CVSA – 8 Levels of Inspection – Does Your Truck Measure Up

In 2018, the United States and Canadian jurisdictions. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) unexpectedly organized 11,531 roadside commercial motor vehicle inspections on April 25, 2018, Brake Safety Day. Out of those 11,531, approximately 1,595 were removed from the road because of brake violations.

The United States and Canada gathered the following statistics:

  • 11,531 inspections were organized during Brake Safety Day.
  • 52 jurisdictions contributed to the inspections including 41 U.S. states and 11 Canadian territories/provinces.
  • 1,595 commercial vehicles were removed from the road (received an out-of-service order) because of brake violations. That totals 13.8 percent of the vehicles inspected.
  • The United States performed 10,074 inspections, and Canada inspected 1,457 vehicles.
  • 14 percent of U.S. vehicles and 12.4 percent of Canada vehicles were removed from the road for brake violations.
  • 86.2 percent of commercial motor vehicles were inspected and did not have any brake-related issues.

Jurisdictions also reviewed anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and gathered the following statistics.

  • 5,331 trailers required ABS; approximately 14.3 percent had ABS violations.
  • 8,128 air-braked trucks and tractors needed ABS; roughly 10.2 percent had ABS violations.
  • 95 buses needed ABS; approximately 2.1 had ABS violations.
  • 1,299 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; roughly 3.5 percent had ABS violations.

The CVSA conducts brake inspections during the year to help find and remove vehicles that are operating with brake issues. These inspections help lower the number of commercial vehicle-related accidents.

The US DOT’s FMCSA Large Truck Crash Causation Study states that larger trucks with a brake violation are more likely to be involved in an accident compared to those without any violations. Of the trucks involved in brake-critical crashes, approximately 45.5 percent had brake issues; compared to the 29.9 percent of trucks involved in the same type of accident with no braking violations.

By conducting the Brake Safety Day, more drivers, mechanics, and owner-operators are educated about the significance of brake inspection, maintenance, operation, and safety.

CVSA will conduct a Brake Safety Week from September 16 – 22, 2018 in all participating jurisdictions in North America. As the Brake Safety Week approaches, be sure your truck measures up to the CVSA inspections.

CVSA Inspection Levels

Read these inspection levels to ensure your truck is kept on the road during Brake Safety Week.

Level I – North American Standard Inspection

During the Level I inspection, inspectors will examine your driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, and skill performance evaluation certificate. Inspectors evaluate the driver to ensure you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your driver’s record and hours of service will be checked along with seat belts, and vehicle inspections. Vehicle inspections include:

  • Brake system
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling devices
  • Driveline/driveshaft
  • Exhaust systems
  • Frames
  • Fuel systems
  • Lighting devices – headlamps, stop lamps, turn signals, and lamps/flags on projecting loads
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires
  • Van and open-top trailer bodies
  • Wheels
  • Rims
  • Hubs
  • Windshield wipers
  • Buses
  • Passenger Vans
  • Other passenger-carrying vehicles
  • Emergency exits
  • Electrical cables
  • Systems in the engine
  • Battery compartments
  • Seating
  • HM/DG and specification cargo tank requirements

* Note: If there is more than a 20 percent pushrod travel that cannot be measured, the inspection would then be a Level II inspection.

* Note: Under the 20 percent brake standards – five-axle vehicles with a combination of one axle that is not measured will need two defective brakes to receive an out-of-service order.

Level II – Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

During a Level II inspection, an inspector examines everything in the Level I inspection. You can expect that the walk-around driver/vehicle inspection includes items that can be inspected without getting under the vehicle.

Level III – Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection

Level III inspections include examining the:

  • Driver’s license
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  • Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate
  • Driver’s record – duty status
  • Hours-of-Service regulations
  • Seat Belt
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Motor Carriers identification and status

* Note: Items inspected in the Level I and Level II inspections should not be included during the Level III inspection. If traffic violations are found, the inspection will consist of the Level III inspection.

Level IV – Special Inspections

Inspections under the Level IV – Special Inspections includes a one-time exam of one specific item. This provides something that was conducted during a study or to confirm or contest a suspected fad.

Level V – Vehicle-Only Inspection

In a Level V inspection, this is where an examiner inspects a specific item under the Level I – North American Standard Inspection when the driver is not present and at any location.

Level VI – North American Standard Inspection for Transuranic Waste and Highway Route Controlled Quantities (HRCQ) of Radioactive Material

Level VI is an inspection for radiological shipments which includes the Level I Inspection, radiological requirements, and the North American Standard Out-of-Service regulations for Transuranic Waste and Highway Route Controlled Quantities for Radioactive material.

On January 1, 2005, commercial vehicles and carriers that carried HRCQ of radioactive material were controlled by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and it is mandatory that the vehicle passes the North American Standard Level VI Inspection.

Level VII – Jurisdictional Mandated Commercial Vehicle Inspection

A Level VII is an inspection that is required for a jurisdictional mandated inspection program that does not meet the criteria of any other level inspections. An example of this would include:

  • School buses
  • Limousines
  • Taxies
  • Shared-ride transportation
  • Hotel shuttles
  • Intrastate/intra-provincial operations

The inspections are performed by the CVSA-certified inspectors, government employees or jurisdiction-approved contractors.

Level VIII – North American Standard Electronic Inspection

A Level VIII is an inspection that includes inspections under the North American Standard Electronic Inspection Procedure. Electronic inspections include, when required:

  • GPS coordinates
  • Descriptive locations
  • Electronic validation of the operator
  • Driver’s license class and endorsement(s)
  • License status
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  • Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate
  • Drivers record of duty status
  • Hours-of-service
  • Canada or USDOT NSC number
  • Power unit registration
  • Operating authority
  • Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
  • Federal out-of-service orders

The Level VIII North American Standard Inspection is controlled wirelessly or electronically while the vehicle is still in motion without any interaction with an enforcement officer. To complete a Level VIII Inspection, the data that is received must meet the requirements of the CVSA North American Standard Level VIII Electronic Inspection.

Before hitting the open road, be sure your truck is operating correctly by conducting a pre-trip inspection. Your truck should meet all the requirements under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Inspection guidelines. Pre-inspections reduce time spent for out-of-service restrictions and gets you back home to your family quickly and safely.