Truck Inspections on the Rise After Slow Year


Truck Inspections on the Rise After Slow Year



Lindsey Bergeron

May 18th, 2021

Truck inspections saw a sharp decrease in 2020 due to nationwide restrictions and a declared national state of emergency. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), federal and state roadside truck inspections dropped a dramatic 23% between 2019 and 2020—from 3.5 to 2.7 million.

And so far, the first few months of 2021 have remained slow, as well, with a 42% decline in inspections in February compared to February 2020, and a 27% decline in January from January 2020.

Still, industry experts warn that inspections will increase. This is in addition to events such as Roadcheck, which ended earlier this month, and the CVSA’s Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled just a few months down the road (August 22 through 28). The agency has also scheduled an Operation Safe Driver Week for July 11-17 (with a focus on speeding).

In other words, inspectors will be on the lookout across North American roadways, so make sure your fleet is prepared.

Inspections, Violations, and Risk

Certain motor carriers are at greater risk for inspections than others—and you should do all you can to avoid being put into this category.

Notably, those companies that are at greatest risk have been found to exceed FMCSA intervention thresholds relative to safety event groupings, and/or they have been cited with one or more acute or critical violations over the last 12 months.

These thresholds are based on seven Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs), including:

  • Unsafe Driving (Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, or failure to use seatbelts.)


  • Crash Indicator (History of crash involvement.)


  • Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance


  • Vehicle maintenance (Failure to make required repairs.)


  • Controlled substances/alcohol (Use or possession.)


  • Hazardous materials compliance (Leaking containers, improper packaging and/or placarding.)


  • Driver fitness (Invalid license, medically unfit to operate a CMV.)

Not to mention the increased strain and scrutiny placed on your business, such violations can put you at increased risk for audits, as well. Keep in mind that, since the onset of COVID, offsite audits are up a dramatic 400%, and carriers are now expected to have electronic systems in place to be able to provide auditors with information in days instead of weeks.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here