Live Unload The Ultimate FAQ Guide 2

International Roadcheck: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

If you have any question about international Roadcheck, you will definitely find the answer right here.

So, if you want to learn more, read this guide.

What Is International Roadcheck?

Internationla Roadcheck

International Roadcheck

This is an annual event that occurs within 72 hours across roads in North America.

During this period, certified CVSA inspectors conduct inspections along the roads to enforce driver safety, motor carriers, and vehicles.

The main targets of the international roadcheck are commercial vehicles, which include buses and trucks.

Roadcheck increases awareness to the general public and industry on the importance of roadside inspection programs.

Also, safe commercial vehicle operations.

What Is the General Aim of International Roadcheck?

The general aim of the international roadchecks is to inspect commercial vehicles, Road equipment, and drivers who are using it.

This includes inspection of buses, trucks, equipment, and drivers.

Normally, we experience change due to age or deterioration of the quality of these elements as time goes by.

Motor vehicles will wear out and hence the need of replacing the worn-out parts. Similarly, equipment mighty is faulty over a period making the unsafe for usage.

You will find also drivers who take continuous long trips without resting.

This will result in fatigue making them unsafe and less reliable to use the roads.

All these incidences bring in the aspect of the DOT to conduct an inspection.

This ensures there is no usage of unsafe vehicles, faulty equipment, or unfit drivers who pose a risk to other road users.

Even though you cannot control the roads 100%, it’s important to conduct the DOT for safety and maintenance purposes.

This brings the aspect of the DOT week.

When Is DOT Week?

DOT week is also known as the DOT Blitz week normally occurs during the late springs or early summer.DOT week runs for 3 days.

During this period the CVSA inspectors work tirelessly along the North America roads inspecting motor vehicles and drivers.

We can generally describe the DOT week as a large-scale audit along all roads in North America.

Drivers and carriers need to prepare in advance for the DOT week by ensuring they are working in compliance.

Note, there is a period where the DOT week will have themes.

This means specific elements that the inspectors will be looking out for. They include;

  • Speeding
  • Driver safety
  • Brakes/steering
  • Suspension systems.

Who Are the Parties In International Roadcheck?

We have different parties who work in conjunction with CVSA certified inspectors to accomplish the international roadcheck.

Motor vehicle inspection

Motor vehicle inspection

These parties include;

  • Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
  • Transport Canada.
  • Secretariat of Communications and Transport (Mexico).

All these parties help conduct enforcement educational initiatives and compliance of the commercial vehicles, driver’s safety, and motor carriers.

What Is The Criteria Of Inspection During International Roadchecks?

Within 72 hours, over 9,000 inspectors are assigned to conduct inspections.

This is done on the drivers and commercial vehicles across all roads in North America.

They will follow the set protocols of the North America Standard Level 1 Inspection.

This is usually a 37-step procedure that contains two aspects of inspections;

  1. Examination of the vehicle mechanical fitness
  2. Examination of the driver operating requirements.
  • Availability of dangerous/hazardous goods that pose a great risk.

Level 1 inspection has been the primary inspection, the inspectors might decide to dig deeper into other processes to ensure complete compliance.

For instance, depending on the availability of resources and weather conditions, the inspectors a Level 2 inspection.

This involves a Walk-Around Drive or Vehicle Inspection.

The inspectors may also upgrade to a Level 3 inspection of Driver/Credentials/ Administrative inspection.

They can also use the Level 5 Vehicle-only Inspection.

Only the inspectors can discretely choose which of these criteria to use while inspecting the commercial vehicles, carriers, and drivers.

What Is The Main Areas Of Inspection In International Roadcheck?

During the international roadcheck, vehicles will undergo inspections to determine the condition of the different elements of the vehicle.

The inspectors will check the condition of the following elements;


Inspection of full functionality of all required lamps on the vehicle.

This includes the mounting, visibility, operations, and proper colors of the lamps.


Inspect the steering lash by determining the distance/diameter of the steering wheel.

To determine this diameter, turn the steering wheel in opposite directions until the wheel begins to pivot.

Mark the steering wheel at that fixed position.

Rotate the wheel in the opposite direction and mark using the same procedure.

Measure the distance between the two points to determine the steering lash. To be on the safe side compare your steering lash with the allowable amount given.


To ensure the brakes are operational, check for the following conditions;

  • Ensure there is no low air pressure in the air system.
  • Check for ABS malfunctioning such as brake warning system devices.
  • Check for any loose, missing, contaminated, or malfunctioning parts of the breakaway system.

Fuel And Exhaust Systems

For exhaust system inspect for any excessive carbon deposits around the clamps areas.

For fuel tanks inspect for leakage, loose mounting, or missing caps.

Coupling Devices

Check for visible space between the upper and lower fifth wheel, improper repairs, and devices that are incapable of a secure attachment.

Frame, And Open-top Trailers

For frames inspect for any defects that will result in collapsing of the frame. This includes beds, sagging, loose fasteners among others.

For van and open-top trailers check for any cracks or loose fasteners.


Check for any unsecured axle positioning parts or misalignment of the axle. On the front of the axle, check for misalignments and cracks.

Securement Of The Cargo

Check the tiedown anchor points for any cracking and deformation.

Check for appropriate bracing and blocking of the shipment.

Tires, Wheels, Rims, And Hubs

Check tires for bulges and cuts, tread wear, or inflation.

Check the rims and wheels for missing studs, clamps, or lugs.

Inspect the hubs for missing plugs or caps, lubricant leakage, positioning, and misalignments.

What Are The Hours Of Service (Hos) Rules With Regards To International Roadcheck?

Hours of services rules are general rules that govern every driver’s operational time and the set resting period.

The establishment and maintenance of these hours of services rules are under the FMCSA.

Also, the main of these rules is to provide improvements on safety and minimizing driver’s fatigue.

Additionally, the HOS rules regulate the drivers operational time hence limiting the driver’s income.

In most cases, drivers tend to work extra hours to increase what they earn. This poses a great risk of fatigue.

With the advancement in technology, the HOS process is now automated, thus making it easy to track the drivers and enforce laws.

While enacting the HOS rules the FMCSA has exceptions of emergency cases and adverse driving conditions.

What Is A CVSA Decal?

CVSA decal is a sticker that provides information on the year in which the inspection of the vehicles took place.

Normally, these stickers are colored and are inclusive of the CVSA trademark logo.

After a successful level1/level 2 inspection, and there is no critical violation, the CVSA inspectors will issue a CVSA decal to the vehicle.

A vehicle with a CVSA decal does not undergo the inspection process for three months.

To determine the period of the issuing of the CVSA decal check on the color of the decal.

These colors determine the years of issuing.

  • Green: indicates issued CVSA decals between January, February, and March.
  • Yellow: Indicates months of April, May, and June.
  • Orange: decals issued in July, August, and September.
  • White: decals issued in October, November, and December.

To prevent the vehicle been rendered out of service ensure that the vehicle is in the right condition and all the items are properly working.

Who Must Comply With The Hos Rules?

The drivers and carriers of all commercial motor vehicles must comply with the Hours-of-Service rules.

Drivers operating an interstate business must comply with these rules if the vehicles have the following conditions;

  • Transport hazardous materials of any quantity which requires placards.
  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more.
  • Used to transports 16 or more passengers including the driver where compensation is not applicable.
  • Used to transports 9 or more passengers including the driver for compensation.
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more?

What Happens If A Trucker Is Found To Be Non-Compliant During International Road checks?

If the trucker is found to be non-compliant with regulatory measures during the audit of the vehicle, the following actions will be taken;

  1. Hauling of the journey for the driver and the cargo.This allows the driver to look for an amicable solution to fixing the given issue.For instance, if the driver violates the HOS rules, they must wait until the given out of service time is over.

    This normally results in congestions along the roads leading to delivery delays of the cargo.

  1. Immediate examination for further violations as a result of violating one commercial motor carrier.For instance, a single violation of having an expired tail light will lead to speculations of the general condition of the vehicle.
  1. High impact on the compliance, safety, and accountability score of the driver found with a violation offense.This has a major impact on the driver because the scores determine their eligibility to stay in the market.Accountability scores distinguish drivers who practice safety measures.

    Thus, improving the operational period in the markets.

Will International Roadcheck Influence Capacity Crunch?

During the DOT week, there is a visible fluctuation of the capacity.

Drivers tend to go on vacation and be with families during the 3-day event to avoid the hassle on the roads.

If the CVSA inspectors find any violation of HOS rules, worn out tires, licensing violations.

This will result in the hauling of the vehicle from the road.

For instance, a sample of 18% of freights and 4% of drivers out of a sample of 67,000 inspections in the previous year was rendered an OOS.

This resulted in fewer trucks on the roads translating to a low capacity of freights.

To combat these incidences the few truckers remaining on the roads strive to achieve and adhere to the regulatory measures.

During the DOT week, shipping the freights becomes a question of whether it’s worth the risk.

This is because there might arise issues during the inspection putting the driver at risk of even losing the job.

You will find most drivers do not accept freights after short notices before the DOT week.

This results in fewer trucks on the road and a significant drop in the capacity of freights.

In conclusion, the international roadcheck greatly impacts the capacity crunch.

Will International Roadchecks Affect Freights Rates? How?

Yes, international roadchecks have a major impact on freight rates.

Due to the roadcheck, you will only find a few vehicles shipping freights on the roads.

This means you will end up incurring more costs to ship the freights.

The availability of fewer drivers to ship the freights results in to increase in the cost of shipping the freights for you.

An increase in charges is normally a momentary thing due to a shortage of capacity considering the demand is always high.

What Practices Can I Employ to Minimize Supply Chain Disruptions During International Roadcheck Week?

Supply chain

Supply chain

The international roadcheck week is coming and this does not mean you put on hold the plans of shipping the freights.

You can use/apply different practices to minimize supply chain disruption.

These practices include;

Shipping Early

To prevent delays as a result of the international roadcheck consider shipping the freights earlier before the DOT week.

The inspection process includes a 37-stage inspection which takes a longer duration, hence to account for this, ship early.

Use Of Reliable Carriers Only

You must choose a carrier who will be liable to deliver the freight even amid the international roadcheck.

You should ensure you choose carriers who follow the CVSA guidelines to ensure smooth shipping of freights.

Use Flexible Windows

Reduction in the number of drivers results in to decrease in capacity.

Therefore, there is a need for you to go the extra mile and look for more carriers to help ship your freights

For instance, the availability of a green appointment window allows the carriers you choose to squeeze the job into their schedule.

This means the carriers will comfortably ship your freights and reduce carbon emissions.

Other practices include;

  • If the shipment is not critical, hold the orders until the DOT week is over.
  • Factor in the lead time you will need to source other trucks.
  • Explore other multimodal shipping solutions for alternative shipping options.

How Can Carriers Prepare For The International Roadcheck Week?

Adherence to the regulatory rules given by the CVSA inspectors’ results in a smooth inspection process and delivery of freights in time.

To prepare for the DOT week carries should;

  • Ensure all the vehicles lights are working properly because this is one of the DOT week’s themes.
  • Ensure you are working as per the HOS rules given by the CVSA certified inspectors.
  • Ensure the availability of all the paperwork and your driving credentials are valid and up to date.
  • Review the North America Standard OOS criteria to ensure the carrier and freight comply with regulations.
  • Review the CVSA North American Standard Roadside inspection cheat sheet.

To get more information on which items undergo inspection.

What Are The Most Common Violations During International Roadchecks?

Critical violations result in out-of-service penalties for both the carrier and the freight.

There is a tremendous increase in rates of the OOS in North America from 17.9% to 20.9%.

We categorize these common violations into two;

Vehicle-out-of-service Violation North America 2020

They include;

  • Brake systems result in 28.8%
  • Tires results to 19%
  • Lights results to 13.5%
  • Cargo securement results in 12.9%
  • Brake adjustments result in 12.8%

2. Driver Out-of-service Violation North America 2020

  • HOS:34.7%
  • Other (use of cellphone, moving violations):21.8%
  • Wrong class license:22.2%
  • Falsified logs:14%
  • Suspended license yet to be determined.

What Are The Penalties Of Failed Inspections During International Roadcheck Week?

Violation results in failure inspection meaning there is no issuing of the CVSA decal.

Drivers or equipment with serious violation issues is put out of service for some time.

The OOS greatly affects the accountability score and the driver’s compliance which results in suspension.

Issuing the OOS to the driver or equipment means stalling until you find an amicable solution.

The delay results in loss of finances for both shipper and driver.

Shippers suffer the loss of repair for the OOS order to be lifted.

Is International Roadcheck Week Optional?

International roadcheck week is not optional but rather a compulsory event.

You may opt to skip it by avoiding shipping freight during the 72 hours.

This though does not mean it will always be like that as it sends signals to the CVSA certified inspectors.

What Are Some Tips To Avoid Violations During International Roadcheck?

Being able to avoid violations not only saves you on the cost but also reduces the hassle or roads which occur during the Roadcheck.

It is important to be aware of what needs to be done to avoid the violation.

For instance, this year DOT week concentrates on the lighting.

Here are some tips to help you avoid the violations;

  • Ensure to inspect all the wiring to ensure sealing and splicing out of frayed wires.
  • Ensure that you seal all corrosions with dielectric grease to safeguard the system.
  • Constant cleaning, greasing, and tightening to protect the battery and the overall battery system.
  • Ensure you bundle and securely fasten the wires with a plastic tie to prevent dislodging due to change in environmental conditions.

How Can I Stay Up-To-Date Regarding International Roadchecks?

To stay up-to-date with information regarding the international roadcheck, bookmark this page on the CVSA website.

This allows you constantly view all the recent updates on the international roadcheck.

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