This year’s focus will be steering and suspension systems. The organization stresses that these components “help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, thereby keeping the vehicle safely on the road.” Additionally, by keeping tires aligned, possible tire failure is reduced and steering stability is enhanced.
An average of 17 trucks will undergo Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness, during each minute of the 72-hour campaign. The vehicle inspection includes checking critical inspection items such as: brake systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; driver’s seat (missing); exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs and windshield wipers.
Drivers will be required to provide their driver’s license (operating credentials), Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable), driver’s record of duty status and vehicle inspection report(s) (if applicable). Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, sickness, fatigue and apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.
If no critical vehicle inspection violations are found during a Level I or Level V Inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection conducted by a CVSA-certified inspector; however, when a rear impact guard is required and violations are present, a CVSA decal will not be issued.
If an inspector finds a critical vehicle inspection item violation(s), he or she may render the vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. This would result in the vehicle being categorized as not operable until the vehicle violation(s) are corrected. A driver can also be placed out of service for driver credential-related issues or driver conditions, such as fatigue or impairment. Out-of-service orders and number, type and severity of safety violations affect a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score and its Safety Fitness Determination rating.