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  #1  
Old 05-25-2011, 10:37 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Why am I seeing so many trucks pulled over?

I live in Austin, TX, and on a couple of highways I take to an from work I've noticed what seems like a disproprtionately large number of big (18-wheeler type) trucks pulled over by police, sometimes with their engine compartments opened and the police looking around in there - any ideas what's going on?
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2011, 10:41 AM
FrustratedIdiot FrustratedIdiot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I live in Austin, TX, and on a couple of highways I take to an from work I've noticed what seems like a disproprtionately large number of big (18-wheeler type) trucks pulled over by police, sometimes with their engine compartments opened and the police looking around in there - any ideas what's going on?
Sure. Probably a local or state task force initiative to stop drug trafficking. Drugs are often transported in semi trucks.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:42 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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I would assume any vehicle searches are after either drugs or illegal immigrants, although I'd be surprised if the latter could ride in the engine compartment.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:55 AM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is offline
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I've noticed it as well. It is as if the Highway Enforcement Unit picks a few days out of the month to pull over as many trucks as they can in one day. Maybe they are running a pool as to who can pull over the most trucks, or write the most tickets, or confiscate the most drugs.

Last edited by UncleRojelio; 05-25-2011 at 10:56 AM..
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2011, 11:11 AM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is online now
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They're always being stopped just before the Tech Ridge HEB. It's normally a safety check

Quote:
APD is also stepping up patrols for tractor-trailers. Since this program started back in September, APD has issued 2,600 tickets and warnings. And officers have pulled 100 unsafe trucks off the road
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:16 AM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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Up in the northeast where I live drugs and illegals are not such a big concern. It is usually safety, making sure the truck is safe and has all the right paperwork and making sure the driver is legally allowed to drive.

There are occasionally periods where The department of transportation (DOT) has an enforcement crackdown, they typically let the trucking companies know about it ahead of time. Also, if there is a high profile truck accident you sometimes see a temporary increase in the number of trucks being pulled over/ inspected
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2011, 11:21 AM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
They're always being stopped just before the Tech Ridge HEB. It's normally a safety check
Maybe, but that article was written in 2008. The article is about cars being pulled over for aggressive driving as spotted from officers riding in trucks. The activity I've seen lately are the trucks themselves being pulled over left and right.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:25 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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I found the cops liked to stop semis for little infractions like a light burned out so they could check the whole truck and driver out for any infractions. They'd check the log book for hours driven, the driver for license problems and tickets. They looked for violations to the hazards placards, which often had to be changed when they loaded or unloaded any freight. They would make them go to the scales to check the axle weight. There are so many ways to find problems that result in fines for semis that they are a good target.
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2011, 01:55 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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The most common thing that cops check when pulling over a semi is to check that the brakes are adjusted properly. There is a slack adjuster that the driver needs to keep adjusting so that they work well. This is what is being visually inspected when they are looking around and under the wheels.

They are also checking for bad air lines. I don't know why they might be looking under the hood into the engine compartment. Maybe to look at the air compressor.

The air brakes in a semi work the opposite way that the hydraulic brakes in your car work. In your car you push down on the brake pedal and hydraulic fluid causes the pads to engage the brake drum and slow the vehicle. With air brakes the air pressure keeps the pads away from the drums and when you push the brake pedal the air releases, letting the pads contact the drum. No hydraulic fluid in your car means no brakes, no air in an air brake system means all the brakes are fully on.

A loss of air pressure locks up the brakes. Rather than having no brakes you have all brakes and a loss of control of the vehicle. When you first start up the big rig in the morning and have not yet built up air pressure, you are not going to be able to move at all because there is no air to keep the brakes away from the drums.

You may notice that these trucks are releasing intermittent air blasts for no particular reason, it is to power the brakes.
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2011, 03:46 PM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
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Spring weight restrictions

It could be spring weight restrictions on secondary roads, but that doesn't require and under-the-hood inspection.
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