Don’t look now, but the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is gearing up for its annual Roadcheck event scheduled for June 5-7. The 2018 CVSA International Roadcheck will focus on drivers’ hours of service this time around. To get drivers and motor carriers ready, a number of companies have started earnestly offering free training.
The CVSA works with law enforcement in the U.S. and Canada every year to conduct their Roadcheck initiative. The event is essentially a stepped-up enforcement effort utilizing state, local, and provincial authorities to increase truck inspections. Every year the Roadcheck turns up thousands of violations that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
The annual event also has a different focus each year. Last year’s focus was cargo control and securement, explains Mytee Products, an Ohio company that supplies tarps, straps, and other materials to flatbed truckers. In light of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that went into effect late 2017, the 2018 Roadcheck is focusing on hours of service.
Drivers’ Hours Limited by Law
Under both federal and state laws, drivers are limited in the number of hours they can drive every day. In fact, they are limited as to the number of total hours they can be on duty. All their on-duty time has to be tracked in one way or the other. Enter the ELD mandate.
Under the old way of doing things, drivers would keep track of their time using paper logs filled out manually. They are no longer allowed to do that. Thanks to new federal regulations, truckers must now use electronic devices installed in their vehicles. Those devices keep track of all the time a driver spends behind the wheel.
The CVSA and its law enforcement partners intend to use this year’s Roadcheck to educate drivers more thoroughly on logging devices. No one will be surprised to see the number of drivers’ hours violations spike this year given the controversy surrounding electronic logging.
Cargo Control Still Scrutinized
CVSA officials have warned that just because hours of service is this year’s focus does not mean that inspectors will not be taking a good look at cargo control. An increased number of violations discovered during last year’s event will undoubtedly motivate inspectors this year to scrutinize how loads are secured.
In light of that, both independent contractors and motor carriers would do well to take advantage of free training. A number of different companies are offering video-based training that can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. The training acts as a reminder of what drivers and carriers should already know.
Training advocates say that video-based training is an effective way to reinforce the training drivers received when they first started in the industry. A video can remind a driver of the best and safest way to tie down a particular load, for example. Having the visual to look at drives home the points that need to be remembered.
Start Getting Ready Now
If you are an independent contractor or motor carrier, the time to start preparing for the 2018 CVSA Roadcheck is now. Do not wait until the first week of June to get things in order. Otherwise, you could be in for a difficult couple of days.
Throughout the multi-day event, law enforcement and CVSA personnel will be out in force from coast-to-coast – in both the U.S and Canada. Truck drivers can expect more stops and more extensive inspections at weigh stations and temporary inspection stations. Any trucks or drivers found in serious violation are at risk of being taken out of service.