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International Roadcheck June 4-6 with emphasis on steering, suspension

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During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. (The Trucker file photo)

GREENBELT, Md. — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place June 4-6.

Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is steering and suspension systems. While checking vehicle compliance is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting steering components and suspension systems this year as a reminder of their importance to highway safety.

“Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “Not only do they support the heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

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; windshield wipers. Additional items on buses, motorcoaches, passenger vans or other passenger-carrying vehicles include emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments, and seating (temporary and aisle seats).

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 item 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 shall not be issued.

If an inspector does identify critical vehicle inspection item violations, he or she may render the vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. This means the vehicle cannot be operated 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 the number, type and severity of safety violations affect a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score and its Safety Fitness Determination rating. CSA is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration designed to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities by holding motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety.

“International Roadcheck is a high-visibility, three-day commercial motor vehicle and driver inspection and enforcement event,” said Chief Thompson. “However, aside from the increased inspections, we are not doing anything differently than any other day. The inspections performed during International Roadcheck are the same inspections that are conducted the day before International Roadcheck starts and the day after it concludes, as well as any other day of the year.”

“It’s important to remember that inspections are conducted 365 days a year. We publicly announce the dates of this three-day enforcement and awareness initiative in advance because we want all vehicles on our roadways to be safe and compliant,” Thompson said.

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period. Since its inception in 1988, more than 1.6 million roadside inspections have been conducted during International Roadcheck campaigns.

International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by FMCSA, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) (Ministry of Communications and Transportation) of Mexico.

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The Nation

Can you say oversized load!

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That is big!

 

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The Nation

Diesel prices all but stagnant nationwide, less than 2-cent shift anywhere

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The average price for a gallon of diesel nationwide fell by 0.7 cents for the week ending July 22, to currently stand at $3.044 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The lack of movement in diesel prices continues a pattern that has been going on for the past month. On June 24, diesel was at 3.042, with changes of less than 1.5 cents every week in between.

Though tiny, the movement in diesel prices was nearly unanimous this past week, down in all but one region of the country.  That one exception was the Rocky Mountain region, where diesel rose 0.3 cents, to $2.978. Year-to-date, diesel prices are lower in every region, with the Rocky Mountain region again being the standout, having the greatest difference, 39.1 cents from this time last year.

California made it a clean sweep for lower diesel prices year-to-date with a drop of 1.3 cents this past week, to $3.939, still by far the highest in the country, but 0.4 cents below this time last year.

Along the rest of the West Coast, diesel dropped 1.1 cents to $3.198, bringing the overall West Coast average to $3.611 per gallon.

The average along the East Coast is currently $3.072, with prices highest in the Central Atlantic, where diesel is going for $3.259 after a 1.3-cent drop. Diesel is $3.122 in New England following a decrease of 0.9 cents over the past week, while in the Lower Atlantic region diesel slipped by 0.4 cents to stand at $2.937 per gallon.

That’s still slightly better than the Midwest, where diesel is going for $2.948 per gallon after a drop of 0.8 cents. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast, the low-price leader in diesel, fell by the same 0.1 cent it gained the week before to stand at $2.804.

On Monday, increasing tensions between Iran and Western countries failed to produce a sharp reaction in the crude oil markets. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 98 cents, or 1.57%, to settle at $63.45 a barrel. U.S.-based West Texas Intermediate crude rose 59 cents, or 1.06%, to settle at $56.22 a barrel.

Click here for a complete list of average prices by region for the past three weeks.

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DOL opinion letter: Time in sleeper berth does not count as compensable time

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The Department of Labor says the time a truck driver spends in the sleeper berth is not compensable time. Pictured in the Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft sleeper berth. (Courtesy: PETERBILT MOTORS)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor said Monday said it had determined that time spent in the sleeper berth by professional truck drivers while otherwise relieved from duty does not count as compensable time.

The DOL issued the determination in a written opinion letter by the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the individual person or entity that requested the letter.

The American Trucking Associations lauded the opinion.

“ATA welcomes Monday’s opinion letter from DOL Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton that concluded time spent by a commercial driver in the sleeper berth does not count as compensable hours under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, unless the driver is actually performing work or on call,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This opinion, which is consistent with decades-old DOL regulations, the weight of judicial authority, and the long understanding of the trucking industry, clears up confusion created by two recent court decisions that called the compensability of sleeper berth time into question.

Significantly, this opinion letter provides new guidance, the DOL said.

Under prior guidance, the DOL said WHD interpreted the relevant regulations to mean that while sleeping time may be excluded from hours worked where “adequate facilities” were furnished, only up to eight hours of sleeping time may be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours.

“WHD has now concluded that this interpretation is unnecessarily burdensome for employers and instead adopts a straightforward reading of the plain language of the applicable regulation, under which the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable,” the opinion letter said. “There may be circumstances, however, where a driver who retires to a sleeping berth is unable to use the time effectively for his or her own purposes. For example, a driver who is required to remain on call or do paperwork in the sleeping berth may be unable to effectively sleep or engage in personal activities; in such cases, the time is compensable hours worked.”

The ATA commended Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella and Stanton for adopting a straightforward, plain-language reading of the law, rather than the burdensome alternative interpretation embraced by those outlier decisions.

“ATA also commends the department for making guidance like this available through opinion letters, which provide an opportunity for stakeholders to better understand their compliance obligations prospectively, rather than settling such matters only after the fact, through costly and wasteful litigation,” Spear said.

 

 

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