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Old 12-02-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
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Beware following hand signals when parking!

On October 20th I took my motorhome to a local gas station to get a fuel and propane fill. The attendant who waited on me tried to direct me back to the propane fill station, but did not use generally-accepted hand signals. I later found out from a more senior employee that he was a trainee who had never been shown how to direct vehicles - because the company had a policy of not allowing employees to direct vehicles on their premises! This policy was not posted anywhere or otherwise shared with the public, so there was no way I could know about it. I was not able to follow this employee's non-standard hand signals. He did not show my remaining distance of travel, and did not give a clearly-visible stop signal. I backed into a steel post (bollard), damaging my rear bumper. The gas bar management, a large corporation, immediately turned the case over to their insurance company. The adjuster then claimed he had video evidence from the gas bar cameras that I was at fault, and ruled against a payout. He sent me some images from the video supposedly to prove his case, but they did not show the attendant's hand signals just prior to and at the point of impact. The adjuster's report confirmed, though, that the gas station attendant was trying to direct my vehicle in violation of the gas bar owner's policy. The owners then sent me a notice that they considered my case closed! I still believe that they were negligent in training and supervising their gas bar employee and also in failing to inform the public that their employees were forbidden to direct traffic on their premises. You might want to check the laws where you are traveling, because the insurance adjuster told me that whenever you follow hand signals from ANYONE, employee or not, by doing so you are accepting liability for whatever the outcome. Apparently my only recourse is to go to small claims court, where if I am unsuccessful I would be required to pay this big corporation's legal costs. The best I can do for my own peace of mind is pay for my own repair and take my business elsewhere in future. I would appreciate any insights from other members.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:58 PM   #2
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You are responsible for the operation of any type of equipment when operating it. Period. I never take signals from anyone other than my wife.......... when getting escorted to a camp site, thank you so much for helping, then I do my thing, and if she is not with me, I get out and check everything out and make a "mind map" of where I am backing into........360 degrees! (learned this when driving OTR truck) I am going to say, pay for the damage on your Coach and chock this up to a lesson learned.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #3
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X2 unfortunately I agree, here in NY (maybe all over) before you back up you are required to get out and make sure of your area of travel, on the CDL license tests it is a failer not to do so, but at that time you could have confirmed what was going to happen next.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:30 PM   #4
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When backing up, I take all the help that I can get, but still consider myself 110% at fault if I crack something. Sorry it's not what you wanted to hear...
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:09 PM   #5
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X2 what the others said, one CG we stayed at in the Half Moon Bay area would only allow you to be guided in by one of their employees. When I was backing in to the site, the hand signals didn't look right and it appeared she was going to have me back off of one side of the slab. When I got out to check she got mad at me and told me to get back in my RV as it was "unsafe" to leave it half way in the site. I ignored her and got my bearings, didn't follow her directions and kept all 4 wheels on the slab. Once on the slab I just stopped to avoid any further issues with the Warden(and I kept my mouth shut).

When she left I adjusted the MH on the pad like I wanted it, I only moved it over about 2 feet and never entered the common driveway area. The Warden immediately came back and started yelling at me that I couldn't move my MH without her presence and direction. This time I didn't keep my mouth shut, and my wife hid in the MH as she hates confrontation(with anyone but me haha). Anyway after telling her I didn't appreciate her yelling and that I would position my MH where I wanted with or without her "permission" she finally agreed that I was liable for hitting anything on their property with or without her guidance. She even showed me the park rules where I signed that liability disclaimer when I paid for the spot. So I told her unless she was paying for my MH she should quit yelling at me and I was going to leave it where it was(she wanted me to move it back to the edge again) or we could get our money back and would be happy to leave. She left and this idiot must have told her boss as about an hour later he came over to talk to me about the incident. After listening to my story and seeing how the MH was parked He agreed with me and apologized, offering us a second night for free. I thanked him but declined on the second night.

Sorry for the long story but like others said I really only trust my wife to direct me when backing as she doesn't want to see her "baby" get damaged either. And it seem everyone will deny liability even if it is their policy to direct you in.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:47 PM   #6
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I agree with the others. Sorry to say, but people need to take personal responsibility for their actions and not try to blame others. There was no requirement that you follow the directions of someone else in this incident.


I NEVER allow anyone to back me into a site, not even my wife. I take a look at the location and on occasion will ask my wife to watch a blind spot, but use my mirrors and cameras to park the coach.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:58 PM   #7
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Thanks to all. You are right, it isn't what I wanted to hear, but I can still learn from this incident even at 72! The irony is that I was at this same propane fill location 3 weeks earlier, did my own thing, and had no problems.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
You are responsible for the operation of any type of equipment when operating it. Period. I never take signals from anyone other than my wife.......... when getting escorted to a camp site, thank you so much for helping, then I do my thing, and if she is not with me, I get out and check everything out and make a "mind map" of where I am backing into........360 degrees! (learned this when driving OTR truck) I am going to say, pay for the damage on your Coach and chock this up to a lesson learned.

I also agree, 100 % also learned that in OTR Training.
Sorry Sir.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:34 AM   #9
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Bummer!
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ricardocana View Post
Thanks to all. You are right, it isn't what I wanted to hear, but I can still learn from this incident even at 72! The irony is that I was at this same propane fill location 3 weeks earlier, did my own thing, and had no problems.
ricardocana
Well Sir, very sorry about your little "learning" mishap. You've been told by other members here that, well, you know what to do from this point on. Live and learn. Some of the folks on here who know me have seen these pictures below. I drove fire trucks for over 35 years and had only a couple of minor scrapes here and there. But, what you see below, is a pure stupidity on my part. I won't bother stating all the boring details but, suffice to say that "someone moved my house" while I was backing up to get ready to wash the big girl.

My wife WAS BACK THERE but, due to strange circumstances, she did not see the potential problem and I was looking at every mirror I had, the rear view camera and, looking outside the drivers window while backing. But, it was one of those things that, JUST HAPPENED! I don't know what your little mishap cost to repair but, mine cost me, $1,000 and the insurance company another $7,500.

Needless to say, not only was I seriously embarrassed but, even more seriously pi....off at myself for being such an IDIOT, especially after all those years on the FD. And, there's a few on here that have admitted to belonging to the "Oops" club too. So, in the end, take your time, get out and look, IN ALL DIRECTIONS, INCLUDING UP, to make sure you're setup for your move. Good luck.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardocana View Post
On October 20th I took my motorhome to a local gas station to get a fuel and propane fill. The attendant who waited on me tried to direct me back to the propane fill station, but did not use generally-accepted hand signals. I later found out from a more senior employee that he was a trainee who had never been shown how to direct vehicles - because the company had a policy of not allowing employees to direct vehicles on their premises! This policy was not posted anywhere or otherwise shared with the public, so there was no way I could know about it. I was not able to follow this employee's non-standard hand signals. He did not show my remaining distance of travel, and did not give a clearly-visible stop signal. I backed into a steel post (bollard), damaging my rear bumper. The gas bar management, a large corporation, immediately turned the case over to their insurance company. The adjuster then claimed he had video evidence from the gas bar cameras that I was at fault, and ruled against a payout. He sent me some images from the video supposedly to prove his case, but they did not show the attendant's hand signals just prior to and at the point of impact. The adjuster's report confirmed, though, that the gas station attendant was trying to direct my vehicle in violation of the gas bar owner's policy. The owners then sent me a notice that they considered my case closed! I still believe that they were negligent in training and supervising their gas bar employee and also in failing to inform the public that their employees were forbidden to direct traffic on their premises. You might want to check the laws where you are traveling, because the insurance adjuster told me that whenever you follow hand signals from ANYONE, employee or not, by doing so you are accepting liability for whatever the outcome. Apparently my only recourse is to go to small claims court, where if I am unsuccessful I would be required to pay this big corporation's legal costs. The best I can do for my own peace of mind is pay for my own repair and take my business elsewhere in future. I would appreciate any insights from other members.
ricardocana
Sorry to hear of your problem.
That is the reason that my coachNEVER "BACKS UP".. unless my wife, (and only my wife) is giving the signals.....(because I understand exactly what every hand signal she makes means).
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:12 PM   #12
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As a Pilot we are not even required to follow ATC's instructions if a situation is doubtful, Pilot, Driver Captian etc in command
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:37 PM   #13
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"ricardocano"......You'll be amazed at how many times over the years that people tried to help me back in and then were upset when I politely told them no thanks. One guy even insisted. Don't be intimidated and do your own backing, unless it's someone you know and trust.


I know where my coach needs to stop for connections and how far from the power post I need to be for my slide to extend.


We were backing into a pretty simple spot in a Quartzsite RV park and one of the employees happened to have his RV in a spot across from ours. He ran behind my coach and started demanding that I follow his directions and park the coach where he wanted it, which didn't work with my slides. I finally had to tell him I can park it myself. He huffed off. I later spoke to him and explained why I never accept help from anyone other than my wife. He understood.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:37 PM   #14
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I read every one of these and try and store them in my feeble brain. I'm very careful because I don't consider myself an expert. My wife and I use those Motorola Walkie Talkies and she talks me back. After reading this I'm going to work us up some hand signals to use also.
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