Taking the time to conduct an inspection and remain compliant keeps your truck and driver safe and on the road.

A home in Springfield Township, Pennsylvania, was damaged July 8 when a septic truck carrying 3,000 gallons of sewage left the road, drove through the yard and crashed into the residence.

The two River Valley Septic employees in the truck were both unharmed. The house suffered structural damage but the homeowners, a married couple, were luckily both uninjured. The truck remained in the house for several days while walls were reinforced so the vehicle could be safely removed.

A police inspection three weeks later determined that the truck had been running with only two of its six brakes in alignment, meaning the brakes were not operating. This finding only partially excuses the driver from fault in the accident, since commercial drivers are required to do a pre-trip inspection. It’s a matter for the insurance companies now, but the driver was sent a citation for a brake violation.

Related: Blog: Dramatic vacuum truck crash photos

Vehicle inspections are not only important for safety, they can save a company money and time, according to Joe Zito, an officer with a commercial vehicle unit with a major metropolitan area police department with jurisdiction in two states.

Especially in a small operation like River Valley Septic. Taking the only truck out of commission for a few weeks is bad news for a small business.

There is no excuse for not being in compliance and making sure all your drivers are doing a pre-trip inspection on their trucks. Zito says an inspection should take 10 to 15 minutes on average. That’s a small price to pay for keeping your trucks on the road.

Related: Blog: Septic service truck wreck reported in Georgia

Pumper spoke in more detail with Zito about pre-trip and roadside inspections. Check out his advice and a pre-trip inspection checklist in the October issue.

For a video taken at the crash scene, click here.

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