Overdrive Magazine

July 2019

Issue link: https://dmtmag.uberflip.com/i/1135354

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4 | Overdrive | July 2019 V O I C E S e poll question above, about the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's early June Roadcheck inspection blitz, was asked last year in similar form. Fewer owner-operators this year planned the vacation option, perhaps an indicator of deteriorating rates and hope for the typical early-June uptick on the spot freight market. Reader Mike Charette joined roughly one in four respondents who noted they'd be parked. It's a common refrain around CVSA's annual all- hands-on-deck uptick in inspection activity. "Me too," echoed Joel Duclos. Many view the event as little more than an irritant, increasing the chance they will be delayed by a full truck/ driver-credentials Level 1 inspection. ere's a growing cohort among drivers, however, urging change in inspection priorities. Overdrive Extra contributing writer and owner-operator Gary Buchs recently came out in favor of a notion some bristled at: "In the wake of several state troopers and truck drivers being hit on the side of the road in recent months, I feel the time has come to change the regulations and require more than one inspection be conducted every 12 months in an approved location." While he doubted the "need for roadside inspections will ever be eliminated," he felt a more proactive equipment-inspection approach ought to be taken by many carriers and owner-operators. "Our equip- ment is required to have its annual in- spection sticker and the correspond- ing documents onboard, but who really believes that one inspection in 12 months is adequate?" Further, he added, "does anyone believe the safest approach and location to improve everyone's safety is randomly on the side of the road or in a scale house location?" Some companies do go above and beyond, requiring a federal inspec- tion equivalent at much shorter intervals. Buchs, leased to Landstar, commonly invests in third-party inspections at least quarterly. "Investment in inspections is a form of risk management," he says. "It appears to some to be an added cost with little to show in return on invest- ment simply because prevention does exactly what it says. is is all about what didn't happen, and when we can't see it, too o en we probably will ignore the problem." John Devisser wondered whether it was time CVSA refocus priorities away from blitz events such as Road- check. Devisser o ered a path toward the same goal that Buchs empha- sized, with the cost of more-frequent third-party inspections in some senses shared between carriers and the public. "Why doesn't this industry work together?" he asks. State scale houses V O I C E S Is 'cat-and-mouse' inspection best way to enhance safety? V O I C E S How readers prepare for Roadcheck OverdriveOnline.com poll Business as usual 35% All of the above 18% Wash the truck/clean cab clutter 2% Do my own inspection 12% Pay for third-party inspection 3% What's Roadcheck? 7% Take vacation 23% Preps for last month's Roadcheck inspection blitz by Overdrive readers included various private inspections, but it was just "business as usual" for the largest share. The nearly as large number of recent poll respondents who noted they scheduled vacation highlights how many view the blitz and roadside inspections in general as little more than a nuisance. Tom Quimby

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