Today we are talking about the beginning of the famous 72hrs of road check. Everyone involved in trucking, whether you are an owner-operator, lease carrier, or anything else, should be prepared. In these three days, there will be two major components of the inspection. Preparations should have been underway for at least a week prior. We will discuss the two major components you will be dealing with and what finishing touches you can make. Following this guide will help you get a higher SAFER rating.
Why Your SAFER Rating Matters
Your SAFER rating is paramount. It is the most critical component of being insured and working with top brokers. These inspections are going to determine where you are with your insurance and brokers for the following year. For that reason, it is paramount to make sure your drivers are producing good inspections throughout the international road check.
The Two Most Important Areas Of Inspection
The first area of inspection is going to be hours of service-related. The ELD logs are going to have to be pristine. Whether you use Keep Trucking or another platform, you will have to make sure all of your drivers keep their logs up to date.
The second area of checks is going to be vehicle maintenance. The most important part of this check is going to be making sure the lights. However, they will also be going over brakes, wheels, tires, and observable defects.
Prepare Your Drivers In Advance
Your driver needs to be ready for these checks. They should always be wearing their seatbelt, have their CDL & Medical cards available. Maintaining professionalism is paramount. Ideally, they should have a folder with all of the necessary documents. That should include the following:
- A copy of your company’s Hazardous Materials Certificate in the tractor (if applicable)
- A current, up-to-date permit book, such as IFTA
- A charged and secure fire extinguisher in the tractor
- The required emergency equipment in the tractor (three reflective triangles)
- Proof of annual inspection for all equipment, including trailers
How To Get Your Equipment Ready To Go Out During Road Check
Make sure that all of your drivers and yard managers are doing proper inspection reports. Your truckers should be doing these inspections and making these reports every day before they start their day. Make sure all of the equipment is in good condition. If it is not, stop by a Flying J or a mechanic and fix those issues.
Why Is Managing Your ELD Important?
You need to make sure you are running these logs and drivers know how to manage them. Drivers of commercial property-carrying vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles are subject to rules that limit the hours spent driving and working and regulate the minimum amount of time drivers must rest between driving shifts. For Hours of Service, ensure you know:
- The type of ELD installed in the vehicle, per the ELD mandate in December 2019
- How to provide instructions to the Inspector to transfer Records of Duty Status electronically
- How to display required and requested information on your ELD
You can always go to the FMCSA website. They are very specific about the rules. They have the answers for which you are looking. They do a solid job explaining things like the adverse driving condition exception, Personal conveyance, the 30min break, and the sleeper berth provision. All of that information is clear and readily available.
Why is This Year Unlike Previous Years?
Last year everything was different on account of the pandemic. The year before that was a weak market. The current market trends, which you can see on the DAT website, show that the market is very hot in the southeast and along the west coast. That means you should expect more DOT agents in these areas doing inspections during the international road check. Anyone operating in these areas should be ready.
Current US Volume Trends
On the podcast video at 6:38 we show current trends compared with the two years prior, and you see a massive increase in volume. The last thing you want to deal with while demand is this high is negative reports on your vehicles & DOT number. That will affect your performance with the FMCSA.
May 4th – 7th is the international road check. Make sure all pre-trip inspections are done. Ensure that your drivers are aware, ready, and most importantly, make sure the ELD logs and truck lighting are all in good shape.
Recommended Logistics and Trucking companies:
LTL Services – https://goltlhub.io
Hazmat Services – https://gohazmathub.io
TMS – https://mytruckhub.com
Logistics Services – https://gofreighthub.io
Fulfillment – https://www.sunshipecommerce.com