Weigh station

Guadalupe County Precinct 2 Commissioner Drew Engelke (from left), Sheriff Arnold Zwicke and Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Darrell Hunter look on as Inspector Brittney Haydon waves in a truck for a demonstration of the new scale Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Guadalupe County.

With an eye on safety, the Texas Department of Public Safety on Thursday held a grand opening for the state’s most “state-of-the-art” truck inspection facility.

A million dollars in technology advances were installed in the Seguin Inspection Facility off Interstate 10 East in Guadalupe County, according to a DPS press release. The tech helps detect whether trucks are following the law and will help make the roadways safer, which is job one, said Brittney Haydon, a civilian inspector at the facility.

“The No. 1 goal is to keep Texas roadways safe,” she said. “Vehicles not in compliance with federal safety standards can be placed out of service. … This means that when we put vehicles out of service, we are taking potential dangerous vehicles off our roads.”

A renovations project at the facility located at mile marker 620 were completed and functional Sept. 1, DPS Sgt. Kenny Mata said.

The project was five years in the making, the department’s press release read. A partnership between state, local and federal agencies led to the improvements.

Included at the facility is a pit where DPS troopers and inspectors can easily inspect brakes, linings and other undercarriage items on commercial motor vehicles, the release read. It has a 90-foot platform scale — the only one like it in the state — that allows officials to weigh a whole truck at one time, according to the release.

The computer-based technologies include a weigh-in-motion sensor, over-height detector, and hazardous materials placard sensors.

“The censors are connected to a computer database to determine who the motor carrier is and if they have any safety violations, are on a federal out-of-service order list or have current credentials such as operating authority,” the release read. “A thermal imaging array can look at a truck’s wheels and brakes for abnormalities, such as a defective brake to ensure the safety of the commercial vehicle.”

The Texas Department of Transportation designed the facility and Guadalupe County built a four-lane-wide awning installed there, the release read.

The awning allows trucks that pass the screening to continue on their way while trucks with potential violations are pulled in for further checking, according to the DPS statement.

“It was a collective effort between TxDOT, DPS and Guadalupe County,” said Judy Cope, Guadalupe County Precinct 4 commissioner. “Guadalupe County had been working to help fund the upgrades. Now with all the new technology, it’ll make the roads safer, it’ll make it quicker for truckers to get in and out and get back to doing their jobs.”

Inspectors and troopers at the facility check commercial vehicles’ equipment, licenses and much more. They inspect for code violations to keep traffic flowing smoothly and people on the roadways safe.

“They’ll inspect all of these vehicles to ensure they’re able to operate on the highways safely,” Mata said. “You have to think, a vehicle 80,000 pounds driving down I-10 with bad brakes is dangerous."

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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