The time is again upon us for one of the year’s biggest commercial vehicle safety events.
This year, Roadcheck is taking place from June 7 to 9. June is Alberta’s commercial vehicle safety month, so Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers make a special effort to share information with commercial vehicle drivers. During inspections, presentations, traffic stops and other interactions, they pass on their message about the importance of vehicle maintenance and driver fitness. They also check for compliance with federal and provincial regulations and collect inspection data.
Roadcheck 2016 will focus on tire safety. Of course, everything rides on a vehicle’s tires. Well maintained tires can run safely for hundreds of thousands of miles, but under-inflation, overloading and poor maintenance can reduce tire performance, shorten service life and cause tire failures.
Here are some tips for commercial vehicle drivers:
- Know the regulations—motor carrier regulations set minimum requirements for safe tire operation, including provisions for proper inflation and loading, minimum tread depth and safe tire condition. Information can be found under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation.
- Keep your vehicle suspension in alignments—While potentially affecting the safe control of your vehicle, improper alignment will also rapidly wear tires down. All maintenance plans should include tire/wheel/suspension alignment.
- Follow industry best practices for tire management—Tire inflation should be checked at regular intervals over the course of your trip. There are also resources available to assist with proper tire management. Check with the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.
- Understand tire specifications—Tires are rated not only for size, but for maximum load, type of service and speed of operation. Tire specifications on the information label should be followed. Inspectors may check for overloading of tire capacity when scales are in use.
While there is a special emphasis on tire safety during Roadcheck this year, 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 Dunmore, Ardrossan and Leduc. Motorcoach checks will also be conducted at the Calgary airport. 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.
Here are some other helpful facts about tires:
- 15 per cent under inflation in a tire can shorten its service life by about eight per cent.
- 10 PSI under inflation can cause tire wear out to be 20 per cent faster than normal.
- Tires can lose three PSI per month due to air migration alone.
- Tires can run up to five degrees hotter for every PSI the tire is under inflated.
- Matching tire air pressure is critical in dual assemblies. A mismatch of five PSI can change the tire circumference and lead to undue wear.
- For every size that a tread width is undersized from the recommended width, mileage is reduced by 10 per cent.
- Across axles and between tandem axles, tread depths need to be within 4/32”.
- When matching dual tires, there should be less than ¼” difference in diameter (less than ¾” difference in circumference).
- Left front steer tire wears faster than the right tire.
2016 marks the 29th year for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck.