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How to Prepare for Roadcheck

International Roadcheck can sneak up on you, if you haven’t prepared.

Fortunately for PAM truck drivers, we treat every day as an inspection day!

Roadcheck is our opportunity to show thousands of DOT officers nationwide that we are a fleet of professional drivers by passing every DOT inspection with zero violations! Let’s show them that PAM drivers are well-mannered, professional drivers with clean equipment and uncluttered dashboards.

What is Roadcheck?

Roadcheck is a 72-hour inspection blitz conducted by the CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) with the goal of making sure that drivers and vehicles are operating safely in North America, Canada, and Mexico.

In previous years, nearly 70,000 trucks and buses were inspected during Roadcheck. Nearly two-thirds were conducted in North America and consisted of Level I Inspections.

What Does Level 1 DOT Inspection Involve?

an inspection that includes examination of driver’s license; medical examiner’s certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate (if applicable); alcohol and drugs; driver’s record of duty status as required; hours of service; seat belt; vehicle inspection report(s) (if applicable); brake systems; coupling devices; exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); securement of cargo; steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs; windshield wipers; emergency exits and/or electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments (buses), and HM/DG requirements as applicable. HM/DG required inspection items will be inspected by certified HM/DG inspectors.

How should you prepare for Roadcheck inspections?

First off, always make sure you conduct thorough pre-trip inspections!

As a refresher, refer to your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Pocketbook section §392.7: Equipment, inspection and use:

(a) No commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good safe working order, nor shall any driver fail to use or make use of such parts and accessories when and as needed:

Service brakes, including trailer brake connections. Parking (hand) brake. Steering mechanism. Lighting devices and reflectors. Tires. Horn. Windshield wiper or wipers. Rear-vision mirror or mirrors. Coupling devices. Wheels and rims. Emergency equipment.

(b) Drivers preparing to transport intermodal equipment must make an inspection of the following components, and must be satisfied they are in good working order before the equipment is operated over the road. Drivers who operate the equipment over the road shall be deemed to have confirmed the following components were in good working order when the driver accepted the equipment:

—Service brake components that are readily visible to a driver performing as thorough a visual inspection as possible without physically going under the vehicle, and trailer brake connections —Lighting devices, lamps, markers, and conspicuity marking material —Wheels, rims, lugs, tires —Air line connections, hoses, and couplers —King pin upper coupling device —Rails or support frames —Tie down bolsters —Locking pins, clevises, clamps, or hooks —Sliders or sliding frame lock

What is Roadcheck’s main focus?

Often the focus is all about tire safety (i.e., measuring tire tread depth, checking tire pressure, checking to make sure that no items are lodged between dual tires, and examining the overall condition of the tire to make sure that no deep cuts or bulges exist in the sidewalls of the tire).

How to Check Your Tires

Front Wheel (steer tires) Check

  • Proper inflation
  • Proper condition (no bulges, cuts, or retreads)
  • Proper tread depth — 4/32”
  • Valve stems not touching wheel, rim, or brake drum
  • Valve caps in place


  • No bends, cracks, or illegal welds

Lug Nuts/Studs

  • Not missing or broken
  • Tight — no shinny threads or rust trails

Hub Oil Seal

  • Not leaking
  • Proper level

Drive Wheels (all axles are inspected the same):

  • Proper inflation
  • No damage — bulges, cracks, cut, abrasions
  • Proper tread depth – 2/32”
  • Valve caps in place
  • No signs of misalignment
  • Tires same type (e.g., no mixed radial and bias types)
  • Rims, lug nuts, axle oil seal

Trailer Wheels

  • Proper inflation
  • No Damage – bulges, cracks, cut abrasions
  • Proper tread depth – 2/32”
  • Tires same type, e.g. (no mixed radial and bias type on same axle)
  • Tires evenly matched (circumference)
  • Valve stems not touching wheel, rim, or brake drum
  • Valve caps in place
  • No signs of misalignment


  • No bent, cracked, or illegal welds
  • No missing clamps

Lug Nuts/Studs

  • Not missing or broken
  • Tight — no shinny threads, or rust trails

Hub Oil Seal

  • Not leaking
  • Fluid level OK

Space Between Duals

  • Check for objects between wheels

How did PAM drivers do during Roadcheck in the past?

Seventeen PAM drivers were involved in last 2015 blitz and thirteen passed!

Here’s are the details:

  • 13 drivers had Level 1 inspections and 11 of those drivers had ZERO violations. (84.6% pass!)
  • 1 driver had a Level 2 with 1 violation. (0% pass)
  • 3 drivers had a Level 3, 2 passed and 1 violation. (66.6% pass)

The drivers who were cited for violations got written up for the following:

  • Cellphone use
  • Windshield obstruction
  • Brake tubing
  • Lamp (light out)
  • Stop lamp
  • EOBR officer info sheet not in vehicle

Let’s Shoot for a 100% Pass Rate next year!

As you go in to this year’s Roadcheck, make sure you are prepared for anything. Never gamble and assume it won’t happen to you!

Just remember these simple things and everything will go fine at your Level 1 DOT Inspection: do thorough pre-trips, focus on tires, wear your seatbelt, and be respectful to the DOT Inspectors that will be working on and off for 72 hours to make sure our highways are safe. Good luck during the next Roadcheck!

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