New Truck Inspection Station on I-10

In Texas is now open a new truck inspection station on Interstate 10 at Seguin. The facility was dedicated Oct. 8 by the Texas Department of Safety (DPS).

The inspection facility is a five year long project. It was accomplished through a partnership among state, local and federal agencies, as well as the commercial vehicle industry.

“This one-of-a-kind facility will benefit the trucking industry throughout the state of Texas and beyond, and promote safety for everyone on the roadway,” said Steven McCraw, director of DPS. “The facility will quickly and efficiently get commercial vehicles back on the road while helping put dangerous trucks out of service on this busy stretch of highway between San Antonio and Houston.”

Designed by the Texas Department of Transportation, the Seguin Inspection Facility is located on the eastbound side of I-10. The facility includes an awning that can accommodate four lanes of truck traffic.

The inspection facility represents $1 million in technological investment, including weigh-in-motion sensors and over-height detectors. Not only-but also hazardous materials placard and carrier identification sensors. These devices are meant to provide immediate information as to whether a vehicle is in compliance with the law. The sensors are connected to a computer database that identifies credentialing, violation history, and if the vehicle is under a federal out-of-service order.  A thermal imaging array examines a truck’s wheels and brakes for abnormalities, such as defective brakes. Greg Seidenberger, Precinct 1 commissioner for Guadalupe County, explained that the thermal reader is meant to detect cold brakes, rather than hot ones. Seidenberger, who worked with TxDOT and TxDPS on the inspection facility, said he learned from an inspector that brakes will be cold if they’re not working properly. Trucks that pass the initial screening can continue on their way, while those with potential safety violations are pulled over for further inspection.

“The weigh-in-motion component is typically used for sorting overweight vehicles from legal vehicles,” Dan Middleton, research engineer at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, told Transport Topics. “If their credentials are in order and if the weight’s within prescribed limits, then many times the truck will be allowed to keep moving and not move into a facility like this. Those [sensors] facilitate the truck keeping moving. Time is money, as they always say.”

The new truck inspection station also features a pit that allows DPS troopers and inspectors to more easily inspect brakes, linings and other items from underneath the truck.

“[The platform scale is] a state-of-the-art scale,” Seidenberger told TT. “It weighs the whole truck at one time. It prints out everything, each axle and the total weight. It eliminates that human pushing a pencil.”

“The whole bottom line was to improve safety for motorists on Texas highways,” Seidenberger said. “It’s not trying to be prejudiced against truckers. It’s trying to enforce the rules that are in place.”