CVSA Roadcheck 2019 is Right Around the Corner

If you haven’t already, here’s how to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

Steering and suspension systems will be top of mind for inspectors

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

From Tuesday, June 4th through Thursday, June 6th the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place throughout North America. Over that 72-hour period, CVSA inspectors will be out in droves to verify your operating requirements and examine your vehicle’s mechanical fitness.

CVSA inspection officer directing traffic to side of road

Why focus on steering and suspension?

Just like how the 2018 International Roadcheck focused on hours-of-service compliance, this year’s emphasis will be on checking steering components and suspension systems which are vital to maintaining a safe roadway.

In a recent American Trucker magazine article, CVSA president and Arkansas Highway Police Chief, Jay Thompson, stated “Not only do they [steering and suspension] support heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

But steering and suspension checks are just one aspect of the 37-step procedure you can expect from inspectors during the 2019 Roadcheck.

truck driver operating requirements for 2019 roadcheck

Driver operating requirements for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Here’s what you as a commercial driver need to ensure you have ready when it comes to the 2019 CVSA Roadcheck:

  • Driver’s license (showing operating credentials)
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable)
  • Your record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (if applicable)

Inspectors will also be checking you for:

  • Seat belt usage
  • Sickness or fatigue
  • Apparent alcohol or drug impairment
cargo securement on flatbed truck for 2019 CVSA roadcheck

Vehicle inspection checklist for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Other than the obvious check on the state of your steering and suspension systems, inspectors will be examining the following parts of your rig:

  • Brake systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling device
  • Driveline/driveshaft
  • Driver’s seat
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame
  • Fuel System
  • Lighting Devices (headlights, taillights, stop lights, turn signals, and lights/flags for oversize loads)
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tires
  • Van and flatbed trailer bodies
  • Wheels, rims, and hubs
  • Windshield wipers

CVSA stickers

If there are no critical violations found, you’ll get a CVSA decal that shows you successfully passed the 2019 Roadcheck (for whichever inspection level was performed). This sticker will keep you from having to go through that same level inspection during the June 4th to June 6th, 2019 time period.

Stay safe out there!

Hauling Wide Loads and Oversize Loads: Important Questions to Consider

Hauling wide loads or oversize loads can be a daunting challenge. There are many variables you must consider prior to taking on these jobs: permits, route selection, required truck and bed size, pilot cars, cargo securement equipment, and of course, oversize load/wide load banners and signage

Because wide load and oversize load regulations vary from state to state, the preparation required to haul these loads can often be more work than the haul itself.

 

What Makes a Shipment a Wide Load or Oversize Load? 

hauling oversize wide loads
Because these tires can’t be broken down into smaller parts, they must be hauled as an oversize load.

First, understand that a load is considered oversized based on either its width or weight. If your shipment is over on either measurement it is considered oversize. If your load meets all weight limits, but not width limits, it is considered a wide load.

Generally, if your vehicle or load is wider than 8’6″ you will need wide load permits. Legal length is usually 48′ to 53′, and maximum weight is about 46,000 pounds. However, this varies by state. Some states measure by the overall length while others only use kingpin to rear axle length.

For a comprehensive list of regulations by state, see our Wide Load and Oversize Load Banner Requirements by State post

If your shipment can be broken down into smaller or lighter parts, you will probably not be able to obtain wide load or oversize load permits.

 

When do Wide Loads and Oversize Loads Require Pilot Vehicles? 

oversize loads pilot car
Depending on your load size and route details, civilian or police escorts may be required.

If your shipment exceeds a 12′ width you may need one to two pilot vehicles. These vehicles will be able to warn you of any accidents, construction zones, bridges, low wires, or other upcoming hazards.  

Remember, many states only allow you to travel with pilot vehicles from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. 

 

How Many Safety Flags, Oversize Load Signs, and Wide Load Banners do you Need? 

Again, this all depends on the size of your shipment. Generally, you need red safety flags on all four corners of your tractor trailer and amber warning lights up top to meet visibility requirements.  

Also, you will most likely need oversize load signs or wide load banners in both the front and rear of your vehicle. If you have pilot vehicles with you, they may also need flags and lights. Keep in mind that many states restrict or prohibit oversize loads during the holidays and over weekends.

 

Be Prepared for Oversize Load and Wide Load Hauling 

With the proper planning, oversize load and wide load hauling become much more manageable. The next time you need the proper flags, banners, lighting, or signage for oversize load or wide load hauling, US Cargo Control can help get you what you want, when you need it. 

hauling oversize loads
Shop Oversize Load Signs

oversize load safety light
Shop LED Lights

oversize load safety flag for sale
Shop Red Safety Flags

SC&RA Hauling Job of the Year Spotlight: Precision Specialized, Edwards Moving & Rigging 

US Cargo Control is a proud member of the SC&RA and had a great time attending the SC&RA annual conference in Boca Raton earlier this year.  

The entries for 2018 Hauling Job of the Year were seriously impressive and now the results are in. 

Find out what it took for two transportation companies to take home the trophy in their respective categories and see their incredible entry videos below. 

2018 SC&RA award winners
2018 SC&RA Hauling and Moving job winners. Source: SC&RA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hauling Job of the Year – Under 160,000 Pounds

Precision Specialized, a flatbed trucking company out of Ontario, Canada took home this award. Their massive job entailed transporting 16 various sized modules for the world’s largest designer of modular plant and demonstration-scale systems. These expensive and fragile modules ranged in size from 40′ x 12′ x 12′ up to a whopping 40′ x 16′ x 14′. The driving route, from the Greater Toronto Area to just south of New York City, was nothing short of hectic.

First, weight-per-axle restrictions on the bridge connecting Canada to the U.S. required numerous special application requests. Then, construction patterns in Pennslyvania made it extremely difficult to find a viable route. Eventually, it took a full road closure for five miles in both directions and a tricky two-trailer load. After two years of careful planning, including trimming low-hanging trees and coordinating power line clearance, the job was successfully completed. Precision used their Aspen 95-ton, 13-axle rear steer perimeter trailer, with a custom-made 13-foot deck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3FEakrge6M?rel=0

 source: PrecisionGroupAG


Hauling Job of the Year – 160,000 Pounds to 500,000 Pounds 

Edwards Moving and Rigging out of Shelbyville, Kentucky won the trophy for this middleweight category. In May 2017, they hauled three of the largest-ever fully assembled turbines 230 miles, from New York to Pennslyvania. Each turbine weighed in at 375,000 pounds and measured 16.25′ tall by 16.48′ wide.

After six months of planning and coordination with upper-level DOT personnel, the first turbine was loaded and delivered. It took 10 days and about 2,993-man hours for it to reach its destination. The route included going through a private property owner’s yard and, at one point, crossing over an interstate median and driving on the opposite side of the interstate. The final permitted weight of the configuration came to 913,227 pounds and measured 345′ x 19.5′ x 18′. It was all handled by a dual-lane 32-axle Aspen A500 expandable transporter with three Kenworth C500 tractors as the prime movers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKetJ5G8N5I?rel=0

source: edwardsmovers


How to Enter Hauling Job of the Year Competition 

Does your transportation company have an outstanding job to share? Check out the rules and regulations to understand the different categories and judging criteria.  

For all your flatbed trailer equipment, including oversize and wide load signs, check out the USCC website for quality products that are backed by teams of dedicated consultants. 

FAQs: US Cargo Control addresses some of our recent most-asked-questions

We gathered some of the most-frequently searched questions on our site and made a quick reference guide.  This is not a complete guide, but a starting point. Many more in-depth answers can be accessed by the links contained in this post, or by searching specific state regulations. We hope this will answer some of your questions and be a great starting point for what you need to know.

What are the requirements for wheel chock usage?

Wheel chock requirements vary by regulator. So how are you impacted?

OSHA Regulations

OSHA wants everyone to use wheel chocks. However, they do not have jurisdiction when it comes to regulating commercial motor vehicles, like semis or buses. That’s up to the FMCSA. OSHA does have complete jurisdiction over all intrastate motor vehicles, those used in the workplace and on non-public roads. OSHA will enforce wheel chock requirements on all trucks and trailers not classified as commercial motor vehicles. In a nutshell, if you’re not a commercial motor vehicle, you need to chock.

FMCSA Regulations

The FMCSA has their own rules when it comes to using wheel chocks. Their law says air-braked power units made on or before March of 1975 are adequate to keep a commercial motor vehicle from moving during the loading and unloading process. The FMCSA does require wheel chocks for all agricultural commodity trailers, pulpwood trailers and heavy haulers. Basically, if you are a commercial motor vehicle you probably do not need to chock, but should double check to make sure your vehicle isn’t an exception.

Individual Requirements

Carriers, receivers and distributors also have policies regarding safety, and it’s important to be aware of those policies. If a company requires wheel chocks, the policy will be enforced. Federal safety standards are considered the minimum threshold.

Wheel chocks are not required for independent CMV drivers, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to have a backup plan should your brakes malfunction. Accidents do happen. Wheel chocks simply ensure that you are looking out for the safety of yourself and those around you. Safety officials recommend drivers always set the brakes, chock the wheels and or activate the locking mechanism included on the dock.

What are the federal mud flap requirements?

Surprisingly, there are no federal regulations on mud flaps for trucks. However, there are certain states that do have requirements, that when enforced, can hurt your CSA score and cause you to be ticketed if you are not in line with them.

To play it safe and cover any state-to-state requirements, the simplest common denominator will require you to have a mud flap or splashguard on the rear of the truck that covers the full width of the tire. Length requirements vary, so to be safe, make sure your mud flaps don’t hang more than six inches from the ground.

If you need specific information for a state’s rule regarding mud flap laws, check the DOT website for that certain state.

What is the strongest grade of steel chain?

Grade 120 chain has the highest strength in the industry, is known as a high performance chain, and has a blue finish. The unique square links create increased contact between the bearing surfaces of the links, reducing pressure on the chain. This increases working load limits 50% higher than grade 80 chain, and 20% higher than grade 100 chain. Grade 120 is approved for overhead lifting. However, when used as a tie down chain, Grade 120 is not safe for overhead lifting due to the type of hooks used.

E-track vs. L-track: What’s the difference?

Both E-track and L-track are track systems with fittings for tie-down straps. The biggest difference is their size and shape. E-track is wider and flatter than L-track, and secures on the outside edge of the track. L-track (also called airline track or logistic track) has a more compact appearance and attachment points are inside the track.

L-track’s narrow width is ideal for installing in smaller spaces, like the bed of a pickup. Although newer than E-track, this style is gaining in popularity.

E-track offers more options in straps and fittings, as well as color and metal choices. E-track is a good choice for use in an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer because of its lower profile.

Are moving pads machine washable?

Our category of “Best” moving blankets are machine washable. Their cotton/polyester material and woven binding are designed for repeated use. They can be washed in a machine and hung to dry.

Our “Better” moving blankets are made with a combination of woven and non-woven polyester fibers forming a mid-weight blanket that is durable and offers excellent protection for repeated use. These blankets are not recommended for machine washing, but they can be spot cleaned.

 When do you need an oversize load sign/flags?

A load is considered oversize if it exceeds the standard legal size or weight limits for a road or highway. There are also “load per axle” limits for the weight of a load. Oversize loads include pre-built homes, construction machinery, industrial equipment, and wind turbine propellers.

  • Wide load or oversize load banner signs, safety flags and wide load banner usage is an FMCSA requirement for any commercial motor vehicle handling an oversize or wide load. Size and weight parameters vary by state, so it is important to plan ahead and determine the rules for states through which you will be transporting oversize loads.
  • Many states require vehicles transporting wide or oversize loads to obtain (purchase) permits, which are valid for a limited amount of days. These permits may also specify certain routes that these vehicles are allowed to use.

If you’ve got questions that aren’t answered here, we’d love to hear them in the Comments section below.