Annually the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which includes the US, Canada and Mexico, operates the Roadcheck program. Roadcheck is a targeted safety program meant to reinforce road safety laws. According to the CVSA website the alliance will operate more than 1500 safety inspection sites across North America. This effort requires more than “10,000 CSVA certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors”. Annually this effort occurs during the first week of June. This year the 72 hour inspection period will be held June 3, 4 and 5. This year’s Roadcheck will have an emphasis on hazardous materials and cargo.
It is expected that 60,00 commercial trucks and buses will be inspected during the 72 hours of Roadcheck. What will the inspectors be looking for? The CSVA website points out 9 points of inspection.
- Brakes – Looking for broken or missing parts, also listening for air leaks around brakes and lines
- Coupling Devices – Watching for lower 5th wheel secured mounting, gaps or space between upper and lower 5th wheel
- Fuel and Exhaust Systems – Loose mounted fuel tanks, missing or loose caps, secured mounted exhaust and heat protections for electrical and brake lines
- Frame, Van and Open Top Trailers – Bent frames, corroded body parts, condition of suspension and air hoses
- Lighting – Confirming all required lights and signals are in working order and placed correctly
- Cargo Securement – Inspection of end gates, blocking, bracing, (may inspect inside trailers), inspecting anchor points for tie downs as well
- Steering – Will check steering lash by measuring wheel turning points right and left
- Suspension – Looking for misaligned, shifting or cracked springs, cracked or missing u-bolts,
- Tires, Wheels, Rims and Hubs – Checking for proper inflation, tread wear, major tread groove depths, inspecting hubs and wheels for bends, cracks and corrosion
Trucks that fail inspections can be pulled from service. CSVA states that the average cost to carriers or owner operators is more than $800.00 for lost time and repair costs, not including any fines received as result of the inspection.
Safety is the Objective
Putting trucks out of service and issuing fines are not the objective. CSVA works with authorities to promote safe commercial vehicle operation. A major portion of the Roadcheck program is driver education. The Get to the Point initiative reminds drivers the importance of the following:
- Buckle Up! Start with this before you ever shift into 1st gear.
- Pre-inspect your equipment and be prepared for the trip.
- Driver’s health, be rested, eat well and stay fit!
- Blind spots, use mirrors and be aware of the traffic around you.
- Maintain a safe distance, more weight means more distance needed to safely stop.
The old Boy Scout motto is true for today’s drivers. Take time before June 3 to have your truck inspected. Ask your carrier or safety department to look at any areas that may need to be addressed. Most truck stops and service centers offer safety inspections and can accommodate requests when you receive general maintenance like oil changes or tire rotations. Check with your carrier for any partnerships or special programs available to you.
PFS requires, and provides at no charge, that each of our owner operators complete brake inspections each quarter. Following DOT recommendations our owner operators are required to maintain safety records and repair records on file. Our drivers receive free drive through “Safety Lane” inspections as a benefit at each of our terminals. This is just one way we support our owner operators. For more information about benefits afforded our owner operators, contact via our contact page or by phone.