Always Expect The Unexpected On The Road – Tire Max

Always Expect The Unexpected On The Road – Tire Max

You never know when opportunity may come a-knockin’. Sometimes it’s at the most inopportune times.

Unexpected situation 1

Late into the evening, I had a blowout on a trailer tire. I immediately glanced all around. I could see in my driver’s side mirror chunks of rubber flying everywhere. Thankfully, the winged pieces of hard rubber didn’t strike any vehicles. The explosion did, however, knock off the mud flap behind the tire. It missed hitting anything as well, so I could focus on the situation at hand.

I pulled my rig safely to the side of the interstate, flipped on the flashers, and placed my warning triangles in the appropriate locations. I then phoned my dispatcher to report my situation. He called me back and said a tire service truck should be there in about two hours.

Unexpected situation 2

After two hours, no service truck, so I called my dispatcher. A short time later, the service truck operator called and asked me where I was, saying he couldn’t find me. Turns out somewhere in the conversation between my dispatcher and his, and his dispatcher and him, there was a miscommunication. Instead of reporting me at exit 32, my location was given as exit 23.

Unexpected situation 3

david-a.-kolmanAbout an hour later, the tire service truck arrived. Just as the technician began his work, a state trooper arrived at the scene. Noticing his flashing emergency lights, I walked up to greet him to let him know everything was okay.

The young trooper, a commercial vehicle enforcement officer, was happy to hear that. Then, he asked to see my driver’s license and medical card. We chatted briefly about where I had started from, where I was going, and what I was hauling. Next, he told me he was going to conduct a full-on Level III roadside inspection – right there alongside the interstate.

One of the six levels of roadside inspections, a Level III is an examination of only those documents pertaining to the driver — driver’s license, medical certificate, logbook/electronic logging devices and hours of service, and documentation of the annual vehicle inspection.

The state trooper did a very thorough Level III examination. I am happy to report that I passed.

A chance to learn

Turns out the trooper was only six months out of commercial vehicle enforcement training and was, I determined, out to prove himself. He proudly noted that he leads his class in roadside inspections.

He was a nice enough guy and didn’t mind my peppering him with questions about what he was doing and why.

This roadside inspection was a good learning opportunity for me.

Heeding my experience is a good opportunity for you to make sure you and your vehicle are compliant. You never know when you’ll have the occasion for a roadside inspection.

Roadside Inspections

LEVEL I – The most comprehensive of the inspections, it includes examination of compliance with the critical elements of both driver and vehicle regulations.

LEVEL II – It is similar to a Level I, but the inspector will not check items that require him to physically get under the vehicle.

LEVEL III – The inspector checks that all of the driver’s documents are in order.

LEVEL IV – This is typically a one-time examination of a particular item, usually done in support of a study or to verify or refute a suspected trend.

LEVEL V – This follows the vehicle portion of the Level I inspection and is normally conducted at a motor carrier’s location during a compliance review.

LEVEL VI – This is conducted only on certain shipments of radioactive material.


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