Can DOT Highway patrols search your truck

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Landstar2206, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Zigzag777

    Zigzag777 Medium Load Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Down Yonder
    To answer the ORIGINAL QUESTION:


    If they don’t have a sound reason, they’ll find one. Best advice, stay cool, calm and courteous. Your job is to move freight, you wanna be a lawyer, go back to school.
    If you want to challenge it, don’t start lecturing about the Constitution on the side of the road, you will never win, only make things worse for yourself! If that makes you happy, go for it!!!

    At the coops - it also doesn’t hurt to have a reasonably clean truck, well maintained, no squeaky brakes, dripping oil etc. Be neat in your appearance, no flip flops, and professional looking, and act accordingly. Trucking is what you make of it.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
    im6under and bzinger Thank this.
  2. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    I have refused them access it is your right to tell them no when they ask can we search your truck. I'll wait cause if they do not have probable cause the sargent when he gets there will kick you loose.

    Its not about being a lawyer, its about knowing your rights. You shoudl always drive with your right door locked, window up. If they pull you over and walk up to your right door and try to open it, its your choice not there's. If you open it you've given them consent to enter.

    Just like its your right to keep your mouth shut, you dont need to discuss with them anything about the violation or where you've been or where your going. Except as it pertain to the stop, such as logbook verification.

    Be courtesy, polite, give them what there legally entitled to, and that's it. They are not your friend, there is no small talk with a cop.
    ChevyCam, Tb0n3, shogun and 5 others Thank this.
  3. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    First, everyone has something to hide. Usually it's just something embarrassing like a Playboy.
    Then there's the inconvenience of having to wait around while you go and touch everything of mine. Not only do I not know if you wash when leaving the bathroom, I don't know if you washed since your last drug bust.
    Also my brother has been burned for answering yes. Was moving from TX to IL and got pulled over. Said yes and eight hours later hes was still repacking everything in the U-Haul.

    And the big thing for me is why should I? It's not my job to make your life easier.
    Tb0n3 Thanks this.
  4. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    I generally allow them to examine papers etc. But if they wanted a look see, sleeper is off limits, curtian is shut. Personally I don't care because there isnt anything that is going to be a problem.

    NOW... once in a while such as one time we were racing for Chicago on a deadline and no time to waste we were stopped randomly in Illinois and asked what we got in the truck. Flowers. Fresh.

    Where from?

    Phoenix, got it in Missouri this morning.

    Orly. You stay put.

    10 minutes later dogs plural sniffing everything, seals gone temp control out the window 200 cops into the trailer.


    They sniffed nothing. Found nothing and all in all put us another 40 minutes under the dead line. This would be the time to break out the dollar truck but no. 63.. put put put in a 55 Illinois state.

    They found nothing. What part of nothng equals nothing. I try not to consider it it's makes me fairly combative.
  5. im6under

    im6under Heavy Load Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I never hassle the cops, even the ones having a bad day.

    My day is usually good and i dont have time to let anybody get under my skin.

    I am courteous and answer to the best of my ability including, i dont understand what you are asking for, can you please help me find it or show me an example.

    And no i dont know how to email logs but i can have them sent to you if you have a few minutes or i can show you everything on the people net screen and online via my phone or your computer.

    I have only been searched the one time in 13 years. Which isnt bad. And i seriously dont know the paperwork that well. I never get inspected. Maybe once every 3 years or so.

    I know cab card, insurance, ifta. The rest of the book i am clueless in... its all there, i just dont know what its for. Dont care. LOL

    Company said it all there, loaded or empty. I pretty much go with it.

    Seldom carry even small amounts of cash and never any weapons... i look very credible as the dumb innocent trucker guy trying to make a living.

    Never been personally searched or asked to empty pockets. I think some guys i see on the side of the road either smell of beer or dope or are flat high on something. Most look less than desireable even as i pass at 65.

    Dont like the dot or the hassle of inspections but am pretty sure they pull their pants on one leg at a time and are just earning a living like i am. So friendly, not scared and intimidated or guilty looking is my thing.
  6. Grouch

    Grouch Road Train Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Between here and eternity
    "Never allow a search of your truck unless the officer has a search warrant. If he requests to do the search without obtaining a warrant, just state to him that he does not have permission to do the search." These words came from a retired Virginia DOT Trooper.

    He also told me that it is very unlikely that @ 2am, he is certainly not going to wake a judge up to get the warrant and also, he has to get another trooper out there to stay with you. You cannot be left alone while the trooper goes after the warrant.

    But in all of my almost 57 years of truck driving, I have never faced this type of situation. As another poster stated, simply be nice, show respect, but realize that you have "rights".
    Dino soar, Tb0n3 and MartinFromBC Thank this.
  7. tow614

    tow614 Road Train Member

    Mar 18, 2013
    Cookeville, Tn
  8. im6under

    im6under Heavy Load Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    There are two problems here for most drivers.

    1) make sure you own the truck or the owner may fire you for refusing a search. That is my case, cops have free access as company policy.

    2) doesnt need a warrant. Needs a guy with a drug dog to walk around and proclaim the dog "hit" aka bam, probable cause.

    And try explaining in court, the cop cant read the dogs mind... good luck.

    I totally see what you are saying about preserving our rights. I actually agree truck should be off limits. Trailer is fair game, all i know is invoice says... cuz it could be anything for all i know... and legally cops and customs can match invoice to product.
  9. MartinFromBC

    MartinFromBC Road Train Member

    Oct 19, 2018
    Don't be rude...but also don't be a doormat.
    Cops are not even close to being God.
    In fact from my experience with dealing with cops thousands of times, many are clueless and just there for the pay cheque. A few days ago I was doing clean up at a crash scene. Four cops came to look at the scene and help me with anything I may need such as traffic control. The senior officer on the scene admitted that they really had no clue what to do. I said stay out of the way is the best thing. He replied with " consider it done"
    I go to many crashes a year, have for 20 plus years, dealt with a vast amount of cops, they are generally not the smartest people in society. Some are really nice, some average, some really big ########. They are not God, not even close to it, just another guy or gal, remember that. Don't treat them any worse or better than you would any other person you meet. I have a LOT of relatives who are cops to, they are certainly no better than anyone else, many are worse. Power corrupts people, and many think that they are powerful.
    Grouch, not4hire, shogun and 1 other person Thank this.
  10. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    Ultimate power equals Ultimate corruption. Im not saying to be rude just know your rights and dont be a doormat.
    MartinFromBC Thanks this.
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