Driving the point home: Roadcheck 2015

Commercial vehicle enforcement officers working around the clock

Roadcheck, the three-day commercial vehicle safety enforcement marathon, will take place once again this year on June 2 to 4. June is Alberta’s commercial/passenger vehicle safety month, and Transport Officers make a special effort to share information with commercial vehicle drivers about the importance of vehicle maintenance and driver fitness. They also check for compliance with federal and provincial regulations and collect inspection data.

This year, emphasis will be placed on proper loading and cargo securement. Anything and everything carried on a truck must be properly secured to prevent loss of control or falling cargo from injuring drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. This applies not only to every single item carried for delivery, but also to anything else on the truck, including dunnage, tools, and equipment you need to get your job done.

IMG_0146Here are some tips for commercial vehicle drivers:

  1. Know the regulations—cargo securement standards represent the minimum safety requirements for general cargo and some specific commodities. You can get them from Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators in Canada.

  1. Properly secure everything on board—one of the most frequently cited violations is for improper securement of dunnage or equipment, such as tarps, blocks, chains or other tie downs, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc.
  1. Inspect tie downs for wear and damage—CVSA’s North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria includes the tie down defect tables for chain, wire rope, cordage, synthetic webbing, steel strapping, fittings or attachments and anchor points. If worn out, tie downs should be discarded.
  1. Brace and block cargo properly within sided or van trailers—loads that shift can cause crashes and damage to your equipment and they indicate violations that will affect your company’s safety rating.
  1. Use best practices or due diligence—the transport community may have established best practices for hauling your cargo. If your shipment is less common, do your research to find the best way to get it to its destination safely. Ensure your load is contained, immobilized or secured so that it cannot leak, spill, shift or become dislodged from the vehicle. If needed, hire a professional specializing in vehicle loading.

While there is a special focus on cargo loading and securement during Roadcheck, officers will still check everything from exhaust systems to headlights and turn signals. When a vehicle or driver fails an inspection, they are taken off the road until the problem is solved and the carrier may also be fined.

Roadcheck will take place at inspection stations near Ardrossan, Burmis and Whitecourt. Motorcoach checks will also be conducted at the Columbia Icefield. Ultimately, these inspections help save lives by reducing collisions and other accidents, and in turn, they help ensure the supplies, resources and goods transported on our highways make it to their destinations.

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