Caught at Roadcheck: 2023 inspection fails

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Updated Mar 7, 2024

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual roadside enforcement blitz for 2023 has come and gone, and Overdrive stopped by a chicken coop in New York for some hands-on reporting on the state of safety inspections. Nothing we saw there was as spectacularly messed up as the fails posted below, shared by various truck enforcement departments among states. 

Some of these violations, like a big bag of illegal drugs, received near universal condemnation from commenting operators on Facebook, where the posts originally appeared. Others, like a lightly leaking wheel seal, caused a bit more controversy.  

[Related: Operator let go after fentanyl, heroin found stashed in trailer]

But in most cases, a solid pre-trip inspection, some preventive maintenance, basic common sense (duct tape doesn't fix everything) or maybe just plain finessing the officers could have avoided dings for violations. After all, the vast, vast majority of trucks that passed through or by scale houses last week did not get inspected, and a report from Mike "Mustang" Crawford last week indicated that many scale houses simply weren't staffed.

Crawford traveled from Springfield, Missouri, all the way clear to South Georgia over the three days without passing a single open scale on his side of the highway. 

Last year's Roadcheck fails, from Iowa, already turned a few heads. In the aftermath of this year's event, South Dakota and Wyoming, too, added their own images of Roadcheck's "worst of the worst," with plenty in the way of negative reinforcement for your own safe practices, as it were. 

Iowa wheel end seals roadcheckCoffee is a great way to start your day, but in this case, it could make you stand out in line for inspections. One commenter seemed to think this would fly if only the cup was plastic.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement

Iowa RoadcheckSomething missing on that rotor?Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementsouth dakotaMore "brakes via Bluetooth"?South Dakota Highway Patrolsouth dakota roadcheckHere the spring has completely come untethered.South Dakota Highway Patrolwyoming roadcheckWorld's fastest precheck somehow did not catch this.Wyoming Highway Patrolwyoming roadcheckCome for the leaking seal, stay for the almost nonexistent brake drum.Wyoming Highway Patroliowa roadcheck placardsIt will read correctly if he rolls the trailer. Details, people!Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementiowa roadcheckSpare a thought for this antique frame rail not even afforded the courtesy of a Bondo Band-Aid.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementiowa roadcheckWhat's the allowable limit on these again? Some commenters tried to explain this as a "long stroke" model, but we don't suspect the inspector would buy that.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementiowa roadcheck rimThis is like only brushing the front of your teeth. Folks, the backside matters.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementiowa roadcheckThis air line won't hold pressure or stop a truck at highway speeds, but in this condition, it should have stopped the driver before they turned the key.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementiowa roadcheckIs this enough of a leak to get a violation? Inspectors on the scene in Iowa found it worthy of posting.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcementiowa roadcheckHow does a driver just go about their business without noticing something like this?Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle EnforcementIowa RoadcheckBy all accounts, this is a shockingly common occurrence at Roadcheck. Imagine pulling into a scale house knowing that.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement

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iowa roadcheck drug bustAlmost certainly not a fun time for this driver during Roadcheck in Iowa.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement

iowa roadcheck duiMaybe this was a "come to the light" moment for the driver?Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle EnforcementIowa roacheckSome like it kinky, roadside inspectors do not.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement

iowa roadcheck wheel end sealHate to break it to the DIY community, but Duct Tape does not actually fix everything.Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement

[Related: 'Chicken house closed, locked up, nobody home': Wrapping Roadcheck with the Mustang]