DOT Inspection

Topic 27041 | Page 1

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PJ's Comment
member avatar

I thought I would share this as to how things can go sometimes.

Today as I went through my day everything went smoothly and I was 30 minutes away from parking for my 10 hr break. I had 1:38 left on my drive clock. I had last stopped 139 miles up the road and got fuel. I did my normal walk around looking for any issues. Everything looked fine.

I got to the NM/AZ stateline and was flagged into the weigh station at the point of entry. They were checking all trucks for registration/IFTA. There was an older DOT Officer standing in the center median area. The lady at the window was checking my paperwork and the officer had entered the building and came to the window.

The officer told me I had a flat on my trailer. I was very shocked. He took my BOL and license and told me to park, he had to do an inspection. I replied “yes sir”.

I pulled over and parked in the insp area. I got out to look. The passenger side front axle outside tire was indeed flat. It was on the rim and did not look hurt. A closer look at it showed a small puncture on the sidewall close to where the tread and sidewall meet. I had no indications of it and other than that small puncture the tire looked fine.

The officer came out to the truck and did a level 2 inspection on the tractor and trailer. He looked my logs over very closely. When he was all finished he put me out of service for the flat, and complemented me on the condition of my tractor and espicially my logs. He wrote up the inspection report and explained what I needed to do. He did not cite me for the flat. He told me my attitude was much appreciated. He mentioned while looking over my logs he saw detailed notes consistently, which made his job much easier and quicker.

There was a road service guy my company approved and the officer escorted me over there. I was in and out in about 30 minutes.

Of course during all this my clock expired so I off duty drove to the closest safe haven to park, with notes on the log. Paperwork already submitted to safety and I will still make on time delivery in Phoenix.

Lessons to be learned: Anything can and will happen out here even when you do all the right things

Attitude is a key to how you may be treated

Details on logs are important

and, If you have extra time in a load, never waste it.

Enough of my rambling.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

I thought I would share this as to ow things can go sometimes.

Today as I went through my day everything went smooth and I was 30 minutes away from parking for my 10 hr break. I had 1:38 left on my drive clock. I had last stopped 139 miles up the road and got fuel. I did my normal walk around looking for any issues. Everything looked fine.

I got to the NM/AZ stateline and was flagged into the weigh station at the point of entry. They were checking all trucks for registration/IFTA. There was an older DOT Officer standing in the center median area. The lady at the window was checking my paperwork and the officer had entered the building and came to the window.

The officer told me I had a flat on my trailer. I was very shocked. He took my BOL and license and told me to park, he had to do an inspection. I replied “yes sir”.

I pulled over and parked in the insp area. I got out to look. The passenger side front axle outside tire was indeed flat. It was on the rim and did not look hurt. A closer look at it showed a small puncture on the sidewall close to where the tread and sidewall meet. I had no indications of it and other than that small puncture the tire looked fine.

The officer came out to the truck and did a level 2 inspection on the tractor and trailer. He looked my logs over very closely. When he was all finished he put me out of service for the flat, and complemented me on the condition of my tractor and espicially my logs. He wrote up the inspection report and explained what I needed to do. He did not cite me for the flat. He told me my attitude was much appreciated. He mentioned while looking over my logs he saw detailed notes consistently, which made his job much easier and quicker.

There was a road service guy my company approved and the officer escorted me over there. I was in and out in about 30 minutes.

Of course during all this my clock expired so I off duty drove to the closest safe haven to park, with notes on the log. Paperwork already submitted to safety and I will still make on time delivery in Phoenix.

Lessons to be learned: Anything can and will happen out here even when you do all the right things

Attitude is a key to how you may be treated

Details on logs are important

and, If you have extra time in a load, never waste it.

Enough of my rambling.

Awesome report PJ. Sorry it ruined an otherwise great day but clearly it went as well as it could have.

You Pros continue to amaze me... especially the part where you take the time AFTER ALL THAT to share it!

thank-you-2.gif

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great explanation on how to do it the right way. Did you mention you are retired LEO?

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Marc. Packrat short answer is yes.

Long answer is due to prior assignments in my prior life there is a lifetime tail on me with the gov’t. So whenever I deal with law enforcement the retired ID goes with the drivers license. It saves alot of questions when they run me in the system. For the sake of folks that are not aware. There are 2 systems law enforcement uses when contacting people. The state system your drivers license is issued in, and a federal system. Alot of folks due to certain assignments within the gov’t the feds will track for life. A short list of examples are former military with certain security clearances, former law enforcement, certain lawyers, etc... Alot of folks think they only track bad stuff, not always. It is what it is.

That said, my prior life has no bearing on my current life. Some LEO’s are old school and will afford some level of professional courtesy and some will not. That is just the way it goes. Bottom line is I never expect any special treatment in any way. I keep my equipment in as good of shape as possible so no matter who looks at it, it is right.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

PJ, given what I know about you, it does not surprise me how this went.

I appreciate your sharing such a great example.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Rob, I posted it to hopefully ease some tension for new folks that no matter how careful you are sometimes things just happen. It is not the end of the world. Just another thing to deal with.

New students and/or drivers are generally scared of DOT and getting inspected. It does not have to be a big scary issue. Everyone has their own part to do within the transportation system.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Pj I'm glad things worked out as well as possible in this instance.

He told me my attitude was much appreciated. He mentioned while looking over my logs he saw detailed notes consistently, which made his job much easier and quicker.

that's exactly how to handle things. I believe for the most part cops and DOT aren't out there trying to nail a driver for the smallest infractions. The way we conduct ourselves and show that we take safety seriously while showing them respect and being cooperative often times plays a huge role in what the result of that stop or inspection is. It may take you a couple extra minutes being very detailed in your logs but it may have saved you an hour during inspection as there is no question what you were doing. It also demonstrates to the person inspecting you that you're being transparent and are not trying to hide anything. It's best to be completely honest. You're likely to get more leniency if you show them you're trustworthy than needing to worry about being caught in a lie.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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