Every year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has a three day, seventy-two hour International Roadcheck, where certified inspectors perform inspections on commercial vehicles and trucks across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It’s like a convention, except nationwide and a lot less fun.
International Roadcheck 2020 Facts and Conjecture
Usually, the International Roadcheck happens in June. This year, the event has been pushed forward to May 5th to the 7th. Since a Roadcheck can take an hour per truck, it is likely the event was scheduled earlier so everyone involved would be able to sustain the adequate late spring weather.
Last year, the CVSA inspected 17 trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles every minute. Since they can average about an hour. That means that across the larger continent of North America, assuming an hour for each inspection, there are 1,020 inspectors out doing their job simultaneously (this is, of course, not actually the case, as there will be more inspectors during the day and fewer at night). If the International Roadcheck 2020 matches this rate, then 72 hours means 73,440 vehicles will be inspected throughout the event.
Each year, the International Roadcheck has a special emphasis on a category of the inspection. This year is for the single most important component of any commercial vehicle: the operator behind the wheel. Your inspector will make a thorough examination of your documents, checking your motor carrier number, CDL, record of duty status, and any other records to check for any discrepancies. They will also check your driving habits, such as sleep quality and seat belt usage.
Of course, the inspection does not stop there. The actual vehicle itself will be inspected top to bottom for any potential safety hazards, including components such as:
- Fuel systems
- Lighting devices such as headlights and turn signals
- Windshield wipers
- Steering wheel
Essentially everything except the radio. If the vehicle transports people, there are additional inspection points such as emergency exits and seating. Additional checks are also on the table if it is a truck carrying hazardous materials.
How International Roadcheck 2020 Affects You
If you (or your employee, if you own more than one truck) drives a commercial vehicle during May 5th, 6th, or 7th, you better be ready to be flagged down for an inspection. Depending on how many inspectors are at the site, you may need to wait for an extended time before your vehicle gets its inspection.
If the driver and vehicle pass inspection, they get a decal affixed to the vehicle that proves they passed the inspection and do not need to go through another one this year. If the driver, truck, or both fail, they can be placed out of service until the situation is resolved.
Drivers may opt to simply not drive these 72 hours to avoid the inspection, and although that may be an idea to avoid the long waits as the line of vehicles roll up to be inspected, ultimately your truck is going to be inspected sooner or later, whether is it by the DOT or the CSVA, and losing 3 days of work over it when you have time to prepare for the inspection may ultimately not be worth the trouble.
The CSVA has been doing these inspections annually since 1988, six years after the alliance formally formed. Since inception, the International Roadcheck has led to over 1.6 million inspections. As troublesome as all of this may be, CSVA President Sgt. John Samis says he intends for the event to be a net benefit to truckers and society as a whole by making the roads safer. “Announcing the dates of International Roadcheck has always been a deliberate, thoughtful and purposeful decision by the Alliance,” said Sgt. Samis. “By announcing the dates in advance, we hope to remind motor carriers of the importance of proactive vehicle maintenance and remind drivers to be prepared for inspections and to always conduct pre- and post-trip inspections. We want every vehicle and driver inspected during this initiative to pass inspection with no violations.”
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