How to Pass Commercial Vehicle Inspections With Flying Colors

Truck inspector waiting with device for commercial vehicle inspections or truck inspection
Featured imaged credit: TFoxFoto/

It’s hard to stay compliant with all the rules and regulations of CSA if you don’t have a system in place to counter commercial vehicle inspections.

The cost of truck inspections can be hefty. Every fine can cost $50 or more, depending on the gravity of the violation.

Not to mention the lost time and showing up late for a drop-off. Add repair costs and legal hassles, and it could be even more.

The question is, how you can avoid such commercial truck inspections?

How can you avoid such unnecessary expenses and hassles?

The answer is with the help of commercial vehicle route planning software.

However, not all route planners can help you with this. They might only be suitable for route planning and a few other things.

So, are you now wondering how to tell whether your software is keeping your fleet protected?

Well… then you first need to understand the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) process for truck inspection.

Step two is you have to know how your route optimization software addresses those parameters.

But, don’t worry. We know that researching this could be challenging and take time.

So, we’ve done the research for you and presented it here. This will help you use it as your go-to source for anything related to vehicle inspections.

Identify Observable Defects

A visible defect can cause your truck to be inspected at any time.

Such defects include:

  • Fluid leaks,
  • Inoperable required lights,
  • Missing hazardous material placards, and
  • Flat tires.

These visual violations easily attract the attention of inspectors (and police).

In fact, according to a report, a visual defect triggers 63% of road inspections. But, you can avoid such checks if you have scheduled maintenance in place.

This is where an advanced route optimizer like Route4Me can help you and where most other route planner apps fail.

Route4Me’s trucking GPS app automatically tracks the number of miles your trucks have traveled. In this way, you know when you need to send a car for maintenance.

Let’s understand this with an example.

You have a truck that travels 100 miles a day and needs maintenance every 10,000 miles.

Route4Me route planner shows you that the truck has already traveled 7,000 miles. So, you can calculate that your vehicle will need maintenance in 30 days. It’s that simple!

That way, you don’t need to worry about any penalties due to observable defects.

But, you should ensure that your drivers check their lights and reflectors every day. They should do this both before and after driving.

Any broken or missing lights or reflectors could lead to a spot inspection. Carrying spare fuses or bulbs isn’t a bad idea.

Broken lamps can cause problems. So, make sure that they inspect these small things every day.

Learn the six vehicle maintenance tips you should be following.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

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Reduce Traffic Violations

Traffic violations cause 22% of roadside inspections.

Such violations include:

  • Speeding,
  • Disobeying traffic control, and
  • Following other cars too close.

These can also lead to a greater risk of terrible accidents.

But, you can avoid such instances by keeping a check on your drivers’ on-road behavior. And this is where Route4Me can help.

It comes with a GPS tracking feature that monitors your vehicles’ speed in real-time. That way, you can immediately inform your drivers to slow down.

Learn the top ten benefits of GPS tracking.

But, that’s not all. Route4Me’s delivery scheduling software also comes with a playback feature. This helps you track your drivers’ previous movements. In this way, you can quickly provide data-driven feedback to your drivers.

Inspection Selection System

The Inspection Selection System (ISS) plays a crucial role in roadside safety inspections. The ISS triggers 15% of roadside inspections.

It comes with a scoring system from 1 to 100 that defines how often you’ll get inspected. The lower your score is, the safer your trucks will be.

The ISS scores are determined by:

  • Hours of Service (HOS),
  • Vehicle maintenance and cargo,
  • Hazardous material,
  • Unsafe driving,
  • Driver fitness, and
  • Controlled substances and alcohol.

Most routing programs ignore this. But Route4Me helps you meet most of these criteria.

We have already covered how Route4Me can ensure safe driving. So, the following are examples of how the Route4Me multi-stop route planner helps meet the other criteria.

Hours of Service

With Route4Me, you can set the “route duration.” This ensures that your drivers don’t violate the total hours of service allowed per day. It also helps you keep overtime in check.

Route4Me’s map route planner even shows you when the sun will rise and set in an area to avoid driving in the dark.

You just need to key in the area’s zip code that you need to cover, as shown in the image below!

Vehicle Maintenance and Cargo

We’ve already covered how Route4Me can help you with scheduled maintenance. But, it can also help you with your cargo.

With Route4Me route optimization software, you can set the maximum weight per vehicle. In this way, you can easily avoid inspection due to cargo violations.

For example, your truck may need to cross a bridge that only allows 50,000 pounds of weight. But, your vehicle is carrying 60,000 pounds of cargo.

Crossing the bridge with the existing load will cause your truck to be inspected. It could even be fatal to both the driver and your business if they get into an accident. You can face severe penalties or legal hassles if it causes serious damage.

But, with Route4Me’s delivery route planner, you don’t need to worry about such things.

You just need to set the maximum weight to 60,000 pounds per vehicle when planning the routes.

The route optimization software then provides you with a route that doesn’t have bridges allowing for less than 60,000 pounds. This will ensure that your truck doesn’t end up crossing the wrong bridge.

By being informed about potential violations, you can make weight capacity adjustments accordingly.

Hazardous Material

Carrying hazardous material in the wrong areas could lead to inspections and mishaps.

For example, a truck carrying radioactive material should never travel through highly populated areas. Instead, they must only use back roads.

Route4Me’s delivery scheduling software can help you here as well.

When planning routes, you need to create a vehicle profile and select the hazardous goods you will be shipping. You can do this from the drop-down list, as shown below.

So, if you select radioactive goods, a route will be planned through low population areas.

In fact, it will even exclude roads that are restricted to the kind of goods being shipped. This will undoubtedly help you stay away from frequent inspections.

Conclusion about Commercial Vehicle Inspections

You don’t need to worry about commercial vehicle inspections if;

  • You are proactive about the truck maintenance,
  • Conduct rigorous vehicle inspections to illuminate observable defects before hitting the road, and
  • Educate your drivers about driving safely and following traffic laws.

The best part is that you can do all of this with the help of Route4Me’s delivery route planner app.

Learn the six benefits of delivery management software.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.