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Preparing for the 2022 International Roadcheck

2022-international-roadcheck

The 2022 International Roadcheck is scheduled for May 17th - 19th. This year’s focus will be on wheel-end components. If you want to avoid costly fines while keeping your company safe and efficient, you have no time to waste.

What is the International Roadcheck?

The International Roadcheck (also known as DOT Week or DOT Blitz) is an annual three-day event. During these three days, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) agents perform a large number of compliance checks and roadside inspections. In fact, it’s the largest targeted enforcement program for commercial motor vehicles in the world.

The program targets tractor-trailers, buses, and other Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs). These drivers can expect a much greater likelihood of having a roadside inspection. This year, they are projecting an average of 15 buses and trucks to be inspected per minute during the three-day event.

Regardless of how you feel about the event, the goal is clear: reduce accidents and prevent deaths caused by out-of-compliance drivers.

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What Are Inspectors Looking For?

By far the most common type of inspection during this event is a Level-1 inspection. Thus, you and your drivers should expect CVSA agents to be thorough.

All types of compliance issues can surface during these inspections, but here are some of the most likely:

Wheel-End Compliance Issues

Since this is the focus of the 2022 International Roadside Inspection, you can count on inspectors looking closely at wheel-end components. Functioning wheel ends are crucial for the safe operation of CMVs.

Inspectors will ensure that your vehicles’ wheel ends are in working order and whether or not a repair is needed.

Brakes

In 2021, the most common DOT violation in North America was an out-of-compliance air brake system.

If one of your drivers is found to be operating a vehicle without a compliant air brake system, you’ll suffer the following consequences:

  • DOT fines
  • Lost time and out-of-commission vehicle
  • Towing fees

Of course, you shouldn’t just be worried about fines and efficiency. Any issue with a CMV’s air brake system can lead to a fatal collision.

Tires

The second most common DOT violation in 2021 was "issues with a CMV’s tires."

Tire compliance violations can include:

  • Exposed ply or belt material
  • Separation of tread or sidewalls
  • Air leaks 
  • Flat tires 
  • Re-grooved tires
  • Tire load weight rating 
  • Poorly inflated tires

These range from 3 to 8 point violations, and just like an issue with air brakes, they can put your vehicle out of service.

Lights

Out-of-compliance lights were the third most common DOT violation in 2021. Out-of-service lighting device violations include headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals, and lamps on projecting loads.

These violations result in fines, out-of-service vehicles, and potentially fatal accidents.

Brake Adjustments

For the fourth most common 2021 DOT violation, we have brake adjustments. 

Brake adjustments are an essential part of avoiding out-of-service. Luckily, many CMVs have self-adjusting brakes, but that may not be the case for your company. Not only that, but you can still run into compliance issues with self-adjusting brakes.

If an inspector finds that 20% or more of a vehicle’s brakes are out of adjustment, it will be placed in out-of-service. If 50% or more of the brakes are out of adjustment, the vehicle can even be impounded by the DOT.

However, if one of your drivers is operating a vehicle with 50% out of adjustment brakes, you should be thankful that a fine and impounded vehicle is all that happened. An accident resulting from this could put you out of business.

Cargo Securement

The fifth most common 2021 DOT violation was cargo securement.

Otherwise known as load securement, this is the process a driver takes to ensure what they’re transporting will not leak, spill, blow, or fall from their vehicle. This is an important aspect of safety and compliance for obvious safety reasons.

Cargo securement violations are usually the result of:

  • Failure to prevent shifting/loss of load
  • Failure to secure truck equipment
  • Damaged, insufficient, or loose tie-downs

Many penalties involving improper cargo securement are severe. It is worth your time and effort to prevent these violations.

How to Ensure You’re Prepared for International Roadcheck

International Roadcheck is when your drivers are most likely to go through a compliance inspection. However, this isn’t the only time to worry about DOT and FMCSA violations. Best-in-class companies should have nothing to worry about for International Roadcheck - they’re always prepared for inspections.

If you’re looking to improve your compliance, though, now’s a good time to get prepared. Set these practices in place and keep them in place 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Ensure Driver Documentation Is Up-to-Date

With 15 inspections per minute per day, you don’t want a driver out on the road with expired documentation.

So, what does compliance management look like for you today? Is it hunting for missing files, sticky notes, and paper trails? This is a recipe for disaster. There’s an easier way. Invest in a compliance tracking system like A-Suite to spend less time worrying about compliance and never get fined again.

Coach Your Drivers

There’s only so much you can do for compliance as an owner or manager. At the end of the day, it’s your drivers’ responsibility to stay in compliance. That’s why you need to coach, educate, and train your drivers on avoiding violations.

First and foremost, your drivers must know how to perform thorough, consistent, and proper vehicle inspections. All of the violations we mentioned above can be caught during vehicle inspections.

Second, you must coach your driver on the most common types of violations. Teach them what to expect for roadside inspections, what inspectors are looking for, and how to stay in compliance for those hot-button issues.

Check Wheel Ends

As we mentioned, the 2022 International Roadside Inspection is focused on wheel ends. Now is the perfect time to prepare.

Wheel end components must be inspected every 100,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. So, start fresh this month. Get ahead of the roadside inspection and replace or repair any wheel-end components as necessary.

Stay in Compliance Year-Round

Compliance isn’t just about passing roadside inspections for this event. It’s about reducing accidents, reducing costs, and protecting your drivers year-round.

You should never lie in bed worrying about compliance issues. There are tools out there to make your problems go away. Invest in the right tools and processes today to avoid future heartache.

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