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Roadside Inspections Sideline Over 300 NE Trucks

Roadside Inspections

Last week saw the annual roadside inspection blitz for 2019. We covered it a bit right here on this blog, actually. And if you didn’t know it, they’re a pretty big deal. Carriers from every industry – not just auto transport – are stopped at one of hundreds of checkpoints across the nation and subjected to a level 1 inspection. If they pass, they get a decal from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. If they don’t, they usually get an out of service order.

Roadside inspections sidelined over three hundred trucks in New Hampshire and Rhode Island alone. Both states combined to perform over 900 inspections and found over 1900 violations. For those keeping track at home, that’s about two violations per truck.

As we talked about in the post linked to above, inspections this year focused on cargo securing procedures, steering and braking, and suspension. These are major safety concerns if they are not kept up on even for a standard car. For something like a big rig transportation truck, those not being in compliance is a serious problem.

How carriers fared during the roadside inspections this year

We don’t have much data on the roadside inspections done last week. However, we do have some, namely from New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

It’s kind of surprising to see the numbers that we’re seeing. Or maybe it’s not – roadside inspections aren’t something that the New York Times picks up, after all. As such, it can be hard to find hard data. But here’s the quick and dirty version:

New Hampshire State Police conducted 528 inspections during the roadside inspection blitz. They discovered 1,205 violations. Of those, 215 were given an out of service order, and just 61 were given a decal from the CVSA. Those decals indicated that the truck passed the Level I inspection.

Rhode Island State Police, though, conducted 416 inspections and found 696 truck violations. Another 136 violations given were for driver violations. In Rhode Island, 89 trucks – and 28 drivers – were pulled off the road and given out of service violations.

The most common violations were underinflated tires, non-working signal lights (including brakes and turn signals), badly adjusted air brakes, log book violations, and hour of service violations. Of those, log book and hour of service violations tend to be the most common violations in the industry.

What this means for your auto transportation services moving forward

New Hampshire and Rhode Island are two of the smallest states in the U.S. Both are in New England, and while there are parts of New England that are known for being big trucking areas, those two states really aren’t.

Looking at the numbers, though, it’s hard to get a gauge of just how bad these violations are, since we have little to compare them to. Of course, 900 inspections and 1900 violations – and three hundred sidelined trucks – doesn’t really look all that great. At a glance, it shows that one in three trucks inspected were given out of service violations.

That’s…not good.

But how do these numbers stack up to the rest of the nation? It’s hard to tell. We imagine that more information about inspections in other states will be coming in the next few weeks. The roadside inspections blitz is a major part of the trucking industry and has been for years. We saw the slow down leading up to it and during it, and now we’re riding the incoming wave as more trucks get back on the road.

But the inspections are important because they’re supposed to keep us safe. If a truck has bad brakes and they fail, they could cause an accident. If a truck’s steering is out of alignment, it could cause uneven wear on the tires, which could rupture prematurely. There are lots of the things that can happen on the road. Being safe is of vital importance.

300 trucks out of service in two of the smallest states in the U.S. is a lot by any standards. We’ll let you know how the rest of the country fared as soon as we know.

Dave Armstrong
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