Every year in June the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducts a 72-hour truck inspection blitz on the nation’s highways. More than 10,000 CVSA-certified inspectors pull over commercial vehicles at a rate of about 17 per minute in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for Level 1 Inspection. That’s about triple the normal rate.
A Level 1 Inspection is pretty thorough on its own, with 37 distinct steps involving both truck and driver. The goal is safety, the tool is enforcement. Last year, CVSA put nearly a quarter of the trucks inspected during RoadCheck out of service, with brake system violations the leading cause.
This year’s Roadcheck takes place June 7-9, and tires will get special scrutiny. Inspectors will measure tire tread depth, check tire pressure, make sure that no items are lodged between dual tires and looking at the overall condition of all tires.
Of course, safety is a goal for fleets and their drivers all the time, but Roadcheck is a push to up the game a bit, take every extra step, be extra vigilant. CVSA even offers a checklist for this year that offers lots of solid information about tires that can be used year-round.
A Level 1 inspection can take 45 minutes to an hour to conduct. This is the one time of the year a driver can fully expect to be pulled over and get the most thorough inspection, so it makes sense to account for that in planning the day.
Frustration may well be part of the process too, so it’s more important than ever to be ready to take things in stride. Having all documentation readily accessible will help the process run smoothly, and so will maintaining a calm attitude.
Fleets should help drivers who have not experienced a Level 1 inspection help to become familiar with the 37 steps, and let them know what to expect from interactions with inspectors.
Tidy up the cab, clean the truck. A messy vehicle indicates to the inspector that the vehicle is not being maintained, and may intensify scrutiny, leading to a longer inspection time.
CVSA considers Roadcheck a safety education opportunity. Fleets and drivers can approach it as a test that they will pass with ease.