One of the many occurrences on a trucker’s journey is inevitably a roadside checkpoint set up to inspect and review a truck’s documentation and safety. These checkpoints follow a very standardized series of inspections, based on the North American Standard Inspection Program requirements set forth by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Here is a quick overview of what to expect during a typical review.
There are seven tiers of inspection that can occur, though not every driver will experience each. The standard full inspection is known as a Level I inspection, and covers a driver and his or her vehicle from end to end. A Level II inspection is a walk-around inspection of the vehicle and driver’s documentation, which is less intensive than the Level I inspection. Level III inspection is only a review of the driver’s credentials, while Level IV is reserved for special inspections that may be needed. The Level V inspection covers just the vehicle, and is a common inspection held for vehicles while at a fleet lot. Level VI inspections are reserved for transuranic waste or radioactive materials. The last inspection, Level VII, is held for inspections that may be mandated within specific jurisdictions.
For a typical full (Level I), Level II or Level III inspection, drivers will be asked to provide all appropriate paperwork to the inspector, including license, medical examiner’s certificate, record of duty status, hours of service logs, and daily and periodic inspection reports. Level I, II and V inspections then move on to include full inspections of all exterior components of the vehicle, including brake and fuel systems, trailer(s) exhaust and many other items. Level I and V inspections also include checking under the vehicle components, including axels and movement of the fifth wheel. A full checklist overview is available in the CVSA’s inspection program brochure.
Passing an Inspection
Keeping up on your paperwork and routine vehicle inspections and maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle will pass a full NAS review. After you have completed a satisfactory full Level I inspection, you will receive a CVSA decal for your vehicle which is good for up to three months. If you are stopped at a checkpoint for inspection with an active and valid decal, you typically will not be required to submit to a reinspection unless there is a noticeable violation or a special circumstance, like a required Level IV inspection or a quality assurance or special jurisdictional review program in effect.
As new drivers become more familiar with the process, inspections become less and less of a worry and more an opportunity to prove to both yourself and the inspector that you are a safe and conscientious driver on the roadway. At Shippers’ Choice, we help prepare new drivers for these regular road occurrences as well as the necessary details of inspection and paperwork processes. Contact us and get started today and learn more about the ways of the road and how you can be a part of the exciting trucking industry.