-  Photo Courtesy of J.J Keller

Photo Courtesy of J.J Keller

The CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) Annual Roadcheck event can be counted on to keep fleet professionals busy for a few weeks. Like CVSA Roadcheck, every roadside inspection should initiate an action. That’s because whether it’s good inspections, an out-of-service event, or anything in between, analysis of the data should take place. But roadside inspections can happen any day of the year, so your efforts to dig deep into your inspection data have enormous payoffs when you uncover and address the causes of poor roadside inspections. But first, let’s examine the nuts and bolts of CVSA 2022 Roadcheck.

2022 Roadcheck Results

The May 2022 event resulted in thousands of inspections and focused specifically on wheel ends — the tires, wheels, rims, and hubs on a commercial motor vehicle. CVSA made wheel ends a priority because a failure of any of these components could lead to a crash, and violations are common.

CVSA inspectors performed 58,287 inspections in Canada, Mexico, and the United States placing 12,456 vehicles and 3,714 drivers out of service (OOS).

North American results:

  • Vehicle out-of-service rate was up 6.3 percent to 22.8 percent
  • Driver out-of-service rate was also up 1.1 percent at 6.4 percent
  • False logs accounted for 45% of the driver out-of-service (OOS) violations in the United States

After a special enforcement event, it’s normal for drivers, carriers, and maintenance teams to let their guard down and move on to the next hot issue of the day. But everyone involved needs to fight this urge. Fleet management, in particular, needs to review their roadside data and inspections and look for trends. That’s because roadside inspections and violations carry significant implications for operations and safety.

Time is Money

Whenever violations are found during a roadside inspection, the inspection takes longer, and the BASIC measures increase. But those are only some of the costly consequences to your operation. Whether you’re a for-hire carrier or use vehicles to meet other business needs, no work is performed when your driver or vehicle is placed out of service (OOS). For example, if a movement’s rate is $2.00 a mile, a 10-hour OOS would reduce revenue by $1,000.00 or more. A similar loss is experienced in lost productivity of the worker and vehicle when not a for-hire operation.

Over-The-Road Repairs are Expensive

In addition to the delays caused by out-of-service violations, an OOS vehicle will typically not be released until the underlying problem is rectified, which often means getting a repair vehicle to the inspection location. These repairs are usually more expensive than taking care of the necessary maintenance at the vehicle’s home shop.

Fines are Expensive

Roadside inspection violation citations and settled amounts after an audit or compliance review can be very high. Some roadside inspection fines can be thousands of dollars — particularly for size and weight violations. Carriers cannot afford to keep getting dinged for the same violation repeatedly.

Like a Bad Penny…

Poor roadside inspection performance can lead to more inspections, audits, and event compliance reviews. Violations found during investigations can carry steep maximum monetary penalties — in excess of $15,000.00 per violation. In the 2021 calendar year, 2,773 operations settled with the FMCSA. The penalties exceeded 18 million dollars, with the average settlement over $6,600.00. The top 10 carriers settled with the FMCSA for over $40,000.00.

Next Steps

Inspections aren’t “random," and violations don’t just “happen." They reflect how safely drivers operate and a company’s commitment to compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).

Identifying the violations that have the most significant negative impact on your CSA scores can help you take corrective actions that quickly impact your scores and the resulting risk profile. Consider making these three remediations a part of your workload:

  1. Trend the Data MonthlyTrending your data is not a "one and done" event. The Safety Management Cycle (SMC) never ends. Once meaningful action is taken, the process starts anew with a review of the policies and procedures. If you're taking effective action each month, the lists should change month over month and eventually decrease the total violations and severity weights.
  2. Use Data to Discover the ”Who“ — Violations tend to follow the 80/20 rule — 80% of violations are likely caused by 20% of operators. However, you have more information than the general public. Use the data to provide targeted corrective action training (CAT).
  3. Review Data for Accuracy — Inspectors are human, and errors can happen. The FMCSA doesn't want incorrect data in the system any more than you and your driver. Use the DataQs online tool to have data corrected or removed from records.

Automation Can Help

Superior fleet management systems, like J. J. Keller® Encompass, can help by tracking all your roadside inspections and CSA data, plus driver and vehicle records. The system alerts you to compliance and operational risks and provides fleet insights from your vehicle's data. Call 855.693.5338 to talk with a compliance specialist today and learn more about the Encompass 60-day free trial.

Learn more about managing your roadside inspection data. Download the free DOT Roadside Inspections whitepaper.