You’ve got a bit more than 60 days to make sure your truck’s steering and suspension components are properly maintained and in good working order. That’s because inspectors will focus on those components during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz June 4-6.
While checking vehicle compliance is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting steering components and suspension systems this year.
During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors 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 also opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection, according to the CVSA.
“Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson of the Arkansas Highway Police. “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.”
The vehicle inspection includes checking critical inspection items such as: brake systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; driver’s seat (missing); exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs; windshield wipers. Additional items on buses, motorcoaches, passenger vans or other passenger-carrying vehicles include emergency exits, electrical cables, and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating (temporary and aisle seats).
Drivers will be required to provide their driver’s license (operating credentials), Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable), driver’s 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 the vehicle 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 vehicle violation(s) are corrected. A driver can also be placed out of service for driver credential-related issues or driver conditions, such as fatigue or impairment.
Last year’s event sidelined nearly 12,000 trucks and buses and more than 2,600 drivers with out-of-service orders. Brakes, tires and wheels, and brake adjustment were the top three vehicle out-of-service violations issued during 2018’s Roadcheck. The top driver out-of-service violations were hours of service, wrong class license and false logs.
CVSA said its International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world. About 17 trucks and buses are inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States, and Mexico during a 72-hour period, according to CVSA. Since its inception in 1988, more than 1.6 million roadside inspections have been conducted during International Roadcheck campaigns, the organization said.