‘Virtual Inspections,’ Permits via Smart Phones and I-Pads All in the Works
Those of you that attend the California Transportation Permits Advisory Council’s (CTPAC’s) meetings know that our industry is campaigning for the ability for truckers to use cellular telephones and notepads that use “smart technology” rather than having to carry the hard copies of all the paperwork in the cab…and now there is more…
When we first discussed the possibility of conducting “virtual inspections,” using smart phone technology with Caltrans, it was shot down, but recently, we’ve seen signs of change; they are now willing to explore the idea.
Currently if you’ve taken delivery of a new truck with a heavy front end or a new 9-axle, it must be inspected before a transportation permit will be issued. If you’re driving an out-of-state 9-axle you have to have been inspected prior to entering California or have an inspector scheduled 10 days in advance, for exact dimensions, tire sizes and type of suspension. Caltrans has to send an inspector out to the Nevada Stateline or to Blythe to meet the trucker and, in some cases truckers have waited weeks for an inspector.
We proposed that Caltrans allow the manufacturers be authorized to do the inspection and fill out the necessary forms on new equipment. We think this makes sense—they are the engineers who design these truck and trailers and they know exactly what dimensions are needed. Caltrans says it would be interested in a pilot program. It could be a win-win—Caltrans’ inspectors time would be directed to something more pressing and industry would save both time and money.
Smart Phones for Permits Legislation?
Reports are surfacing in Sacramento that legislation will be introduced in the next session of the legislature to allow the use of smart phone technology for permits and other documents required to be carried in the cab.
The California Trucking Association (CTA) will reportedly sponsor a measure that allows the use a device (phone or tablet with a minimum seven-inch screen) will also allow the viewing of the vehicle registration information, fuel cards, required attachments, and any other documents necessary to haul the load.
Early reports say that both Caltrans and CHP will support the proposed bill and that it should get bi-partisan support in the Assembly and the State Senate. We’ll keep a lookout for the bill if it gets introduced.
Construction Truck Route Citations
We have received several calls regarding members receiving citations for violation of California Vehicle Code section 35703, which you can read at www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=35001-36000&file=35700-35722
The issue is whether you could use an unrestricted street to make deliveries from an unrestricted street to and from a restricted street. You may find yourself traveling further to make a delivery if there happens to be another route into or out of a jobsite if there is a unrestricted street possibly closer by coming in or out from the other direction. This seems to be happening more often than not and our members are being cited and its 1 point against your driver’s license.
In the future, go to the city’s website or call them before traveling and see if they have a current truck route map available. This will help you see if there happens to be an alternate route available that you should be using.
We have been in court with a member and were able to demonstrate that the route that our member used was actually the shortest from the unrestricted street.
If there is any question, please contact me know.
Janelle Nelson, who served as the administrative assistant for the Industry’s Crime Prevention Program died on October 2, 2014. Janelle was a terrific asset to the Crime Prevention Program and we are saddened by her passing.
As we come to the end of the year, here are some tips to get your financial house in order.
- Review your transactions and make sure that there are no outstanding incoming or outgoing payments.
- Ensure that you have all of the necessary receipts and back-up documentation needed for filing your business taxes.
- Update your cash flow statements to see if there are any opportunities to increase your profits and minimize liabilities.
- Explore mobile applications and new software that may help lighten your business’ paperwork load.
Hopefully, the above tips will save you time and more importantly, money.