Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Good Reason For Time Off

Every year at the beginning of June, the CVSA does a 72-hour safety blitz of commercial vehicles.  They like to call it Roadcheck.

My friend Marlaina calls it the Owner-Operator National Holiday.

Why?  Because as owner-operators, we just take that time off.  Why bother being on the road amidst the power-hungry DOT officers?  That's for drivers who have no choice.  
We all take excellent care of our equipment - it's our livelihood and we do everything possible to keep it all in tip-top shape.  And we don't sit out the blitz because we have to, we do it because we want to.  

Throngs of truckers fear Roadcheck like the plague.  They talk about it for weeks before it happens, while it's happening, and after it happens.  There's a lot of hype surrounding it and truckers fear it.  Dread its coming.  
I just don't understand why.  If you're doing what you're supposed to, and your truck is in the condition it's supposed to be in, you shouldn't have a worry in the world.

Our old truck had 1.3 million miles on it and this one now has 650,000 miles and we're never worried about being inspected - during a regular stop or a safety blitz weekend.  But if you are lucky enough to be pulled in during the safety blitz you can expect them to look at certain components on your truck to make sure they're up to snuff.  They check brakes, lighting, cargo securement, fuel tanks, exhaust system, etc.  There's a whole slew of things they look for.  But here's a little tip:  If you look for those things before they look for those things....guess what?  You have time to fix whatever may be wrong.

That said, those things shouldn't be wrong in the first place because you should be catching whatever's out of whack on your daily pre-trip.  Not only do we do a pre-trip every day, but we do load checks every 150 miles when we're loaded, and we look at the truck every time we stop.  The hood is popped every single time we get fuel and at that time, a check of fluid levels, hoses, belts, etc. is done.  It's constant upkeep.

This year we're hoping to meet up with our friends and make the Owner-Operator National Holiday official - Marlaina sent me an email yesterday to see 
if we can arrange to meet up over the three days it takes place - we'll park the trucks, stay in hotels, go out to eat, maybe ride bikes, sleep.  

If you're planning to be on the road for the blitz weekend, be prepared, and make sure your equipment is up to par.  Otherwise, you may also be getting a "holiday"...sitting, while you wait out your Out-of-Service violation.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: I'd Follow Him Anywhere

2012: Yes! We Have No Bananas
2011: Investing In Your Investment – Part One
2010: A Tank Full Of Freightliners
2009: The Sad, Sad Future Of Our Young People
2008: Sighting The American Idiots
2007: Orbiting Out Of Control
2006: Passing Through Life
2005: Texas Pride?

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