GE launches trailer inspection service at border crossings

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GE Equipment Services announced a new service that uses handheld computers to help U.S., Canadian and Mexican carriers inspect and electronically document the condition of their trailers both before and after a border crossing. This service will help carriers verify compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation requirements. Carriers face delays and potential fines if their trailers are inspected at the border and not found compliant.

If repairs are warranted, GE’s Trailer Fleet Services unit can also complete the work promptly to get the trailer back in service and avoid fines and ensuing delays, the company says. According to the DOT, more than 10 million freight trucks entered the U.S. from Canada and Mexico in 2006.

“Customers have asked for help in documenting the condition of their trailers at the border,” said Trailer Fleet Services CEO Joe Artuso. “In some cases they need repairs to ensure DOT compliance, and in other cases they are asking us to provide photos and other documentation so they can pursue damage claims against carriers. In fact, one carrier was paying more than $25,000 a month in fines before they came to us.”

Trailer Fleet Services offers the new service at four branches in Canada: Toronto, Ont., Montreal, Que., Calgary, Alberta, and Vancouver, B.C. In the U.S. participating branches include Calexico, Calif., Laredo and El Paso, Texas, as well as 50 others. In Mexico the service is offered at the GE branch in Nuevo Laredo. Additional sites are also planned.