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Truck inspections uncover trouble

From pickup trucks to 18-wheelers, inspections of vehicles carrying hazardous materials were conducted in the Alexandria area August 18-20.

As the newspaper reported in its August 22 issue, bulk cargo tanker trucks were targeted going in and out of the Alexandria area.

Randy Zahn, State Patrol commercial vehicle inspector, along with other commercial vehicle inspectors, state troopers and Minnesota Department of Transportation inspectors, conducted the inspections.

Inspectors were looking to see if the vehicles were in compliance with new products, including E85 and bio-diesel fuels.

Zahn noted that 36 non-hazardous material inspections and 51 hazardous material inspections were complete during the three-day period.

Of the 36 non-hazardous material inspections, Zahn noted that four drivers (11 percent) were placed out of service and that 10 vehicles (28 percent) were placed out of service.

He also said inspectors issued 20 driver-related warnings and 77 vehicle-related warnings. There were also 15 driver citations and 15 vehicle citations.

Of the 51 hazardous material inspections, Zahn said that one driver (2 percent) was placed out of service, while 15 vehicles (29 percent) were placed out of service.

Inspectors issued 24 driver-related warnings and 135 vehicle-related warnings, along with 22 hazardous material-related warnings.

During the hazardous material inspections, eight vehicle-related citations were also issued.

"As you can see, there is still work to be done," said Zahn.

Inspections on August 18 and 20 were conducted near Magellen Pipeline and the Douglas County Fairgrounds, and near the west-bound rest area (Lake Burgen) on Interstate 94 on August 19.

"It seemed to be somewhat slower traffic near the terminal area [Magellan]," said Zahn. "But we were quite busy out on the interstate, and found most of our violations on vehicles traveling there."

Besides checking for compliance with new products such as E85, inspections of standard safety equipment such as lights, brakes, tires and more were conducted.

Drivers were also checked for appropriate licensing and other regulations.