This June, all truckers need to be prepared for the annual inspection blitz of 2014. Across America, hundreds of truck inspections will take place at 1,500 locations, an event organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
According to CVSA, the focus of this year’s inspections will be educating drivers about the new hours-of-service (HOS) regulations along with checking cargo securement. Inspection officials will hand out visor cards from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, describing the HOS rules.
The first roadcheck began in 1988. Since then, hundreds of thousands of federal, state, and local commercial vehicles have been inspected. Last year, over 48,000 North American Standard Level 1 inspections were performed. Out of those inspections, 22% of vehicles were deemed not safe for the road, and about 4% of drivers were placed out-of-service.
A Level 1 Inspection checks for brakes, coupling devices, fuel and exhaust systems, lighting, suspension, securement of cargo, steering, suspension, and tires, wheels, rims and hubs.
Here is a summary of what the CVSA recommends to take care of on your truck to be safe on the road (and ready for inspection).
Check that all external lights and reflective equipment are clean and functional. Light and reflector checks include:
- Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere).
- Headlights (high and low beams).
- Turn signals.
- 4-way flashers.
- Brake lights.
- Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors (elsewhere).
Lighting Indicators (Pre-Trip Inspection)
Test that dash indicators work when the corresponding lights are turned on:
- Left turn signal.
- Right turn signal.
- 4-way emergency flashers.
- High beam headlight.
Clutch/Gearshift (Pre-Trip Inspection)
- Depress the clutch.
- Place the gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for automatic transmissions).
- Start the engine, then release the clutch slowly.
Oil Pressure Gauge (Pre-Trip Inspection)
- Make sure the oil pressure gauge is working.
- Check that the pressure gauge shows increasing or normal oil pressure, or that the warning light goes off .
- If equipped, the oil temperature gauge should begin a gradual rise to the normal operating range.
Temperature Gauge (Pre-Trip Inspection)
- Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
- The temperature should begin to climb to the normal operating rang or the temperature light should be off.
Ammeter/Voltmeter (Pre-Trip Inspection)
- Check that gauges show the alternator and/or generator is charging or that the warning light is off.
“We want to encourage understanding by drivers and carrier managers of the driver and vehicle regulations, to conduct inspections, and issue violations where necessary,” says William P. Schaefer, Director, Vehicle Programs, CVSA. “We collect vehicle, driver, and hazardous materials inspection violation data for comparison to previous years.”
Roadcheck 2014 will take place June 4, 5, and 6.