Tag Archives: inspection

Drive-Away Inspection – Windshield and Wipers

The DOT Regulations on windshields and wipers on trucks is a bit ambiguous to the lay person (me). This regulation is left open for interpretation by the officials in a weigh station or cruising a highway section.

What is NOT mentioned in the regulations are cracks, rock chips, and “sand pitting”.

Cracks in the glass are not to be within the driver’s view area. I’ve heard of, and seen citations, given to drivers of trucks where a crack was on the right side of the windshield within the passenger’s view field. Makes me wonder what else went on between the driver and the officer to have incurred the ticket for obstruction of view on the passenger side.

The problem with cracked windshields is not only within the realm of the DOT. The buyer of the truck can raise alarm over the crack(s) and charge the Drive-Away company for the windshield replacement.

Cover your butt. If the windshield is cracked note it on the inspection sheet.

Look at the full windshield, both sides.

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Rock pits are a nuisance that have the potential to be a problem later. One spot on the chip can reach out from the center to begin the cracking.

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Note the rock pits on your form. This is another favorite area of contention with the buyer. If the pit is there when you pick up the truck note it. If you don’t you will get a call several months later from the Safety Department of your Drive-Away company asking how YOU cracked the windshield or got the rock pit.

If you are anything like me….yesterday is more than 5 minutes ago and I’m lucky to remember my own name let alone what highway or road I was on 2 months ago when a rock from the road was hurled at the windshield causing the damage.

Sand pitting of the windshield is a very common thing with used trucks. Sand pitting is when tiny pin pricks of chips cover the viewing area of the windshield. They are so small but can be the source of big trouble. Especially driving after dark.

I have difficulty driving at night. My already questionable depth perception is worsened at night. Add to that the halo effect of oncoming headlights in the windshield makes night driving a real terror for me.

After several years of *itching, moaning, and wailing at Joe we no longer drive after dark.

Driving east into the rising sun, or west into the setting sun are problematic with sand pitted windshields. It is similar to looking at an out of focus photo and trying to see the picture.

Now on to wipers. The wipers need to work well. Not always excellent but well will do. Sweeping away rain, snow, and bug guts – with the aid of washer fluid – is necessary to have an unobstructed view of the road and traffic surrounding you.

Most, no I amend that, ALL places we pick up these trucks look at us as though we have sprouted three horns on our heads when we ask to have the blades replaced. This is an expense that is reimbursable and can be done at a truck stop that is set up to make repairs.

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Something else to be aware of is the rubber strips around the windshield glass. These strips act as weather striping to keep air and moisture out and to support the glass.

You will only notice a problem with the rubber if it is hanging loose. That requires fixing immediately. Nothing more distracting than having a snake whipping away before your eyes as you drive 65 miles an hour.

The loose rubber is not always within sight. I drove a truck once that made one heck of a racket as the air turbulence worked its way under the rubber. It sounded like a bird frantically flapping to get away from whatever held it down.

I’ve also had to listen, for hours, to a whistling moan that set my teeth on edge and my hackles up.

Used trucks can be interesting, to say the least. I’m just thankful two to four days is all the longer I’m subjected to these problems. The driver before me that had the truck month after month had it far worse.

This ends windshields and washers.

Leslie

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