SUSSEX, N.B. – Out of 16 commercial trucks inspected by the RCMP near Sussex last week, 12 were placed out of service for having major defects.
The spot checks were carried out on July 4 as a joint operation involving six officers from the RCMP District 3 and commercial vehicle enforcement officers.
RCMP Const. Jacques Cloutier said the inspections found 15 major defects and 59 minor defects. Most of the vehicles inspected were large dump trucks working on a highway construction project near the town.
“Some were repaired right on site, and they could drive away,” Cloutier told The Daily Gleaner on Monday.
“Some had to call a mechanic to come and fix (their vehicles),” said Cloutier. “They spent a little bit more time to repair. For the most part though, they were repaired on site.”
The RCMP officer said the inspections did not find anything seriously wrong with any of the trucks, despite the use of the term “major” to describe some of the defects.
“These trucks aren’t going down the road with no brakes,” he said.
If a vehicle was found to be driving in a dangerous condition, charges would have been laid, he said.
The only charges laid July 4 were in connection with an overweight truck, he said.
The inspections were intended to be an educational process for truck drivers, he said.
It is important that truckers keep their vehicles in good shape, he said.
Ralph Boyd, president of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, said there were similar problems with dump trucks during the construction of the Fredericton – Moncton highway a couple of years ago.
Some dump truck drivers think the safety rules should not apply to them because they spend a lot of time driving around on construction sites rather than public roads, he said.
But sooner or later a dump truck has to travel on a public road, said Boyd.
He said safety is always a major issue for truckers.
Boyd’s association represents approximately 200 longhaul carriers but he does not represent dump truck drivers.
However, he said, when it comes to safety to the public, a big commercial truck is a big commercial truck. n
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