This year's International Roadcheck will take place June 6-8, 2017. Entering its 30th year, International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program of commercial motor vehicles in the world! According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), there will be a special focus on cargo securement during roadside inspections. What do you need to know and how can you prepare to pass an inspection? Check out our cargo securement tips!
What to Expect
On average, the CVSA's annual three-day event inspects nearly 15 vehicles every minute across North America during a 72-hour period. This year, the CVSA is highlighting cargo securement as a reminder of its importance to highway safety.
During International Roadcheck, inspectors will mainly be conducting a North American Standard Level I Inspection (the most thorough of roadside inspections). It's a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Drivers are required to provide items such as their driver's license, hours-of-service documentation, motor carrier registration, and shipping documentation. Inspectors will also be checking drivers for seat belt usage and whether or not they are under influence of alcohol and/or drugs. During the vehicle inspection, law enforcement will also check:
- Brake system
- Coupling devices
- Driveline/ driveshaft
- Exhaust system
- Frame suspension
- Fuel system
- Lighting devices (required lamps)
- Steering mechanism
- Tires, rims and hubs
- Windshield wipers
- Emergency exits (on buses)
Emphasis on Cargo Securement
Properly secured flatbed cargo prevents items from shifting, spilling, blowing or falling from the vehicle. Proper cargo securement in dry vans is also a necessity to avoid lost dollars in damaged goods.
Top 5 Securement Violations
- Failure to prevent shifting/loss of load
- Failure to secure truck equipment (tarps, dunnage, doors, tailgates, spare tires, etc.)
- Damaged tie-downs (unacceptable wear on chain or cuts and tears on web straps)
- Insufficient tie-downs
- Loose tie-downs
Know the Regulations
You may want to freshen-up on cargo securement standards as they represent the minimum safety requirements for general cargo in North America. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) outlines U.S. cargo securement rules on its website. The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators' (CCMTA) National Safety Code (NSC) lists Canadian cargo securement standards online as well.
Properly Secure Loads and Equipment
Cargo must be firmly immobilized and secured on, or within, a vehicle. While safe cargo securement regulations apply to every item carried for delivery, they also apply to anything else on, or in, the truck. This includes dunnage, tools and equipment. Examples of loose items that must be secured include:
- Spare tires
- Pallet jacks
- Winches, ratchets, etc.
Also, remember that an enclosed van trailer may not be sufficient securement for the load you are transporting. Many large or heavy loads may need additional securement in an enclosed van to safely secure the load. Bungee cords and tarp straps must not be used as primary securement for loads or equipment.
Inspect for Wear and Damage
Regulations require tie-downs to be attached and secured in a manner that prevents them from unfastening, opening, releasing, or becoming loose while the vehicle is in transit. It's important to remember that over time, tie-downs can become worn, torn or damaged. Make sure you inspect tie-downs for damage. CVSA's North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria handbook includes a helpful tie-down defect table for chain, wire rope, cordage, synthetic webbing, steel strapping, fittings or attachments, and anchor points. If worn or damaged, tie-downs should be removed and replaced.
Use Best Practices and Due Diligence
There may be best practices, established by consensus by those who haul what you're hauling, that are worth following.
If your shipment is more unique, do your research. Find out what works best. But always make sure your load is properly contained, immobilized and secured so that it cannot leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or shift upon or within the vehicle to such an extent that the vehicle's stability or maneuverability is affected. Loads that shift can not only cause crashes but can also damage your equipment. Improper cargo and equipment securement violations will also affect your company's safety rating.
Pave the Path to a Clean Inspection with BigRoad!
Nobody should be surprised by what happens during a roadside inspection, but, with 37 steps to remember during a Schedule 1 inspection, it's easy to overlook something!
BigRoad helps keep drivers and vehicles stay compliant by making driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRS) a breeze with the BigRoad Mobile App. Download the BigRoad Mobile App, for free, today!