GREENBELT, MD — Road Check, the North-America-wide annual safety blitz, runs this week from Tuesday, June 4 to Thursday, June 6. So get ready for 72 hours of rigorous and thorough roadside inspections.
But the blitz doesn’t have to spell trouble. During last year’s Road Check, Mississauga-based Meyers Transport reported zero out-of-service (OOS) vehicles and the same number of tickets.
Meyers President Jacquie Meyers says that’s because of their year-round inspections, and she encourages other companies to follow their lead.
“We pay our drivers to do pre-trip inspections,” she says. “We make sure [our drivers] report any defects and hold them accountable if they don’t.
“We know when everything is due for service and we can make sure that it is serviced before it moves again. Our equipment may not be the newest or shiniest: but it’s probably some of the best-maintained equipment out there.”
About 10,000 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors will be working at over 1,500 locations across North America.
A whopping 14 vehicles will be inspected every minute, in coops from Canada to Mexico.
John Haines, National Fleet Director for Canada Cartage, offers advice for drivers and companies alike.
“Your first line of defense is your drivers,” he says, reminding drivers to keep a keen eye on paperwork.
“It’s not so much maintenance anymore; they’re getting nailed for paperwork,” says Haines.
The CVSA also offers its own set of tips to get ready for Road Check. Brakes, coupling devices, fuel and exhaust systems, lighting, securing cargo, steering, suspension, tires, wheels, rims and hubs, as well as tips for frame, van and open-top trailers are all listed in a prep package on their website that you can find here.
Last year, Road Check performed 75,000 truck and bus inspections, 48,815 of which were North American Standard Level 1 inspections — the most comprehensive type of inspection — and the results were very positive.
Twenty-two point four percent of vehicles and 3.1 percent of drivers were OOS. That’s the second lowest number in 25 years.
Overall (for all levels of inspection), 20.9 percent of vehicles and 4.6 percent of drivers were placed OOS. These numbers were higher than 2011’s results and show that one in five vehicles inspected were deemed an imminent safety hazard.
Road Check has been around since 1988 and is sponsored by the CVSA; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators; Transport Canada; and Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation.
Since it began, the CVSA says Road Check has saved 220 lives and prevented 4,045 injuries.