Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) hosted an educational seminar on March 29 at the Tim Hortons Distribution Centre in Guelph, Ont. Kerri Wirachowsky of the MTO spoke to attendees about what fleets and drivers can do to avoid getting ticketed during inspections.
She shared that there are many ways to get out of and avoid what Wirachowski called “simple violations” and offered advice to the audience.
Keep your attitude in check:
Wirachowski highlighted, drivers that are honest and that don’t give an attitude to officers, often do better during a roadside inspection because the process is smoother.
“When I’m interviewing a driver and all of his stuff is in a row, the inspection tends to go well…but when I’m asking him where he’s coming from and where he’s going and he doesn’t want to tell me anything, things go sideways,” she said.
As soon as the driver hints that he/she is not going to be cooperative in the inspection, Wiraskowski said it sets the tone for how the rest of the (now) lengthy inspection will go.
Be prepared and organized:
Drivers who know where to find the needed documentation and present it to inspectors in a neat, organized binder often do well in an inspection.
Not being organized is one of the main reasons why violations are issued, according to Wirachowski. She stressed when an officer asks for documents like insurance cards and CVOR certificates that it is presented in an organized binder, all valid documentation is accessible, and that the operator name is the same on all documents (log book, CVOR, insurance card.
“What we’re seeing more of, is the operator name is similar, but they’re all slightly different on each document…and then we’re on the side of the road trying to figure out which name is the legal entity,” she said. She also warned about presenting faded trailer registrations. A rule to remember is: if it’s not legible, it is a chargeable offence.
Knowing the truck you’re driving is paramount during an inspection, added Wirachowski.
“Make sure your drivers are familiar with the truck,” she said. “When I’m standing there with a driver and he’s telling me he did his pre-trip today and he didn’t know how to hit the lights or didn’t know where the horn was or he didn’t know how to pop the hood…I’m thinking how good of a trip inspection did you do? Trust me that is a signal to me that he doesn’t know that truck at all.” Educating drivers that they should know how each and every truck they are driving works will help you avoid charges, she added.
As well, with more fleets adopting ELDs comes a whole new set of problems. Wirachowski stressed that drivers should know how to use the EOBR once your fleet decides to adopt them.