While most of us know May 16 as “National Love A Tree Day”, this year, those in the trucking business will associate this unassuming date as the start of International Roadcheck 2023.
Spearheaded by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the annual road check will be a continentwide three-day safety bonanza. Across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, CVSA-certified inspectors will take to the streets and conduct their righteous examinations of commercial vehicles and drivers at designated inspection areas and weigh stations.
The safety nut special will conclude on May 18.
Braking systems, cargo securement are this year’s focuses
While International Roadcheck is an annual affair where its goal for more visibility into safer operations is unwavering, the areas of focus change each and every year.
For 2023, the CVSA announced an emphasis on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement.
Although not an out-of-service violation, ABS are a necessary ingredient to overall vehicle safety. The technology plays a vital role in reducing the risk of collisions by preventing wheels from locking up or skidding.
Likely onboard in all of our personal, lighter-duty, vehicles, ABS is especially effective for larger rigs as it helps truck drivers maintain control while braking. Harnessing the reigns of an 80,000 pound missile carries a lot more difficulty than a modest Prius gone rogue so inspectors want to ensure all braking systems they come across are in commission.
The other focus highlights one of the inherent risks whenever hauling freight—improper cargo securement. Truckers moving an improperly secured load can put themselves and other drivers in danger. Whether it affects the vehicle’s maneuverability, or worse, causes freights to fall out onto roadways.
Data will be gathered from routine inspections
Aside from the year-over-year shifting of focuses, International Roadcheck will always gather data during the three-day stretch from routine inspections on vehicle and driver safety.
- Vehicle safety – Inspectors will ensure the vehicle’s brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat, fuel and exhaust systems, frames, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, wheels, rims, hubs and windshield wipers are compliant with regulations. Inspections of motorcoaches, passenger vans and other passenger-carrying vehicles also include emergency exits, seating, and electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments.
- Driver safety – Inspectors will check the driver’s operating credentials, hours-of-service documentation, status in the drug and alcohol clearinghouse, seat belt usage, and for alcohol and/or drug impairment.
During International Roadcheck, if a vehicle successfully passes the inspection, it may receive a special CVSA decal to don—the true sign of safety swag.
Last year’s International Roadcheck saw CVSA-certified inspectors conducting over 59,000 inspections and placing 12,456 commercial vehicles out-of-service. On top of that, 3,714 drivers were deemed out-of-service during the 72-hour period.
Each year, vehicle violations are typically issued for brake systems, ties, defective breaks, and lights. While driver violations tend to be driving a rig with the wrong class license or keeping false logs.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic or any others in domestic logistics. In addition, stay up to date with weekly headlines from both trucking and rail via our Road Map newsletter.