Penske Safety Bulletin: 4 Steps to Reduce the Stress of Roadside Inspections

  • Sep 27, 2017

Combined Express would like to share an article from our friends at Penske Truck Rental.

Roadside inspections can be a big source of stress for truck drivers. Level I inspections, as defined by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), are the most comprehensive and time-consuming. They can happen anywhere at any time. Yet you can still be prepared. Follow these four tips to reduce some of the stress from roadside inspections:

Step 1: Get your documents in order. During a Level I inspection, you will be asked to show the inspectors your driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate for non CDL holders, record of duty status (RODS), documentation of your rig’s annual inspection, and any hazardous material paperwork or permit credentials (if required). Keep these documents organized in a three-ring binder, put them in an easy-to-access place in your truck, and keep them updated.

Paperwork matters. The top out-of-service driver violations found during last summer’s CVSA International Roadcheck were for hours of service (48.6%) and false logs (16.4%).

Step 2: Keep up on vehicle maintenance. Instead of waiting for a roadside inspection, you can detect and report any non-working items on your vehicle by conducting thorough pre- and post-trip inspections. Items to look for include brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, lights, windshield wipers, tires, wheels and rims. Brake violations accounted for the largest amount of out-of-service violations (45.7%) during last year’s CVSA International Roadcheck, while wheel and tire violations accounted for 18.5%. Taking the time for daily inspections will help you and your carrier keep up on maintenance and worry less during a roadside inspection.

Step 3: Keep your truck clean. When on the road, your truck is your home. And a clean truck shows that you care about your truck’s condition. Cleanliness alone doesn’t mean you won’t be chosen for a roadside inspection, but it won’t hurt, either. Remember, your personal appearance and attitude can also impact the results of your inspection. Be polite and courteous.

Step 4: Take a deep breath. The more defensive and stressed you feel during a roadside inspection, the higher the chance the inspection won’t go well. So, take a deep breath, and don’t take it personally. More than 4 million roadside inspections take place throughout North America each year.


Penske Truck Rental is Dedicated to Customers and Focused on Quality. With more than 2,200 truck rental locations nationwide, Penske helps make moving convenient with free unlimited mileage on all one-way truck rentals, plus 24-hour roadside assistance. Penske offers clean, well-maintained trucks of various sizes, plus boxes, self-storage, towing devices, moving labor and more. Contact Penske Truck Rental for more information, or to find a location near you.

Combined Express, Inc. and Delaware Valley Shippers, Inc. are the premier truckload, intermodal and LTL service providers across the United States, with more than 35 years of industry experience. Moving freight has never been easier or more cost-effective than with our custom transportation and express freight services! Our knowledgeable and experienced team of logistics professionals is always on call to assist you with any questions or concerns that might arise. We work closely with you to learn your unique freight needs, and to customize a shipping solution that fits your budget and delivers your cargo on time.

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