Roadcheck 2014: It's more than just checking HOS, brakes

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief | Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On almost every calendar in the trucking industry, June 3, 4 and 5 are highlighted in yellow. Those are the dates for Roadcheck 2014 – the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world.

During the 72-hour safety blitz, an average of 14 trucks or buses are inspected every minute from Canada to Mexico. The annual event is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

This year CVSA’s Roadcheck checklist includes drivers’ duty records, seat belts, load securement, brakes, coupling devices, lights, tires and more, with a special focus on hazmat compliance. But that’s not all they’ll be checking, and some of it has little to do with safety.

CVSA Executive Director Steve Keppler told Land Line Magazine that in the upcoming 72-hour blitz, enforcement will also be checking to see if your trucking company has paid its annual Unified Carrier Registration fee or UCR fee.

The Unified Carrier Registration program requires individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet. Whether it is a one-truck business or a mega fleet, those fees are due by the end of each year.  

If the fee has not been paid, will the truck be allowed to get back on the road without paying on the spot?  Keppler says it depends on the state.

The following 41 states currently participate: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

While road enforcement for the UCR fee may be a state-to-state issue, the repository and national online pay site for the UCR registrations is maintained by one state and that’s Indiana. The Hoosiers notify FMCSA when a motor carrier has paid the fee. That’s how state motor carrier enforcement knows which trucking companies have paid and which are scofflaws. 

Any other paperwork they will check during Roadcheck 2014? Yes. If you are a motor carrier – large or small – you have an FMCSA business snapshot that needs updating every two years in the way of a form MCS-150. If you as the company owner, or the carrier you drive for, have not updated the MCS-150, roadside enforcement knows who you are. According to CVSA’s Keppler, Roadcheck 2014 will be checking for compliance on that, too.

Keppler told Land Line this week that if there’s a violation on the MCS-150 biennial update, it will be “noted on the inspection report.”

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