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Vehicle Inspections - What You Need to Know

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This article was contributed by an Interstate driver who asked to be anonymous.

Vehicle Inspections – What You Need to Know

Have you seen a driver drop a trailer without doing a thorough vehicle inspection or, worse yet, hooking and booking? Light the fires and bump the tires?

Professional drivers know the importance of moving safe equipment, and they take the time to do vehicle inspections at the beginning and end of every day and when changing equipment.

They also log inspections correctly, making sure they are on-duty while inspecting the equipment. In all the training I’ve seen, 15 minutes is the shortest amount of time to perform a proper inspection. With a proper vehicle inspection, drivers can be confident that nothing has been overlooked if they happen to be pulled in for an inspection.

Inspection Site Visit

Vehicle Inspections

Interstate working with Washington State Patrol for their inspection training

I was recently invited on a trip to the scales in Ridgefield, Washington and shadowed Officer Muros and Officer Schultheis who have 25 years of collective experience inspecting commercial vehicles. Watching Officer Muros as he observed traffic with binoculars I asked him what he was looking for. He replied “seatbelts, cell phone use, and inspection stickers.”  As I watched him do a few inspections he spotted damaged fuel caps, missing and loose lug nuts, flat and worn tires and several other items.

Both officers say, “If I can see it here, a professional driver should be able to detect and correct the problem before departure.” They gave no breaks, or at least I didn’t see it.  They gave citations and took drivers out of service. Understand these officers are under a great deal of pressure because they are constantly rated on performance. They are also held accountable for complaints much like commercial drivers, a double-edged sword for sure.

Are You a Professional?

What it comes down to is this: are you going to be a professional or just an addition to the problem?

CSA scores are as important for individual drivers as they are for the company. Please help yourself and your fellow drivers. Do what it takes to be a professional. We are all a well-oiled team if everyone does their part to stay safe and CSA point free.

Washington State Patrol has great resources available for drivers from their Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau. Check it out for more information.

Posted by intd on April 28, 2016 |