Fuel for Thought

Roadside Inspections to Decrease

By Greg Huggins
Posted Aug 10th 2017 8:57AM

The Industrial Age brought about new technologies in the field of manufacturing. Prior to this time in history, most goods were produced individually, one at a time, by hand, by people, and while time consuming, most often times the quality was superb. During the Industrial Age goods became mechanized, or mass produced by the latest new mechanical processes. While there were many setbacks, over time, these mass produced goods began to be made by better, more precise engineering and mechanical standards which produced higher quality products. Fewer people are required for production. Trucks, ships and trains were the most widely used mode of transportation for these goods.

Fast forward to the Digital Age. Products are still mass produced, but with less and less human interaction. Robotics have become a normal site at many manufacturing facilities and can repeatedly produce the nearly exact same items with remarkable precision. While these machines are set up and maintained by humans, they can produce far more than their human counterparts with less error in many cases. Fewer people are required for production. Trucks, trains, ships and planes became the primary modes of transportation for these mass produced, time sensitive goods.

What’s with the history lesson? As history shows, time and progression will always lead to changes. Change is hard for many people, as they like their “rut” to remain. Change is the only constant and we must change to keep up with the demands or fall behind. How many trucks are exclusively hauling typewriters or 8mm projectors? Products change, as does the hauling of the products. Supply and demand.  Today's demands are not only about on time deliveries, but also about communication. More precisely the speed at which that information is communicated. 

For the trucking industry, we have seen many changes over the years from the number of customers, the amount of products shipped, and the value of the products to the urgency of the loads. Over the years many customers have found it is better to only keep on hand what they need until the next shipment arrives, rather than store all those goods. Many truckers now have time constraints rather than a large range of dates and times for deliveries. But the customers are not the only ones seeking faster information about the carriers and drivers.

Recently, the CVSA has approved a new Level VIII Inspection. This wireless or electronic inspection will, if and when it becomes a reality, save time and lessen the human interaction between carriers(drivers) and law enforcement officials. There is currently no information technology (IT) infrastructure in place for these types of inspections. Given how fast things can change in this digital age, it will most likely be here soon.

The following excerpts are from the CVSA website :

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As defined by CVSA, the Level VIII Electronic Inspection must include, where required and/or applicable, a descriptive location, including GPS coordinates; electronic validation of who is operating the vehicle; appropriate driver’s license class and endorsement(s) for vehicle being operated; license status; valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate; current driver’s record of duty status; hours-of-service compliance; USDOT or (Canada) NSC number; power unit registration; operating authority; Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) compliance; and federal out-of-service orders.

 Implementing an electronic inspection program would also allow participating carriers the opportunity to leverage in-vehicle safety investments by communicating real-time compliance data to roadside inspection and enforcement authorities without having to stop.

 The next step in the electronic inspection implementation process for member jurisdictions will be the development of the information technology (IT) infrastructure to capture the information required for a Level VIII Electronic Inspection. Currently, there are no jurisdictions with the specific necessary data exchange capabilities in place to go-live immediately and begin conducting Level VIII Electronic Inspections; however, some jurisdictions are investigating the necessary IT and data upload and exchange needs in order to proceed with the steps required to have the IT infrastructure in place to meet the definition of the new electronic inspection.

 Currently, the capturing of Level VIII Electronic Inspection information by member jurisdictions is strictly voluntary and there is no deadline for implementation.

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Time always brings change, the most recent very hotly debated ELD mandate looks to be closer to implementation. While there are still some holding out for hope that it will not stand, December 2017 is the current deadline for ELD compliance.

Will this new Level VIII inspection be the next bone of contention with carriers and drivers? Time will tell.

 

See you down the road,

Greg

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