What to expect during Roadcheck 2014

| May 14, 2014

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, along with its U.S. state and Canadian provincial law enforcement partners, annually promotes the 72-hour Roadcheck commercial-vehicle-safety event. A May 14 CVSA webinar was aimed at preparing drivers and motor carriers for the inspection and outreach effort, this year slated for June 3-5.  

During the 72-hour Roadcheck program, in operation now for nearly two decades, noted Barrs, approximately 14 trucks and buses are being inspected every minute of the day somewhere in the U.S. and Canada.

During the 72-hour Roadcheck program, in operation now for more than two decades, noted Florida Highway Patrol Captain Derek Barrs, a motor carrier is three times more likely than usual to see one of its trucks/drivers inspected in the U.S. and Canada. States typically man up at their fixed pit locations and weigh stations for the program. In Florida, said Barrs, all commercial vehicle inspections conducted over the 72-hour period are considered part of the program. If you’re inspected anytime during the three days, your inspection is a part of Roadcheck. 

Roadcheck 2014 slide 3

Barrs noted that this year, Roadcheck comes with an outsize focus on hazardous materials handlers and their safety — outreach efforts to the industry on the issue of hazmat-related violations would be stepped up, though “all types of cargos,” he added, “are equally subject to inspection as well.” Florida-based Trooper Erick McGuire noted that hazmat shipping papers’ form and manner as well as their accessibility at roadside were the most common hazmat violations issued. The most common hazmat out-of-service violations are noted in the graph above.

Roadcheck slide 2

Full Level I truck/driver inspections during the three-day blitz have resulted in fairly steady out-of-service rates for drivers over its many years, with a falling vehicle out-of-service rate, particularly in recent years.

Barrs noted that in nine states and the Alberta province in Canada, Performance-Based Brake Testers can add 10 minutes to a Level I inspection process. Drivers can expect to see those in action at some fixed locations in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. For a narrative of a PBBT inspection in Tenn. in 2011, follow this link.

Barrs noted that in nine states and the Alberta province in Canada, Performance-Based Brake Testers can add 10 minutes to a Level I inspection process. Drivers can expect to see those in action at some fixed locations in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. When involved in a PBBT test, Trooper McGuire noted that drivers should be sure to apply maximum force to the brakes in order to get an accurate measurement of braking power. The PBBT attempts to give an overall assessment of the vehicle’s brakes. 

CVSA and Barrs both encourage getting involved as a motor carrier or driver with law enforcement in Roadcheck by contacting your base state’s jurisdiction and asking about opportunities to volunteer.

Outreach activities relative to motor carrier safety to the general public might include, for instance, assisting in demonstration of proper driving around tractor-trailers. “The Florida Trucking Association,” said Barrs, “is going to be helping us with some No Zone presentations during Roadcheck,” referring to promotion of the blind zones in which it’s unsafe for four-wheelers to operate alongside tractor-trailers. “That’s how some folks have gotten involved.” 

Those interested in hearing the entirety of the CVSA webinar will be able to access slides and audio from the presentation by the end of the week via CVSA.org


  • doug

    Truck drivers should unite on this 72 hr extra harrassment period and have a national 3 days off. But we can’t get together on anything. So I guess we better make sure and do iron clad pretrip postrips.

  • jjg614

    ill be off u can bet on that

  • localnet

    Outreach? Like the feds hands in my pockets? That outreach? And then throw in CSA 2010? My stuff is in order, as is my equipment, but I will be golfing…

  • Jh from nc

    I’ll be off not putting up with there bull shit.

  • jim stewart

    This doesn’t just go on for three days. Some states like Georgia will add a few more days up front and possibly at the end just for good measure. Even though I try very hard to keep everything in perfect working order it’s just not worth the extra risk to my score or license to flirt with them (I consider it like throwing a rock at a paper wasp nest).. I myself will opt to take a few days for other pressing interest. No I am not running illegal or operating junk but I’m still not going to poke a hornet nest with a stick either. It’s only human nature that in any large enforcement group with adrenalin pumping some people feel they must be overly aggressive to display their strong-arm side. Sadly this whole safety event is really a game of showmanship (in many areas) and most the same damn junk that rolls around during the week will be right back at it the following week. I wholeheartedly believe in transportation safety but if anyone thinks they are immune to this type road side show of force the key word here could likely be lucky. I’ve found over many years of trucking that it’s best not to engage these folk when they’ve got every enforcement agency looking over each others shoulders which quickly changes the attitude of many inspectors. OK, I know everyone has a job to do but it’s a lot different dealing on a one on one basis during normal circumstances rather than which one can score the most points during this event like a competitive game. Sure I will probably get slammed by some super trucker claiming he/she always has everything picture perfect and can pass any such roadside inspection carnival without a hitch. I will certainly congratulate you up front for your outstanding performance while I take those few days to, like I say, catch up on other projects!

  • Dave

    I always take the week off when one of these time wasters are in operation.

  • guest

    If…as you pull onto the scale…if you extend your arm Straight..out the window..tilted upward and yell Heil Hitler….they will cheerfully wave you thru..knowing that you are one of them!!

  • guest

    By “Outreach” that describes how they will be Out in Full Force….REACHING into your wallet!!! lol

  • old school old timer

    If anyone thinks the roadside inspections are about “safety” then they are fools as well as idiots. It’s all about the money and generating revenue (money). It’s nothing more than legalized highway armed robbery on us truckers simply trying to make a living. If it wasn’t about the money, then why do hwy patrol officers have to hide in unmarked cars and pickup trucks to pull mostly truckers over, since a marked patrol vehicle is a speed deterrent all by itself cause everyone that see’s a marked patrol vehicle hits the brakes to slow down, even on the opposite side of the interstate. That’s my feelings and opinion on the roadside inspection robberies.

  • localnet

    You pretty much nailed it, I will be taking the week off too. And like you, my truck is fine, as is my paperwork, but… I love your analogy of the Hornet’s nest, as that is exactly what this is, along with the competition of who can rack up the most points. Maybe I’ll see you on the golf course.

  • mousekiller

    If someone could get it through to them that the REAL cause of car truck accidents is the driver of the car. I would like to see a Personal Vehicle Roadcheck happen. How about pulling in every vehicle pulling a trailer.? Car , pickup truck or rental van. Get some of these people off the road that have no clue how to secure a bob cat, or lawn mower and the ever present mattress and box springs. . Just going a few miles is no reason to be unsafe even for a little bit. I think some of these officers will see the real problem .

  • mousekiller

    As a rule I take off during that time,, Not sure I can this year. been off a month already. and am going to have to pay the milk man soon. Half of the inspectors are not properly trained especially the local yokels that get involved. Once a year is not enough to be called TRAINED.

  • No vote

    Tired of the truckers being labeled the bad guy. Tired of the hands out looking to always be taking my miney because they think I make the big bucks. Tired of the people we haul all their necessities for scrutinizing our every move. Tired

  • Pingback: Put the brakes on inspection | iTruckTV

  • Cary Lehr

    The number of responses that inspections are purely about “revenue
    generation” really shows the ignorance of the majority of people
    regarding the inspection process and the FMCSA methodology in general.So
    far this year, our company has had 77 inspections, with a 9.09% OOS
    rate (90% of which are for drivers FAILING to keep their logs updated,
    i.e it’s 5PM and they haven’t even STARTED a log for the day they got
    the OOS for logs) and of those 77 inspections, of the 31 with some sort
    of violation written, there have only been 3 actual citations that
    resulted in a fine written. Now, if it was all about revenue, wouldn’t
    there be a higher percentage of tickets written, rather than just
    inspection reports? (which carry NO monetary penalty)? I am a former driver myself with over 1 million safe miles, I can understand the frustration drivers feel, but I also can see where a lot of that frustration is born out of not really understanding the methodology and failure on their part to ensure that they are legal before crossing each and every scale and DOT checkpoint.

  • ironage

    I used to be a DOT officer. The reason i left was because the entire system is set up as a revenue collection system, and every DOT cop out there knows it, even if they won’t admit it publicly. I know the conversations that take place behind the scenes at the DMV/DOT. You live in a fantasy world.

  • FoxStar

    If I were them, I’d throw the book at you.

  • independent driver

    The only thing their looking for is money ! I will take the week off also only because they won’t stop till they find some stupid thing to get a few bucks no matter how well you keep up on your truck . And then of course they think that their 1/2 hour class they take makes them a pro. I’ve had idiots looking in books at pictures and still didn’t no what they were looking at . I was an inspector for 16 years while I was a single parent and couldn’t be on the road plus I’m 3rd generation trucker and these idiots think they no everything ! So now I don’t bother , I just don’t need the aggravation for no reason . And I just did all my brakes , drums , hardware , seals you name it I just went threw my truck but can’t be bothered !!

  • JasonKane

    Just this past week i saw a washing machine and a fridge on the shoulder (seperate incidents), both obviously lost in transit by their respective transporters. Its ridiculous how clueless some people are to cargo securement.

  • t-mang

    that was funny

  • mousekiller

    Of course the system is flawed. It is run by govt idiots and those that think like them. Yes we can change it.It is not for safety in the first place. So being a failed system why should we have to work with in it. It NEEDS to be changed. Your thinking is no different than it’s only one brake out of adjust no biggie . The whole inspection process is not right nor is the training of the inspectors. Why go along to get along. I refuse to be a part of it. After 45 years on the road enough is enough . I write letters to my elected officials. The best pro truck congressman was Hal Rogers of KY. He has kicked more butts of crooked cops and judges and prosecutors than any one else.

  • shortchange

    You got that right! I too am old school from the mid
    60’s an retired 2010 It’s MONEY talks bull shit walks
    The trucking industry has always been an easy way
    to make up revenue. The country as a whole is the
    same way these days.

  • chansaw

    regulations mean nothing.I was told that no matter what it is the way that each one interpets the law so each one can have a different idea what the law says

  • Hotshotter

    It is not about just making money from truckers, but also justifying their jobs, more violations written up make it appear to lawmakers like they are so needed. Simple bureaucratic rules justify your Job or you have no paycheck!

  • sjd

    Its a legalization for dot to harass a working American doing their job. I’m to the point of no return about it. i watched last year 2013, 15 dot officers in Arizona in the median pulling over just big rigs in flagstaff its terrible

  • Eddie

    I agree.I’ve been driving for 20 yrs I recently brought my first trk off my company after taking it to My mechanic instead of his the truck was in the shop for almost a month to be able to be road and safety worthy. Truckers this is not only about our safety but the safety of others.There has been to many times that I’ve seen drivers get in there trk without taking time to do a P.T.I. I believe that there are more steering holders than real truckers. Be safe drivers and do your inspections.

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