Here’s some tips to avoid any conflict or confusion during any future roadside inspections.
- 1) A clean cab helps you ‘move along’
Officers can’t inspect every truck that comes along. Most of the time they have to use their own discretion and experience to identify who goes and who stays. After being on the road quite a bit, it’s expected that your second home on wheels has gotten a little messy. Don’t let it get out of hand and make sure to regularly clean inside to avoid looking like you don’t maintain your truck. If you don’t take care of your own space as an operator, an officer may think that you take care of the rest of your rig the same way.
- 2) Have documents ready and easy to inspect
If you’re one of those guys that just can’t find your stuff, or you’re handing papers from 2009, just pull it in because you’re going to be there a while. Take the time to organize once and put your documents in a folder or ring binder. Medical card, registration, everything. The easier everything is to read, the faster you’ll go on your way.
- 3) Check your attitude
Don’t do or say anything to volunteer yourself for an inspection. Don’t ask why you got stopped or say you didn’t do anything wrong. Officers will see how you handle yourself and how you answer their questions. The right attitude can help the officer make the decision to let you go on your way, or keep you there for next steps.
- 4) You’re getting inspected anyway
Officers don’t have a quota for citations, but they do have a quota for inspections. Even if you look good, you still may get inspected because they need to get some inspections done. There are never any requirements to write a ticket, but there are requirements to do a minimum number of inspections per quarter. There may be times that you have a great truck and you have all your documents and the officer still says, “We’re doing a level one.” That’s just how it goes.
A lot of this seems like common sense but can be easy to forget after driving for long periods of time. If the truck looks decent, you have your documents, and have a good attitude – even if you’re grinding your teeth – it reduces the likelihood and chances of the officer going further. Check out our inspection checklist to learn more.