Are You Ready for CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2024?

May 10, 2024

Each spring, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducts an annual International Roadcheck to promote commercial motor vehicle safety across North America. The event typically takes place within a 72-hour window (though is often termed “DOT week”), during which CVSA officials conduct comprehensive roadside inspections of commercial trucks and buses.

This year’s roadcheck will take place Tuesday, May 14th through Thursday, May 16th. Carriers moving freight along major highways can expect an elevated rate of driver and vehicle safety compliance audits, with a special emphasis this year on tractor protection systems and alcohol and controlled substance possession.

Though CVSA’s goal is to ensure commercial drivers and vehicles are fully compliant with federal safety regulations, DOT week is widely known to severely limit carrier capacity throughout the 72-hour window. Here’s everything shippers and carriers need to be prepared for this year’s roadcheck disruption.

What Is CVSA?

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a nonprofit organization made up of safety officials and industry professionals. Its mission is “to improve commercial motor vehicle safety and uniformity…by providing guidance and education to enforcement, industry, and policymakers.”

By conducting thousands of compliance checks on commercial vehicles each year, the CVSA works to maintain a consistent road safety benchmark and establish a greater measure of confidence among both commercial and civilian drivers that the country’s major roadways remain safe.

What Is International Roadcheck?

Every year, commercial motor vehicle officials conduct a whirlwind of inspections over the span of just a few days. During this run of safety audits, around fifteen trucks or buses are inspected every minute across North America. By the end of the 72-hour window, tens of thousands of commercial vehicles and drivers will have been inspected to ensure safety and compliance with international and domestic laws.

2024 Focus Areas and Requirements

This year’s International Roadcheck will be in effect from Tuesday, May 14th through Thursday, May 16th across Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The 2024 CVSA Roadcheck event will emphasize tractor protection systems and the unlawful possession of alcohol or controlled substances.

By focusing on these critical areas, the 2024 Roadcheck event aims to reduce the number of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles and keep drivers and other road users safe. All vehicles that successfully pass inspection will receive a CVSA decal (neat!).

For drivers, inspections will investigate the following:

  • Driver operating credentials and requirements
  • Valid CDL
  • Current medical certificates
  • Record of duty status
  • Periodic inspection reports
  • Proper seat belt usage
  • Any signs of fatigue
  • Signs of drug/alcohol abuse or impairment

2023 Roadcheck Results

Last year’s CVSA-certified inspectors conducted 59,429 vehicle audits, placing 19% (11,270) of the inspected vehicles out of service. Over 5% (3,256) of the commercial drivers inspected were found to have at least one out-of-service driver violation and were restricted from further commercial travel until these violations were addressed. Last year’s CVSA-certified inspectors conducted 59,429 vehicle audits, placing 19% (11,270) of the inspected vehicles out of service. Over 5% (3,256) of the commercial drivers inspected were found to have at least one out-of-service driver violation and were restricted from further commercial travel until these violations were addressed.

The five most common vehicular violations in 2023 continued the trend of defective brake systems, unsafe tire conditions and failures to properly secure cargo seen in years past (full DOT week findings dating back to 2017 can be found here):

  • Brake systems (4412 violations)
  • Tires (3368 violations)
  • Defective service brakes (2468 violations)
  • Cargo securement (2171 violations)
  • Lights (2015 violations)

What DOT Week Means for Shippers

For shippers, DOT week means a potential increase in transportation delays and higher costs as carriers may need to invest in additional equipment or undergo last-minute maintenance to pass inspections. Shippers need to plan accordingly and work closely with their carriers to ensure compliance with safety regulations, minimize disruptions to their supply chain, and avoid potential fines or penalties for non-compliance.

“Communication and transparency is key; shippers should request orders from their customers ASAP to increase lead time. The more defined capacity requirements are, the more efficiently logistics professionals with the shippers and brokers/carriers can position assets accordingly and minimize fluctuations.”

— Tarek Kabbani, FCL Sales Consultant

How Carriers Can Prepare For DOT Week

There are several things a carrier can do to not only prepare for a DOT blitz, but also maintain stringent standards throughout the year. We asked First Call’s Director of Carrier Sales Shawn Machowiak to weigh in on how carriers can best prep for DOT week:

1. Proper Driver Training

Drivers should be organized, concise, and hyper-aware.

  • Make sure to pre-check and post-check equipment. Be sure to record your time and shoot for 15-20 mins for a thorough inspection. This is especially critical if you’re changing trailers.
  • Keep a clean cab! A DOT inspection could involve a cab search, and the more clean and organized the driver is the faster this will go.
  • Keep your paperwork together in a binder and organized. We suggest binder organizers with properly labeled tabs. Visor cards (two wouldn’t hurt), registration, insurance, medical, etc.

2. Keep Two Blank Log Books

Even if you use ELDs you must keep blank log books on hand to ensure you can log your on-duty time in case of an electronic issue.

  • Certify your logs at the end of every shift! This must be done to ensure you’re maintaining your logs properly in accordance with DOT regulations.
  • Be sure if using an ELD you know the process behind transferring your logs to a DOT officer.
  • Cooperate. Nobody wants to be stopped for inspection, but being respectful, calm, and kind will go a long way in any inspection protocol.

3. Routine Equipment Maintenance

Make sure your drivers conduct pre- and post-trip inspections and are reporting any issues they see.

  • Have proper measures and instructions in place for a driver to remedy any smaller issues while on the road, as well as instruction about what to do in given situations; i.e., Fuel spill.
  • Have a regular maintenance plan at “home.”

4. Awareness and Understanding

  • Keep an eye on common DOT week violations to pinpoint where to focus your efforts. If previous years’ results show one particular citation type is on the rise, it’s likely to be emphasized in the following year’s inspections blitz.
  • Remember, CVSA’s aim is to keep roads safe and shareable for commercial and personal commuters alike. Enforcing federal guidelines with operations like the 72-hour road check provides crucial checks and balances.

Quick Tips and Resources

There’s a lot you can do to prepare for this year’s International Roadcheck and ensure your vehicles and drivers stay on the road. Don’t miss our detailed tips on improving compliance and safety, and when in doubt always remember the following:

  1. Wear your seatbelt.
  2. Keep vehicles neat and clean.
  3. Remember a positive and professional attitude goes a long way during an inspection.
  4. Drivers, be prepared with the following items:
    • Valid CDL
    • Federal Medical Examiner’s Certificate
    • HOS Documentation
    • Motor carrier registration
    • Shipping papers/documentation
    • Company’s insurance certificate
    • Company’s Hazardous Materials Certificate (if applicable)
    • Up-to-date permit book
    • Charged and secured fire extinguisher
    • Required emergency equipment
    • Proof of annual inspection

Stay Informed with First Call Logistics

At First Call, we’re committed to supporting our carrier network with the resources necessary to be successful. Contact us today to learn more about First Call’s dedicated and transactional freight opportunities, flexible payment options, and 24/7 carrier support.

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