Preparing For Roadcheck 2014by Jana Ritter - Published: 5/30/2014
Roadcheck is the largest targeted commercial vehicle roadside inspection program in the world with the goal of improving and promoting safety on North America’s roadways. Roadcheck has led to the inspection of more than 1.3 million vehicles since its inception. CVSA estimates that more than 220 lives have been saved, and more than 4,000 injuries have been avoided as a result.
In 2013, more than 10,000 CVSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) inspectors participated at approximately 2,500 locations, completing 73,023 truck and bus inspections during Roadcheck’s 72-hour campaign. Bendix Commercial Vehicle systems LLC says preventive maintenance and pre-trip visual inspections are two things that will assure drivers pass with flying colors during the upcoming Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2014 Roadcheck June 3-5. They emphasize the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, with a focus on brake systems, careful selection of replacement parts and technician education and support.
“Last year, one in five vehicles inspected was placed out of service due to a violation serious enough to be considered an imminent safety hazard according to CVSA,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs.
To help ensure the safe operation of commercial vehicles, Bendix stresses two levels of maintenance. One is preventive maintenance — the regularly scheduled, thorough review of the vehicle. The other is the pre-trip visual inspection, in which drivers check for loose hoses, leaks, and other obvious problems. Bendix encourages truck and bus fleets and owner-operators to pay careful attention to braking systems. In 2013, braking systems accounted for nearly half — 49.6 percent — of the out-of-service violations issued during Roadcheck. Brake system violations made up 30.1 percent, while brake adjustment violations totaled 19.5 percent.
“If you’re a fleet or driver operating vehicles with automatic slack adjusters, remember this: Do not manually adjust the adjuster,” said Mark Kromer, engineering and product manager for slack adjusters at BSFB. “While there are several factors that can cause a brake stroke to be beyond the maximum allowable value, none of them can be fixed by manual readjustment of the automatic slack adjuster. The key is to discover the cause.”
Bendix strongly advises fleets and technicians to maintain vehicles using proper replacement parts — ensuring that they meet original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements — for best performance and compliance results.
But simply adhering to the correct processes, practices, and training, Roadcheck 2014 should be just like any other drive on the highway. Drivers should simply prepare with correct information and you will ride comfortably, knowing you will pass any inspection that comes your way.