Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) emphasizes a special focus during International Roadcheck. This year, the inspection will include two special focuses—one driver operating requirement category, hours of service, and one vehicle mechanical fitness category, lighting. In addition to getting your FREE mid-trip inspection at a participating TA Truck Service center before May 2, we’re sharing some tips to help you hit the road ready.
Roadcheck inspection driver requirements
To help mitigate the frequency of driver fatigue, professional drivers are subject to strict rules that limit the hours spent driving and regulate the amount of time they must rest between shifts. In 2020, hours of service topped the list of driver violations, accounting for 34.7% of all driver out-of-service (OOS) violations. Make sure you adhere to HOS regulations and have all the necessary paperwork on hand.
“It could help to refamiliarize yourself with the driver requirements,” said Will Schaefer, Director of Safety Programs for the CVSA. “Make sure your license and registration are up to date (CDL and/or medical card, if applicable) and know how to use your ELD, particularly how to report hours of service from your specific ELD/device software (again, if applicable). Inspectors are trained on many different systems, but there are dozens, and if yours is unfamiliar to the inspector it may take a little more time.”
With regard to pandemic-related safety rules and protocols, Schaefer explained that drivers can help prepare by wearing a mask during the inspection.
“Inspection personnel have to follow their own jurisdiction’s health mandates,” he said. “Most jurisdictions have pandemic-related protocols in place to lower risks of COVID-19 transmission. At a minimum, drivers can help themselves and inspectors by wearing masks during inspections. Inspectors are often going to be wearing PPE as required by their departments.”
Schaefer also added that enforcement has been made aware of the cold storage conditions and timely delivery requirements of carriers hauling COVID-19 vaccines.
Roadcheck vehicle inspection requirements
Lights are often thought of as just another part to replace. However, modern lighting systems are an essential safety item that require proper installation and maintenance.
In 2020, the top vehicle violation in the U.S. was inoperable required lamp, accounting for 12.2% of all vehicle violations and 4.4% of all OOS violations. And, in last year’s International Roadcheck, lights represented 13.5% of all vehicle OOS vehicle violations.
Not only is vehicle lighting one of the most common vehicle violations, it’s also one of the easiest to spot. Make sure you inspect your lights at regular intervals to stay compliant with safety regulations and avoid OOS violations this May.
Vehicle lighting maintenance
Anywhere an electrical connection exists, you should keep an eye out for moisture and corrosion. This includes paying close attention to high-moisture and impact-prone areas during pre-trip inspections and sticking to a scheduled maintenance routine.
Dim lights are often an indication that corrosion may be present and is causing a drop in voltage. Check your lighting devices thoroughly during pre-trips to ensure proper color, operation, mounting and visibility. You should also make sure your reflectors and retroreflective sheeting are in the proper location and condition.
A thorough preventive maintenance inspection is highly recommended, especially as a vehicle comes out of winter. Harsh de-icing chemicals can destroy a vehicle’s metal components, a process which is only sped up as the transition to spring brings warmer weather.
Corrosion is best caught early before any damage worsens—the sooner you complete an inspection, the more control you will have over any necessary repairs. Corroded wires and metals will only get worse over time, so it’s best to repair any damage immediately once discovered.
At TA Truck Service, we offer comprehensive maintenance services to help you avoid OOS violations, minimize downtime and prevent further repairs later. Stop into a truck service center near you and our technicians can complete a 30-point electrical systems test, helping identify any excessive wear winter may have caused and ensuring all electrical system components are in good condition and free of corrosion.
This April 1 through May 2, our technicians are offering a FREE mid-trip inspection to help you prepare for Roadcheck. This includes a quick, non-measured inspection of key items the DOT looks for including lights, tire tread depth, brake shoe thickness/condition and more!
With our highly qualified technicians and wide range of on-hand parts, we can perform the repairs needed to get your truck inspection-ready and you back on the road safely and quickly.