Every year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) schedules their DOT inspection blitz during the month of May. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the blitz was postponed until sometime later in 2020.
While this postponement means you don’t have to worry about the official International Road Check blitz right now, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be concerned with safety. Remember, safety doesn’t take a break and should always be your top priority. Even though the blitz is postponed, safety inspections and traffic enforcement will continue to be conducted daily, with enforcement personnel following their departmental health and safety policies as appropriate.
In these uncertain times, businesses have had to alter the way they do business. The supply chain is still strong, but the need for essential items has certainly changed. While you can’t completely control how or what you are hauling, there is one thing you can always control—how you approach safety.
Pre-trip inspections are not only a requirement, but they help you determine if your equipment is safe and road worthy. Some things to look for:
Engine compartment: Make sure there are no leaks, all fluid levels are adequate, and there are no cracks or fraying on belts.
Fuel Tank and Battery Area: Check for cracks, breaks, dents or leaking. Also, check mirrors for cracks or damage at this time. Check air lines going to the trailer to make sure they are properly connected and in good condition.
Coupling System: Examine air lines to make sure they are in good condition with no leaks. Make sure fifth wheel is properly greased and in good working condition.
Trailer: Inspect landing gear and frame to make sure there are not broken, cracked or bent. Verify the mud flaps are properly installed. Make sure rear doors and hinges are in good condition.
Light Check: Check all lights to ensure they function properly and make sure reflective tape is properly mounted and secure.
Brakes/Air Brakes: Make sure brakes are in good condition and air brakes are working correctly.
Tires: Look for abrasions, bulges or cuts on the sidewalls. Ensure tread depth is no less than 4/32nd of an inch. PSI should be set to manufacturer’s specification.
If you keep your equipment in top working order, the timing of the nationwide inspection blitz doesn’t matter. You will be ready for anything, and you’ll keep the roads safe for everyone! The CVSA website will list the dates of the DOT inspection once they reschedule. Other safety initiatives the CVSA has upcoming are Operation Safe Driver week from July 12-18, 2020 and Brake Safety Week from August 23-29, 2020.
We appreciate all that drivers are doing during these difficult times. By keeping your equipment in top working condition, you keep our roads safe and keep goods moving.
The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers a variety of services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members who are committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.