Every year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) stages an all-out 72-hour inspection effort, called International Roadcheck. This June 4-6 will be no different, as U.S. federal and state inspectors, plus their Canadian and Mexican counterparts, will conduct Level 1 inspections of drivers and vehicles at 1,500 locations. Nearly 15 trucks or buses will be inspected, on average, every minute across North America.
Level 1 inspections are comprehensive, covering every major vehicle system. For drivers, the Level 1 inspection will look at commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), medical certificates, hours-of-service (HOS) records, and recent vehicle inspection reports. Additionally, inspectors will check drivers for seat belt use, illness, fatigue and any indication of drugs or alcohol. For more about Level 1 inspections, see CVSA’s “North American Standard Roadside Inspection Vehicle Cheat Sheet.”
Each year Roadcheck brings a special focus on one area of the Level 1 inspection. For 2019, it will be on steering and suspension systems. Steering and suspension are critical safety systems, affecting vehicle control, stability, acceleration, braking and tire wear.
There is still time to have your mechanic look over your commercial vehicle in preparation for Roadcheck. A clean inspection, after all, benefits your safety score and helps you qualify or remain qualified for electronic bypass programs, like PrePass, among many other reasons.
But you want those inspections to be “clean.” Warning signs that something may be amiss with your steering and suspension include:
- Uneven tire wear
- Swaying or shaking while driving
- Problems handling bumps at low speeds
- Lurching or straying one direction or the other
- Not sitting level when parked
- Knocking or squealing sounds during turns
Have your vehicle ready for International Roadcheck, because it is likely you and your truck will be inspected. During Roadcheck most states and provinces will adjust their “pull-in” rate at weigh stations to check as many commercial vehicles as enforcement staffing allows – including those which would normally bypass inspection sites.
If you are going to get inspected anyway, make it count in your favor.
Steve Vaughn is vice president of field operations for HELP Inc., the provider of the truck weigh station bypass system PrePass, as well as toll payment and trucking data visualization technology. He previously served with the California Highway Patrol and is a past president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.