New Podcast Episode 7: Dealing With Law Enforcement

Topic 18539 | Page 1

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey everyone, we have another new episode of our podcast "The Road Home" and it's titled:

Dealing With Law Enforcement

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It's inevitable as a commercial driver that you're going to be dealing with law enforcement from time to time. Your truck will get inspected at some point, you may have to cross the border into Canada, and you'll likely get pulled over a time or two along the way. Understanding how law enforcement officers think and knowing how to work with them will help keep the delays you'll experience and the number of tickets you'll receive to a minimum.

Enjoy!

Dealing With Law Enforcement

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pianoman's Comment
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I always keep a few 100's in my wallet for those guys. Havent gotten a ticket all year!

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HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joshua J.'s Comment
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Got the V on my license and my OEF/POW/MIA decals on the back window of the car, its gotten me a few more warnings than I probably deserved.

Only one time it backfired: me and a buddy from Ranger Batt. were on block leave at the same time so we took his car around town, two Army grunts out to paint the town red. Cue red & blues for an illegal Uturn (sign wasnt visible due to graffiti) and what do we have? Well its a motorcycle cop, and my buddys being a bit ****y, (thats putting it mild, but he was young) he sees the mil ID, sees the decals on my buddies car, and pulls up his sleeve.

he was a Navy motorcycle cop . Gave my buddy a 250$ ticket for the illegal turn, and added a 100$ excessive display of power ticket because his tires skid a bit on gravel when he made said turn. Had he been polite, or at least professional, we probably would've gotten away with a stern warning and a few shots at our pride.

Older Newbie's Comment
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Brett, I completely agree with your podcast about dealing with law enforcement. Many of my family members are in law enforcement of one kind or another and it's a thankless job. As you said, they deal with the worst in all of us in so many cases it's easy to see why they get "hardened" after a while. My approach has been almost spot on with what you said...with one exception. When I got pulled into my first inspection I flat out told the officer that I was new...had never gone through the process before and had no idea what to expect. Yes...I was organized with my paperwork, and my truck was clean, neat, and looked taken care of, but the first time butterflies were there for sure. I offered to be helpful in providing all the info he wanted, and was pleasant to say the least. And yes... I did make small talk about their job, the difficulty of it and that I was very familiar with the place that he was in. Not a lie... and not an exaggeration which he could tell. My inspection was clean and he even complimented me on my truck and workspace... as he said... " now your cherry is popped... next time won't be as nerve racking." I do run's out of Laredo, TX and you're right about that too. Some of those trucks are rolling death traps and I'm sure glad I don't have to drive one.

I'm thankful for the kind of rigs we get up here and that if nothing else, the laws have given that to all of us.

Law enforcement officers see the worst in humanity often many more times than they get to see the best. It really takes a special person to do that job well. Yeah, not everyone is a great officer, we all know that. And yes, when they are having a bad day sometimes civilians pay the price...a ticket or chewing out that's perhaps a bit over the top. But all in all I have seen that if you treat them with respect...genuine respect...courtesy and a smile, even an officer having a lousy day can see signs of hope and will soften. May not get you out of a ticket, but being polite, kind and showing respect and courtesy goes a long way to making everyone's life better anyway. Thanks for your website and podcasts. They have helped me get through the tough times of being a rookie driver and have helped me see the light at the end of the long dark tunnel.

Every time I speak to someone who wants to know about being a driver I point them in your direction. It helped me and I know it's helping others.

Take care and be safe gang,

Tony Gonzalez

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

showtime's Comment
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Great information Brett. I enjoy listening to these podcasts. Please keep them coming. I am in my first year of driving and I share them and this website with other new drivers as well.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Thanks Older Newbie and Showtime!

My approach has been almost spot on with what you said...with one exception. When I got pulled into my first inspection I flat out told the officer that I was new...had never gone through the process before and had no idea what to expect

One of the things I mentioned was being "reasonably honest" I guess you could call it, where you're honest and upfront and straightforward with them as much as possible without blatantly admitting to some sort of violation. By telling him you're new but you're doing you're best you gave him an honest account of your situation and I'm sure he appreciated that. If you had tried acting like a know-it-all jerk, it almost certainly would have gone badly.

Great job!

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Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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