Looking Both Ways
A Positive, Confident Roadcheck 2013
This post of Look Both Ways will attempt to get you prepared for Roadcheck 2013.
“Oh no, guess I’ll have to take a few days off.” “I won’t run my truck during Roadcheck”. “Just get your wallet out fellow drivers – the government is going to take your money”. “Those inspectors will do just about anything to give a driver a violation”. “You can’t pay me enough to drive during the inspection blitz”.
“I’m going to make an effort to be the best at what I do”, “This will give me an opportunity to get a Level I – Violation Free Full Inspection and the company will give me a nice gift certificate or a truck wash”, “I’m proud that I have no points or violations showing on my PSP report”, “I know that when I am pulled in for a roadside inspection that I have all the required documents in order and that my truck had no visible defects when I inspected in my pre trip inspection”, “I’m proud to be a professional driver”.
Two totally different outlooks, attitudes or dispositions.
Each year since 1988 the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance has conducted their annual targeted enforcement program “Roadcheck”. Yearly about 10,000 CVSA-certified inspectors perform roadside inspections at about 1500 locations throughout North America. During the 72 hour period each June about 14 trucks or buses are inspected every minute – or about three times as many inspections per day during the Roadcheck program than the normal business day. Roadcheck 2013 will take place June 4 – 6th. Pretty scary? Nope, you are a professional driver. You know - the kind of driver that your dad, uncle or grandfather was - a knight of the highway. Someone that folks look up to and respect.
One correct mindset: Be a positive, confident person! You are a professional driver. During Roadcheck the inspectors are looking for the same violations as any other day. It is your job as a professional driver to comply with the Regulations that apply to you and your vehicle every day. It is your job to know and understand these regulations as they apply to you. If you are doing your job then you should not have too much to worry about whether it is time for Roadcheck or any other day of your professional driving career. What will happen when you get a roadside inspection on June 8 two days after the safety blitz? The inspectors will discover the same issues you had while your truck sat idle during the safety blitz.
Before you go out that first week of June, prepare yourself by doing the following:
Â· Get in the truck and make sure that things are in order. Perhaps a little cab and sleeper berth housekeeping. Check your permit book, medical card and long form physical, Annual Vehicle Inspection, vehicle registration, and driver’s license you ensure all are current and organized.
Â· Use your seatbelt. Many times drivers are stopped because the inspector or patrolman observes them not wearing their seatbelt. The better reason for using it though is because you have loved ones that need you to be there tomorrow.
Â· Get your “head on straight”. As you should each and every day, ensure you are allowing safe following distances, obey all speed limits and operate at speeds reasonable for conditions. Slowdown in poor conditions or in construction areas, no shipment is worth an accident or citation.
Â· Be professional in appearance and mannerisms. Good personal hygiene and decent attire will assist you in dealing with others, regardless of the situation.
Â· Do good vehicle inspections. Eliminate those mechanical defects prior to an inspector discovering them in an inspection. Check everything including the following:
o Check your tires, wheels and hubs. (Tread depth, cuts, exposed fabric, cracked rims, leaking seals, lug nuts, etc...)
o Check the suspension. (Missing or cracked springs, U-bolts, etc...)
o Lighting – check all lights to ensure they are functioning.
o Brakes – check adjustment, cracked or broken parts, etc...
o Cargo – make sure your load is secured.
o Fuel and Exhaust – no leaks, mounting brackets, etc...
Â· Keep your logbook current! This means updating your logbook each and every time your duty status changes.
Because you are out working from June 4 – 6th does not mean you will be inspected. If you are inspected, knowing that you prepared in advance will allow you to approach the experience in a positive and confident manner.
Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.
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Till the next blog, Thank you drivers for all you do!. Please be safe!
John Mueller, CDS