Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds its International Roadcheck inspection on highways across our country and throughout North America to maximize the safety of motorists on the road. If an inspector finds a critical safety violation during a roadside inspection, the vehicle could be placed out of service (OOS), ultimately costing the fleet valuable time and money.
According to CVSA, this year, inspectors will focus on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement to highlight the importance of those aspects of vehicle safety.
In 2021, fleets paid approximately $74 million for failed inspections, and nearly 950,000 commercial vehicles were placed out of service. This was the industry’s highest increase across five years, according to Ross Froat, Great Dane’s Executive Director of FleetPulse.
Smart Telematics Makes Passing Inspections Easier
The top violations last year were brake systems, tires, defective service brakes, lights, and cargo securement. The good news is all of these can be easily avoided with preventative maintenance and proper pre-trip inspection to secure the load.
A smart trailer telematics system like Great Dane’s FleetPulse can give fleet managers helpful insight to accomplish preventive maintenance effectively and affordably throughout the year.
“FleetPulse can help drivers and fleets reduce their trailer-based violations and, most importantly, out-of-service violations, by prescriptive maintenance telematics,” Froat says. “FleetPulse measures historical data and gives real-time alerts to a trailer’s most common safety defects, like tires, lights, and brakes—providing fleet managers and drivers with information before the trailer is loaded and during highway operation, where most safety issues arise without the driver noticing.”
Currently, FleetPulse monitors ABS and provides actionable alerts in real time describing the fault whenever the lamp turns on. Great Dane plans to add monitoring features for brake stroke, brake pad wear, supply line low air pressure warning, and wheel-end temperature to FleetPulse – all these issues can lead to wheel end, tire, or brake failure. Vehicle-based out-of-service violations may be on the rise, but smart trailer telematics systems like FleetPulse are one of the most powerful tools available to prevent unplanned costs and downtime.
Save Time & Money With Pre-trip Inspections
The first step to avoiding an out-of-service violation is to make sure your drivers do a pre-trip inspection when it’s time to hit the road. The quality of the inspection is just as important as the timing.
Simply checking markers or bouncing a rod off a tire to check air pressure won’t be enough to avoid a violation. Of course, a thorough pre-trip inspection can take a while. A complete smart trailer solution like FleetPulse can be a vital asset for fleets that value their drivers’ time—and recognize the cost savings that come with efficiency.
“Improving the quality of pre-trip inspections is priority one for passing a CVSA enforcement inspection,” says Froat. “With FleetPulse, you can check your trailer’s safety status on your phone or tablet and have confidence your equipment will pass.”
Want to learn more? Click here to see how FleetPulse can help your fleets operate more safely and efficiently.
Tractor-trailers with defects are reported as a single commercial motor vehicle during the inspection, so it’s difficult to know how many of these violations are trailer specific. However, Great Dane’s Executive Director of FleetPulse, Ross Froat, says trailers are most likely involved in about 75% of the time in these instances.
“Tractors are inspected four times a year on average, and trailers once per year,” Froat said. “CVSA estimates one out of four tractor-trailers is out of service driving today on the road, and FleetPulse estimates three of those four combination vehicles is the result of the trailer. We verify this in customer meetings, viewing real-time data on the FleetPulse dashboard, and comparing historical data from CVSA and FMCSA each year with violation codes.”