Every June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) partners with police agencies and federal regulators to conduct their International Roadcheck throughout North America. This year’s event runs from June 4-6. Depending on when you read this post, the event may have already passed.
Did you know that the CVSA has a different focus for every Roadcheck? The main focus for 2018 was the newly enacted electronic logging mandate. Inspectors will be focusing on steering and suspension systems for 2019. They will still be putting trucks and drivers through a thorough 37-step screening procedure though, so there’s no room to slack off.
Mytee Products reps say drivers can help themselves by getting a copy of the CVSA Roadcheck cheat sheet. This handy, single-page sheet provides an overview of what roadside inspectors look for. It can be referred to year after year. There are nine categories of items listed on the cheat sheet; all are described below.
Inspectors look for missing, non-functioning, and contaminated parts within the trucks braking system. They check for brake line links and proper air pressure. They also check warning systems, like ABS malfunction lamps, and safety systems designed to act as a fallback if brakes do fail.
2. Coupling Devices
Coupling devices are inspected for both their safety and integrity. Inspectors look for missing components, improper repairs, insecure mounting, damaged parts, and even the amount of space visible between the upper and lower fifth wheel plates. Drivers should be sure every facet of their coupling systems works as intended.
3. Fuel and Exhaust
A truck’s fuel system is inspected in order to demonstrate there are no leaks, loose or missing caps, or any other potentially detrimental conditions. Exhaust system components are examined to make sure they do not come in contact with electrical systems.
4. Frame, Van, and Open-Top Trailers
Inspectors check trailers for defective body parts, corrosion fatigue, and other potential problems. They even go so far as to check internal components including cross members and frame assemblies. They look for any signs of a potential loss of structural integrity that could mean the loss of critical components and/or cargo during travel.
The lighting category should be self-explanatory. Inspectors check all lighting components to make sure they are in good working condition.
6. Securement of Cargo
When encountering flatbed trailers, inspectors will thoroughly examine a driver’s cargo control methods and equipment to make sure all regulations have been followed. They look at working load limits, the number of tie-downs used, whether or not blocking is required, and so forth. They check to make sure each piece of cargo control equipment being utilized is in good working order.
Steering must be in good working order with no obvious signs of wear or damage. Inspectors have a very specific means of testing steering lash, which is a good indicator of whether or not things are in order.
Inspectors make a point of looking at misalignment, shifted or cracked springs, missing or loose bolts, loose shackles, etc. Drivers should check all suspension components, including axles.
9. Tires, Wheels, Etc.
Finally, inspectors take a close look at truck tires, wheels, rims, and hubs. They look for any abnormal wear and tear that could indicate a more serious problem. Inspectors look at side walls, wheel locking rings, blogs, etc.
Truck drivers and motor carriers are encouraged to get a copy of the cheat sheet and refer to it prior to each year’s Roadcheck event. The cheat sheet can be used throughout the year to maintain safety and legal compliance.