A sure-fire way to pass a roadside inspection
We’ve all failed a roadside inspection in the past but that’s not going to stop us from driving. So let’s wipe away those tears and pull up our big girl panties and keep on trucking.
There’s a few things that you really need to know about passing a roadside inspection. I know what you’re thinking, “Everyone has an article on this.” We are going to let you in on some of our secrets that not everyone knows.
First off attitude is everything! If you get pulled into a weigh station or roadside inspection area, don’t get stressed. Go ahead and put on your “Yes Sir / Yes Ma’am” hat and get that inspection started. Officers are just like everyone trying to make a living and support their families. So let’s quickly shed the “they don’t like me attitude” and show them some respect. In turn they will respect you. It sounds crazy but start the inspection off by seeming somewhat excited for the opportunity to get inspected. In a lot of the companies we have helped we have initiated an incentive plan for No violation inspections. In all out honesty the drivers for those companies are truly excited for the opportunity to get an incentive. When the officer finds an issue don’t argue, or banter with them. Simply say “Yes Sir”, fix the issue and move on. Don’t forget to take pictures of all violations. There’s a few things that this does to help both the driver and the company. First off if the violations are bogus you now have picture proof. There’s not much better evidence than a picture.
A lot of enforcement officers will ask the driver for their credentials and the paperwork for the unit. If there are no issues, there be sure to ask them for your level 3 inspection paperwork. This not only helps the company but also helps the officers with any MCSAP funding their department might be receiving.
Before you ever get to the inspection take the time to invite the surrounding law enforcement agencies to your yard and have a conference with your employees. I know there’s a couple of guys out there right now reading this saying “No way, this guy’s crazy for even suggesting that I invite the cops into my yard!” Again we are going to say that law enforcement officers are just people trying to do their job. As soon as we change that mind set we will be so much better off as drivers and company leaders. By inviting them into your yard it shows your hand (or at least the cards you want them to see). While they are there asking them to provide some feedback from what they’ve seen in the field lately. Listen to everything they have to say. You’ll probably see a trend in violations. As a company you should start targeting those violation trends in your own fleet. Also provide the officers with the vital information that you offer incentives for no violation inspections.
They will ask the drivers about this at the roadside inspection, so don’t lie. One of the most important things this does is it starts the relationship between your company / drivers and local law enforcement. Who knows you might even be on a first name basis in the very near future.
The last action item we’d like to mention is encourage your drivers daily to make smart choices. Encourage them to be a step above the rest of the drivers in the industry. Make every employee of your company feel as though they play a vital role in the companies wellbeing. Because let’s face it without all of our employees we would be nothing more than an one person show working our butts into the ground for a dollar.
If you start following these few short objectives your drivers might start looking forward to going through the port of entry, and maybe even a little disappointed when its closed. Your DOT scores will rapidly improve, you’ve built a relationship with people who enforce the regulations, and added to the foundation of your company.