Improve Your Confidence
During Road Check
If you’re new to the industry you may not understand what “Road Check” is for drivers. Road Check has been going on for many years and is an enforcement initiative across North America. Each year usually in the first week of June the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conduct a 72 hour blitz of inspections throughout the United States and Canada. This inspection blitz is to show the public that enforcement officials take safety seriously in the transportation industry. The CVSA is made up of Police agencies, Department of Transport inspectors, Ministry of Transportation inspectors, and other agencies aligned with safety and enforcement in North America.
What does that mean for the new driver?
As a new driver you don’t necessarily have to do anything different but understand that more eyeballs will be watching you while on the roadways. If you are still in a training facility this is a good time to review your notes and focus on your inspection process to get it down to a fine system. If you don’t understand something go back and ask those questions to your trainer or mentor.
If you are working for a carrier already then doing proper inspections and if possible have a mechanic go over the truck with you if you are new to the equipment. Go over the vehicle twice to ensure you haven’t missed any important components. Having a proper system for inspections and using a checklist are paramount for inspection success.
Not yet in a training facility? Find a training provider near you.
What does Road Check mean for the seasoned driver?
If you are an experienced driver then you may be more at risk with Road Check than someone in training. A person in training will most likely have a qualified instructor with them helping them should they miss an item during an inspection. An experienced driver won’t have that extra set of eyeballs to help ensure they don’t miss any components. If you think of it the inspectors are not looking for student run vehicles because they know that those should be in good condition to begin with. Inspectors are looking for drivers that have become complacent and have stopped inspecting their vehicles properly.
Try these tips for success during Road Check
There are many things you can do to get through Road Check without too much trouble. The first tip is to get organized. Have a system for everything you do which will help you not miss items. This year Road Check is focused on Hours of Service which means they will be paying extra attention to your log book or Electronic Logging Device. That doesn’t mean they won’t be checking brakes, lights and anything else attached to the truck.
The second tip is to take that extra time and do a proper inspection. Inspect every component of your truck and ensure it is in top shape. If possible have a second set of eyes such as a mechanic go over important items and create a solid system for inspections that offer you confidence while on the road. If you go into an inspection station with confidence it is a first step to being a professional driver.
Good luck with Road Check and if you work for a quality carrier that believes in safety then you shouldn’t have trouble during programs like Road Check. This program happens every year so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com