2019 Roadcheck is Almost Here: What to Expect

LDL Voice

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It’s time for another inspection blitz. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck—sometimes referred to as DOT week—will take place June 4-6 this year.  

During the intensive 72-hour period, the CVSA will conduct tens of thousands of inspections—an average of 17 every minute. While the purpose of the event is to encourage a culture of safety, the side effects are often transportation slowdowns and reduced capacity on the road. 

Whether you’re a carrier or shipper, below are some details to help you prepare.

Delays, Penalties, and Routing Guide Disruptions

Shippers should expect slower transit times due to inspection delays and out-of-service penalties. Many small and mid-sized carriers will shut down their operations altogether for the week to avoid potential fines. Historically, tender rejections are also higher than average during International Roadcheck, so shippers must be prepared to deploy backup carriers from their routing guides.

Last year, inspectors placed nearly 12,000 trucks and buses out of service.  And 21.6 percent of trucks put through a Level 1 inspection were taken off the road. Top out-of-service violations were for brake systems, tires and wheels, brake adjustments, and drivers not adhering to hours of service requirements.

This Year’s Focus? Steering and Suspension.

Each year, the CVSA emphasizes a specific category of safety violations. Steering and suspension systems will be the focus this year.  These systems are critical because they not only support heavy truckloads, they also help drivers maintain control when accelerating and braking, keep tires in alignment, and provide steering stability.

While the special emphasis each year is important, remember that Roadcheck covers all categories such as brake systems, cargo securement, hours of service, tires, and more. The majority of inspections will be the most comprehensive Level 1 Inspection, which involves 37 steps in total.

Drivers must be prepared to produce all relevant documentation including driver’s license, medical certificates, carrier registration, leases, shipping documents, logs, etc. Drivers will also be assessed for drug and alcohol impairment, fatigue, sickness and seat belt use.  For more information, visit the CVSA.org.

Combined with the Memorial Day holiday and month-end needs, capacity will be particularly limited and spot market rates may spike during the first week of June. Armed with this knowledge, shippers who get ready now will be able to work around the capacity problem.

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