Western Motor Carrier Safety Institute,
Herbert in 1990, Western Motor Carrier Safety
Institute is based in Quincy, CA and serves the western United
States including California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
Motor carrier safety and compliance
Accident reconstruction and analysis
Forklift training and certification
Interview with V. Paul
Q: Tell us about your experiences that led up to you working as an expert
V. Paul Herbert: "One of the
things that my customers like about me is my varied background. I started out as a truck driver when I was
really young and drove truck for several years.
"Then I went to work for the Nevada
Highway Patrol as a state trooper, and because of my trucking background—I had quite a bit of expertise in
trucking, air brake systems, things like that—I was able to do a lot with the Nevada Highway Patrol in the way
of truck and bus safety, dealing with air brake safety and accident investigation.
"Then my career took a different
direction. I decided to combine my truck driving experience with my law enforcement experience and work in the
trucking industry again, but this time in a safety management capacity.
"I worked for the California Trucking
Association in their safety department and did that for several years.
"Then I was offered a job by a large
trucking company as their Director of Safety and Personnel and I did that for a few years.
"Following that I was accepted a job as
general manager of a smaller trucking company and I did that for a year until I started my own business as a
transportation safety consultant.
"My background is really helpful
for being an expert witness because I have a lot of hands on experience as a truck driver, law enforcement
experience, and then working in safety management positions in the trucking industry.
"Paul is one of the best truck operation and safety experts in
California. He has dedicated himself to knowing just
about everything regarding commercial truck operations and driver safety issues.
"You don't want to be on the other side of the table from
Commercial General Liability and Commercial Trucking Defense Trial
Q: What should a client look for when considering
hiring an expert witness?
number one qualification is—'Is this expert really qualified to be in front of a jury and try to explain to them
that he actually knows the industry and has experience in the industry, and is not just making up something
because an attorney wants him to say something?'
"I guess the most important thing they
should know is how qualified the expert is—which would include the experience and background we just talked
"One of the things that sets me apart
from some of the other experts that I work with in the same capacity is that I continue to go to seminars,
courses, things like that, in the area of commercial motor vehicle safety.
"For example next week I'm attending
for about the 4th time a four-day air brake school in Reno put on by the Bendix Corporation.
"I've been there 3 times before but I
like to go about every 4 years to keep up to speed on things.
"I'm seeing a couple of my competitors
start doing that, but they haven’t for years, and several of them don't do anything in the way of
education—trying to improve their knowledge base.
"And another thing that a lot of them
don't do is—I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the industry. A lot of these conferences I go to are
where the nuts and bolts of the commercial vehicle safety are discussed and industry decisions are
"For example the California Trucking Association. I’m actively involved in their safety management
"The American Trucking Association. I’m
actively involved in their safety management council including being a member of their accident review
"And then also the North American
Transportation Management Institute. You’ll find that on my CV. I’ve been a member for years and I’ve instructed
many of their courses.
"I keep abreast of everything that I
can that will help me understand more what the industry best practices are—state of the art instrumentation and
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