Enforcement of laws and regulations is vital to the trucking industry and safety on the roads. A big part DOT’s job is to look for drivers who are out of compliance or are operating defective equipment. Far too often truck drivers look at DOT as a rival, but in an industry that is striving for maximum safety, weigh station play a very important role.
Weigh stations and DOT officers are a part of daily life on the road and that isn’t going to change. What can change is your attitude and professionalism towards them. Remember everyone is just trying to do their job.
Here are some tips to help you through the Chicken Coop:
- Adhere to the speed limit as you drive toward and onto the scale. Every scale has posted speed limits, and following the posted limit, even in the bypass lane, is a good rule of thumb.
- Follow the directions you are given. Slow and stop as directed, move off the scale or stop and weigh each axle.
- Be polite and professional when you get pulled in for an inspection – No matter what. Being rude and confrontational with DOT officers will not get you out of an inspection.
- Be prepared and have your paperwork ready and organized. When you get called in for an inspection there is no time to waste – you have a job to do and you’ll if you take too long, DOT may think you’re guilty of trying to hide something.
- Don’t slam on your brakes on the scale. This is an almost foolproof way to get yourself inspected.
Professional drivers should not have to worry about going through a scale or being inspected by DOT because they are running safe, legal books and equipment. Yes, it may take up some of your day, but the benefits of having these checks and balances in place, far outweigh the alternative.