Driver Ambassador: June Post-Trip Inspection
by Kellylynn McLaughlin, on Jun 23, 2020 2:14:00 PM
As those in the trucking industry know, the Post-Trip Inspection is a time to check and see if anything has changed with your equipment since you began your trip and if there are any items that need to be addressed before continuing on down the road. It’s a time to assess, reflect and plan what’s next.
I’ve been reflecting again!
I want to share with you a practice my family has incorporated into our lives and it has become one of our fondest traditions. I have to give credit to my best friend, Rose, and her family though. Each night at their family meal they go around the table, taking turns to ask each person to share with everyone the best and saddest parts of their day.
Last night I found myself super excited and thinking about the best part of my day, which was when I was stopped by two Illinois State Police officers yesterday. I know, odd right?!
I had just completed a grueling week as a trainer for Schneider. Being a professional driver can entail long, hard hours and being a trainer requires even more patience, focus and energy. I had used up most of my 70-hour clock working with a new hire and sadly I was not able to help the student progress to success in the time I had with him. This left me feeling slightly defeated; however, he will have another opportunity to continue practicing safe driving skills and learning ropes before going out again with a second trainer.
As my clock was running low, the last thing I wanted to see in my side mirror was flashing lights coming for me. But I’m a “my glass is half full’ kind of gal and usually try and turn most situations around into a positive experience.
I appreciate the law enforcement professionals who are working to help keep our roads and highways safe. I encourage my students to take advantage of opportunities to visit with them when they are pulled over to ask any questions they might have about the observance and enforcement of the rules and regulations of our profession.
Two officers approached my window and said that I was not stopped for a moving violation, but they were doing Level 3 inspections. In handing them over all the pieces of documentation and equipment they required, I realized one of the officers was in training. I knew right then that they would understand my zeal to learn everything I could from them, and I could relate the unplanned roadside inspection opportunity to the training environment.
I have to admit my hands were shaking at first and I know why. Even though, I was driving safely, had done my PreTrip, had my E-logs in order, and I had all my paperwork together, I was reacting to my first inspection experience (which I passed) that was handled unprofessionally. I’ve had many positive and ordinary experiences with law enforcement on the road since then and I haven’t let one bad experience shape my position.
The inspection was a collaborative and happy experience for all of us. The officer in training shared with me what his training entailed and why he chose the profession. I was able to help the officers navigate the new tablet technology that Schneider uses for E-Logs and ask them a few questions to help me be a more informed driver and trainer.
PLAN WHAT’S NEXT
My plan is to continue to approach my experiences as a learning opportunity, to encourage my students to do their job professionally and treat each day as if today is the day you will be inspected, to not take chances, understand laws exist for a reason, and that those whose job is to enforce them are in the business of keeping our roads and drivers safe.