Staying ahead of the inspectors

| April 01, 2013

The article below is part of a yearlong, in-depth series on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program that analyzes two full years' worth of data — December 2010 (the program's beginning) to December 2012. Overdrive editors have built a site dedicated to hosting the stories, interactive maps and downloadable data at OverdriveOnline.com/csa.

Maintenance violations are by far the biggest single contributor to the Motor Carrier Management Information System database that underpins CSA, accounting for on the order of 70-plus percent of the total violations contained therein.

While you can’t influence how bad a roadside or weigh-station inspector’s day has been before you see him, you can make the inspection easy by not taking any chance on whether your rig will pass muster.

These following Overdrive articles offer tips on maintenance of lights, brakes and other common areas of equipment failure and inspectors’ priority. Use these resources as you need them to help prepare yourself for the road ahead.

Download our CSA’s Data Trail 48-state reports on maintenance violation priorities via the series main data site

March 2012 cover story: CSA Proof Your Rig

Overdrive‘s Partners in Business manual contains a wealth of maintenance-related material.

Tires and brakes
CCJ air-brake ebook
How-to: Build a closed greasing system

How-to: Replacing brake linings and more

CSA and Tire Basics
Spec’ing tires
Preventing tire/brake failure
Avoiding top tire killers
CSA and tire basics
Tire pressure and load

Lights and electrical systems
Electrical system PM
How-to: Maintain fuses
How-to: Maintain batteries
How-to: Replace alternator
Preventing battery drain
Preventing power divider failure
How-to: Upgrade headlamps for longevity

Power- and drivetrain
Torque ratings and maintenance/economy
How-to: Transmission and axle PM
2010 engines
How-to: Change oil
Synthetic oil
Overhauling the engine
Oil viscosity
How-to: Maintain steering

Air system
How-to: Detect air leaks
Preventing air pressure loss
How-to: Replace gladhand seals

Trailers and other topics
How-to: Maintain suspension
Proper DPF care
How-to: Maintain landing gear
How-to: Beat corrosion
Spec’ing trailers for durability
How-to: Service reefer unit
Preventing broken belts/clamps/hoses
How-to: Air-conditioner PM
PM pointers for on/off-road operations