Roadside inspections are a fact of life for all truckers. But they are important for ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. However, if you are not prepared for a surprise inspection, they could be a little nerve-wracking. Here’s some tips on how to pass and take the stress out of your next roadside inspection.
Before heading out each day, be prepared mentally that today might be the day that you are pulled over for a roadside inspection. Today might not be your day, but inevitably one day it will be. Acknowledging that fact will help take the stress out of anticipating when it will be your turn.
For safety’s sake, you should always do a pre-trip inspection before hitting the road. Take the time do it thoroughly. The common reasons why truckers fail roadside inspections is because there are problems with their tires, lights or brakes. So, make sure to check them all out during your pre-trip inspection.
A rig that looks dirty is essentially screaming to be pulled over for a roadside inspection. The inspector’s mindset might be that “hey, if this guy isn’t taking the time to keep his truck clean, what else is he not taking care of.” At least make sure your windshield is clean before heading out.
If you’re speeding, making illegal turns or failing to use your turn signals, you could be drawing unwanted attention to your rig. Law officers or inspectors will take that as a sign that your rig should be pulled over for a roadside inspection.
You should always know where your important documents are so that you have them ready for the inspector. It’s a good idea to keep everything in one place in a binder, which makes it easier for the inspector to review. If you’re not organized and cannot find your documents, your simple Level I review of documents inspection can snowball into a more intense inspection.
Don’t get caught violating hours of service rules. This could lead to violations and citations during a roadside inspection. Almost half of driver out-of-service conditions are because of HOS violations. Make sure that you’re also compliant with and understand your requirements with the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate.
If you’re selected for a roadside inspection, it’s important to be professional and courteous to the inspector They’re only doing their job. You will only make trouble for yourself by making rude remarks or being nasty. Being polite will go a long way towards making your inspection experience go smoother.
Maybe you know that there’s a problem with your rig. Lying or hiding that only irritates your inspector. You could have a valid reason for driving with a problem, like you’re a couple days into your run and you just found the issue that morning during your pre-trip inspection. Being honest and letting the inspector know that you’re working on getting the problem fixed could prevent an out-of-service violation.
If the inspector gives you an out-of-service violation, you need to address the issue immediately. Going back out on the road without fixing it will result in further violations and fines.
Roadside inspections are time-consuming and annoying. But you can make the best of the situation. With enough preparation, the hassle of roadside inspections can be a thing of the pass and you can get back on the road sooner.