During this week’s episode of the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett is joined by Lt. Doug Lafferty to discuss the CBSA inspection that’s coming up on May 17 and 19th, distracted driving, cameras, ELDs, and more.
Key topics in today’s conversation include:
- About Lt. Doug Lafferty (3:38)
- CBSA Inspection (6:48)
- Distracted driving (9:52)
- Pulling drivers over (16:10)
- Dash cams (21:07)
- ELDs (23:33)
- DOT officers are there to help (25:40)
- Different speed limits for different vehicles (29:54)
- Weapons in commercial vehicles (31:23)
- Advice for truck drivers (34:27)
- CSA violations (36:03)
- Upcoming agenda (38:27)
Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 0:12
90% of the violations we found could be caught on a pre-trip. It’s not really easy to check brake adjustments on a pre-trip. Yes, I understand that, but most of your things you should be able to catch on a pre-trip. Lug nuts being loose, cracked rims, a headlight. You should be able to check that. If something’s dangling down, about to fall off, you should probably be able to check that. A lot of your flat tires, yes, sometimes it happens while you’re going down the road, we understand that, but there’s a lot of stuff you should be able to catch.
Jeremy Kellett 0:44
Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family.
Hi, this is Jeremy Kellett, Director of Recruiting here at Oakley Trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is episode 109. So on today’s episode, we have Lieutenant Doug Lafferty joining us today, and we’re going to talk to him. He actually was on a couple episodes a long time ago. And so he’s got a little bit experience at it and we’ve got some really good questions we want to ask you. And we know one is we want to start with the CBSA inspection that’s coming up May 17 and 19th to talk a little bit about that. But we also get some good funny stuff out of Lieutenant Lafferty. We can talk about some of the encounters he’s had maybe and we also ask him some point blank questions about some stuff with some distracted driving, cameras, ELDs, just a little bit everything, so be sure to stay with us for this episode and see what we got to offer you. First before we get started let’s take a quick break and listen to our sponsor Arrow Truck Sales.
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Okay, let’s get right into it. How’re you doing, Lieutenant Lafferty?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 3:11
I am wonderful. Glad to be here.
Jeremy Kellett 3:12
I am glad you come up from Hope Arkansas a little bit of a drive but it’s always pretty Yeah. Now give a little introduction to our listeners that might not have heard you back on episode 42, I think it was, give them a little introduction.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 3:27
It has been a while, hadn’t it?
Jeremy Kellett 3:28
Yeah, this is 109 Milestones.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 3:32
I got to answer my email quicker.
Jeremy Kellett 3:34
Yeah. It did take you a while to get back.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 3:36
It’s been we’ve been busy. My name is Doug Lafferty. Work in the hope area over the station there supervising the officers there. Don’t get to do as many inspections and real work that I enjoy. But it’s fun to get out when I can been with the highway police for a little over 12 years law enforcement total 18 Coming up on that team so been doing it a while saying a few things. Yeah, seen a few things. What do you do when you’re not working with the highway police? I’ve got two daughters the older one is 23 She just graduated school got a job working she’s engaged got bought a house so all right dealing with that the other one is 13 And she is just like me so just holding on to that roller coaster because that’s just a level of I’m paying for my reason. She’s great but there are times she’ll do stuff and I’m sitting there going oh my god I can’t I can’t blame anybody but myself for this one.
Jeremy Kellett 4:42
Look in the mirror here. This is how it happened. It’s amazing how that happens with kids.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 4:47
She keeps me busy. Apple of my eye, light of my life, all that good stuff, but getting losing stuff every now and then that you just sitting there shaking your head and you gotta laugh because it’s hilarious.
Jeremy Kellett 4:59
Got any hobbies?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 5:01
Nothing interesting. I put most of that stuff on hold.
Jeremy Kellett 5:04
I thought you went to Walmart with your mother?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 5:06
Well, I mean, yeah. I live in Hope, Arkansas, I’m single, and I’m boring so entertainment and hope at night is pretty much walking around Walmart. So get her out of the house a little bit and that’s about it.
Jeremy Kellett 5:19
I just discovered that your grandpa used to drive for Oakley.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 5:24
He did. John Shots, years back, and I’d forgotten about it. And I was talking to my mother telling her about coming up here to do this. And she told me about it and said pretty much where he ended his career. He had a wreck. That was a choice between drive off the road and wreck out or he had a vehicle with like six, seven people in it, mostly kids and he took the route that didn’t hurt anybody.
Jeremy Kellett 5:53
That’s good. I remember the name, for sure, John Shots. I can’t picture him right now. But I definitely remember the name.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 6:00
He’s about 6’3, wore coveralls, his hands wouldn’t bend in because he was a firm believer that the local doctor was the perfect person put his finger back on when the chainsaw got him. So he only had a little bit of movement in a couple fingers, but mean Oh, sawbones, put it back on. It was a down from Hope. Ozanne area. Okay. He’s live one of those that lived everywhere.
Jeremy Kellett 6:25
That’s great. That’s interesting way that do this three times before we figured that out. So that’s another channel. Hey, let’s get off into some of this stuff. The first one, of course, was the CBSA Inspection is coming out May the 17th through the 19th. You got a little input on that. What is that all about? And what are you going to be focusing on?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 6:48
The CBSA road check this year is the 17th through the 19th of May. It’s the annual how publicity Blitz is the best word I can come up with it. And it’s just a high visibility enforcement have everybody out there doing then they only want us to do level one. So we’re gonna be checking everything. The focus this year is wheel ends, like hubs, rhythms, lug nuts, that kind of things. And I’ve had some people not understand how important those are. But I seen a vehicle with a door set just fell off because he’d been running three, four or 500 miles with some lug nuts that ended up wobbling the tire off the trailer. almost caught it on fire from lug nuts. And that at the time, it amazed me because I just didn’t think it would do it. But it came off. Yeah, we almost ended up with a trailer fire on the parking lot. So it was amazing.
Jeremy Kellett 7:53
Well, I’m sure there’s a lot to that the wheel ends. I mean, it’s, I’ve seen those videos where wheels come off. Yes, we’ve actually had that happen here with some of our trailers before and that will get worked on and then take off. And here it comes off and hit somebody that can be super dangerous.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 8:11
One of our sergeants was he was just sitting there trying to figure out which one he wanted to inspect. And he looked up in the trailer went past and three foot behind where the tires were. It’s another set of wheels going down the road, and it had fallen off right in front of him. Wow. So get good video on that one.
Jeremy Kellett 8:34
I bet you’ve seen some stuff.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 8:35
A few things.
Jeremy Kellett 8:37
What some of the latest encounters you had maybe with some stuff? You get any that you remember?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 8:43
We got, just the other day, a call about an erratic driver. We’re trying to find him and the description we have is a white Freightliner. So it was very descriptive. Yeah. Helped us narrow it down wonderfully. And not to not to sound bad because I’m glad people were calling in. But it was all over the road. We ended up finding it. The guy was drinking some kind of mix, drink whiskey, and coke is what we what we’re thinking. And he had he’d been into the recreational marijuana states and we’ll leave it at that. And he was all over the road. And that one, that one kind of spooked me because 70,000 pounds at full speed it and his complaint was well I was parked when you found me. I wouldn’t drive and you can’t charge me DWI. Yeah, right. Yeah. Gotcha. Thank you. And when we’re seeing a lot of stuff like that, the distracted driving, there’s love. We’re seeing it all the time people won’t put their phones down.
Jeremy Kellett 9:50
And that was my next question, distracted driving. Texting on the phone even. How big a problem is that not only, I’m sure you see it, but with truck drivers versus passenger vehicles?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 10:02
It’s huge on both. We’re seeing a fair amount of it in the trucks. But I work at a Weigh Station. I mean, it’s, it’s pretty easy, hey, we’re going to the Weigh Station, I’ll put the phone down. When we get out and about, we’re seeing a huge amount, both in commercial and non-commercial. We were doing enforcement a month ago, looking for that, and a couple of our officers in a marked unit. Were in a construction zone. And people are going by and not even looking up. I mean, there’s workers three foot from, and we’ve had two or three workers killed within the last few months just from stuff like that.
Jeremy Kellett 10:46
I saw that on the news.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 10:47
Yeah, we had two in like a week.
Jeremy Kellett 10:50
How you gonna stop it?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 10:54
I don’t know.
Jeremy Kellett 10:55
I say that knowing that you know there’s no way to stop it.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 10:59
I don’t know. I wish I did. There’s not an easy answer on that one.
Jeremy Kellett 11:05
But it’s still bad with truck drivers too, just as bad.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 11:08
I don’t do the number of inspections I used to, but I’ve gone out on one. I thought he was watching a video, it turned out it was FaceTime. And it was a lovely young lady in a very provocative outfit. And when I asked him about he said, “Yeah, I was on the phone with my mom.” I’m kind of hoping it wasn’t. And believing it was possible. But which I don’t know which one scares me the most. But he didn’t see a problem with it. I don’t know.
Jeremy Kellett 11:47
All truck drivers know they can’t be on their phone. You can’t be texting or watching.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 11:51
Everybody should know, truck drivers also. They’re professionals. But everybody should know the All right and tickets for that all the time. That’s one of the things I will not give a warning on. I’m a firm believer that when kills people too much to have any leniency on. I’m hoping it helps. But yeah, I’m seeing it all the time.
Jeremy Kellett 12:13
Y’all ever stop any passenger vehicles doing it on the phone?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 12:16
All the time. Every chance I get. I don’t discriminate on that one. Whoever you are, if I catch you, I will pull you over. It’s too easy for somebody to get hurt.
Jeremy Kellett 12:28
It is. I can almost tell when somebody’s on it if I’m just driving home. I can. I’ll set my cruise in that right lane and it’s pretty steady and easy to do, but I could see a car that’ll be slowing down. Yeah, I will start to catch it, then it’ll speed up. And then it’ll slow down. I’ll get up here and it’s on the phone. Yeah, you can tell almost with a bunch of them.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 12:50
Yeah. And we see a lot of it in a commercial. But I think it’s even more common in passenger vehicles. It’s so easy, and nobody even thinks about it. My youngest daughter, she’s 13 and wants to start thinking about studying for a driver’s test. And we have a lot of conversations along stuff like that.
Jeremy Kellett 13:10
Yeah, yeah. It’s dangerous. And I know it’s gotta be hard to catch it.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 13:16
How do you catch it?
Jeremy Kellett 13:17
I mean, you see him, but…
Lt. Doug Lafferty 13:21
You gotta remember, we drive mobile billboards. Everybody knows where the police are. My car is—
Jeremy Kellett 13:28
Are you in one now today?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 13:29
Yeah, well, it’s an unmarked. Lieutenants usually have an unmarked, my car does not have a CB. But whenever you have one, everybody knows where we are. The and that’s the only smart thing to do. I mean, let’s be real. You tell everybody where the police are because let’s face it, that’s smart. But I mean, it’s we’re mobile billboards, everybody sees us, they put the phone down. When I’m working. You don’t see a whole lot when I’m driving. My personal vehicle. It’s just every other vehicle. Somebody’s got a phone right in front of their face.
Jeremy Kellett 14:03
That’s a huge problem for sure. You had mentioned while ago about in a construction zone, seeing that. I was one of the safety guys. Dustin Barnett brought to my attention that he had heard at the having a big campaign might be going on or coming up but construction work zone, slow down. Phone down campaign. You heard anything about that?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 14:24
That was the one we were actually doing. Another segment of it. Well, that might have been earlier this year. Yeah. We did that one for a couple of months. And we may. We’re in a heavy training cycle right now. We do refresher training every year trying to make sure we stay on top of everything and dune doing everything right. But I have a feeling we’re going to start that campaign again.
Jeremy Kellett 14:49
Yeah, when you end up, I mean, people just I wouldn’t want to be one of them workers. Especially knowing that a couple of people already got killed. Workers and people are not going to put the phones down.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 15:02
We’ll be out there on a traffic stop or something and you’re dodging because people won’t move over, won’t slow down. We’ve had an officer get hit. He survived, but he wasn’t able to heal enough to recover. And it was along those lines, and it just hurts.
Jeremy Kellett 15:28
Yeah. Yeah, because you got somebody pulled over side of the road. Everybody’s supposed to give you that lane and not everybody does.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 15:36
Your professional drivers are usually pretty good about it vecause they’ve, for whatever reason, had to stop for some, and most of them understand. You get the occasional that won’t. But most your professional drivers, they’ll move over. It’s just it’s an easy way for somebody to get hurt.
Jeremy Kellett 15:53
Yeah, it is because you got to stop them where you can. Let’s talk a little bit more about pulling guys in the scale house. You come in across there. That’s the bread and butter. How far do you operate first around there on that scale?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 16:09
Depending on how many people we have, we’ll spread out a little bit on what’s going on. If there’s a cat in the tree, we’ll let the sheriff handle that, but if there’s something like the erratic driver the other day. That came through. We didn’t see him when he comes through but we went and found him, depending on staffing and what it is, if there’s an armed robbery up the road or going catch it? If it’s cat in the tree, then yeah, fluffy will come down. But we’re at the 26-mile marker.
Jeremy Kellett 16:41
How many trucks roll through there in a day?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 16:42
Oh, 1,000s depending on the day of the week, what shift, but four to 5,000 a day.
Jeremy Kellett 16:49
Good. Great. You give most Oakley green lights by extension, right?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 16:53
Oh, of course. Of course. Grandpa wouldn’t let me do anything else.
Jeremy Kellett 16:59
So when guys come in through the scale, what prompts you to pull them around back?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 17:08
That’s going to be different for every officer. Obviously, if we see somebody with a phone right in front of their face or not wearing a seatbelt or a light out or weight or something, obviously, those are the ones we’re gonna get first. As far as the random, different people look at different things. I worked with one officer, their tires were good, he left them alone. I’ve worked with one that if they were freshly washed, he left them alone.
Jeremy Kellett 17:35
So they got their own specific things they look for.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 17:40
What I like to do just to make sure I stay random, is I’ll fill up good. We’ve got two lanes a bypass lane, and a way lane. And I’ll fill up the way lane. If I can’t find somebody that with probable cost, obviously random, whichever ones at the end is the one I pull in. And I figured that way it’s it’s truly random. I’m not pulling in green jokes, because for some reason, my foot My mind is focused on green. I mean, but they’re different officers look for different things. We’re right there on the border with Texas for some reason. The trucks out of South Texas, I pull in a lot of them. I think part of that is we see a lot of them that they don’t get inspected much because the English difficulty. Yep. And while I’m by no means fluent, I speak enough that I can do an inspection on them. So I like okay, I’ll take care of some of those. And but everybody’s a little different.
Jeremy Kellett 18:38
But they’re supposed to be able to speak English. That’s one of the requirements to have a CDL, but there are a bunch of matter that don’t.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 18:50
CBSA has put enforcement guidelines out that makes it much more difficult than it used to be. For us to enforce that they pretty much have to admit they don’t speak English.
Jeremy Kellett 19:02
When you pull them around, so you got your a candidate out there that needs to be looked at a little bit farther. You pull them back around, what goes on from that point? What happens then?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 19:13
We’ll go out and we’ll talk to him, we’ll introduce ourselves, tell him, hey, this is what was going on. Usually we’ll get the logbook the Lawson’s that kind of thing. First, we want to check to make sure they’re not wanted for murder somewhere and think we’re going to take them to jail because if we don’t know that and they think we do it could get bad. But we’ll check logbooks get all the information entered in the computer. And then depending on what level of inspection we’re going to do, we will go from there. Check brakes, lights, tires. We try to keep people the way I describe it. Our job is to enforce safety. Not stopped commerce. And I’ve had people look at me say listen, I’m an old fat man, groceries gotta get through. Don’t slow him down more than you have to Monroe. And most people understand that part.
Jeremy Kellett 20:03
You just want them to do it and abide by the rules and the law.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 20:07
My kids are out there, soon to be another one driving. I just don’t want anybody’s gonna hurt. I come from truck drivers. They’re some of the best people I know, most professional, caring people. It’s what they do for a living, and they do a good job. Let’s not make it harder than it has to be. Let’s just make sure we all make it home.
Jeremy Kellett 20:28
I guarantee you there are a whole lot more reckless passenger cars out there than there is drunk drivers. I see that every day just in the short distance I go.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 20:37
Yeah. They’re older statistics, but they’re correct as far as when they were but anyway, at one point of the, of the wrecks involving commercial vehicles versus non-commercial, I think it was 70% of them where the non-commercial vehicles fall. Yeah, everybody wants to blame the commercial vehicle but it’s not always their fault.
Jeremy Kellett 21:04
Which brings me to another question. We have installed dash cams—
Lt. Doug Lafferty 21:10
Oh, such a good idea.
Jeremy Kellett 21:11
…in all of our guys, our trucks have dash cams. How do y’all use those dash cams? Can use them on the spot?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 21:19
We don’t investigate who’s at fault for the accident. We’ll do a post crash and to see what kind of shaped the truck is in. I’ve seen the state police because they investigate them. Typically, they’re going to get a search warrant just to cover their bases. But I’ve seen several times that the driver was like, oh, no, you need to watch this. And he’ll watch it and he’ll go, okay. Save that. And it’s every time I’ve seen one, it’s usually helped them. Yeah, I know. There was one that was completely the truck drivers fault that they had video I never saw yet. But he hid in a construction zone. He had like six people and six vehicles killed seven or eight people. So I’m sure they looked at that one very close. I don’t know what came with that one. I never saw it.
Jeremy Kellett 22:07
Yeah, we’ve gotten them. They’ve really helped when it comes to accidents and incidents. It’s made a big difference.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 22:16
We’ve had a couple of times where people have come in, and they wanted us to look at them about other people on the road. And they’ve come in handy. They’ve it’s like our body cameras. If you’re doing what’s right. It’s going to help you non-stop. All your guys have body cameras, everyone. High Definition body cameras. I had recently somebody we had arrested said some money was missing. And by reviewing it, I was able to confirm 100% that our officer didn’t touch it. So that’s I view it that way you’re doing what’s right, it’s nothing but helpful. I’ve never been burned by having a body camera on. I’m not saying I’ve never messed up, but it’s always, ‘Hey, did you do this?’ ‘Yes, I did. Here’s the video.’
Jeremy Kellett 23:04
It can tell the truth, can’t it?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 23:06
It’s a wonderful tool. I love it.
Jeremy Kellett 23:10
They’re helpful, especially in, I mean, the main thing is the accidents.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 23:13
Yeah. And y’all have so much litigation because everybody wants to see the commercial companies. I think it would help you.
Jeremy Kellett 23:20
Oh, it’s ridiculous. We’re guilty till proven innocent. Yeah. And it’s, that’s just the way it is. And it’s unfortunate that it’s like that. But that’s definitely some of the way it is.
Have the ELDs— Last time you were here, we talked a little bit about the ELDs and I think it was just getting to be full force going through them all. You guys trained up on all that and like it better than the paper logbook?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 23:47
I’m old school. I like paper. I’ve always been that way. I see where they’ve opened some. But we’re seeing is still huge amount of false logs. People are using PC when they shouldn’t. When you run out of time, well, I’m out of time. I’ll be over on my 11 while you’re still driving, right? Yeah. Don’t go to PC.
Jeremy Kellett 24:12
Yes, that’s a big deal. Yeah, that’s a huge deal.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 24:15
We’ve see some of that, but I have mixed feelings on ELDs. I’m a firm believer you cannot make a system that can’t be broken. And we’ve got some really smart truck drivers, you bet that configure ways around things. Overall. Things are probably better. It’s easier on us in some ways, because you don’t spend 30 minutes trying to figure out what a word is because the handwriting is horrible. It’s a mix, but overall I think it’s helped some but I don’t think there’s a way to ever take it and get some of the problems out completely.
Jeremy Kellett 24:53
Yeah, I think you’re probably right there.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 24:55
And with all the COVID exemptions and the exemptions for everything that they’re putting in recently.
Jeremy Kellett 25:01
I don’t even know how you keep up with the hose examiner who’s not? I mean, yeah. And still you still got to make a decision or that guy don’t need to be driving.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 25:11
Yeah. And even with all the exemptions, is he fatigued to the point? He’s dangerous? Yeah. Which I don’t, I’m not a big fan of the ones that just takes an officer’s opinion on it. When we teach about that one, it’s not that they look tired. It’s that they are, and you better be able to describe it very, very well. Yeah, don’t just throw it out there. That’s not fair.
Jeremy Kellett 25:34
Talking to the lieutenant Doug Lafferty with the Arkansas highway Police Department and it’s really some good stuff. It’s just good to get be able to get some good information directly to our owner operators. I know they appreciate it too, and, and that they always give us good feedback even on the ones you did before. A couple of these questions are some that we’ve done before but man, it’s just nice to make that connection with DOT and truck drivers to where they don’t have to be afraid to talk to a DOT officer. You’re there to help.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 26:09
Right. At our station. I can’t speak for anybody else. If you come in and ask a question, we’re going to drop everything and try to help you. The phrase I usually try to use is, if you have a question, then it’s not always fair. Because I’m holding you accountable for something. And if you don’t understand it, it’s not fair. I still have to enforce the law. And where that goes is if you have a question, come on in, let’s talk. The analogy I use. If I’m playing football, and you’re playing baseball, because we’ve read the rules and non understood, not read the same thing. That’s not fair to whichever game we’re really playing. We want to both be playing the same game, if you put it back in a sports analogy. So I mean, I encourage anybody come on in, talk to it. If you don’t want to come in, because let’s face it, we’re the DOT, give us a call the phone number 870-777-4540 to ring straight at the station. Ask us questions. We get it all day, we’re happy to help.
Jeremy Kellett 27:15
That’s good to know that they can call and ask question.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 27:18
I have no problem with it all.
Jeremy Kellett 27:21
I’ve had to call a few people back, but we’ll do whatever we can to help. Yeah. Well, that’s good to know. Because you hear so many other stories out there stopped by the DOT. But I’ll be honest with you. I don’t hear that many stories. But the ones I do, I mean, everybody’s pretty, pretty good about it, and are actually saying good things about the DOT.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 27:44
When I got this job, my grandfather, he actually had been a career truck driver from the time he got out of Korea. He was angry. He was very angry, really angry about the DOJ officer. And he was old school it was us against them. It was a fire. Me he was mad. They made the statement. You’d be arresting people for drugs, but you don’t know if somebody put that with those drugs on their trailer or not. Which kind of made me wonder if he ever got caught with something they just didn’t tell us, but I’m not. There’s no way I can check that.
Jeremy Kellett 28:21
Tell your mom when you get back.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 28:22
Oh, no. Grandpa died. We ain’t going there. That still hurts her. But the old old ways it was us against them. It was what who can get the over on the other one the worst? We’re just trying to make sure you make it home. And if we can help you, great. We want to.
Jeremy Kellett 28:44
Well, I think back then it was sure enough outlaw driving. You hear all the stories of these guys, the way it used to be and just drove to they could go without sleep. You had a challenge back then. It was a you against them because you had to get something under control and all the regs come out.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 29:07
Well, I crawled under a trailer one time and I stopped counting the frame cracks at like 30. And we’re not talking the tiny ones. We’re talking good ones. And I showed one of my senior officers who had been doing it. I think he was inspecting wagons. I mean, he’d been around a while. He said that’s the way it was when we got started. So I think you’re right, I think it was just things have improved a lot. Now it was very much it was bad.
Jeremy Kellett 29:37
And now it’s a different type, different kind that you’re trying to control, the technology side of it.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 29:46
So old school, but yes, but the basic idea is the same the ones that are causing the problems that are gonna hurt somebody.
Jeremy Kellett 29:54
Hey, is it a big deal to you guys that there are different speed limits for trucks and for vehicles, a passenger vehicle?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 30:02
To me it doesn’t make sense because, okay, so the trucks have to go 70. We’re going 75. Now, that just means we’re swerving around them all the time. At one point they had equal them out because everything was it was 65 for trucks and 70 for cars, then the equal amount to both 70.
Jeremy Kellett 30:22
What is it now? 75 and 70?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 30:24
Yeah. And I don’t know, to me, if the speed limit is 70 most people will be going a couple over and most of us won’t bother you over a couple. There are a few. I’m not saying there’s not. But most people aren’t going to give you grief over a couple of miles an hour. But to me, it’s I don’t understand it. But yeah, I’m not gonna stop you if you go and 75.
Jeremy Kellett 30:49
Yeah, I don’t know.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 30:51
Plus, I work at a station. They’re coming through at 30 so it doesn’t affect me much.
Jeremy Kellett 30:57
Right. Good stuff, man. Really, and actually, we were talking about this before we got in here, we got to talking about people with guns. We were talking about it down in recruiting and never had a clear answer if you could have a weapon in your commercial motor vehicle. Does that go by the state?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 31:23
Yeah, there’s no federal rule on it at all. The Federal Motor Carrier, the 49, CFR, whatever you want to call it. But the rule was put out by the federal government, they don’t talk about guns at all. In fact, the training material will tell you, we don’t address guns, that’s up to the states. So whatever state you’re going in, you’ll it’ll be their state laws. Arkansas has an open carry. So quite honestly, the viewpoint of it. And this is a shortened version. But as long as you’re not causing a problem, we don’t care. And there for a while, the law was kind of confusing, because it said at one point, you can’t. But it’s okay. If you’re not causing any problems. Well, it finally went to the Supreme Court. And somebody had been the case on this. I don’t remember the name. But a guy was walking down the street, he had a rifle slung over his shoulder. Well, he got called in on because people were worried. And officer turned his lights on when he got there. And the court said, Whoa, once you turned your lights on, you made him believe she was walking, you turn the lights on, so they wouldn’t get run over. But the guy didn’t know that. You made him believe he was being detained. And at that point, you really didn’t have a reason to. Because having a gun was not illegal. So I mean, it may didn’t help the officer and he but I mean, it’s there was a clear statement by the Supreme Court of Arkansas. You can have guns, just don’t cause any problem.
Jeremy Kellett 33:02
Y’all ask them most time when you pull them back there? Are they voluntary?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 33:07
Some do, some don’t. So I’ve started trying to put that in my routine that I do ask. Some don’t. Some do every time and we’re finding more and more that are having them. And it’s not a problem. I’m going to ask to look at it just because like guns and hold one and see how it feels. I might have to go buy one the but we’ve had a couple that nano once you look at it again. It’s okay. Where is it? That way I know not to be concerned. It’s over in the glovebox, good spot for it and we’ll leave it there. So perfectly legal, just check which state.
Jeremy Kellett 33:38
That’d be the deal because like you said, I mean, they’re fixing to go into Texas. I don’t know what their law isn’t. I mean, truck drivers are guys basically they’re gonna be driving through a bunch of states so they got to know that state law.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 33:51
I checked with Texas on a vacation I went on. They’re similar to ours. Pretty laid back. I think there are some cities that have really strict gun control like Chicago. Uh, you don’t want to go there that everybody had them there. Oh, they do they’re just not legal.
Jeremy Kellett 34:11
Yeah, every place is different, I guess.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 34:13
Yeah. But as far as Arkansas, which is the only one I really know, you’re good as long as you’re not causing problems.
Jeremy Kellett 34:19
Any advice to give these truck drivers? Is it just basic information? Do your pre-trip?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 34:26
Do your pre-trip. 90% of the violations we found could be caught on a pre-trip. It’s not really easy to check brake adjustments on a pre-trip. Yes, I understand that, but most of your things you should be able to catch on a pre-trip. Lug nuts being loose, cracked rims, a headlight. You should be able to check that. If something’s dangling down, about to fall off, you should probably be able to check that. A lot of your flat tires, yes, sometimes it happens while you’re going down the road, we understand that, but there’s a lot of stuff you should be able to catch. There are things you can’t, you can’t crawl under every single time. But a lot of things you can usually see based talk to each other. Yeah, if you see a guy with a flat tire, Hey, buddy, got a flat tire, and then be willing to get it taken care of, and have patience, that a little bit of patience goes a long way, especially with the passenger vehicles that just, they don’t have a clue how dangerous some of this stuff is. And they’ll get right up on you. You can’t scare him because they don’t realize how dangerous it is. Just be patient with them. Lord have mercy.
Jeremy Kellett 35:38
You gotta get away from them because most of them do not understand for sure.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 35:43
I was taught how to drive by truck driver. I’m gonna give you distance, but they’re not. They’re right up on people.
Jeremy Kellett 35:52
One last thing I had was CSA violations. Have you heard, and I’m sure you have, we might have talked about this before, but getting a warning is worse than getting a ticket. As a driver ever told you that?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 36:08
We hear that. And at one point, warnings and tickets changed how many points went on CSI. From what I understand that went away, because let’s say I write a warning on something, somebody else writes a ticket to people who’ve done the same thing, but they’re being treated different. So they took that part out. The way we hear it now is there’s a rule in there if a violation gets changed in court, say a speeding ticket, they make a plea deal. And I will change it over to a parking ticket or something like that, that instead of whatever CSA points it would have been, it automatically goes to a one. So if it was a four, It now turns to a one. So a lot of the drivers really want tickets, so that they can do that. Yeah. Our role with our officers is you write a ticket based on what you think is needed. And we don’t pressure him to write tickets or not. There have been several things that I’ve looked over inspections, and I’m like, they didn’t get a ticket for that. Should I have oh, oh, that’s your choice. That’s your choice. But I’m sitting there going, Hey, you had I needed a ticket for that false log. And he knows he did it. He did it on purpose. Yeah. But it’s the officer’s choice. And that’s what we go by.
Jeremy Kellett 37:32
Well, I know we’ve had that discussion here about if ticket we can, we can fight. Right? Warning can’t do anything about and it automatically gets points, which is really important with Oakley because they’re paid right? It affects their pay so it makes a big difference.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 37:50
If violation’s wrong— because we make mistakes. Any officer that says they’re perfect is a liar. You can datacube them and we’ve got a group that looks into him, they take them serious. If they’re wrong, it’ll go away. I’ll ask you to know so I mean, there is that and we make mistakes like everybody I’m especially good at making mistakes.
Jeremy Kellett 38:14
Me, too. Good. What’s on the agenda for the highway police upcoming anything upcoming that we’ve when a public needs know about?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 38:27
We’re trying to hire. We’ve got an advertisement going out for the stations at West Memphis. So anybody looking where to go to work for us? It’s not a bad job. It is law enforcement. You’d be surprised how many people apply with us that have warrants you can’t make this up? You can’t Yeah, we need to meet so we can look in your application and you just take them to jail. You can’t make it up that happens. I had a friend that worked for Hot Springs police department and they had about four or five that they would take every time that they would do applications.
Jeremy Kellett 39:10
Maybe they were wanting to go back to jail. Maybe things are better there.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 39:15
It’s good work. Yes, you will be at a station A lot of people don’t like that but when it rains, you got a roof. When it’s cold, you’ve got a heater. When it’s hot, you got an air conditioner. So I mean, not bad. I like it.
Jeremy Kellett 39:33
They need to apply over at West Memphis?
Lt. Doug Lafferty 39:36
They’re having a job fair. I don’t remember the location. But you can go to the Arkansas Department of Transportation website under the employment tab and you can apply there online. Good jobs, give you some good training.
Jeremy Kellett 39:51
And we need you.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 39:52
Yeah. We need good people.
Jeremy Kellett 39:54
We need good people, just like we need good truck drivers.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 39:56
Exactly. We do a very extensive background check. because you want the right people you don’t. We don’t want somebody out here doing something wrong. And it’s not only everybody wants Oh, you give them a gun. Yeah, that’s part of it. But it’s also the trust that we want to build with the community. We know it’s not always exactly is the trust relationship that we have isn’t always a good one. But we want a better one. And we’ve got to do that with getting good people training them right and doing the right thing every time. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of police departments and overall we’ve got a lot of good people. So we’re trying, we really are.
Jeremy Kellett 40:40
Well, I appreciate the job you guys do out there every day and trying to keep us safe and you got safety in mind and just like you said, your kids on the road, your family, our families out there too, and the truck drivers have families that are on the road to then we appreciate the job y’all do and trying to keep everybody safe and watch out for those nuts that are out there that don’t need to be on the road and try to get them off as quick as possible for the hurt some money.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 41:09
A professional truck driver is a man or a woman who has a huge amount of respect. There are some that aren’t always professional, but you get that in every job. I’ll leave that there.
Jeremy Kellett 41:22
Well, I appreciate you hanging out with me today and coming up from Hope I know you got to move on and go on up the road a little ways this afternoon. So you got a good little drive ahead of you but man I really do. It helps to be able to do this and get this word out communicate with our owner operators and truck drivers in general. I can hear directly from Lieutenant art show highway police bar, so it’s super nice. Appreciate you doing glad to do it. When he things work. We’re gonna keep them working. We’re gonna visit again down the road, too.
Lt. Doug Lafferty 41:49
I like it. Let’s keep the trucks rolling. Fat Boys got to eat.
Jeremy Kellett 41:52
All right, we’ll do Hey, I appreciate everybody listening to this week’s episode and talking to Lieutenant lefty and all that the highway Police Department does for us out there on the road getting questions. Remember to call him he actually gave his phone number out earlier, we’ll put it up on screen. So you guys can call him or you can always email me and I’ll be glad to pass it along to him. Thanks for listening to the Oakley podcast. We’ll talk to you next week.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.