Now in its 30th year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual International Roadcheck will be running June 6 – 8. Will your truck drivers be ready for it?
During the Roadcheck, authorities will be conducting around 17 Level I inspections PER MINUTE across the United States, Canada and Mexico. That’s a lot of inspections.
As we mentioned in a prior blog, this year they will be paying special attention to cargo securement, although they will have their eyes peeled for other potential violations, as well.
Don’t be fooled by the misconception that only flatbed trailers require cargo inspections. In fact, inspections will be required on all vehicles with the exception of sealed cargo or cargo that is a logistical challenge to inspect.
It might be a good idea to enroll your fleet in a cargo securement training program. Truck drivers typically respond well to these types of programs and appreciate the extra effort the fleet is putting into ensuring they don’t receive any hits during the annual roadside inspection or any others.
What Are the Inspectors Looking For?
The last time Roadcheck focused on cargo, which was in 2015, they issued 2,439 violations for load securement, no small number indeed. Most common of all the load securement violations was the truck driver’s failure to prevent shifting/loss of load.
Failure to secure truck equipment, damaged, insufficient or loose tie-downs rounded out the top for violations.
As with any load securement check, the first thing they will be looking for is to ensure the proper amount of load securement is in place. They will be checking the condition of the straps, making sure they aren’t overly worn out and looking for things like nicks or cuts.
They will also be looking to make sure there is edge protection, that way they can ensure the straps won’t be cut or compromised by the load itself.
You’ll also want to ensure your spare tire is secure. This one is often overlooked, but winds up being a common violation due to how easy it is to overlook.
Although this may not seem immediately related, if there is dirt, gravel or other loose material on the deck, inspectors will consider that loose or blowing cargo. If you don’t ensure you’ve swept your deck of any loose material after hauling a piece of machinery or other piece of cargo that could leave something behind, make sure you sweep it up lest you want to be at the wrong end of a ticket.
Also pay attention to load length. It’s not just weight and cargo securement that you have to consider, but also the number of linear footage on the load. Inspectors will want to ensure it matches up not only with the load you are carrying, but the paperwork involved.
For someone who has never dealt with linear length before, this area can be confusing, which is why training is so important.
Knowing the Trick to Tie Downs
We did a recent piece on cargo securement, which you can find here, but the one thing to remember is this: To meet the safety requirements, you must use at least 50% load securement of the total weight of the cargo you are carrying.
Put simply, if you were carrying a 10,000-pounds piece of steel, you would need a 5,000-pound working load limit in place. There are even tie-down calculator apps out there to help you determine what proper load bearing securement should be.
More than anything, ensure your truck drivers know that the inspection is almost here and they will have to be ready for it. Proper training always helps.