Commercial vehicles face Roadchecks to ensure hours-of-service compliance

Dive Brief:
  • Hours-of-service compliance is the focus of this year's Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Roadcheck, an annual event which involves inspections across North America on commercial vehicles and drivers. The event runs Tuesday through Thursday this week.
  • This is the first Roadcheck to take place with the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in effect. "The ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance," CVSA President Christopher Turner said in a news release
  • The CVSA expects to find some ELD violations in its inspections, but does not have an estimate or specific number, Will Schaefer, director of safety programs for CVSA, told Supply Chain Dive in an email.

·      Dive Insight:
Since the April 1 enforcement date, news on the ELD front has been relatively quiet. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration "reported fewer than 1 percent of all inspections [resulted] in an ELD violation since April 1," Schaefer said. 
But this could be the calm before the storm, said Drew McElroy, CEO and co-founder of Transfix, a digital trucking marketplace.

Conducting "updated and upgraded inspections and doing that all correctly and at a significant velocity — we just assumed it was going to happen on April 1," he told Supply Chain Dive. "But it may be that [inspectors] are still trying to get their legs under them."

During Roadcheck, inspectors go through a 37-step process to examine the driver's operating requirements and "vehicle mechanical fitness," including brake systems, steering, suspension and tires, CVSA said. In last year's event, hours-of-service and falsified log books were some of the most common violations discovered among the more than 60,000 inspections across North America. 

With hours-of-service compliance the focus of this year's event, inspectors will likely pay extra attention to ELDs. 

Schaefer, however, said inspections shouldn't take any longer because of ELDs. "If drivers are familiar with their own ELDs, that speeds up the process of the inspector checking hours and tends to make inspections faster," he said. 

Many truckers and carriers haven't been receptive to regulations designed to enhance safety in the trucking industry and dread times of heavy inspection. 

McElroy said some truckers have called Roadcheck "the worst week of the year," with some drivers choosing to go on vacation to avoid the event altogether. 

Despite regulations that some drivers have seen as bureaucratic, drivers are enjoying the benefits of a carrier's market. "Demand is robust, carriers are getting paid well, most 3PLs are reporting good numbers," McElroy said. Some of those good numbers are falling into truckers' hands via pay raises. "It's a good market out there right now."
SupplyChain Dive.