Do These 3 Things Before Roadcheck 2021

Daren Hansen, Sr. Editor - Transportation Safety

March 5, 2021

 Trucks on highway

The three-day International Roadcheck event begins May 4, 2021, and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers will need to be ready.  Roadcheck involves more than 50,000 roadside CMV inspections at locations across North America. If history is a guide, about 1 in 5 of those inspections will result in the CMV being placed out of service for serious violations. 

Avoiding a shutdown order — during Roadcheck or at any time of year —requires preparation. Here are the top three things that every motor carrier should do now to get ready for Roadcheck.


1. Prepare your vehicles

You’ll need to make sure all your CMVs are current on their daily, routine, and annual inspections and maintenance.

Common vehicle violations include:

  • Broken lights
  • Expired annual inspections
  • Brakes out of adjustment
  • Fire-extinguisher violations
  • Tires with low air or tread
  • Inadequate cargo securement

Pay particular attention to the lights this year, because they’re a Roadcheck focus area for 2021 and are the most common violation found every year. Make sure all required lights are clean and working.

Finally, remind your drivers to do their daily pre-trip, en-route, and post-trip inspections and report any defects immediately.


2. Prepare your drivers

Inspections will go much smoother if drivers are trained on the process and are mentally prepared to cooperate. They will need to follow the officer’s instructions in a professional and courteous manner, answer questions truthfully, and provide all requested documentation.

Hours of service (HOS) is another Roadcheck focus area this year, so make sure drivers know their HOS limits, are using the right type of log, and are prepared to show all required documentation.

Common driver violations include:

  • Hours-of-service and logging infractions
  • Moving violations (speeding, cell-phone use, disobeying traffic-control devices, etc.)
  • Invalid or suspended drivers’ licenses
  • Failing to use a seat belt
  • Failing to have a current medical certificate

Drivers should be physically prepared as well. They will be placed out of service if they’re too tired or ill to drive safely or have used drugs or alcohol.


3. Prepare your documentation

Documents and credentials play a key role during roadside inspections. You need to make sure all drivers and CMVs are equipped with everything that’s required — and that drivers know where to find it — including:

  • Vehicle markings: company name and DOT number on both sides.
  • Proof of annual inspection (within the past 12 months) for each vehicle.
  • Permit credentials as applicable: base state or IRP cab card, IFTA license and decals, state authority credentials, insurance card, state mileage tax permits, special or temporary trip permits, and hazmat registration.
  • Shipment documents: bills of lading, shipping papers, etc., as well as any lease agreement for the vehicle.
  • Hours-of-service records: the correct type of log (paper or electronic logging device (ELD)) and all supporting documentation, including the ELD user manual, malfunction instructions, transfer instructions, and eight backup logs. Drivers must be prepared to display and transfer their logs for inspection and must be able to explain any exceptions they might be using.
  • The driver’s license (current and valid for the vehicle being operated) and medical certificate if required.

By making sure your vehicles, drivers, and paperwork are prepared in advance of any roadside inspection, including those during Roadcheck, your drivers should make it through with flying colors.


Let J. J. Keller help you prepare for Roadcheck 2021, call 888.473.4638.