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How to Avoid a Conviction for Missing Equipment in Your Truck

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Have you ever been stopped at the “chicken coop” or a roadside inspection, and realize as soon as inspection begins that you will not pass if they check your required equipment because another driver borrowed your fire extinguisher and did not return it? 

This shortcoming is more frequent than many would believe. Maybe not the exact fault of a missing or used fire extinguisher, but one item or another was missing or no longer serviceable. 

Many novice drivers are not even sure of the requirements until it is too late. However, unserviceable or missing equipment from your truck or bus can lead to CSA severity and time-weight points, which could lead to more roadside inspections and delays. Plus, points on your PSP could prevent you from getting a high-paying job down the road.

How to Avoid Missing Equipment on Your Truck or Bus in California  

If there is not a spot on the daily vehicle inspection report (DVIR) you use for emergency equipment, add it, or use another form. In CA, the following emergency equipment minimum requirements must be present according to the 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf Chapter 11.

Chapter 11.2.2 Check for missing equipment on your truck:

  • Spare fuses, six each
  • Three warning triangles
  • Three flares
  • Correctly rated and charged fire extinguisher

Optional equipment:

  • Tire chains and tire change equipment
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Accident reporting packet

Chapter 11.4 Check for missing equipment on your bus:

  • Spare fuses, six each
  • Three warning triangles
  • Three flares
  • Correctly rated and charged fire extinguisher
  • First Aid kit
  • Bodily fluid cleanup kits

Drivers should never leave the yard without the minimum required equipment. A missing or incomplete DVIR is four CSA severity points, and unserviceable or missing equipment is two points each. Although these do not seem like much, when multiplied by time-weights you could wind up with 30 or more points for missing equipment.

Higher SMS percentiles lead to more roadside inspections and possible fleet interventions or inspections of policies and procedures.  

Truckee, CA

Call Bigger & Harman when you get a missing equipment violation or any traffic ticket at the “chicken coop” up in the Donner Pass on Interstate 80 near Truckee, CA, (661) 349-9300.

Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

We work with truckers and bus driver CDL holders to resolve traffic tickets and violations. We understand that CDL holders do not have the time to take off work and sit in court waiting for their case to get called. Frequently, we can avoid traffic court entirely with a well-written request for dismissal or no-point violation. When there are no points given, the DMV does not get notified; thus, there is no report to the FMCSA. 

We also handle DMV Hearings and appeals. Give us a no-fee call for an initial consultation to discuss your situation.

Write us an email, today attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

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References:

Chapter 11, 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf