Roadcheck 2013 Checklist: Are You Prepared?

Owl or Ostrich? Watch for part two of our “owl or ostrich” article in the June 14th issue of FridayFleet®. If you missed part one, Unsafe Driver Risks: Understand your Liability, check it out here >

Roadcheck 2013

Roadcheck 2013 – the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world – will be held June 4-6, 2013.

During the annual Roadcheck program, The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) joins with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other transportation organizations, to conduct safety inspections across North America.

On average, 14 trucks or buses will be inspected every minute at locations from Canada down to Mexico during those 72 hours. Approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations perform the truck and bus inspections.

According to the CSVA, special emphasis will be placed on motor coach inspections and overall traffic enforcement. Roadside inspectors will be looking for proof that drivers are complying with hours of service and compliance with maintenance and safety regulations.

During Roadcheck 2012, 74,072 inspections were conducted – 4,000 more than 2011. Of the vehicles inspected, 20.9% were placed out of service for mechanical problems, and the driver out-of-service rate was 4.6%.

Top 10 Vehicle Inspection Violations found during roadside inspection for 2012:

  • Operating Vehicle Not Having The Required Operable Lamps (§393.9)
  • No/Defective Lighting Devices/Reflective Devices/Projected (§393.11)
  • Tire—Other Tread Depth Less Than 2/32 Of Inch (§393.75C)
  • Oil and/or Grease Leak (§396.5B)
  • Clamp/Roto-Chamber Type Brake(S) Out Of Adjustment (§393.47E)
  • Inspection/Repair And Maintenance Parts And Accessories (§396.3A1)
  • Operating A CMV Without Periodic Inspection (§396.17C)
  • No/Discharged/Unsecured Fire Extinguisher (§393.95A)
  • Failing To Secure Brake Hose/Tubing Against Mechanical Damage (§393.45B2)
  • Inoperative Turn Signal (§393.9TS)

Don’t be caught with these violations. Use the checklist below to help ensure you’re in compliance and keep your drivers on the road.

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Roadcheck 2013 Checklist

The following checklist is provided by CVSA. (You can download a PDF of these tips here)


Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system; Check for “S” cam flip over; Be alert for audible air leaks around brake components and lines; Check that the slack adjusters are the same length (from center of “S” cam to center of clevis pin), and that the air chambers on each axle are the same size. Check brake adjustment. Ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90 and 100 psi. Measure pushrod travel. Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamps and low air pressure warning devices; Inspect tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer.

Coupling Devices

Safety Devices-Full Trailers/Converter Dolly(s): Check the safety devices (chains/wire rope) for sufficient number, missing components, improper repairs, and devices that are incapable of secure attachment. On the Lower Fifth Wheel, check for unsecured mounting to the frame or any missing or damaged parts; or any visible space between the upper and lower fifth wheel plates. Verify that the locking jaws are around the shank and not the head of the kingpin and that the release lever is seated properly and that the safety latch is engaged. Check the Upper Fifth Wheel for any damage to the weight bearing plate (and its supports) such as cracks, loose or missing bolts on the trailer. On the Sliding Fifth Wheel check for proper engagement of locking mechanism (teeth fully engaged on rail); also check for worn or missing parts, ensure that the position does not allow the tractor frame rails to contact the landing gear during turns. Check for damaged or missing fore and aft stops.

Fuel and Exhaust Systems

Check your fuel tanks for the following conditions: Loose mounting, leaks, or other conditions; loose or missing caps; and signs of leaking fuel below the tanks. For exhaust systems, check the following: Unsecured mounting; leaks beneath the cab; exhaust system components in contact with electrical wiring or brake lines and hoses; and excessive carbon deposits around seams and clamps.

Frame, Van, and Open-Top Trailers

Inspect for corrosion fatigue, cross member(s) cracked, loose or missing, cracks in frame, missing or defective body parts. Look at the condition of the hoses, check suspension of air hoses of vehicle with sliding tandems. On the frame and frame assembly check for cracks, bends, sagging, loose fasteners or any defect that may lead to the collapse of the frame; corrosion, fatigue, cross members cracked or missing, cracks in frame, missing or defective body parts. Inspect all axle(s). Inspect for non-manufactured holes (i.e. rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.), for broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake. For vans and open-top trailer bodies, look at the upper rail and check roof bows and side posts for buckling, cracks, or ineffective fasteners. On the lower rail, check for breaks accompanied by sagging floor, rail, or cross members; or broken with loose or missing fasteners at side post adjacent to the crack.


Inspect all required lamps for proper color, operation, mounting, and visibility.

Securement of Cargo

Make sure you are carrying a safe load. Check tail board security. Verify end gates are secured in stake pockets. Check both sides of the trailer to ensure cargo is protected from shifting or falling. Verify that rear doors are securely closed. Where load is visible, check for proper locking and bracing. It may be necessary to examine inside of trailer to assure that large objects are properly secured. Check cargo securement devices for proper number, size and condition. Check tie down anchor points for deformation and cracking.


Check the steering lash by first turning the steering wheel in one direction until the tires begin to pivot. Then, place a mark on the steering wheel at a fixed reference point and then turn the wheel in the opposite direction until the tires again start to move. Mark the steering wheel at the same fixed reference point and measure the distance between the two marks. The amount of allowable lash varies with the diameter of the steering wheel.


Inspect the suspension for: Indications of misaligned, shifted, cracked or missing springs; loosened shackles; missing bolts; unsecured spring hangars; and cracked or loose U-bolts. Also, check any unsecured axle positioning parts and for signs of axle misalignment. On the front axle, check for cracks, welds and obvious misalignment.

Tires, Wheels, Rims, and Hubs

Check tires for proper inflation, cuts and bulges, re-grooved tires on steering axle, tread wear and major tread groove depth. Inspect sidewalls for defects, improper repairs, exposed fabric or cord, contact with any part of the vehicle, and tire markings excluding it from use on a steering axle. Inspect wheels and rims for cracks, unseated locking rings, and broken or missing lugs, studs or clamps. Also check for rims that are cracked or bent, have loose of damaged lug nuts and elongated stud holes, have cracks across spokes or in the web area, and have evidence of slippage in the clamp areas. Check the hubs for lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs, misalignment and positioning, and damaged, worn or missing parts.

Need assistance?

Should you have additional questions or need assistance with your compliance program, please contact Steve Jansen at 847-412-4961.

FleetWeb® Tips

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  1. Click “Do” icon, and click on “My Fleet Preferences” tab
  2. Click “Acquisition Exceptions”
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  4. Information will now be visible in the “Acquisition Exceptions” tab when opening the “My Reporting” display in the “Do” menu

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*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The exact vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

Are you ready for Roadcheck 2013? Make sure your hours of service records are in order and ensure your logs are signed and there are no mistakes. Make sure you have inspected your truck and trailer for any possible violations (which you should be doing anyway!) before you head out. When you finally hit the road, buckle up, don’t speed, and drive safely. If you do get pulled over, remain calm and have patience.

And finally…

qrcode-13869392And finally, you’ve seen them all over, those squiggly black and white square bar code thingys. The QR code – or Quick Response code – is a 2-dimensional code that works similar to a traditional bar code. You “read” the code with an app on your smartphone, and it pulls up additional information or directs you to a website. Marketers have been using them in ads, on trade show booths, and outdoor advertising – with mediocre success.  Enter Mercedes-Benz, who is using QR codes to save lives. They’re applying QR code stickers on their vehicles, embedding important rescue sheet information that can be read by first responders in the event of a crash. Things like placement of fuel line, airbags, and tanks. And they are waiving the rights to a patent registration so that any automaker can do the same. Way to go Mercedes.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on May 31, 2013

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development” and the “2012 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America.” Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit