Money Down the Drain
Do you want to know how to pour money down the drain?
- Advise your trucking
ahead of time that a CVSA brake
inspection will be taking place during "Brake Safety Week" so
that the company has plenty of time to adjust the brakes on your truck.
[You do know that the FMCSA has a regulation (§396.25) about the qualification
of brake inspectors and that many truck drivers are not "qualified" to
adjust their own
truck's brakes, right?]
- Have someone in charge of
a scheduling a brake
adjustment for your truck fail to schedule one.
- Drive on a 4-lane road
there is no weigh
station but still get pulled over for a brake inspection by the State
- Get put out-of-service
your truck's brakes have not
been properly adjusted (which wastes your time, and therefore your
ability to earn money).
- Pay for a mechanic to
travel to your location to adjust your truck's brakes properly.
This money down the drain situation actually happened in
2013 to a company
driver who was driving a commercial motor vehicle. He didn't personally
have to pay for the ticket, but later on, his trucking company
stipulated that all of their drivers would be responsible for things of
that nature as a condition
Was Pouring Money Down
the Drain Avoidable?
situation described above did not happen in a weigh
station and there was
way that the trucker could avoid being pulled over. Note: Every
truck driver is subject to being pulled over at any time by law
However, let's explore whether or not getting
the truck's brakes adjusted was avoidable.
If the trucker is a company driver and his/her company
does not schedule or pay to have the truck's brakes adjusted, is he or
An April 2014 article from Australia says that a
truck driver's death was declared to be a major crime. As it turned
out, the truck that the trucker was driving had brake failure.
Eleven other trucks at that trucker's same company
were also "defected." Of
course, Australia does not have the same federal regulations as exist
in the USA. But the point remains that trucking companies have a
responsibility to make sure that their equipment stays in compliance.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations state in "§ 392.7
Equipment, inspection and
use." (emphasis added):
(a) No commercial motor vehicle shall be driven
unless the driver
is satisfied that the following parts and accessories
are in good
working order, nor shall any driver fail to use or make
of such parts and accessories when and as needed:
In this money down the drain scenario, the only recourse
the trucker could have had was to say
that he/she was not satisfied that the truck's brakes were in good
working order and he/she was going to put the truck out of service
brake adjustment was made.
Of course, that could set up a power battle between the
trucker and his/her driver
manager. Would that kind of confrontation be worth it?
How Much Money Went
Down the Drain?
The cost of getting his truck's brakes adjusted before
the brake inspection was $40.
The cost of getting his truck's brakes adjusted during
the brake inspection was a whopping $700:
- $200 for the ticket (which the
trucker said was at
the State Transport Police's discretion) and
- $500 for the mechanic to come
comparison, let's use the statement attributed to Benjamin
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Given that there are 16 ounces
in a standard (non-Troy) pound:
|Truck brake adjustment
What Else Happened?
Aside from the actual money down the drain, the trucker
was inconvenienced received points
under CSA and was furious at the person within his trucking company who
failed to heed his advice about adjusting brakes before Brake Safety
It may be of little consequence, but the person in
charge of safety who failed to schedule a brake adjustment before Brake
Safety Week didn't stay on with the trucking company much longer after
this situation took place.
Money saving tip:
Whether or not a CVSA brake inspection is going on, truck brakes should
be regularly adjusted in order to make sure that a
truck has full stopping power.
blower provision under the Surface Transportation Assistance
Act protects truckers when they are fired for reporting a violation of
any law or
rule. If the FMCSR states that brakes must be adjusted a certain way,
then running a rig without that adjustment is a violation.
Do not be pressured into taking a truck on the
road when you are not satisfied that that it is in good working order.
from Money Down the
Drain During CVSA Brake Inspection to our Truck Operations page
Truck Drivers Money