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Truck enforcement - Certified for inspections

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  • Truck enforcement - Certified for inspections

    Hello all, in my area (Indiana) the only officers doing commercial motor vehicle inspections and enforcement are troopers. I work for a county and my job duties consist traffic enforcement, crash investigation and reconstruction, and weight enforcement (portable truck scales) on county roads of large trucks/vehicles. However, I want more training and to eventually become North American Standard certified through the FMCSA to become Level 1 certified to do driver and vehicle inspections. I see on the FMCSA website they offer certification for this which is about two weeks. However, does anyone know if it costs money for the training? If so, does anyone know of where to look to apply for a grant? Or any one else have any experience becoming certified through the FMCSA to inspect trucks? How challenging is the course? etc. Thanks.

  • #2
    Disclaimer: Some of the procedures about training I mention here could have changed. I have been retired for almost 14 years now.

    Back in the late 90s I was in the first group that was trained in our area to do roadside inspections after the feds opened the door to allow municipal officers into the enforcement of the federal regulations, and I did so for 7 years. The inspections done require a lot of paperwork that must be forwarded to the feds....... so your agency must fully be involved; one officer can't just receive the training, start inspecting commercial vehicles and think it ends there. Each inspection done on a commercial vehicle is submitted to a division of the Federal Motor Carrier folks. Too many serious equipment or hours of service violations can result in substantial penalties, all levied by the feds and a large factor affecting the motor carrier's insurance rate is calculated by the inspection reports.

    As far as training, it is tough........ almost overwhelming. There is a LOT of information to learn and after a week of classroom stuff, you will spend several days doing roadside inspections under the watchful eyes of a state trooper/inspector. And remember, you will be required to attend the update classes of the CVSA regulations each year to maintain your certification, which here is held at the DPS headquarters in Austin. The books and equipment required, amounts to a pretty big expense for your agency, plus the lodging and meals for the yearly re-certification course. I have no idea about the cost of the course because your agency will surely take care of all fees. I've never heard tell of a grant to help with the cost.

    And just an added note: performing a level 1 roadside inspection is very hard to do alone. Depending on the driver to assist you is not wise. Two inspectors make it safe and a lot easier. A level 2 can be done by yourself but to maintain your certification, a minimum number of level 1s are required.
    Good luck, you have a long road ahead of you.
    Last edited by delzo70; 03-24-2019, 10:18 AM.
    If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

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    • #3
      I was first FMCS certified in 1983 as one of the first Troopers to be MCS certified. I went in to plain clothes in 1988 and haven't done an inspection since altho I did stay current on FMCSA laws due to my position as a commander over patrol. Every IL State Trooper gets certified to conduct basic FMCSA inspections. Additional training is needed to get further certified to do things like placing a vehicle and/or driver out of service. When I was being certified it totaled 6 weeks of training.
      I agree with what delzo posted. He gave a very good explanation.
      Also check your state statutes who can be certified to conduct FMCSA inspections. In Illinois only the State Police is permitted by statute to be certified and conduct inspections. A few other states took the same approach.
      183 FBINA

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