2019 Roadcheck radar: Securement, steering, suspensions

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2019 International Roadcheck will take place June 4-6. Certified agency representatives will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

The vehicle inspection includes checking critical points such as brake systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; driver’s seat (missing); exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail or stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs; and, windshield wipers. Drivers will be required to provide their driver’s license (operating credentials); Medical Examiner’s and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificates (if applicable); plus, record of duty status and vehicle inspection report(s) (if applicable). Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, sickness, fatigue and apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.

If no critical vehicle inspection item violations are found during a Level I or Level V Inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that it successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection conducted by a CVSA-certified inspector; however, when a rear impact guard is required and violations are present, a CVSA decal shall not be issued. If an inspector does identify critical vehicle inspection item violations, he or she may render the vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. This means the vehicle cannot be operated until the violation(s) are corrected. A driver can also be placed out of service for credential-related issues or conditions such as fatigue and impairment.

Out-of-service orders and the number, type and severity of safety violations affect a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score and its Safety Fitness Determination rating. CSA is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) designed to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities by holding motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety.

While checking vehicle compliance is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting steering components and suspension systems in this year’s International Roadcheck. “Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle,” says Alliance President Chief Jay Thompson. “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 wear and possible failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, spurring on average about 17 truck or bus inspections across North America every minute during a 72-hour period. Since the program’s inception in 1988, more than 1.6 million roadside inspections have been conducted during annual campaigns. International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by FMCSA; Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and Transport Canada; and, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Ministry of Communications and Transportation), Mexico.

Out of all out-of-service violations North American agencies logged during the three-day 2018 International Roadcheck, notes Kinedyne, 2,080 or 13 percent involved cargo securement. GRAPHIC: Kinedyne LLC