the truck to turn the container locking levers at the four corners of the car.  Press the HIGH button to lift the container off of the car and then drive forward and press the NORMAL button once you are clear.  You can then deliver the container.


    Occasionally you may be asked to lift cars from an unballasted or rutted roadbed at a level crossing.  To pull the whole train, do not uncouple the cars.  Press the NORMAL button instead of lifting the car.  The train's brakes will then function with those of the truck.  ALWAYS PUSH THE TRAIN UPHILL FIRST!  Trains have very long stopping distances.  If you miscalculate and overshoot a highway intersection while heading downhill, you may get stuck blocking the intersection and face heavy fines.  If you block an emergency vehicle, you could even face criminal charges!  The truck does not have enough power to move an entire train very far uphill.  Once the train is stopped and your truck is safely in the intersection, hit the HIGH button to lift the car off the tracks and uncouple it from the train.


    The most difficult operation in driving a Trescott Safety Truck is placing a container on a railcar.  Trescott container cars are smaller than normal rail cars.  They can only carry one 40 foot container or two 20 foot containers.  To place a container on a Trescott rail car, line up with the car using your rear blind spot cameras, press the HIGH button, and back over the car.  When the container hits the guides on the car, get out and check your alignment.  Shoving the car backwards with its brakes locked will usually align it.  Pull forward and try again if the four keys at the corners of the car are not under the holes in the bottom corners of the container.  DO NOT LOWER A MISALIGNED CONTAINER OR YOU MAY CAUSE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO THE CAR!  If the alignment is good, press the NORMAL button to lower the container onto the car.  The four container locking levers can then be turned to lock the corners of the container to the car.  Press the NORMAL button to lift the car off the ground and take it to the rails.
    To place the car on the tracks, drive forward down the tracks until the truck is aligned with the rails as seen though the rear view cargo camera, then use the joystick or rear steering button to lean the truck and place the wheels on one rail while moving backward.  Once the car is aligned with one rail, press the NORMAL button or center the joystick, press the button to extent the car's coupler, and back up until the car's coupler hits the coupler of the rail car behind it.  


    Hook the streamlined end of the locomotive or generator car as you would any other car and place it on the tracks in front of the train.  Once the train is complete, drive the truck off of the tracks and walk the length of the train to make sure all of the couplers and air lines are connected, then enter your access code to the locomotive's computer.  The locomotive will ask you for a trip number.  After you enter the number, the destination will be displayed.  Press YES to confirm the destination.  The locomotive screen will say AWAITING DISPATCH while an engineer is located to remotely drive the locomotive.  Usually the engineer will command several trains all running in the same direction on the same track at the same time.  The engineer will then type a message, "OK TO MOVE AT:" and give the departure time which will be coordinated with his/her other trains.  Press YES and your job is done.  If the train is scheduled for immediate departure, you will see it pull away and leave.  The Engineer may ask you to perform routine maintenance such as checking fluid levels or cleaning the bugs of the lenses of its video cameras.  The Engineer may move the train even if it is not scheduled for immediate departure to make sure you have connected all the couplers and air lines.