Updated: May 6
Roadside inspections are a critical part of the trucking industry. They help ensure that truck drivers are compliant with the laws and are operating safely on the road. It is important you are ready for the possibility of a roadcheck each time you depart for the day. Failing a roadcheck will result in time off the road and money lost for you and/or your trucking business.
In order to avoid violations the next time you are stopped, follow these tips to make sure you are prepared for roadcheck 2021.
Know what to expect from Roadcheck 2021
The best way to prepare for your next roadcheck is to know what to expect. If you have gone through a roadcheck before, this will be simple. Just keep in mind what was checked and remember to make sure all of those elements stay in proper condition.
If you have not gone through a roadcheck, just know that a majority of inspections are level 1 inspections. The parts of your truck that will be inspected during a level 1 inspection include:
All sides of tractor and trailer
Tires, wheels, rims, and hubs
Major safety components
Proper load securement
Along with the parts of the truck that will be inspected, you will need to make sure you have the proper paperwork and identification, which we will go over in more detail later in the article.
If you are driving during the annual CVSA Roadcheck Inspection Blitz, there is always one element of the truck that will get special attention. This year’s focus is on Lighting and Hours of Service.
Make sure your truck is well maintained
If you know what to expect during a roadcheck, you will know exactly what you need to maintain on your truck in order to avoid any violations. Prior to getting on the road, you should go through your pre-trip inspection to make sure there aren’t any problems. This will not just make sure you are able to pass a roadcheck but it will also make sure you are safe on the road. A few things you should make sure you check during each pre-trip inspection are:
Under the Hood (engine, hoses, wiring)
Tires, Wheels, Rims, Hubs
If you have been a successful trucker for a while, you know to go through with these pre-trip inspections each time you are about to go out on the road for the day.
Bonus: Make sure your truck is neat and clean! A filthy truck with trash on the dash or obviously loose parts bungee corded together is an easy way to get a DOT officer’s attention. A clean and neat-looking truck just might get a driver a pass while the inspectors are busy seeing what maintenance or safety items the driver of the dirty truck does not seem to care about.
Have the appropriate paperwork
In order to be prepared for roadcheck 2021 you will need to make sure you have the appropriate paperwork. Make sure it’s organized and that you know exactly where it’s located. This way, when it comes time for your roadcheck, you won’t have to waste time looking for it.
A few of the documents you should have ready are:
Medical Examiners Certificate
Record of Duty Status
Daily Vehicle Inspection Report
Periodic Inspection Reports
Vehicle Inspection Certificate
Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate
Having these documents is just as important as having your truck and trailer in order. Failure to prove you are in possession of these documents will result in violations and time off of the road.
Comply with all of the rules and regulations
With new hours of service (HOS) and ELD rules in place, it’s important for the trucking industry to make sure these rules and regulations are being followed. This means that HOS rules and staying ELD compliant have become essential elements of any roadside inspection.
Although your ELD will record your HOS information automatically, it’s important to still understand how these rules work. It will also be worth your time to learn about how specific HOS rules apply to you and if you qualify for any HOS exemptions. During roadcheck 2020, 34.7% of driver violations were caused by the inability to follow the HOS regulations.
In order to avoid any ELD violations, make sure your device is functioning properly. If not, make sure you follow the p