Looking Both Ways
This post of Look Both Ways is all about the upcoming Roadside Inspection Blitz known as Roadcheck 2014. Learn how to be successful navigating our nation’s highways as an expedite driver or owner operator during this law enforcement road course filled with obstacles and pylons. June 3, 4 and 5th were chosen for 2014.
Each year since 1988 the government (CVSA) sets aside a few days each year to conduct ramped up inspections of commercial trucks and commercial truck drivers. These days are known as 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.
To prepare drivers for the inspection blitz the CVSA website states “As a professional driver you face a lot of stress and pressure each day just trying to do your job. Maneuvering through congested highways with aggressive car drivers darting around you can be difficult since all too often everyone is in a rush to get where they are going. It may make you want to gamble a bit by taking unnecessary risks. But your risk goes up exponentially for each violation you receive. The seriousness of the violations is more than monetary, unless you’re willing to pay with your life. And we’re not just talking about your life. When you gamble, you are also gambling your family’s future and the future of many other innocent parties. Don’t take that gamble, it’s just not worth the risk.” Please think about these words every day prior to operating your truck. The “inconsiderate” four-wheelers are out there everywhere. Because you are the professional driver, you are expected to anticipate their every move.
Prepare yourself mentally for this road challenge. 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.
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 during Roadcheck 2014 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. Know that you will win in the end with the correct preparation and attitude!
Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.
Till the next blog, Thank you drivers for all you do!. Please be safe!
John Mueller, CDS, COSS