We're coming up on the 72-hour commercial vehicle inspection initiative known as CVSA International Roadcheck. Inspectors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are expected to conduct 70,000 truck inspections at various weigh stations, temporary inspection sites, and roving patrols, May 16–18.
What is Roadcheck?
Often referred to as a trucker's least favorite week of the year, these detailed inspections can tie a driver up anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours. While no one likes to be slowed down, most industry professionals understand that these efforts are for the ensured safety of everyone on the road—and that's worth the stop.
During Roadcheck, vehicles that pass a North American Standard Level I inspection receive an official CVSA decal. While it may seem like a small consolation prize for passing a 37-step process, the decal ensures the driver that they won't have to worry about another inspection for the next 3 months.
On the other hand, if inspectors identify violations, the driver or commercial vehicle will be restricted from travel until those conditions have been addressed and corrected.
Roadcheck focus for 2023
This year's inspection focus for Roadcheck will be on ABS and cargo systems.
"Although ABS violations are not out-of-service violations, ABS play a critical role in reducing the risk of collisions by preventing wheels from locking up or skidding and allowing a driver to maintain control of the vehicle while braking."
Some owner-operators and small fleets sit out the three days to avoid the hassle of inspection and the risks of being written up for violations. In fact, a study of data from DAT MembersEdge for each of the past four years shows that the number of trucks posted on DAT boards drops about 6% the week of Roadcheck, compared to the previous week.
It's not uncommon for drivers to disagree with the practice altogether.
“These blitzes are nothing more than cash cows for BS violation.”
—Driver and Twitter user
These theories are often contested, however, by data that shows a small number of violations actually occur. CVSA reports that in 2021, 83.5% of commercial vehicles passed the inspection, with only 16.5% of inspected vehicles and 5.3% of drivers being temporarily taken out of service.
For the most part, drivers and industry professionals tend to understand the purpose and importance of these temporary inspection periods and accept them as simply being part of the job. In fact, we often see proud drivers flocking to social media to pose with their hard-earned CVSA decal.
Whether or not you get stopped this year for an inspection, here's to wishing everyone a safe experience on the road.
For more information about Roadcheck and what to expect for 2023, check out the official CVSA Roadcheck guide here.