Passing Roadside Inspections: 3 Tips for Success

By Michael Benedict on July 7, 2017

A large truck is involved in a fatal accident approximately every 2.5 hours. To keep your trucks and drivers out of those accidents and on the road, it’s vital that you comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, which is designed to help prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

The core element of CSA — the Safety Measurement System (SMS) — uses information from roadside inspections to measure a carrier’s safety performance. The higher the ranking, the more likely your business will be targeted for an intervention, which could range from a warning letter to an on-site investigation. And if that investigation finds that you’re not meeting safety regulations, your trucks could be taken off the road completely.

How can you make sure your trucks remain on the road and generating revenue? Part of keeping your company’s ranking as low as possible is making sure that all your vehicles pass roadside inspections with flying colors. Here’s how:

Make the pre-trip inspection process quick and painless for your drivers. 
Use mobile apps to check, double check, and document all the basics like lights, mirrors, horns and more. Keep in mind that passing inspection is specific to the category of what is being transported. Instruct your drivers to pay special attention to their vehicle’s brakes, tires, and cargo security (as these are some of the leading causes of large truck crashes).

Make documents easy to inspect
Crumpled and incomplete documents that a driver digs out of a messy glove compartment don’t leave a good impression on an inspector. A mobile inspection form gives your drivers access to inspection documents at their fingertips. If an inspector knows the paperwork is organized, he or she will have a better initial impression of your truck overall.

This may seem like common sense, but it’s not always common. The more cooperation the officer receives, the smoother things go. An officer doesn’t have to go through with a full inspection just because he or she pulls a driver over, but does have the right to cite the driver, the company, or both, so attitude pays. 

By making it easier for your drivers to pass roadside inspections, you’ll help them get back on the road faster — so you can continue generating revenue.

Want to learn more about meeting safety regulations, passing inspections, and keeping your fleet on the road? Download our new interactive eBook, “4 Ways Mobile Inspection Forms Can Keep Your Trucks on the Road.”

What’s in the interactive eBook?

  • What you need to know about CSA’s ranking systems
  • Tips for how to pass roadside inspections
  • Facts about the true cost of non-compliance
  • Types of CSA interventions and what triggers them 
  • Quizzes and facts on roadside inspections, safety rankings, and CSA interventions