Don’t Be Blindsided By CVSA Roadcheck

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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will conduct its 29th Annual International Roadcheck from June 7th – 9th. The Roadcheck is the largest of its kind, covering all of North America.

Shippers and carriers both need to prepare for the Roadcheck. Disruptions, delayed deliveries, higher transport costs and lost opportunities threaten supply chains during this three day event.

Despite the annual occurrence of this inspection, many shippers and carriers are penalized from a lack of preparation.

Carrier Preparation

One out-of-service (OOS) violation costs $1,000, not including the driver’s down time and the resulting repair work. A little bit of preparation can spare you unnecessary costs.

Primarily, the 37-step, Level 1 inspection is used during the Roadcheck, with a focus this year on tire wear. Of all Level 1 inspections, about 5% of drivers and 20% of vehicles are in violation. Over three days, 10,000 CVSA inspectors will stop 17 vehicles every minute. It’s probable that at least one of your vehicles will be inspected.

4 tips to prepare for the Roadcheck:

  • Complete thorough pre- and post-trip inspections the week of the Roadcheck.
  • Ensure the past 7 days of driving are logged accurately.
  • Confirm drivers should have their CDL, medical cards, trailer registration and all other documents in a permit book.
  • Have drivers receive a sticker after inspection, so they don’t get stopped twice.

Tire violations account for 72% of all OOS violations – fitting, then, that the focus of this year’s Roadcheck is tire conditions.

Maintaining good tire conditions takes a little more work. Here are some tips to avoid tire violations:

  • Know the regulations. With this year’s inspection focusing on tires, you’ll need to know the minimum safe tire requirements to ensure compliance before hitting the road. FMCSA rules and regulations can be found here.
  • Communicate tire specifications. During the inspection, drivers will have to check their tires often. Make sure inflation and tread depth complies with minimum requirements, and that drivers understand those minimum requirements.
  • Keep suspension aligned. Misaligned vehicle suspension will rapidly wear down tires. Make sure to check and align all of your truck’s suspension. If a truck’s suspension has been improperly aligned, and it has gone unnoticed, you will fail the Roadcheck.
  • Follow industry best practices. There are plenty of tire and rubber manufacturing associations, like the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire Industry Association, that provide the best ways to keep tires in good condition all year-round.

Shipper Preparation

It’s just as important for shippers to prepare for the CVSA Roadcheck.

During last year’s Roadcheck, only 4.8% of drivers and 17.5% of vehicles were flagged– the best numbers to date. However, even with carrier compliance improving, there’s still a significant risk of disruption and inflated costs in your freight transportation.

As a shipper, a truck passing inspection may seem out of your hands. But there are some things you can do to prepare and mitigate disruptions caused by the CVSA Roadcheck.

  • Don’t ship during the Roadcheck. The simplest solution, if your production schedule will allow it, would be to simply avoid shipping freight June 7th – 9th. Shipping all necessary freight before or after the Roadcheck can avoid a lot of hassle.
  • Use a TMS for carrier selection. A good transportation management system (TMS) will keep a historical record of carrier performance. With this data, you can choose the carriers who have most safely carried your freight in the past. This can minimize the risk of having a truck fail inspection.
  • Check the truck yourself. When a truck pulls into your facility, check to make sure the brake lights work – that’s the quickest way for a truck to fail an inspection. Does the driver have all the paperwork in order? Do the tires look low? Does the exhaust produce huge clouds of black smoke? Is there a broken mirror? A cracked trailer wall? There are many obvious things you can take quick note of, and refuse to send freight on a truck that clearly will not pass an inspection.
  • Track your freight. Use a TMS to track your freight in-transit. This way, should a truck with your freight fail an inspection, you will know right away – you can contact your customer to alert them to the delay and make alternative arrangements to minimize the impact of the disruption.

Despite the fact that the CVSA Roadcheck happens every year, and its dates are announced far in advance, many shippers and carriers still fail to prepare for it.

The likelihood of disruption is increased significantly, which can lead to unnecessary costs. With a little preparation, shippers and carriers can both avoid fines and delays.

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