State Patrol mobile units check the safety of commercial vehicles

Colorado State Patrol Mobile Unit Supervisor Barbara Watkins talks to a driver at the mobile weigh station and safety inspection set up Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, West Side of Steamboat Springs. CSP reported that various infractions were noted throughout the day relating to brakes, lights, driver time and driver logs.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Colorado State Patrol Mobile Unit Supervisor Bryan Waltz, seated inside a hot CSP van with flashing lights on top and computer equipment inside, grimaced as A semi-trailer with a yellow trailer drove past the mobile weigh station set up on Wednesday, August 31. the west side of Steamboat Springs.

“It’s going pretty fast. That’s outside of our purview,” Waltz said, explaining that his Dumont port-of-entry mobile unit is responsible for safety inspections but cannot pursue commercial drivers who don’t stop at the station. mobile weighing well indicated.

Supervisor Barbara Watkins said Colorado State Patrol troopers sometimes film inspection posts to catch “port runners.”

“We have quite a few patrols that like to hang out with us on the side and grab our port runners, and we’re grateful for our soldiers,” Watkins said.

A friendly Nebraska driver sitting in an idling pickup truck at the mobile station on Wednesday was towing a long trailer with a heavy load of hoses.

“Security is good,” said the driver, who declined to be named. He had been waiting for his inspection report for some time but said he did not expect any violations.

However, CSP officer Kim Lane said the driver would be surprised as he was to receive a violation notice for not keeping his driver’s records up to date.

Supervisor Bryan Waltz, rear, and Officer Kim Lane work inside the Colorado State Patrol Mobile Port of Entry Inspection Unit stationed at the west end of Steamboat Springs on Wednesday, August 31, 2022.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Supervisor Watkins explained that long-haul commercial vehicle drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours a day and that these drivers must keep logs to document their time behind the wheel.

Drivers must take a minimum 30-minute break for every eight hours of driving. Vehicles are considered commercial if they weigh more than 16,001 pounds, and if a truck and trailer weigh more than 26,001 pounds, the operator must have a commercial driver’s license.

If drivers attempt to tamper with records, CSP personnel can check this against the information they receive through the electronic logging devices that are required on commercial vehicles.

CSP maintains nine fixed inspection stations at the port of entry throughout the state, from Loma to Limon and from Trinidad to Fort Morgan. The Department of Public Safety also has 10 mobile units that roam the state away from fixed entry stations, including units that worked from Craig to Steamboat to Walden four days this week.

“Mobile units move around so they can get to areas where trucks never see a port of entry,” Watkins said.

The hoods of idling CSP vans were held open with wooden blocks on a hot Wednesday afternoon when the team’s thermometer on a cone on the tarmac of US Highway 40 at the west end of Steamboat reached 105 degrees.

The Colorado State Patrol sets up a mobile commercial vehicle inspection station several times a year on area highways. They settled west of Steamboat Springs on Wednesday, August 31, 2022.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

This week, the team carried out 75 inspections over four days in the region and found numerous infractions such as insufficient brakes, non-functioning turn signals or brake lights, excessive driving, falsifying trip logs edge or failure to wear a seat belt. One vehicle weighed 3,000 pounds over the maximum allowable weight, Watkins noted.

A Steamboat company dump truck driver was caught driving with a suspended license due to prior violations, and the vehicle was removed from service, Watkins said. That individual was picked up by CSP soldiers and someone else from the company arrived to pick up the vehicle, Watkins said.

The supervisor said security crews also set up the mobile stations at least four times a year east of Craig near Walden and more often on Rabbit Ears Pass.

“We want to make sure their brakes are good on steep grades and drivers don’t get tired,” Watkins said of the Rabbit Ears Pass mobile station, which is installed about seven times a summer. “We want to make sure the roads are safe for all motorists. It’s our job.

Watkins said most drivers had good intentions, but may not understand all of the commercial driving regulations. Thus, education is key for mobile weigh station personnel.

“They don’t always know all the rules, and that’s where we come in. We try to educate them,” Watkins said. “We have an impact on security; safety is what we do.


Comments are closed.