How to prepare for the CVSA International Roadcheck in 2024

How to Prepare for the CVSA International Roadcheck 2024

If you or your drivers are out on the road May 14-16, 2024, you need to know how to prepare for the CVSA International Roadcheck.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) organizes this annual three-day event, conducting tens of thousands of inspections targeting different motor carrier, vehicle, and driver safety elements. 

This year’s focus areas are drug and alcohol possession and tractor protection systems, though you should be ready with all aspects of safety and compliance to avoid any citations or violations.

Nearly 20% of carriers inspected last year during the roadcheck received out-of-service violations. Don’t let that happen to you! 

Shoutout to Deep Compliance Services for providing excellent information on this topic. Follow them on Facebook and write to with your compliance questions!

So, here’s what you need to know about this year’s International Roadcheck:

Same inspections, but more of them

You won’t notice much difference in the type of inspections conducted during the International Roadcheck event. 

What’s different about May 14-16 is that there will simply be a much larger volume of inspections and the inspectors will have a heightened awareness of the focus areas: drug and alcohol possession and tractor protection systems.

These are known as standard North American level one inspections and they use a 37-step procedure to check on all the most important aspects of trucking safety.

Tractor protection systems

As mentioned, inspectors will be paying special attention to tractor protection systems. Drivers will be asked to  

  • Release the brakes
  • Remove the gladhands on the trailer and allow air to escape
  • Ensure that air stops leaking before it reaches 20 psi.
  • Step on the break pedal to ensure no air escapes out of the airlines.

The inspector will listen and feel for any leaking air at the gladhand couplers or leaks from both air lines.

Drug and alcohol possession

Inspectors will also be hyper-vigilant of drug and alcohol violations. They’ll look for signs of impairment and possession, as well as make queries on the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for US drivers. 

Remember, carriers must do pre-employment queries on all new drivers and annual queries on all drivers to stay compliant. You can get a violation for not running these queries.

Learn more about the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse here.

In 2023 alone, there were 4,700 drug and 2,700 alcohol possession violations, according to CVSA Roadside Inspection Specialist, Jeremy Disbrow, who spoke on an Ask Me Anything session with CCJ. In the US, all alcohol–opened or unopened–is prohibited in any commercial vehicle, whether it’s found in the cab or the trailer, while a driver is on duty.

A quick note on marijuana: as of May 2024, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I substance by the federal government. Regardless of state laws regarding marijuana, it is completely prohibited in commercial vehicles and if detected on a drug test can cost you your CDL and get you banned on the drug and alcohol clearinghouse. It is best to avoid all cannabis products as they are largely unregulated and even the use of CBD products can lead to violations.

If you have medication on the road with you, be sure to have a note from your doctor that says it will not impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Narcotics, amphetamines, and certain Schedule I drugs are strictly prohibited in a commercial vehicle.

Lights, tires, brakes, oh my!

These are some of the most common violations carriers get during inspections. This makes it even more important to go back through your pre-trip inspection checklist with your drivers and run some drills in case they get inspected. 

Faulty lighting devices resulted in over 2,000 OOS violations in 2023. Issues with tires were the #2 biggest offender, according to the CVSA website.

Finally, problems with brake systems were the top contributor to OOS violations. 

Here’s what Disbrow had to say about disc brakes: “In general, inspectors are looking for damage to the foundation break components when it comes to disc brakes. So things like worn or cracked rotors, damaged calipers, brake chamber damage, metal-to-metal contact on the friction surface, pad wear, and pad contamination – those are all things that would be violations and likely could be out-of-service violations, too, depending on the severity of them.”

Sign up to watch the full ask-me-anything event hosted by CCJ here.

Pre-trip inspections for the win!

The best way to avoid violations next week (and every week!) is to always ensure you and your drivers are conducting thorough pre-trip inspections. 

Look closely at brakes, tires, and lights especially. Always make sure the cargo is secured and file a driver vehicle inspection report if you have any issues.

Hours-of-service violations were top driver OOS violations last year, so stay updated with all regulations regarding HOS and ELDs.

There are many reasons to prioritize safety, especially in the coming week, not the least of which is better CSA safety scores and thus lower insurance premiums. Of course, the main goal is to stay in business while ensuring the utmost safety for everyone on the road.

Related article: What Is Considered A “Good” CSA Score?