Friday, October 21, 2016

SMMC Gulf Coast chapter holds roadside inspections

The Alabama Trucking Association’s Safety and Maintenance Management (SMMC) Gulf Coast chapter held its fall courtesy roadside inspection Oct. 20 at the Alabama Welcome Center near the Alabama-Mississippi state line on I-10, inspecting 24 commercial vehicles and drivers for safety and regulation compliance.

The event was a co-operation between the SMMC and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit.

Local chapter members and students from Bishop State Community College’s Commercial Truck Driving School worked alongside troopers from the MC SU and inspectors from the Alabama Dept. of Transportation performing Level 1, 2 and 3 inspections, which are legitimate procedures and impact a carrier’s CSA score and the driver’s record, if violations are found. Non-officers can point out violations, but only troopers can issue citations or place a vehicle or driver out of service (OOS).

All trucks travelling into Alabama on I-10 were required to come through the newly renovated and expanded rest area. Trucks were chosen at random by ALDOT employees and drivers were instructed to pull their rigs into designated parking spaces; queue for weight measurements by portable weigh scales; or continue through the rest area to resume their regular route.

Once parked, troopers, assisted by SMMC members and CDL students, inspected the vehicle. Non-officers can point out violations, but only troopers can issue citations or place a vehicle or driver out of service (OOS). A routine inspection depends on the presence of violations, but it usually takes about 20 minutes for a driver to get back on the road.

“These inspections are a great opportunity for our members to see what happens when a vehicle is stopped by law enforcement agencies,” Frazier said. “It gives fleet managers firsthand information they can pass along to their employers and drivers to make sure that they know what exactly is required to keep a truck in top condition every time it hits the road. If it’s not up to par, eventually you will pay for it.”

On this day, the inspection operation ran just under three hours, processing approximately 24 vehicles. According to ALEA officials, 20 Level 2 inspections, two Level 3, and two Level I were performed. Of those, one vehicle and three drivers were placed out-of-service. One arrest was made for possession of an illegal substance.

Ward International Trucks of Mobile provided hamburgers and smoked sausage and beverages to all attendees.

ATA’s SMMC has four chapters, including Birmingham, Montgomery, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. These groups meet regularly to discuss current issues and events. Each chapter is governed by an elected group of officers and executive board. For more information visit