Controlling CSA Maintenance Violations

Aug. 1, 2016
Truck preventive maintenance inspections should focus on lights, tires and brakes to make sure they are operating under the guidelines set by FMCSA.

Safety is the number-one concern of most fleets as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). That is the main point behind the organization’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability initiative.

FMCSA wants to ensure that all trucks on the road are operating as safely as possible. Their Behavior Analysis & Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) are used by law enforcement agents during roadside inspections to evaluate the condition of the truck and the driver.

The Vehicle Maintenance BASIC is one of seven areas monitored by FMCSA. Industry data has shown that violations in the Maintenance BASIC take up 16 of the top 25 violation spots.

Your fleet can take steps to reduce the number of violations it gets in the maintenance area. It starts with insisting drivers perform pre- and post-trip inspections…and perform them diligently and thoroughly. Your maintenance department is then responsible for fixing anything noted on the DVIR before letting the truck out on the road again. If you find and fix the problem, it is one less thing that can be found during a roadside inspection.

Lights, tires and brakes are three of the big items inspectors look at when they’ve pulled a truck over. And in some cases are the very reason a truck gets pulled over. Think of it from the inspector’s point of view:  If he sees a truck with a light out, it will make him wonder how much attention has been paid to other areas of the truck if something as obvious as a burned-out bulb has not been taken care of.

In addition to enforcing pre- and post-trip inspections, your preventive maintenance inspections should focus on lights, tires and brakes to make sure they are operating under the guidelines set by FMCSA. This includes things like making sure all lights are illuminating properly, checking tread depth on all tires, and ensuring brakes are properly adjusted.

This attention to detail should help speed up the inspection process, result in fewer CSA violations and fines, and most importantly, keep your trucks on the road and your drivers happy.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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