Roadcheck 2021 - Just another day, or cause for concern

By: Tom Bray

Publication: Transport Safety Management Today

Date Posted: 05/03/2021

Roadcheck 2021 - May 4-6

Over the years, I have heard of Roadcheck being described as the perfect time to:

  • Take a vacation,
  • Go on a three-day fishing trip, or
  • Overhaul every vehicle in the fleet.

Basically, the thought is to come up with some reason to not be on the road for the 72-hour inspection blitz (conducted annually by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)). The people that think like this are pessimistic and assume that if their vehicles are inspected during Roadcheck, there will be problems — with the main problem being violations.

We must do something to prepare for Roadcheck 2021

What’s driving that pessimism? It’s the knowledge that not everything is up to standards. Even if these pessimists do well during Roadcheck, they feel they need to either get off the road or change course and prepare in order to avoid violations.

Opposite, or optimistic thinking

Some carriers take the opposite approach. These carriers believe they are prepared for Roadcheck and welcome the extra inspections. This is because they believe (and it’s true) that good inspections can help improve a carrier’s standing with FMCSA, mainly by improving the carrier’s BASIC scores in CSA. Due to their constant and ongoing safety and compliance program — they are optimistic they are going to pass all the inspections they undergo.

The most interesting group

There are carriers out there that do not tell their drivers, supervisors, or technicians when Roadcheck is occurring. These are the most extreme of the optimists. I have a good friend in this group, and if he had his way, the Roadcheck dates would be a secret. His logic is that his people must understand that roadside inspections can occur at anytime. Therefore, they need to be ready for an inspection 24/7. There should be no special preparations necessary just because CVSA will be doing extra inspections for a 72-hour period.

Which group do you fall into?

Are you considering sending everyone on a 72-hour vacation during Roadcheck, or are you one who must do special preparations to avoid violations? If so, you might want to consider improving your overall approach to on-road safety and compliance.

Or, do you fall into the final category where Roadcheck is just three days on the calendar, not grounds for fear or special preparations. This is the group I’d rather be in!

About the author
Tom Bray - Transportation Editor

Tom has been with J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. since 2005. He brought with him an extensive background that includes years of experience in DOT compliance, policy development, driver human resources, driver training, training program development, CDL testing, claims management, and accident and injury prevention.

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