Time to Get Ready for the Big Trucking Inspection Blitz

by Evan Lockridge

It’s that time of the year to make sure every truck along with all driver paperwork is in order because those who don’t could be sidelined and forced to shell out hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

The 28th annual, three-day International Roadcheck 2015 is set for June 2-4, when approximately 10,000, local, provincial, state and federal inspectors in jurisdictions across North America fan out for roadside inspections.

The event is organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), in cooperation federal governments in Canada, U.S. and Mexico.

Inspectors will primarily be conducting the North American Standard Level I Inspection, the most thorough roadside inspection, that’s a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both the driver and vehicle.

Drivers will be asked to provide items such as their license, endorsements and hours-of-service documentation, and will be checked for seat belt usage as well as the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.

The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the braking system, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, lights, safe loading, steering mechanism, drive line, suspension, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels and rims and even windshield wipers.

Also, during the event, inspectors will conduct educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver, and cargo safety and security.

Each year, International Roadcheck places a special emphasis on a category of violations, with this year focusing on cargo securement during roadside inspections.

According to CVSA, which certifies commercial vehicle inspectors, International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute in North America during the 72-hour period.

To help drivers prepare for these inspections, CVSA has developed its International Roadcheck Check List.

A separate document, In the Inspector’s Seat, covers what inspectors will be looking for.

Also, the safety and regulatory compliance company J. J. Keller & Associates has put out a free white paper, What to Expect During Roadcheck 2015.

“With Roadcheck just around the corner, it’s critical that carriers prepare,” said Tom Bray, J. J. Keller senior transportation management editor. “Preparation involves making sure that all vehicles are current on maintenance and that drivers are inspecting them daily as required, including taking action on any problems found. Carriers should remind drivers to have their credentials…with them and to keep their logs current.”

According to CVSA, since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered more than 1.4 million, resulting in an estimated 318 lives saved and 5,840 injuries avoided.

During last year’s Roadcheck, CVSA certified inspectors completed 73,475 truck and bus inspections, with just over a third of them being the Level I inspection. Of these, 23% resulted in vehicles being placed out of service.

Out of the more than 74,000 driver inspections that were performed during last year’s event 4.8% were placed out of service.

Being put out of service isn’t cheap. According to CVSA it costs an average of US$861, not including the cost of any fines or repairs as a result of the inspection.

The official kick off is on June 2 at Spokane Port of Entry Station off Interstate 90 West in Washington at 10:00 am, when officers with Washington State Patrol will being pulling commercial motor vehicles off the road for safety inspections, but don’t be surprised if authorities targeting trucks as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday.


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