Hours of Service Violations to be Focus of Roadcheck 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) recently announced that International Roadcheck 2018 would span 72 hours from June 5th through June 7th this year.  The focus of the commercial motor vehicle inspectors for that time period is compliance with hours of service.

Inspectors across the United States and Canada will use the North American Standard Level I Inspection as their primary document of examination.  A 37-step process, this inspection covers both the vehicle's mechanical fitness and operating requirements for drivers.

Some items on the vehicle inspection checklist include things that pertain only to the vehicle itself, like inspections of cargo securement, lighting devices, exhaust systems and open-top trailer bodies.  However, the main emphasis of this year's Roadcheck is to ensure hours of service (HOS) compliance.

The implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule is what prompted the focus of this year's Roadcheck.  According to Christopher Turner, president of CVSA, though this rule doesn't change any of the hours-of-service exceptions or rules, its importance meant that it was a good area of focus for the organization in 2018.

As Turner noted, 2017's International Roadcheck demonstrated the need for the increased focus as well. Last year, HOS was the most common reason that drivers were rendered out-of-service.  More than 62,000 inspections were performed in 2017 with 4.7 percent of those drivers inspected placed out-of-service.  Though this was for various violations, 32 percent of them were removed from the roads because of hours-of-service regulations.

In addition to the inspections of their trucks, drivers will also be expected to provide both their hours-of-service documentation and their operating credentials.  Their seat belt usage will be noted as will any obvious impairment from drugs and/or alcohol.

Trucks not exhibiting any item violations that are considered to be critical are provided with a CVSA decal.  Its application to a vehicle indicates that the truck has successfully passed the inspection delivered by an inspector certified by CVSA.

In addition to making sure that their paperwork is in order, drivers can make the following preparations for Roadcheck 2018:

-Be aware of the bridge laws.  Ensure that every load is the shortest maximum distance as required by the states that the truck will travel.

-Check the axle weight.  Redistribute trailer tandems and fifth wheels to ensure that the maximum payload can be reached without compromising the limits on axle weight.

-Practice secure and safe strapping.  Reduce the likelihood of delays and/or fines by ensuring that cargo is properly secured.

-Distribute the weight evenly.  Place tandem pins at their most restrictive limits.  Adjust loads so the heaviest is at the front.

Being aware of Roadcheck 2018 and preparing for it can help you get through it unscathed.