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International Roadcheck inspection blitz this week

Posted: June 3, 2019 by John G. Smith

BETHESDA, Md. –Enforcement teams across North America will participate in the international Roadcheck inspection blitz from June 4-6, placing a special focus on truck steering and suspension systems.

About 17 trucks and buses are inspected every minute during the annual event.

“Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle,” said Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) president Jay Thompson, explaining this year’s focus. “Not only do they support the heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

Enforcement teams will largely focus on the 37-step Level 1 inspections, which involve driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Level 2 walkaround driver/vehicle inspections, Level 3 driver/credential/administrative inspections, or Level 5 vehicle-only inspections are also conducted as required.

Equipment that passes a Level 1 or 5 inspection without any critical defects will earn a CVSA decal.

The inspections themselves will follow standards established under the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.

Last year, enforcement teams placed about one in five (21.6%) commercial vehicles out of service during Level 1 inspections. They inspected 67,502 trucks and buses in Canada and the U.S., with 7,181 on this side of the border. That left 11,897 vehicles and 2,664 drivers out of service.

The top equipment out-of-service conditions were for brake systems (4,536), tires and wheels (3,058), and brake adjustment (2,612). The top violations for drivers involved hours of service (1,326), incorrect licence classes (648), and false record of duty status (308).

When Level 1, 2 and 3 inspections are considered, 3.9% of inspected drivers were placed out of service. Almost half of those (43.7%) were because of hours of service violations. Still, fewer than 2% of drivers were placed out of service for hours of service violations when all inspections were considered.

Hour of service was a special focus last year, following the rollout of a U.S. mandate for electronic logging devices.

Of all the hazardous material and dangerous goods equipment that faced a Level 1 or 2 inspection, out-of-service rates were as low as 13.1%. The top causes for those were for loading (25.6% of violations), other hazardous materials (21.3%), and shipping papers (19.9%).

While the annual Roadcheck blitz shines a light on inspection standards, the process itself should seem familiar to all drivers.

“The inspections performed during International Roadcheck are the same inspections that are conducted the day before International Roadcheck starts and the day after it concludes, as well as any other day of the year,” said Thompson.

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