It’s that time of year again! The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced details of the 2019 International Roadcheck, which will take place June 4-6. Now is the time for carrier safety, compliance staff and drivers to begin preparing for an inspection.
Although inspectors generally conduct Level 1 inspections, CVSA also puts extra emphasis on specific aspects each year. The special focus in 2018 was on hour of service compliance. This year, CVSA has announced that its emphasis will be on steering and suspension components.
“Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle,” said Jay Thompson, president of CVSA. “Not only do they support the heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”
2018 International Roadcheck Summary
During last year’s International Roadcheck, 67,603 vehicles were inspected (Level I, Level II and Level III inspections). The breakdown was as follows:
- Level 1 = 45,501
- Level 2 = 11,458
- Level 3 = 10,644
For vehicle violations, the top three categories that led to commercial motor vehicles being placed out of service were as follows:
- Braking systems (4,545)
- Tire/wheel assemblies (3,060)
- Brake adjustment (2,612)
For driver violations, the top three categories were as follows:
- Hours of service (1,328)
- Wrong license class (649)
- Falsified log books (309)
While there are more than 3 million roadside inspections conducted in North America throughout the year, many drivers don’t routinely experience a full Level 1 inspection. It’s always a good idea to remind drivers what a Level 1 inspection is, how to prepare for it and how to interact with law enforcement officers during an inspection.
Tips for a Smooth Roadcheck Inspection
- Make sure paperwork is neat and organized.
- Consider getting rid of old truck and trailer registrations, insurance documents, etc. to avoid confusion and clutter.
- If older documents are kept, make sure they are organized in a systematic way, such as having the current year on top.
- Make sure you do a thorough pre-trip inspection of the truck and trailer before departing.
- Lighting and tire violations are normally two of the top three equipment violations and can be easily detected during good pre-trip inspections.
- Make sure you have a working and compliant electronic logging device (ELD).
- Make sure you know how to use and pull reports on your ELD.
While drivers may feel some anxiety going into an inspection, try to remember that it is no different from the usual inspections that may be experienced at any other time of the year. The intent of highlighting steering and suspension safety is simply to increase drivers’ awareness of the critical elements of operating a commercial motor vehicle. The CVSA announces the dates when they will perform increased inspections in advance to allow plenty of time to ensure that vehicles are safe and compliant.
Inspections can be stressful events for many drivers, especially those who don’t regularly experience them. Understanding the inspection procedure, knowing what to expect and good preparation can help to reduce the stress and result in smooth, violation-free inspections.
How ECS Can Help
England Carrier Services (ECS) offers a maintenance and tire program for simple and affordable solutions to prevent vehicle defects. Our team has the commitment, experience and array of services necessary to provide the most cost-effective solutions for your company. Be sure to engage a trusted professional to perform maintenance in advance and keep your trucks on the road. For more details on how we can help your company, please contact your account manager directly or give us a call at (800) 848-7810.
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.