Commercial Passenger Carriers to Stop Submitting No-Defect DVIRs

passenger carrier dvir

FMCSA announced in July that a final rule was published removing an information collection burden for commercial buses and other passenger-carrying motor coaches.

This rule will overturn the requirement that commercial bus drivers submit, as well as their motor carriers retain, driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) on no-defect DVIRs.

The rule is expected to go into effect in late August, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The official publication date has not yet been announced.

A no-defect DVIR is when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any vehicle defects or deficiencies.

FMCSA says passenger vehicle carriers spend approximately 2.4 million hours each year completing no-defect DVIRs, and that this rule would result in a cost savings of $74 million per year to the industry.

Drivers will still be required to perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections and the rule change will not affect road safety.

 

Reduce Fleet Costs with Proper Pre and Post Trip Inspections

It is no secret that vehicle maintenance is near the top of any fleet expenses, with companies reporting average repair and maintenance costs of 16.7 cents per mile, according to the ATRI in 2019.

Every year it is reported that approximately 25-30% of the maintenance-related CSA violations are due to inoperative or defective lighting.

This is likely due to drivers not being given enough time to run a thorough pre-trip or post-trip inspection, or drivers are not being trained to understand the importance of the daily inspections.

A thorough pre-trip inspection should take between 30 and 45 minutes to perform.

A minor problem caught during a pre-trip or post-trip inspection will likely cost less money to fix and should get you back on the road quicker instead of waiting around for a major issue to be fixed. 


DOT Training

All fleets need to conduct proper and thorough pre and post trip inspections, which consists of implementing quality:

  • driver training that is ongoing and consistent
  • driver education, and
  • driver awareness of current and changing traffic laws

All of this will help prevent being targeted by the DOT at roadside inspections and is a valuable resource to ensure a healthy fleet, and compliant safety practices.

Our DOT trainers offer a variety of in-person or online training courses tailored to the specific needs or weaknesses of your company.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

New Study Attempts to Reduce Trucking Accidents

trucking accidents

Study to reduce trucking accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate by-product of driving and fatal crashes among large trucks have risen steadily in the past decade.

The FMCSA seeks to reverse this trend by conducting a study aimed at identifying and reducing factors that contribute to these fatal truck accidents.

Previous crash study findings

In a 2001-2003 Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study (LTCCFS), the FMCSA gained vital information on crash factors. The study found that, when fault was assigned to the large truck, the cause of a vast majority of crashes were driver related. In these cases, it was determined that either driver action or inaction resulted in the crash.

Following this 2001-2003 study, fatal crashes decreased, hitting a low in 2009. However, since 2009, fatal crashes began to increase at a steady rate. By 2018, large truck crashes with at least one fatality or evident injury had increased by 52.6% compared to the 2009 figures.

This continued increase in fatal large truck crashes has the FMCSA seeking answers and calling for a new study to be conducted in an effort to reduce crash factors.

Industry changes may impact crash statistics

It’s been fifteen years since the original crash study. Technology has changed. Driver behavior has shifted. Roadways have been redesigned. And vehicle safety guidelines have been revised. Any one or all these changes could affect driver performance.

Because there are so many potential factors, a new study is needed to determine which factors are indeed contributing to fatal and injurious crashes. The new in-depth study is intended to evaluate crash factors, identify trends and develop safety improvement policies.

Potential new crash factors that need to be assessed in this proposed study include:

  • cell phone and texting distractions
  • driver restraint use
  • in-cab navigation systems
  • fleet management systems
  • automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems

Data collection through driver assistance systems

The previous study was conducted via data collection by a two-person team through interviews and investigations of up to 1,000 elements of a crash. One goal of this new study is that the current driver assistance systems installed in many fleets will provide additional useful data.

FMCSA calls for proposals to conduct new study

The FMCSA seeks industry input in designing their new study and are currently accepting submission of comments and related materials so they can plan how to design and conduct this new large truck crash factor study.

Visit www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions to submit any suggestions.

Per the FMCSA request for information, submissions should answer these questions:

  1. Should FMCSA pursue a nationally representative sampling approach or can convenience sampling serve the needs?
  2. What type of study are you recommending (e.g., nationally representative vs. convenience sampling), and what are the pros and cons of this approach?
  3. How important is it for the new study results to be comparable with findings of the original LTCCS?
  4. What other sources of data can enrich the new study? How can they be identified and included?

Submissions are open until March 16, 2020.

Use Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2019-0277 when submitting proposals, comments, and materials.

Submit via the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking portal: Visit www.regulations.gov and follow the on-line instructions for submissions
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001
  • Hand delivery or courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251

Hopefully, with enhanced data collection, and the support of submissions from the industry, the sobering upward trend of fatal large truck crashes can be reversed and reduced to create a safer roadway for everyone.


DOT Training

Safety is our priority

Safety is the most important thing when it comes to truck driving. We offer a long list of DOT related training for all levels of experience, including full new driver training, defensive driving, accident procedures, full CDL driver training and so much more.

In any of our DOT training programs, safety is our priority.

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe and compliant so that you stay on the road and pass all truck inspections.

If you have any questions, call (888) 260-9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

CVSA international truck inspection results for 2019


On June 4-6, 2019—as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck—67,072 truck inspections were conducted, removing 12,019 vehicles and 2,784 drivers from roads across the US and Canada.

The International Roadcheck is conducted annually and is meant to remove unsafe commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and drivers from roads. During this 72-hour inspection, 17.9% of vehicles and 4.2% of drivers were placed out of service.

The basis for violations comes from the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.

>>> Prepare for the 2020 CVSA International Roadside DOT Inspection <<<

Inspection levels

There are eight different levels of inspection that the CVSA follows, however the truck inspections in this roadcheck were only subjected to the North American Standard (NAS) Level I, II, and III Inspections.

  • NAS Level I Inspection –includes a 37-step procedure examining the driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.
  • NAS Level II Inspection—includes anything that can be inspected without getting under the CMV.
  • NAS Level III Inspection—includes a review of driver requirements, such as the license, cargo and vehicle documentation, record of duty status, seat belt usage, etc.

There were 60,058 Level I, II, and III Inspections conducted in the US and 7,014 in Canada. Respectively, the vehicle and driver out-of-service rate for the US was 17.7% and 4.4% and 19.9% and 2% for Canada.

Inspection focus

Inspections focused on violations related to steering and suspension systems, which resulted in identifying:

  • 408 steering violations or 2.5% of all out-of-service violations
  • 703 suspension violations or 4.3% of all out-of-service violations

Truck inspection results

The results for inspections are summarized below and include out-of-service vehicle, CMV driver, seatbelt, hazardous materials/dangerous goods and motorcoach violations.

There were 16,347 vehicles placed out-of-service with the top violation being for braking systems. The list below summarizes the remainder of recorded vehicle violations.

Out-of-service vehicle violations:

Vehicle violation category Number of violationsPercent of out-of-service violations
Braking systems 4578 28%
Tires and wheels 3156 19.3%
Brake adjustment 2801 17.1%
Cargo securement 1991 12.2%
Lighting devices 1875 11.5%
Suspensions 703 4.3%
Steering mechanisms 408 2.5%
Other 401 2.5%
Frames 170 1%
Coupling devices 124 .8%
Driveline/driveshaft 61 .4%
Fuel systems 44 .3%
Exhaust systems 35 .2%

There were 3,173 drivers placed out-of-service with the top violation being for hours of service. The list below summarizes the remainder of recorded driver violations.

Driver out-of-service violations:

Driver violation categoryNumber of violationsPercent of out-of-service violations
Hours of Service 1,179 37.2%
Wrong Class License 714 22.5%
False Logs 467 14.7%
Other 351 11.1%
Suspended License 232 7.3%
Drugs/Alcohol 99 3.1%
Expired License 94 3%
Violating License Restriction37 1.2%

There were 748 seat belt violations and out of 3,851 CMVs inspected, 527 violations for commercial motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials/dangerous goods with the most common violation being for loading. The list below summarizes the remainder of recorded violations for hazardous materials/dangerous goods.

Hazardous Materials/Dangerous GoodsNumber of violations Percent of out-of-service violations
Loading 7329.9%
Shipping papers 6125%
Placarding 46 18.9%
Markings 31 12.7%
Bulk packaging 15 6.1%
Package integrity 12 4.9%
Other 62.5%

During the International Roadcheck, 823 motorcoaches were inspected with 47 vehicles and 21 drivers being placed out of service. Inspections included a review of emergency exits, electrical cable sand systems in engine and battery compartments and seating.

Out-of-service orders and the number, type and severity of safety violations affect a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score and its Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rating.

Stay DOT compliant

Knowing what your CSA score is and how it affects your company and all of the requirements to pass inspections, whether it be for brake safety or suspension and steering, will allow you to stay compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe and compliant so that you stay on the road and pass all truck inspections.

If you have any questions, call (888) 260-9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

Brake Safety: DOT inspection results


On May 15, 2019—in the unannounced brake safety DOT inspection—the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) law enforcement conducted commercial motor vehicle inspections focused on identifying brake safety violations.

The USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in 2017 over half a million commercial motor vehicle violations were related to brakes.

During this one-day DOT inspection, 55 jurisdictions participated (45 US states and 10 Canadian provinces), totaling 10,358 inspections. There were 1,667 vehicles—or 16.1% of all inspections—with critical brake-related violations that were placed out of service until the violations could be corrected. The remaining 84% of commercial motor vehicles inspected did not have any critical brake-related violations.

What was the inspection focus?

Inspectors focused on violations involving brake hoses and brake tubing, which resulted in identifying:

  • 996 units – Chafed rubber hose violations
  • 185 units – Chafed thermoplastic hose violations
  • 1,125 violations – Chafed rubber hoses
  • 124 violations – Kinked thermoplastic hoses

What are the most common brake-related violations?

According to the FMCSA, as of June 28, 2019, out of 1.8 million DOT inspections, the top five brake-related violations were:

  1. Clamp or roto type brake out of adjustment—86,296
  2. Commercial Motor Vehicles manufactured after Oct. 19, 1994, have an automatic brake adjustment system that fails to compensate for wear—45,594
  3. Brake hose or tubing chafing and/or kinking—37,737
  4. No or defective ABS malfunction indicator lamp for trailer manufactured after March 1, 1998—37,343
  5. Inoperative/defective brakes—32,125

The CVSA brake safety enforcement and awareness campaigns are meant to remove unsafe drivers from roads and remind drivers that braking systems need to be checked regularly.

Regular checks help to preserve the safety of both the drivers and others on the road. Although this campaign had a specific focus on brake violations, inspecting the brakes is a normal part of procedure during roadside inspections.

Any issues with the brake hoses and/or tubing can affect the whole brake system. In order to pass, brake hoses and tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and have an appropriate amount of flexibility.

The CVSA will be holding a scheduled brake safety enforcement event this year, Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled for Sept. 15-21, at participating jurisdictions throughout North America.

Review the results from the 2018 Brake Safety Week.

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

CVSA Brake Safety Week truck inspections, September 15-21


Review 2020 Brake Safety Week announcement

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced that their annual Brake Safety Week is scheduled for September 15-21, 2019. There was also an unannounced DOT inspection in May focusing on brake safety as well.

In that time enforcement officials will conduct roadside safety truck inspections on commercial motor vehicles and will focus on brake hoses and tubing.

During last year’s three-day International Roadcheck enforcement campaign, 45 percent of all out-of-service vehicle violations were related to out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA), brake violations accounted for 6 of the top 20 most frequently cited vehicle violations in 2017.

What is covered in a roadside brake safety truck inspection?

Roadside truck inspections cover all areas of the air brake system; however, the CVSA will focus on brake hoses and tubing, ensuring that all are attached and secure, flexible, and free of leaks, corrosion, and any other type of damage.

Brake inspections consist of a visual check as well as an air brake test using a performance-based brake tester (PBBT) in the 14 jurisdictions where it is available. The performance-based air brake test measures the slow speed brake force and weight at each wheel and uses those measurements to determine the efficiency of the braking system.

According to the US federal regulations and the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, if your brake system efficiency falls below the minimum of 43.5 percent, your vehicle will be put out-of-service.

How can I prepare for a truck inspection of my air brakes?

You should inspect your air brake system and all brake components regularly to keep your vehicle in safe operating condition. The list below covers some items you can visually check on a regular basis to ensure they are securely attached, leak-free, and free of damage, such as corrosion and holes.

  • Air brake chamber
  • Brake hoses and tubing
  • Cotter pins
  • Clevis pins
  • Slack adjuster
  • Air lines

The CVSA has answered some frequently asked questions about your air brake system and inspection and have also provided an air brake inspection checklist, which is a great way to be sure you are prepared for your roadside safety inspection.

What should I know about my air brake system?

If you know your brake system you are more likely to know if there is an issue. You should know what size and type of air brake chamber you have and learn how to properly identify it. Most air brake chambers will have a marking on them, letting you know what type and size it is. If you know the type of chamber you have, you will also be able to determine the maximum allowable push rod travel for that brake chamber and whether it is in or out of adjustment.

What are some types of air brake chambers?

Common air brake chambers for the front are clamp type 20 or clamp type 24 and clamp type 30 is the most common for the rest of the tractor trailer and can be a long or regular stroke.

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

Read about the 2018 Brake Safety Week results.

If you have any additional questions, call one of Compliance Navigation Specialist’s DOT Consultants .

Stay DOT compliant

Our DOT Compliance Programs will help you with vehicle maintenance, driver training, safety audits and the many other categories that can put you out of service.

Safety management and proper vehicle maintenance are very important for the truck drivers’ safety as well as others on the road. It will also allow you to stay compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.

All of our services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe and compliant.

If you have any questions, call (888) 260-9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.


CNS Spotlight featuring Rohrer’s Quarry Inc.

Discussion on Vehicle Maintenance

Our CNS Spotlight for the month of June is on Rohrer’s Quarry Inc. and their vehicle maintenance practices. With the CVSA Roadcheck Blitz on June 4th – 6th focusing on steering and suspension, we decided to ask Ryan Zimmerman, VP of Rohrer’s Service Center, a division of Rohrer’s Quarry his thoughts on how he maintains his fleet.  Rohrer’s Quarry has a fleet of 51 power units and does a great job in maintaining their fleet. Below is the Q&A and some great insight from a company that does it the right way.

Rohrer’s Quarry Inc. has been a staple of Lancaster County, and the Lititz community for many generations now. Rohrer’s came from humble beginnings in the 1800’s to the thriving business it is today and has been family owned and operated since 1937. Ryan, who has been with Rohrer’s since 1997 handling their fleet maintenance, knows the importance of keeping his vehicles in great shape and in good working order.

Q1. With the upcoming Road check focused on steering and suspension systems what should a driver look for to make sure they are compliant?

A thorough pre-trip can catch most issues before the DOT inspector can. Pay close attention to the easy things an officer can pick out. Check for broken springs or loose hardware and U-bolts in the suspension, look for rust trails or shined-up components, an indication of shifting front and back. With the engine off, check the steering shaft from column to steering gear box; there should be no play in shaft or u-joints. Start the engine and rotate steering shaft back and forth and observe the drag link and tie rod ends you can see from the left side, looking for loose components. Look for power steering system leaks and rubbed or frayed hoses.

Q2. What do you see as the most common defects in steering and suspension systems?

The most over looked component is the steering gear input shaft. Any play in this component is non-compliant with the DOT. Another common defect if you are operating a vocational truck in rough jobsites, the suspension springs will get weak and break over time.

Q3. How often do you recommend drivers check for defects in steering and suspension systems?

I feel it is a good practice to check steering and suspension systems at the start of every shift with your pre-trip. Not only will it give you peace of mind in the event of a DOT inspection, this check also allows you to get to your destination and back home safely and without a roadside service call.

Q4. How often should a truck come in for preventive maintenance?

How often your truck requires maintenance depends mostly on how it is being used. Is your truck in a vocational, city, or over-the-road application? All truck manufactures have specific service guidelines based on fuel consumption and idle/PTO time that will give a description of normal, heavy or severe duty. It can be calculated by engine hours or mileage; this is generally 500 – 1300 hours or 5,000 – 45,000 miles. If you are unsure of how often to seek preventative maintenance ask your local independent service provider or dealership, they will partner with you to fit your application and needs. Know your truck and take care of it, it will provide reliable service to you.

Q5. What are the key items that should be checked for during a preventive maintenance check in?

A lot of roadside/breakdown issues and DOT issues can be addressed during PMs. This is an area where it can be costly to cut corners. These are some of the key items you or your service provider should be checking:

  • Brakes; lining adjustment, automatic brake slack operation, wheel seals, cracks and hardware issues
  • Steering/Suspension; Springs/air bags, Kingpins, wheel bearings/seals, steering links
  • Oil level checks and lube necessary brake, steering and suspension components, and check for fluid leaks, filters and fluids that need replaced
  • Belts and hoses, tire condition, exhaust leaks, and general operation of truck.

We want to thank Ryan and Rohrer’s for their time and insight on this topic.  All in all, it pays to be Proactive and get ahead of any issues that are in question.  Any questions about your Vehicle Maintenance, feel free to reach out to CNS at info@cnsprotects.com