June 3, 2016 by Minuteman Trucks
With Roadcheck Week drawing nearer, from June 7-9, make sure you’re ready to handle possible roadside inspections! Be sure you’re prepared for a possible inspection and have the proper training to ensure that the inspection goes by quickly and easily without violation.
Best Practice Guidelines for Roadside Inspections
- Train drivers to complete high quality pre-trip inspections to reduce the possibility of violations.
- Review vehicle and driver basics with associated inspections and cross reference inspections on file with inspections turned in by drivers. Question drivers that have not submitted inspections.
- Review vehicle inspections and violations with your maintenance provider.
- Maintain copies, along with any attached repairs orders if there were violations, in tractor and trailer file.
- Train drivers to successfully pass roadside inspections and how to conduct themselves.
- Keep vehicles clean and well maintained to avoid being targeted for inspection.
- Advise drivers that moving violations will generate inspections.
Copies of all roadside inspections are to be kept by motor carriers for 12 months. Drivers are required to submit the inspection to the motor carrier within 24 hours or mail the inspection if the driver is not returning to the terminal. If there are violations, they must be corrected or repaired and the inspection form is to be signed and sent back to the state of inspection with in 15 days, certifying the corrections and repairs are completed.
How do my Drivers Avoid Brake Adjustment Violations?
The better the driver the less opportunity for automatic brake adjustment. As most vehicles have automatic slack adjusters, a percentage of these violations are attributed to technical working. Professional drivers leave a space cushion between them and the vehicle in front of them, allowing them to brake normally requiring about 15%-25% application. This number increases to over 60% in defensive actions; such incidents are known as “Panic Stops” or “Rapid De-acceleration Occurrences.” Most professional drivers only use this type of brake application about 6 times per 100,000 miles.
How to Make Sure Brakes are Always in Adjustment
- During the pre-trip inspection, complete 10 full brake applications while parked; this will adjust the slack adjuster about 1/2 inch per 10 applications. Doing this during the pre-trip inspection will ensure you brakes are in adjustment. In the event of a roadside inspection, repeat this prior to the inspection process.
- Check the low air pressure-warning system which should be audible. This is checked by lowering the air pressure to 60 psi. If the driver fully applies and releases during this portion of the inspection, the air pressure should drop 4 psi per application.
- Squeaking breaks occur as a result of crystallized lining, caused by the brakes being repeatedly applied with low air pressure. This can be reduced by 4 or 5 firm brake applications or rapid deacceleration stops a week. Always check to make sure no vehicles are following you while performing this procedure.
Tips on Passing an Inspection:
- Tires, Wheels, Rims & Hubs: Check tires for proper inflation, cuts, bulges, tread wear, regrooved tired on the steering axle; inspect wheels and rims for cracks, unseated locking rings, and broken or missing lugs; check hubs for lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs, and damaged, worn or missing parts.
- Fuel & Exhaust Systems: Check fuel tanks for: loosing mounting, leaks, and loose or missing caps; check exhaust systems for: unsecured mounting, leaks under the cab, exhaust system components in contact with electrical wiring/ brake lines/ hoses, and excessive carbon deposits.
- Suspension: Look for indications of misaligned, shifted, cracked or missing springs, loosened shackles, cracked or loose U-bolts. Also check the front axle for cracks, welds, and obvious misalignment.
For more tips on how to pass an inspection, read this tip sheet by CVSA and see What Inspectors are Looking For.
This safety bulletin is brought to you by Idealease.