If you are in training right now to become a truck driver you are most likely learning how to inspect your truck, drive safely, and other important factors of the job. Often when we go through training we don’t understand how each program relates to each other. We are being told through instruction that we must inspect this, or do this a certain way and are doing things because we are told to. Once you get out on the road you realize the importance of how things go together and why you are being taught certain items.
Pre-trip inspections are an important part of truck driving. You have to perform inspections everyday in various formats such as pre-trip, post trip, and more. You will have to deal with cargo securement checks, tire checks, and lighting each time you are away from the truck. This gets even more intense when hauling things like dangerous goods or special commodities.
This week Road Check is under way which is an annual campaign where law enforcement teams across North America will be conducting inspections on commercial vehicles twenty four hours per day for seventy two hours straight. This campaign is set up annually to let the public know that law enforcement officials are doing their job in taking badly maintained vehicles off the road. Enforcement officers in Ontario will be conducting the same inspections as law enforcement officers in Orlando Florida or Houston Texas. As a driver now or in the future you will encounter Road Check at some time in your driving career as it is an annual event.
So how can you learn from it as a training tool?
If you can do this safely observing Road Check first hand is the best way to understand the importance of inspections. Hopefully your training facility has arranged to have you go and watch the process as the inspection stations in Ontario allow that once a waiver has been signed. If you are not able to go into the inspection station watching the process from a side road is another option if you can do it safely.
If you are in the inspection station here is the best way to get the most out of your visit?
If possible choose one vehicle and follow that truck all the way through the inspection process. Watch a truck entering the station and when one is flagged to park around back follow the inspector throughout the total process. Ask the inspector why they pulled the truck in for inspection, what problems they found, and how a driver should handle the repairs. If possible talk to the driver and get their thoughts on the process, although be warned they may not be too happy. Use caution here. This will give you a good outlook on what you can expect when you are behind the wheel.
So use this time to really understand the inspection process. It will help you understand what you have been learning in your training and how it relates to the job you will be doing in the near future. Someone taking a course in August won’t have that opportunity to see inspection officers in action with accessibility to ask questions and understand the different levels of inspections. It will reinforce the importance of doing your job properly.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com