Have you heard about the trucking company that calls up the enforcement agency and invites them over to inspect its equipment? It may seem counterintuitive, but for the second year in a row, Harbour Link Container Services did just that, inviting the Delta Police Truck Enforcement Unit over to its yard to inspect a good portion of its truck and container chassis fleet.
Tim McGee, general manager of Harbour Link, told me he’d rather schedule the inspections and have them conducted in his own yard than unscheduled at roadside, which can be disruptive to his fleet’s operations. The advantages are many. It allows any necessary repairs to be conducted in the company’s yard; the fleet can schedule inspections for a slow period (Chinese New Year in this instance); it’s a less confrontational environment for truck inspectors and drivers; and units can be inspected while drivers are off-duty. And doing it in this manner, the inspections take on a more educational, rather than confrontational, tone.
“Two constables were on-site, walking through the inspections with drivers,” Tim told me. “They were explaining what they were looking for. Each inspection took 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half for a truck and chassis. They took the time to show them what they were looking for.”
The entire exercise also allows Harbour Link to build up some goodwill with local enforcement agencies and the public. Tim called the media and invited them to attend the inspections in hopes the public will learn of the company’s proactive approach to safety. Last year was the first in which Harbour Link invited enforcement officers to inspect its trucks at its yard. Then, the company was given a laundry list of items it needed to improve on; things like out-of-adjustment brakes. This year, Tim said those items were markedly better. Most of the problems identified this year were more minor in nature – things like missing reflective tape, which were easily remedied on-site.
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