Things Drivers Must Know About CVSA International Roadcheck 2021
(Article Courtesy Penske)
It’s the largest dedicated commercial motor vehicle (CMV) roadside inspection event of the year. It lasts for 72 hours. And it can lead to out-of-service (OOS) violations for both trucks and drivers if vehicles and record of duty statuses aren’t in tip-top shape. It’s the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual International Roadcheck, and it’s happening from May 4 – 6.
Here are five things all drivers must know if they’re hitting the highways during the Roadcheck.
1. This year’s Roadcheck will happen on schedule. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the CVSA International Roadcheck to the fall. This year, it’s back to its normal early-spring date, so expect it to go off as scheduled from May 4 – 6 in North America, Canada and Mexico.
2. Pay careful attention to your lights. Lighting is one of two key areas of focus for inspectors during this year’s Roadcheck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, lighting ranked as the No. 1 vehicle violation during its 2020 fiscal year, occurring in more than 12% of all roadside inspections. To stay compliant, make sure all lighting devices, reflectors, turn signals and electrical equipment inside your CMV are in good working order. Broken or burnt-out headlights or taillights can lead to an automatic OOS. Dim or broken lights anywhere on your truck may give an inspector reasons to question the quality of maintenance for your entire vehicle.
3. Watch your hours of service (HOS). HOS is the second main focus area for CVSA inspectors this year. During the 2020 Roadcheck, slightly more than 1 in every 3 OOS driver violations in North America were due to HOS violations. Make sure to properly record your HOS through your vehicle’s electronic logging device (ELD) or with a paper log. Know the HOS rules, such as the 14-hour limit.
Visit the FMCSA website (fmcsa.dot.gov) for a refresher. It is the responsibility of the driver to know what exemptions they operate under if any. The inspector will assume you do not fall under any exemptions unless you tell them and you will be cited accordingly.
4. Do your pre- and post-trip inspections. They are the best way to identify any potential violations. Report any problems you spot to dispatch. In addition to checking lighting and HOS, roadside inspectors will check these items for compliance:
• Brake systems • Cargo securement • Coupling devices • Driveline/driveshaft components • Driver’s seat • Exhaust fumes • Frames • Fuel systems • Lighting devices • Steering mechanisms • Suspensions • Tires • Van and open-top trailer bodies • Wheels • Rims • Hubs • Windshield wipers • All state/federal paperwork as required.
5. Show off your decal. Drivers completing a successful Level I or Level V inspection during the International Roadcheck will receive a CVSA decal, valid for three months. Wear it on your truck with pride!