Now Is the Perfect Time for Drivers to Evaluate Their Maintenance Needs
International Roadcheck is fast approaching, and drivers should act now to ensure they and their trucks are ready for the annual three-day safety event. Organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), this year’s International Roadcheck will take place on May 16-18. During that time, thousands of safety inspections on commercial vehicles and drivers will be conducted in Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
The purpose of the event is to improve safety, not to catch drivers off guard, and CVSA has a lot of information available about how to ensure a successful inspection. For examples, take their North American Standard Roadside Inspection Vehicle Cheat Sheet, which details exactly what inspectors will be looking for during their roadside checks, or their brochure, which lists the 37 steps their inspectors will follow during every inspection.
CVSA also uses this event to raise public awareness of different safety concerns, which is why every year, they announce a specific focus area. This year, inspectors will prioritize two very different items—cargo securement and anti-lock brake systems (ABS).
CVSA notes that the improper securement of cargo can pose serious risks by “adversely affecting the vehicle’s maneuverability, or worse, causing unsecured loads to fall, resulting in traffic hazards and vehicle collisions.” What is particularly concerning is the fact that during last year’s International Roadcheck, cargo securement accounted for 10.6% of all out-of-service (OOS) violations. Vehicles cited had to be immediately removed from the road until the problem was corrected.
CVSA is clear about what exactly their inspectors will look for when reviewing cargo securement. They will determine whether “spare tires, loads, cargo, and dunnage are secured and prevented from falling, blowing, spilling, or leaking from the vehicle, or rolling or shifting in transit.” They will also verify that there are enough tie downs, that securement devices are properly working, and that all anchor points are damage-free.
Unlike problems with cargo securement, ABS violations do not constitute OOS violations. However, functioning ABS is essential to road safety. Inspectors will determine whether ABS is required, ensure that ABS lamps cycle on and off during diagnostic checks, and check for indications of an ABS malfunction, such as warning lights remaining on during transit.
During last year’s International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors conducted almost 49,000 vehicle inspections. While the majority of vehicles were deemed safe, 22.8% of them were found to have an OOS violation. This means that more than 1 out of every 5 vehicles inspected had to be removed from the road until the critical safety violation identified was corrected. It’s safe to say that no driver wants to be in that position.
Since roadside inspections will consider all aspects of vehicle and driver safety, not just those outlined in the designated focus area, it’s worth reviewing the top OOS violations identified in 2022 so that drivers can address any problems before this year’s event. In addition to cargo securement, violations related to brake systems made up one-quarter of all OOS violations, violations involving tire safety made up 18.5%, and violations related to service brakes and lights each made up just over 12%.
From brakes, to tires, to free DOT inspections, Iron Maintenance is ready to help drivers get their vehicles in top shape now so they can avoid unnecessary delays during the 2023 International Roadcheck. With 31 nationwide locations and a commitment to get drivers back on the road fast, we’ve made it easy to get expert preventive maintenance service at wholesale prices.