“License & Logbook” – Wayne Gets Stopped By A State Trooper

Wayne Cragg was a driver for USA Truck during 2012-2013.  Below are his thoughts and experiences driving for the company during that time.  The views and opinions expressed below are his and not representative of those of Driver Solutions.  

In April of 2015, Driver Solutions and USA Truck mutually agreed to dissolve their partnership.  Driver Solutions remains committed to helping new drivers find the best truck driving job and CDL training opportunities available.  Learn more about our company-sponsored CDL training program here.

I would like to take a minute on my blog to personally thank State Trooper, John Lamb! Why you may ask? Because in my very short 3 plus months I've been out OTR trucking with USA Truck, what do I get? A random, full blown DOT paperwork inspection of me, the truck and trailer, this past Saturday...AND I PASSED with no violations! Below I will go into a little more detail about how I was sweating bullets not really wanting anything bad on my record already. When State Trooper Lamb gave me back my paperwork after 45 grueling minutes and said, you're good to go, no violations, I wanted to scream, HECK YES!! Yahoo.. LOL But I just said, thank you officer have a great night.

So how did it all go down?  Here's the scoop...

Police Car LightsI was heading down I-40 going through Pulaski County, AR. when I saw the lights. I had just been cut off by a Mustang getting on the highway, so I was for certain the State Trooper was going to pull the Mustang over.  No such luck for me!  Right away I started thinking, "do I have everything in order?"   "Did I take myself down to driving on my log book?" (good thing I always check twice on that one!)  I swear, a million questions ran through my head in a short amount of time. By the time the officer came to the passenger side door to ask me for my license and all the other paperwork, I was sweating like I had run a marathon. He said, "this is a DOT random paperwork inspection. I will need all your paperwork for your load, and all the paperwork for the truck and trailer."  He then asked me about my load (I was carrying wire and I had looked over the Bill of Lading pretty well, so I knew what was on the trailer), where was it going? Where did I pick it up, etc, etc.

After all of that, the forever time clock started ticking!  Those of you who've been pulled over know what I'm talking about here. Oh my gosh did it seem like forever.  He was probably in his car around 30 minutes, but I swear it seemed like an eternity. State troopers obviously do a very thorough job checking everything out during these DOT inspections. In those 30 minutes, heck, I envisioned him putting the cuffs on me for something.. Anything after all that time! I have a very clean record, but after 30 minutes you start to wonder what the heck??

I will say this - all of the CDL training from C1 and USA Truck paid off that day. My trainers really hitting the point hard with me about how important the log books are and making sure your paperwork is in order in the event of a DOT inspection like this. During the 2 1/2 days of training in Van Buren, AR. before I went out OTR, they talked a lot about us making sure we do everything right and if or when you get pulled over to be courteous.  I just never thought it would be after just 3 months!  Talk about stress.

In the end, I learned a valuable lesson here. When you head out on the road, double check you have everything in order. Check your log books, paperwork, make sure you know what you're carrying. It all pays off, if and when you get pulled over.

Take care and be safe. Wayne     

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