Make sure your fleet vehicles and records are inspection-ready at all times.
Two weeks ago, I received an early morning phone call from one of my dispatchers to let me know that an inspector with the California Highway Patrol was at my office waiting for my arrival. It was 7:50am! I was already in my car so I just had to drive a little faster. I wondered if I got pulled over on the highway for speeding if I could say I was speeding because the Highway Patrol was waiting for me at my office. That probably wouldn't fly.
You always wonder during an inspection if all your ducks are in a row. This time, there was no time to plan but I wasn't overly concerned as we run our program by the book from driver hours-of-service to maintenance records kept above standards.
The inspection included the usual vehicle checks, crawling underneath the vehicles on a creeper, examining all the lights, horns etc. and then moving on to vehicle record inspections and finally on to the DQ files. If you just asked what a DQ record is and you run DOT governed vehicles, you probably should search the web for Driver Qualifications files because they get really fussy about those.
My heart sank as the inspector said he was going to go outside to his van and said, "I'll be right back as soon as I write you up." Yikes! Write me up? What had I done wrong? It was simply his lingo for writing up the inspection report. No violations were found. Whew! Always be prepared!
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