David Goldman / AP
International Roadcheck, a 72-hour “inspection flash” in which thousands of inspectors run over truck drivers and check for safety, is being postponed indefinitely.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which is conducting the review, said increasing demand for trucks had forced the agency to postpone the annual event.
It is the first time that the event has been postponed. This is a sign of how truck drivers get heaped with orders when buyers panic and hospitals demand more goods.
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The most feared event of the year for many truck drivers was put on hold for the first time thanks to increasing demand for them as the corona virus urged buyers to panic and hospitals topping up supplies.
The international road check, which is normally planned for early summer, has been postponed “to later in the year,” the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced on Wednesday. The CVSA is an intergovernmental agency with local, state, and federal commercial driver security officers from Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
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Every year, the CVSA performs a 72-hour “flash” in which more than 13,000 inspectors run over truck drivers and check them for compliance with the most important safety laws for commercial drivers. In the U.S. and Canada, the CVSA announced that 67,072 inspections were carried out in the 2019 flash, which identified 12,019 critical vehicle problems and 2,784 driver violations.
These drivers and trucks were taken out of service until the problems were resolved. An out-of-order order lowers a truck company’s safety assessment at federal level and means a short-term loss of income.
The time spent during the inspection – and the disadvantages of possible decommissioning – encouraged many truck drivers to simply not work during the international road check, the industry publication FreightWaves reported last year. Some go on vacation while others make necessary repairs to their trucks.
FreightWaves data showed that during International Roadcheck Week, truck drivers refused 20% of the loads that went to Los Angeles in 2018, where state truck safety laws are the strictest in the country. After the inspection flash, the rejection rates dropped to 13%.
The conclusion: truck drivers “would rather avoid inspections than transport cargo”.
Truck drivers are overwhelmed with new jobs
AP photo / John Froschauer
In the past few weeks, truck drivers have been trying to fulfill orders for retail goods and medical equipment, forcing the federal government to repeal an 82-year-old truck safety law earlier this month. This law requires truck drivers not to drive more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period – and unprecedented lifting of these loads for certain loads has been hailed as a win by drivers, many of whom loathe the law.
While stores in a hurry are filling the shelves affected by panic buying, freight analysis company Project44 announced that loads in food and discount stores have increased more than 50% last week compared to the same week last year. Truck jobs posted on the DAT freight market last week have increased 66% since the beginning of the month.
Across the country, sales of hand sanitizers in the U.S. rose 228% over the same period last year in the four weeks ending March 7. This is evident from the most recently available data record from the retail tracker Nielsen.
In January and February, Adobe Analytics, which tracks 80 leading online retailers in the United States, announced that sales of cold, cough and flu products increased by 198%, toilet paper by 186%, canned goods by 69% and antivirus products such as Gloves and masks jumped 817%.
The increased demand for truck drivers prompted the CVSA to postpone the international road check. The agency said in a press release that “public health and safety” is its primary concern as the US death toll for the coronavirus reaches 1,000.
Nevertheless, the CVSA will regularly inspect the trucks.
“As we are urgently responding to this time-critical crisis, we must remain diligent and determined to ensure that the commercial vehicles and drivers that provide our communities with essential goods and services comply with the safety regulations for motorists,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis , a soldier in Delaware. “Safety doesn’t take a break. It’s always our top priority.”
Are you a truck driver How has your work changed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic? E-mail [email protected].
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