Members of the Catawba Valley Traffic Club met tonight in Hickory to view a demonstration of a Level 1 Inspection by the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Cargo Transporters’ driver Derrick Whittle brought his rig for troopers to use for demonstration purposes.
"You have a lot of equipment out here that really doesn't need to be out here,” said Whittle. “Those things raise red flags for the DOT. So, under normal conditions, that's when they will pull you for a Level 1 Inspection. But they do do it at the weigh stations."
Trooper Destry Moose handled the inspection demonstration.
"There's several levels, but the level one is the complete inspection,” said Moose. “Vehicle, driver, contents, just all facets of the truck. Every level of inspection includes the log book and the driver himself. Checking him for fatigue, impairment and just anything else and also his hours of service."
While paper log books still exist, Moose says companies are moving toward automatic versions, which will alert drivers when they are close to timing out for the day.
After 14 hours of work, drivers must stop and take a break for 10. After 168 hours of work, drivers are then required to rest for 34 hours.
With the recent accident involving a big rig and actor Tracy Morgan in New Jersey, where driver fatigue might have been a factor, the time behind the wheel is in the spotlight. Whittle believes the way to avoid a 24-hour work day is to use automatic log books.
"You cannot, if you are using electronic logging, you cannot drive that long,” he said. “It's impossible."