Ranked fourth for inspections in the United States, Arizona’s Department of Public Safety and other partner agencies have maintained a pace of up to nine inspections per lane-mile.
Arizona’s Department of Transportation, with jurisdiction over ports of entry, says 38 non-DPS agencies are also engaged in some degree of commercial motor vehicle inspection, adding delays for flatbed heavy haul carriers just trying to go about everyday flatbed shipping.
Most of the inspections are Level 1’s that cover driver and truck operations. Arizona has 238 non-DPS people certified to do inspections and 120 DPS personnel on the road looking for violations of shipments by oversized load trucking companies. State troopers handle most of the on-road activity, with about 66,000 inspections of the more than 90,000 total inspections a year
Arizona ranks high for Flatbed Trucking Companies inspection activity.
Violations per inspection average 2.7 well below the national level of 5. The percentage of clean inspections is 29.5%. Violation profile statistics target maintenance and other common issues such as brakes 17.3%, lights 15.9%, hours 15.6%, vehicle defects 13%, tires 4.9%, and windshields 3.7%.
Border patrol enforcement has a significant role in safety, with 23,000 inspections conducted in 2016, or 25 percent of the total inspections. This being be a primary reason Arizona also ranks No. 5 nationwide for violations issued per inspection. Along the border, drivers and vehicle out-of-service rates are 16 percent of the more serious violations, taking bad drivers and bad trucks off the road.
Arizona’s inspection program is balanced, not just favoring to any maintenance or driving violations. The violation categories’ shares of inspections, hardly ever rank above No. 18 in total, except for log book violations.
Much effort is focused on a driver’s hours and a high priority because of fatigue crashes. If you could believe it, DUI and seat belts are also a major issue in violations in Arizona. Unsafe driving and fatigue are direct ties to hours of service prompting the increased focus on driver’s safety.
Inspectors encouraged and put more pressure on the flatbed shipping companies to think about the disadvantages of safety neglect and to let them choose between getting the inspection or keeping up with maintence. Arizona hasn’t had a fatality since 2013 in a truck crash where it was caused by equipment-related failure. Injury crashes caused by equipment failure account for only 6 percent of the total.
Hours violations as a percentage of all violations ranks 10% in AZ as compared nationally at 5%. Arizona is number 1 for problems when analyzing high-volume flatbed transportation carriers and destinations across the state. For certain drivers passing through the state going to California and back on Interstate 10, it’s very common to see drivers who should have shut down at the Calif state line keep going, But Phoenix is just two hours more so they go for it. They made it to California and came back, so now they can see the lights of Phoenix in the distance.
Flatbed trucking companies and drivers who won’t shut it down at the border will have it shut down for them by an Arizona DPS trooper and this is highly likely because they are waiting for you.
Other things to think about is the heat in Arizona and how it impacts drivers and their trucks. What we’ve been able to find out doing research on the subject of measuring temperature inside large tractor trailer trucks is how hot a truck really gets. We would like to mention there is plenty of research on how hot cars get inside, but we would take a calculated guess that what applies to cars also applies to trucks with a small if any, variation.
More heavily insulated trucks like a Freightliner may heat up slower once the air conditioning is shut off but when the truck is parked in the sun or driving in the sun make seven a well-insulated truck become a hot truck.
Drivers should keep hydrated and well cooled when driving in this type of heat to avoid heat stroke of fainting.