No one likes roadside inspections but we all have to do them to keep ourselves and others safe on the roads. During 2018, Federal Roadside Inspections reached 126,080 and State Roadside Inspections reached 3,405,923. The FMCSA reported 79% of drivers as out of service, 83% of vehicles out of service and 11% of hazmat loads out of service. Out of service is not something you want to be. Here we will give you some tips to help you be prepared for your next inspection.
So what is a Roadside Inspection?
As defined by the FMCSA, “examinations of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and/or drivers by Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP Inspectors.” The FMCSA helps improve the safety on our roads to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks.
What happens in a Roadside Inspection?
Did you know there are eight different levels of inspection that could be performed on a driver and/or their vehicle? The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) explains each of the inspection levels and what is checked in each of them.
Make sure all your documents are up-to-date. Keep them together so they are easy to inspect. A “typical” Level I inspection usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete. During this inspection your driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, driver’s record of duty status, documentation of annual inspection, hazardous materials paperwork and permit credentials will all be looked at. Keep materials in a binder or folder so an inspector will be able to go through everything quickly and at once. This will make you look organized and can help get you back on the road sooner.
Have a good attitude
Always have a good attitude. You are at the discretion of the inspector and they are the ones who choose who to inspect. Having a bad attitude and being rude might increase your chances of being chosen for an inspection. Remember, inspectors have to inspect a certain number of vehicles a day. Just smile and be polite. Kindness can go a long way.
Keep it clean
Cleanliness is important. We’re not saying your truck should be spotless, but it should be clean. Clean up loose debris on the floor and keep the outside of your truck looking clean too. Inspectors will be looking at things such as brakes, tires, windshield wipers and more.
It is important to know and understand out-of-service criteria and always be checking for it before you leave for your trip. If you do receive out-of-service violations, those are serious and must be addressed immediately. Do not leave before an out-of-service violation has been resolved because you could face disqualification and large fines.
For more information on Roadside Inspections, please visit the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s website.
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