Inspection Before Driving

Your Cheat Sheet for International Roadcheck

Posted on: April 16th, 2024 by Leaders' Choice Staff No Comments

The 2024 International Roadcheck — a high-visibility, high-volume inspection and enforcement effort conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance — is slated for May 14-16.

During this annual three-day event, CVSA-certified inspectors fan out across the United States, Canada and Mexico to inspect commercial vehicles and drivers at weigh and inspection stations, as well as at designated inspection areas and along roadways.

Every year, inspectors will put a special emphasis on a specific area, and this year it’s on tractor protection systems and alcohol and controlled substance possession. Trucking firms and fleet owners need to understand the scope of the inspections and be prepared for them when the time comes.


Tractor protection system

Inspectors will look at a truck’s tractor protection system, which includes the tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve. These systems should be tested every time before a driver starts a new trip. According to the CVSA, during Roadcheck the inspector will:

  • Ask the driver to release all brakes by pressing dash valves.
  • Ask the driver to carefully remove the gladhands and allow air to escape.
  • Ensure the air stops leaking from the supply line with at least 20 psi remaining.
  • Listen and/or feel for any leaking air at the gladhand couplers on the trailer.
  • Request a full-service brake application by the driver.
  • Listen and/or feel for leaks from both air lines.


Prohibited substances

The CVSA is putting a special emphasis on controlled substances and alcohol as the number of prohibited drivers listed in the U.S. Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DACH) has been on the increase.

The Clearinghouse tracks a driver’s drug and alcohol tests and bars them from operating commercial vehicles after they fail a test. If they want to return to driving, they must

pass a return-to-duty process that includes substance abuse treatment and a test

to evaluate their readiness.

During the 2024 Roadcheck, inspectors will:

  • Observe the driver for signs of alcohol or controlled substance use and/or impairment.
  • Examine the cab and trailer for alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Conduct a query in the DACH (for inspections in the U.S.).


Driver drug and alcohol use is a significant concern in the trucking industry. Drivers who are found violating the rules are put in prohibited status. The CVSA recommends that fleet owners and trucking companies regularly query the DACH to ensure their drivers are not in prohibited status.


Other areas of focus

Although the CVSA will put a special emphasis on the above, it will also look for any critical violations, with any vehicles found to be out of compliance immediately placed out of service. Those trucks may not be operated until the issues are remedied.

There are two parts to inspections: vehicle and driver safety compliance.

Vehicle safety — CVSA reps will inspect the following for compliance with regulations:

  • Brake systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling device
  • Driveline/driveshaft components
  • Driver’s seat
  • Fuel and exhaust systems
  • Frames
  • Lighting devices
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires, wheels, rims and hubs
  • Windshield wipers.


Driver safety — Inspectors will check the driver’s operating credentials, hours-of-service documentation, status in the DACH, seat belt usage — and for alcohol and/or drug impairment.


The takeaway

The CVSA has a number of resources about International Roadcheck on its website.

Vehicles that pass inspection will receive a CVSA decal to display. The decal is valid for three months and trucks that pass will not be subjected to additional inspections during that time.

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