On June 5-7th, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is holding its annual 37-point roadcheck inspections. In 2017 during this 72-hour period, more than 62,000 inspections took place to identify violating trucks, trailers, and drivers to place them out of service. 23 percent of inspected vehicles and 4.2 percent of drivers were placed out of service during inspections last year. Because of the multitude of trucks inspected and the increased risk to receive violations, many carriers choose to park their truck and avoid inspection altogether.
Roadchecks however can be an opportunistic time for drivers if they have adequately prepared for the event. Because of the decreased number of trucks on the road, drivers often have the opportunity to haul freight at a premium during roadchecks. By successfully completing the Level I check, drivers can potentially lower their ISS score and reduce the likelihood of inspections in the future.
How can you remain on the road yet minimize your chances of being cited for a violation?
Know the Focus
Each year, CVSA inspectors have a particular area of focus for the inspection, and are often more likely to place vehicles or drivers out of service if they are violating the focus category. For instance, in 2017 when the focus was cargo securement, the percentage of vehicle violations of this subcategory jumped from 6.1 percent in 2016 to 15.7 percent in 2017.
This year the CVSA is focusing on driver Hours of Service (HOS) violations. In 2017 alone, the top driver-related out of service violation was HOS at 32.3 percent. With Electronic Logging Device (ELD) implementation and strict enforcement already in effect, it won’t be a surprise if the number of drivers placed out of service for HOS violations increases.
Perform a practice check
Identify potential violations before official inspections begin by performing a practice check. Roadcheck is broken down into two categories: Inspection of the vehicle and inspection of the driver. Use the 37-point CVSA Level I Inspection checklist as a guideline to see if you, your tractor and/or your trailer are potentially in violation. This will allow you to identify problem areas, provide time to fix the issue, and reduce the likelihood of infractions.
Know your ELD
Now is the perfect time to refresh your drivers’ knowledge with regards to the use and operation of their ELD. Simply ensuring that your drivers are using the ELD properly and verifying that it is functioning properly are easy ways to reduce violations. Will your ELD print or email HOS logs as expected? Do your drivers know how to do so? Better to find out ahead of time than when your driver is pulled over for an impromptu inspection.
There are over 180 different ELD devices from over 130 different companies registered with the FMCSA. While your drivers have likely had extensive training on their ELD’s, inspectors may be unfamiliar with the particular ELD you and your team are using. In the event that an error occurs or a malfunction happens, make sure the driver has a manual handy.
During roadcheck week, your drivers might even want to have a printout of the prior 7 days of their ELD log in the truck to help bolster their case if they find themselves in a situation where the ELD is functional but the inspector and driver are, for whatever reason, unable to retrieve the HOS data from the device. This is a simple proactive and precautionary measure that can save time and mitigate violations.
Plan for delays
Roadcheck inspections take time. What could be a routine transit on a typical week will take additional time from June 5-7th. Before accepting loads, make sure you are factoring in the extra time for inspections. This will help you avoid missed appointments and costly fines.
Expect the inevitable
If you are out on the roads on June 5-7th, expect that you will be stopped and inspected. The CVSA Roadchecks are “the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with nearly 15 trucks or buses inspected on average every minute during a 72 hr. period.” Keeping this top of mind will encourage you and your drivers to prepare ahead of time.
With the necessary preparation and practice checks, you can reduce or mitigate the likelihood of violations and reap the benefits of being on the road during roadcheck week. Upon successfully completing inspections, an official CVSA Roadcheck decal will be provided to drivers to display on their vehicle. Happy hauling!
To learn about working with AFN, please visit our carrier page or call us at 1-877-562-3236.