The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) annual International Roadcheck is almost here! The 72-hour enforcement is set to take place Tuesday, May 17 through Thursday, May 19, 2022.
For 72 hours, inspectors across North America request commercial motor vehicles to pull over for on-the-spot inspections, to ensure driver and truck safety. Each year, the CVSA highlights a particular focus: In 2021, this was lighting and hours of service compliance. In 2019, it was driver requirements.
This year, inspectors will pay close attention to wheel-end compliance, which includes the wheels, hubs and tires on a commercial motor vehicle. According to the CVSA, “violations involving these components historically account for one quarter of the vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during International Roadcheck.”
What to Expect
When it comes to checking vehicle wheel ends, inspectors will be on the lookout for:
Cracks or unseated locking rings, studs or clamps
Bent, cracked or broken rims on the inside and outside of wheel rims
Loose, broken, missing or damaged wheel fasteners
Lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs
Leaks in the inner wheel seal and/or the tire and valve stem
Proper inflation on all tires
Inspectors will also be looking for any critical vehicle inspection item violations—including with brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline and driveshaft components, steering mechanisms, exhaust and fuel systems, tires, wheels, and windshield wipers—and will place non-compliant vehicles out of service, meaning those trucks cannot legally be operated until conditions have been corrected. Those that successfully pass inspection will receive a CVSA decal.
Inspections will also closely analyze driver requirements, such as whether they have a valid CDL and an up-to-date medical certificate. Inspectors will also be on the lookout for proper seat belt usage and visual signs of fatigue or drug/alcohol abuse or impairment.
Medical Card Compliance
For the past few years, some of the most common violations during roadside inspections have involved valid medical cards. Not having valid medical certificates in a Driver Qualification File has also been a top violation during audits.
Per federal law, all interstate drivers operating a vehicle weighing 10,001 pounds or more are required to have a current medical card. These generally must be updated every two years. Sometimes, though, depending on a drivers’ health condition, updates are required more often—which can often lead to lapses in renewals, in turn resulting in violations.
The best way to maintain compliance is to ensure that all medical cards are valid, and that drivers with cards due to expire are scheduled for DOT physicals. Just as importantly, audit your driver files regularly to make sure that you and every driver you employ has a valid medical card on file.
You can easily manage this process via an electronic compliance system that automatically tracks expiration dates and driver file issues and alerts you to missing documents or expiring medical cards.
Preventing CDL Violations
Other all-too-common driver violations have to do with CDL licensing. For example, drivers have been caught operating with the wrong license class, with suspended, expired, or revoked CDLs, or with multiple CDLs.
To identify drivers’ CDL statuses, be sure to include a check of the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) as part of pre-employment screening. This will identify every state that a driver has held (or holds) a CDL. It’s also important to keep track of CDL expiration dates via automated driver qualification file management systems (such as the solution offered by Foley).
Also, be sure to enroll all current drivers in an MVR Monitoring Program. This will provide immediate notifications of a suspension or revocation, as well as DUIs, accidents and speeding tickets or other moving violations.
2021 Roadside Inspection Recap
During the 2021 International Roadcheck last May, more than 40,000 inspections were conducted throughout North America . The top vehicle violations involved braking systems, tires, lights, cargo securement and brake adjustment. For drivers, top violations included hours of service issues, having the wrong class licenses, falsifying logs, and driving with a suspended license.
Now is the time to prepare and ensure that you and your are operating as compliantly as possible. But keep it as an "every-day" practice, because being pulled-over is not happening just during the Annual Road Checkup.
Some of the most common violations include:
Overweight on axle
Fire Extinguisher (unsecured)
Missing Paper Logs (8 blank paper logs required)
Cargo Securement (for stepdeck/flatbed/RGN)
Hours of Service (logs - even missing a BOL #, or signature for the past days)
Finally, don't stress out! If you are compliant, you'll most likely receive a CLEAN INSPECTION and a BONUS! Just take proper care of your equipment and hours, and pay attention to the road, without speeding. We wish you a safe and productive week!
Article inspired by Foley Services