It’s time to get your trucks in the shop for a steering and suspension check! With the International Road Check scheduled for June 4th-June 6th of this year, the deadline is approaching rapidly.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Road check inspection event will be conducted over a period of 72 hours. This event will take place throughout the world, though mainly focusing on the United States and Canada.

Each year the the CVSA performs these road checks with rotating categories to focus on. Last year in 2018, the CVSA focused mainly on Hours-Of-Service violations in line with the recently adopted FMCSA mandate. As a result of this, Hours of Service (HOS) violations were the top ticketed item racking up more than 43% of all violations throughout the three day period topping 67,000 total inspections. However, even with these large numbers the out-of-service rates were lower than they were in 2017.

Inspectors for this years CVSA road check will focus primarily on the North American Standard Level I inspection. A Level I inspection consists of a 37 step procedure that examines driver operating requirements, as well as vehicle mechanical fitness. While a Level I inspection may sound daunting, inspectors have the authority to also perform a Level II or level III inspection. These additional inspections could result in even greater delays and potential costs to owner operators and fleet owners.

So what is going to be inspected this year on the trucks? A laundry list of components including but not limited to; exhaust systems, rear-impact guards, brake systems, cargo securement, lighting devices (headlights, taillights, etc), steering mechanisms, tires, suspensions, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers.

What happens when you do get stopped for an inspection? When the officer approaches your vehicle you will be required to provide the following; CDL license, medical examiners certificate, skill performance evaluation certificate, drivers record-of-duty status, vehicle inspection reports, and more. The inspectors may also take an interest in reviewing the health of the driver, level of fatigue, and of course alcohol and drug impairment.

When the dust settles and the officer gives you the all clear, they will provide the driver with a CVSA decal that will be required to be affixed to the windshield. This CVSA sticker will alert all future officers that the vehicle successfully completed the CVSA inspection in order to prevent a redundant and costly second inspection.

Chief Thompson of the CVSA stated “It’s important to remember that inspections are conducted 365 days a year. We publicly announce the dates of this three-day enforcement and awareness initiative in advance, because we want all vehicles on our roadways to be safe and compliant.” From this statement we can gather that commercial trucks are expected to remain safe throughout the year regardless of whether or not there’s a planned inspection.

What can you do to prepare? Take the necessary steps now to avoid any costly delays! Make sure all vehicles in your fleet are up to industry standards, and are in good working mechanical condition. You will also want to ensure that you have a reliable Electronic Logging Device (ELD) unit installed. Avoid racking up violations or having the DOT place you out of service!