ROCK GLEN — To keep farm and agribusiness truck drivers and their vehicles up-to-date with safety regulations, representatives from the New York State Department of Transportation, State Police and Cornell Cooperative Extension took to the County Highway Department Saturday morning.
Four company car drivers came by so that their vehicles could be inspected free of charge, without fines being issued for violations. Trucks with issues that left them “out of service” had to be taken to the Highway Department that day for repair or towed to another repair location that day. The event was open to slurry tanks, silage wagons, 10-wheelers, loggers, feed wagons, all class 6 and class 8 heavy vehicles with a driver’s license.
Ryan Pokojski, supervising truck inspector for the state of DOT in regions 4-6, said DOT was doing level 1 inspections on Saturday.
“Normally Level Ones last half an hour if there are no violations, if everything is mechanically OK,” he said. “A tractor-trailer is going to take a lot longer because of the air brakes — if you find a problem or a violation, it could take up to an hour.”
Pokojski said a commercial vehicle is defined as any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds that is used for business – from pickup trucks with trailers to tractor-trailers. The four vehicles that arrived on Saturday were tractor-trailers, he said. One of the vehicles has had a good inspection, without any problems.
“Two had bad brake lines, which put them out of service. That’s probably the most serious problem we’ve found. Out of service means it won’t pass inspection and the vehicle will have to be repaired or towed before it can hit the road,” Pokojski said. Those vehicles would be repaired at the County Highway Department.
The fourth vehicle had brakes that were not properly adjusted, he said.
“That’s just a violation. They should have the vehicle repaired before it is reshipped, before it picks up any more loads,” the DOT supervising truck inspector said.
The courtesy inspection program is also sponsored by the state of Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-Elma, and the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.
“The purpose of this is to make the highways safer. If it happens on the roadside, these guys (drivers) get ticketed,” said Ronald Hotis, a technical advisor assisting with the program.