Finding something interesting to do has always been an enjoyable challenge. After years specializing in traffic and looking for new ways to challenge myself, I realized one day that no one on my 6,000 member police service was assigned to inspect trucks. Now there was, I decided – a squad of one.
The interesting question was where to begin. I decided the best way to start would be to learn from the drivers themselves. Truck driving was one of the jobs I had a "cup of coffee" doing before police work turned my head. That experience was helpful when talking to truckers I stopped.
After making it clear I would only charge the owners there was no shortage of truckers eager to show me the ropes. I was shown how to conduct a standard circle check for defects, including air leak locations, slack adjusters, drag wheels, bogies, clearance lights and what a RGW meant. The best phrase I was told about was the "glad hands". I liked that descriptor because that was what was happening. Drivers were glad to give me a hand because they didn't like the junk they were forced to drive. They had to put bread on the table and when the boss says its "the highway or no way" objections tended to melt away.
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