Gear up – It’s time for your physical (International Roadcheck Bliss)
Oh, if only the annual DOT inspection blitz were as easy as a yearly physical.
Just think of it….
You’d get to wait in a nice posh waiting area while they looked over your equipment, most of the cost of the appointment (read: fines) would be covered by your insurance premiums and you’d only have to worry about a negligible copay at the time of service, the entire appointment might take 20 minutes if you and the inspector got to chatting; and heck, clean bill of health or no, you could treat yourself to a piece of candy from a bowl on the way out.
“You’ll be in
Room Route 23, John/Jane. Go into Pull off down the hall road there on the left. Clothes off down to your underwear. We’ll need to see under your hood, truck, and trailer, mmmkay? The doctor CVSA inspector will be in to see you shortly.”
Sounds sorta like a dream right?
Yep. If wishes were fishes, the ocean would be full.
Instead, next week, just as it happens at the start of every summer, inspectors will be out putting their cold stethoscopes on the backs of a whopping 15 trucks every minute during the 72 hour international roadcheck. And yes, they tell us that’s an average but wowza, that’s a lot.
They’re getting smarter and faster , we’re telling you.
Regardless, last year 67,603 trucks and trailers were put under the microscope and out of those, nearly 22% were put out of service on the spot. And unless you passed the inspection with flying colors, out of service or not, you most likely went home with a hefty fine.
We’re well aware we’re preaching to an experienced choir here – but SURPRISE – we’re going to do it anyway.
INSPECT YOUR EQUIPMENT WHILE IT’S IN YOUR SHOP OVER THE NEXT COUPLE DAYS. (Caps needed for emphasis.)
This year’s special focus will be on steering and suspension. However, it’s common knowledge that the bulk of the inspections (nearly 70% of last year’s numbers) will be Level 1 inspections. You know… like the physicals they give astronauts before they send them to the moon? Inspectors run off a 37 point checklist to review your equipment, checking every aspect of your truck, tires, trailers, and your drivers themselves. If you aren’t inspecting and prepping your fleet beforehand, there’s a good chance you’ll be one of those with a fine.
Per our usual, below are some resources to help you with your prep work. And if you don’t have the time or energy to get to it before the inspections start? Swing through one of our service centers – we’d be more than happy to help.
This post has the entire Inspection Checklist that CVSA Inspectors utilize.
Here’s a post about 8 common inspection violations. (Easy ones to inspect and check off your list)
Our Preventative Maintenance Checklist covers 3 pages of inspection, adjustments, and repairs you can look through to prep your fleet.
And finally, if you feel like doing nothing more than the “special focus” of this years inspection blitz, here’s a quick list of things to look over with your mechanics before your trucks leave the yard next week. (Obviously this isn’t and end all/be all list, but it’s certainly a great start.) Look for wear, tear, cracks, or stresses on front and rear axle components – air bags or leaf springs, spring shackles, shocks, tie rod and tie rod ends, drag links, king pins, and wheel bearings.