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Truckers report closed scale houses, light enforcement during Roadcheck blitz June 4-6

The International Roadcheck inspection blitz kicked off earlier this week in North America, but some U.S. truckers reported that scale houses in some states were closed or they were waved through the scales because inspectors were busy reviewing other commercial vehicles.

Truck driver Joel Morrow ran through approximately 10 states during Roadcheck June 4-6, and said he “literally saw nothing.”

“None of the scale houses were open, it was lighter than normal,” Morrow, director of research and development of Ploger Transportation of Norwalk, Ohio, told FreightWaves. “I called a couple of my friends and asked them if they were seeing anything. We started kicking around the idea that they were just going to wait on all these guys that were sitting at home last week.”

His family’s trucking business of around 50 trucks has a dedicated account with Pepperidge Farm and also hauls high-end furniture.

Morrow said Ploger has a very aggressive preventative maintenance program and that every truck is rolled through the shop and inspected every week.

“We have a very good safety rating so I know we get green-lighted around a lot of this stuff, so maybe that played a part in it,” Morrow said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was heavier enforcement than typical next week.”

Approximately 9,000 inspectors in North America were expected to inspect commercial vehicles and drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual enforcement blitz scheduled for June 4-6.

Trucker Alec Costerus of Stonegate, Colorado, said the only state he saw heavy enforcement last week was on U.S. Route 287 in Oklahoma.

“Inspectors were out there in force, but when I pulled into the scale, they were all busy, so they waved me on through,” Costerus, who is leased to Landstar, told FreightWaves. “That was the only scale I saw open. It was pretty much a non-event for me.”

Costerus said he made sure his truck was ready prior to the inspection blitz.

“If you aren’t ready for an inspection, you shouldn’t be out here driving,” he said.

None of the 57 trucks in Adcock Transportation’s fleet were dinged during last week’s Roadcheck. Adcock is a car hauling company based out of Manheim, Pennsylvania.

“The blitz did what it was designed to do,” John Blobner, senior vice president of logistics for Adcock, told FreightWaves. “We spent some extra time making sure our trucks were ready.”

Inspectors were focusing on motor carriers’ steering and suspension systems during this year’s Roadcheck.

Last year, CVSA inspectors handed out 537 steering-related violations and 286 commercial vehicles were placed out-of-service (OOS). There were 500 suspension violations and 538 suspension-related OOS citations issued.

Henry Albert of Albert Transport Inc. of Huntersville, North Carolina, said a lot of scale houses in the Midwest, including Iowa, Missouri and Indiana, weren’t open during the days of the blitz when he passed by.

“I am sure there are some scales that ramp it up more than others, but I really didn’t see where this blitz was – the majority of the scales were closed,” Albert told FreightWaves.

Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs for the Western States Trucking Association, said he has not heard from any of its members about the inspection blitz.

“Nothing, it’s business as usual in California,” Rajkovacz told FreightWaves.

In 2018, 67,603 total inspections took place with 21.6 percent of all inspected motor vehicles and 3.9 percent of drivers placed OOS. Last year, hours-of-service (HOS) compliance was the focus of Roadcheck and 43.7 percent of all drivers placed OOS were because of a HOS violation.

Out-of-service orders negatively affect a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score.

Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) [Ministry of Communications and Transportation] of Mexico.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Prior to joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in Grain Valley, Missouri, with her family.

27 Comments

  1. Just went through a Jersey inspection station and there were about 30 officers and an xray truck so get ready.

  2. Just another of the many reasons I got out of the driving industry. Seems they still harassing drivers with things like this despite the nationwide shortage. Go after the companies for hos violations not the drivers! It’s the companies force tired drivers to work far beyond their limits. It’s broken dot regulations that allow companies to get away with it. Want to make the roads safe? A driver should not drive over 6 hours a day and certainly not work over 5 days a week or 40 hours a week. One day America will figure it out.

      1. He’s right I’ve been doing it for 14 years 10 to 14 hour days 7 days a week that’s wrong he’s right

  3. I don’t know what these guys are talking about but when you come out West Arizona New Mexico Washington Colorado Oregon California they are always open and inspect and trucks

    1. that’s exactly what I was thinking though there are some skill houses that are open 24/7 in the south Florida is one Georgia closes for 8 hours South Carolina on I-95 is 24 hours a day Virginia 24 hours a day Maryland closes for 8 forget about New England I don’t think they can afford that because all their money goes to social liberal programs

  4. I was in Michigan during the blitz. Saw more officers on the road but no scales open. Did get a red light on prepass in Ohio but I got a scale bypass. Strange enough, in Virginia I got a green light to bypass completely. Usually I get called in. Could be because the ramp was full. I would have went past anyway. No safe way to stop on the ramp.
    Other than that most of the scales I passed we’re closed including scales that are normally open.

  5. Nephew told me the rest stop in pa interstate 95 North as you come out of Delaware has radiation and e looking for human trafficking

  6. I imagine they are probably sick and tired of the dog and pony show too.
    Any man would or should get tired of his government making a money out of em!

  7. Im a one truck owner. If my truck needs something, even marginal it gets it. I would be proud to be inspected….i think! Even knowing im in top shape, being inspected makes me nervous. If they need more quota, and your sitting there, well something will be found. It is all about safety?….im not so sure its not a lot about revenue.
    Mark Coffey

    1. Yep they’ll make something up seen it more than once especially in banning. The last incident I witnessed the inspector beat on the supply line of the truck in the bay next to me with his flashlight until the line broke under the spring then issued a citation for fail the leak down. I told the driver what I had witnessed but he let it go. I’ll do anything to avoid banning even drive an hour out of the way.

      1. Lived in Southern California for a number of years California Highway Patrol chippy boys the looking to make Revenue so they can keep those social liberal programs alive in California been doing it for years it’s not about safety it’s about making money I don’t know why anybody would want to live in California or at least Southern California used to be a great state many years ago now it’s a bunch of illegals and liberal politicians take your money and put it in the pocket of an illegal immigrant to pay for their medical and their legal expenses to fight deportation wow what a world we live in or at least in Southern California

        1. The topic is illegal truck operations, not illegal immigrants. Its truck drivers like you that don’t understand the issues at hand. I’ve been in trucking (a independent) since 1983, had many inspections some good some bad and some problems with things that occurred on the road just before the scale and was glad they caught it in time before it became a bigger issue. Sometime its good to get a second look to avoid a major incident because things happened. Fixes and warnings can save lives and make our roads safer…

  8. I didn’t notice any difference. Eastern Pa, Maryland.. perhaps the fact Dot focused on steering and suspension components required more time than expected? They should just focus on standards, ie; paperwork(comp records), light observations of truck and trailer, more questions with driver. See where he/shes head is at.

  9. Been out here 44 years. Been inspected 3 times. I do my best to avoid em. Gettin harder to do that today since most rigs are runnin barefoot.
    Alot of the new guys are lame.

    1. Your right Joe. My father helped me buy my first 359 in 1980. Ive seen a lot of changes out there too. Barefoot, yep a lot of that! Be safe out there old timer! Me too! Ha!

  10. Scales where I work (Puget Sound area.in Washington) were closed much of the time, but our state patrol was VERY active the whole month of May, including a ton of roadside level 3’s in and around Tacoma. That seems to happen many years here, Roadcheck is pretty much a non-event

  11. The CVSA plays havoc on the transportation industry when they announce a safety blitz. Many trucks sit and shipping rates are greatly effected, not to mention the lack of power to move products. Inspectors just need to do their job every day as the drivers do theirs. If they really want to catch the bad guys they should not announce it. You do not tell the bank robber when the cops will be in the area. Please stop the safety blitz activities.

  12. Just repeat my opinion.
    Hours of service compliance, in the other words- to put driver against the clock is a crime. Any fatality on the road involving truck, be it a tired driver or speeding driver, or aggressive driver is a result of the HOS messes up with each and every driver individual ability to perform.
    Log record of 15 min increment or electronic log line record are good for statisticall purposes only for a scientists who want to know what the real life of a truck driver is. You can monitor it if you want to. Like people monitor birds, fish, animal’s life and migration. But politicize the statisticall data, to falsify that it’s done for safety (safety?! – more accidents now on the highways, more shooting among frustrated and distressed drivers)
    Sorry. It’s a government who commit the ongoing crime.

  13. I’ve been driving for over 20 years and it’s all about state revenue. If they want to find something…they will. Period!

  14. I am a former commercial vehicle enforcement officer and now work as a freight broker, dispatcher and compliance director. The annual roadcheck is a PR campaign sponsored by CVSA and FMCSA. Agencies typically do not provide any extra enforcement personnel or do anything special other than record their data for those 3 days on a separate form that gets sent to CVSA and FMCSA for data reporting purposes. The “roadcheck” is designed to make carriers aware of potential safety defects on their equipment or with their drivers. Given the hype that this roadcheck is given each year, it’s a successful campaign. Our freight volume and calls for trucks actually increased because drivers opted to stay home for this period out of fear of being stopped. Like many other motor carriers, our trucks were operating as usual but none were stopped for inspection during the roadcheck.

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