Businesses, Sheriff Team Up For Safety

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A trio of local businessmenhose companies rely heavily on trucking are doing more than their fair share to ensure highways remain safe.

Roy Haught of Roy Haught Excavating, George Randall of Payson Concrete & Materials and Keith Heglie of Gila Redi-Mix have agreed to have their commercial trucks available at designated areas and times for safety inspections.

The inspections will be done by the sheriff's office level one commercial vehicle team that consists of six deputies.

"The Sheriff's Office appreciates the cooperation of the business owners in this effort to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles in the Payson area," Gila County Sheriff John Armer said.

According to Sgt. Craig Smith of the inspection team, the cooperation of the local business owners saves deputies time and taxpayers money.

If fleet inspections were not available, deputies would have to pull over single trucks on the highways to complete the checks.

A first-ever on-site fleet inspection was done July 29 at Haught's Star Valley business site.

Another is slated for Friday at Payson Concrete and in the near future at Gila-Redi Mix.

In a typical inspection, the deputies check lights, brakes, tires, air supply systems, safety devices and the vehicle frame.

The deputies also check the drivers' medical cards, licenses and log books. After the inspection is finished, inspectors compile reports that list any violations. The report is then forwarded to the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the owner has 15 days to repair any violations.

If trucks have major violations, they can be immediately taken out of service until repairs are completed.

According to Smith, some of the most common violations that result in trucks being taken out of service are cracked frames, unsafe tires and malfunctioning brakes.

Often an over-the-limit log book or an expired medical card can result in a driver being pulled from service.

In Gila County, driver and vehicle violations are not unusual, Smith said. The sergeant expects future fleet inspections will be done about once a year.

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