Michael Donner, regional manger with Pilot Flying J Truck Care, has advice for any truck drivers that might be cramming to be ready for an inspection next week during Roadcheck.

“Drivers should be preparing daily for these inspections and not just this one big push,” he said.

Donner spoke with Fleet Owner in advance of the 30th annual Roadcheck inspection blitz, scheduled for June 6-8. Guided by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, inspectors throughout North America will conduct tens of thousands of checks on vehicles and drivers at 1,500 locations during this 72-hour period. Many will be the Level I inspections, a thorough 37-step process.

CVSA said there will be a special emphasis this year on cargo securement, which Donner noted is an area that can often result in a high number of infractions. He said that is because drivers could inadvertently overlook minor damage to tie downs, chains or straps. Additionally, they should be carefully checked to ensure they are in place to prevent shifting of a load, and that trailer doors or lift gates are also properly closed.

Ahead of this year’s Roadcheck, CVSA put together an information sheet to help prevent truckers from receiving cargo securement violations.

Though it may not be unusual for many truck drivers to be subjected to roadside inspections, Donner said Roadcheck is a little different because of the higher numbers of the more comprehensive Level I inspections.

He said a careful pre-trip inspection can catch many of the equipment-related items inspectors will be checking. Making sure tires are properly inflated, fluids are at their correct levels and making sure all lights are functional were examples provided by Donner.

Drivers also need to be sure their log books and inspection reports are handy, and take a moment to check their accident/emergency kits are in working order.

While out on the road, he recommended truckers take advantage of free services, like tire tread depths and air pressure checks that are offered for free at truck stop fuel islands. That is also a good time to do another quick visual inspection to ensure a load is properly secured.

That is sound advice, based on what took place in Nebraska earlier this month.

A surprise inspection event by the Nebraska State Patrol resulted in $7,350 in fines and many vehicles taken out of service. The patrol said it focused on vehicles that do not regularly pass through weigh stations.

Meanwhile, Donner said that as of June 1, Pilot Flying J will have 67 roadside assistance trucks in operation in cities around the United States. It is part of a multi-faceted expansion plan initially outlined late last year by the company.

Donner said Pilot Flying J remains on track to have more 150 of these vehicles in operation before the end of 2017, providing emergency service for “light mechanical issues” such as tires and fuel.

“There has been a great reception by fleets” to this new service, Donner said.

The company is also planning to build 20 service centers to handle preventative services and could consider acquiring existing shops to “expand our footprint.”

“It is has been a great experience to join at the ground floor and grow a division from zero,” said Donner, a military veteran who joined Pilot Flying J in January after 10-year stint with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.