Several Canadian-specific changes in CVSA updates

by Today's Trucking

GREENBELT, Md. – Commercial vehicle inspectors are following an updated set of guidelines in the form of the 2020 North American Standard Out-of-Service (OOS) Criteria – and several recent changes were specific to Canada.

The new criteria took affect on April 1, as part of an annual update.

Some of the revisions in 2020 include:

  • Removing a 72-hour OOS condition for having no daily log. — “Previously, the federal regulations allowed an officer/inspector to place a driver OOS for 72 hours for not producing a daily log. With the recent updates to the regulations, the ability to do so has been removed,” executive director Collin Mooney says in a letter explaining the changes.“Due to the removal of the 72-hour timeframe to place a driver OOS for no production of a logbook, it was deemed appropriate to reduce the time a driver can be behind on his/her log before being placed OOS. The timeframe was reduced from today plus the previous day to the current day only.”
  • References to new SAE J2899 markings on brake chambers — “The markings are easy to see and indicate the rated stroke and pushrod stroke of the chamber without the need to measure the diameter or determine if it is long or short stroke. The markings were added to the charts for easy reference,” Mooney said.
  • Parking brakes must be held by mechanical means — “Clarification was required on whether the mechanical holding of the parking brake should be required, or if applying the parking brake with hand pressure and holding it with hand pressure was adequate,” Mooney explains. “Specifically, in cases where the actuator cannot hold the parking brake in the applied position, should the vehicle be placed OOS?” The answer was that it should.
  • Suspensions with missing or loose sway bars are no longer placed out of service — “It was determined that the sway bar is there for comfort and not stability, and sway bars are not a critical vehicle inspection item and missing or loose sway bars should not be an OOS condition,” he said.
  • Marked emergency exits on passenger-carrying vehicles can’t be obstructed, even if the exits are not required – If such exits are obstructed, they will be declared OOS.
  • Canadian terms for bulk packages – The Canadian wording of “large means of containment” has been added to the rules for bulk packages. Rules for non-bulk packaging will also refer to “small means of containment” for the same reason.
  • Definitions of secure manhole covers – All the fasteners on a manhole cover’s dome now need to be hand-tightened all the way down to qualify as closed and secured.
  • Emergency Response Assistance Plan information must be on shipping documents — “Situations have arisen where the ERAP reference number/activation telephone number was not listed on the shipping document and inspectors were not able to place the dangerous goods shipment OOS, as intended. This additional language specifies that this information is required,” Mooney says.
  • Recognizing valid dangerous goods training certificates — “Training certificates in Canada require informational items. If a training certificate is missing any of the six items listed in the [out-of-service criteria], the certificate is considered not valid and the driver should be placed OOS.”

Other changes have removed loopholes involving the licence status of non-CDL drivers who operate equipment with gross vehicle weight ratings over 26,000 lb. – such as covered farm vehicles and emergency vehicles; identified where information from the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse mandate will be found; and removed references to automatic on-board recording devices that have not applied in the U.S. since Dec. 16.

Details of the full changes are available at


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