5 Facts to Know About Updated CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria

Effective April 1, 2019, drivers must comply with updated Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) out-of-service rules. Here are five facts about the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria that all drivers should understand.

Drivers and Fleet Managers Can Purchase Handbooks

CVSA updates its out-of-service rules every year. In autumn, Class 1 voting members discuss and approve of proposed changes to the out-of-service criteria. In April of the following year, any adopted changes are officially put into effect.

Out-of-service violations are serious business. If an inspection finds that you or your rig are in violation of CVSA’s official Out-of-Service Criteria, you, your rig, and your carrier can be placed out of service until the violations are remedied.

All annual updates are published in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial. Both print and PDF versions of the handbook are available for use both with paper training materials and handheld devices.

CVSA makes the handbooks available for a fee to fleet managers, drivers, and others who need to know the rules about out-of-service violations. Updated bulletins, training videos, and inspection materials are also available from the CVSA National Training Center.

Drivers Should Pick Their Seats Carefully

You may be a seasoned driving professional who can handle a big rig while you’re perched precariously on a fruit crate. The CVSA begs to differ with you.

Effective April 1, 2019, you won’t pass inspection and will be placed in an out-of-service condition if your semi or other large rig doesn’t have a proper driver’s seat. Don’t think that you can fool inspectors if you simply place an unsecured seat in the cab.

All drivers’ seats have to be secured to the vehicles that are being operated. Drivers’ seats can’t be loosely attached in the cabs but must be fastened to their rigs in workmanlike fashion.

Changes to out-of-service criteria for driver’s seating is an addition to Part II. The change is now Item 5 on the criteria list. Be proactive about the new seating rule and check your driver’s seat any time you drive a new rig. Routinely tighten bolts and other fasteners on your normal semi’s seating.

Drivers Need to Keep Rig Mechanics in Shape

Inspectors can now call you out-of-service for bad brakes, drive shafts, and steering systems. Amendments to Part II that cover these out-of-service criteria include Items 3, 6, 8, and 10.

Inspectors can now place your rig out of service if they find cracks in structural supports of brake rotors. Cracked vents in brake rotors are signs that the rotors are due to collapse soon. You’ll need to replace the rotors and have them inspected to get back on the road.

New drive-train and drive-shaft rules cover bearing straps, which weren’t addressed prior to the new changes. A missing or broken bearing strap is now a violation of CVSA out-of-service criteria.

Don’t get caught with non-manufactured holes in your steering system drag link. Non-manufactured drag-link holes are a failing criteria for pass-fail inspections under the new guidelines.

Drivers Need to Keep Up Their Health and Skills

Skill Performance Evaluations (SPEs) are special certificates that must be carried at all times by impaired CMV drivers when they cross state lines. Operators of semis who have missing or impaired limbs including fingers, arms, feet, or legs can obtain SPE certificates. SPE certificates clear the impaired individuals to drive professionally from state to state.

Under Amendment Item 4 of Part I of the CVSA rules, drivers can be placed out of service even if they possess valid SPE documents. If a driver can’t currently comply with SPE requirements, the driver can be placed out of service with or without SPE proof in hand.

For example, an SPE may stipulate that a hearing-impaired driver may operate a rig as long as the driver uses specialty hearing equipment. If the hearing-impaired driver is found operating their rig without their approved hearing equipment in use, the driver can be placed out of service.

Drivers Should Remove Expired CVSA Decals

Before you place that new CVSA decal on your truck, spend some time removing the old decal. As part of its 2019 updated criteria, CVSA states that removing your old CVSA decal is most appropriate.

Having only one CVSA decal on your truck at all times makes it easier for inspectors and other officials to find the current, valid sticker. Your truck will also look cleaner when you spend time removing outdated and worn decals.

Earn your valid new CVSA sticker honestly by going over the out-of-service criteria and repairing any defects in your rig. Spend some time learning about CVSA criteria for cargo tie-downs, exhaust systems, and other violations that could cost you valuable time on the highway. Ask your motor carrier or fleet manager for copies of the current CVSA handbook if you drive for someone else.

Find your next CVSA-compliant used semi by contacting Arrow Truck Sales today. We offer both owner-operators and motor carriers a wide variety of commercial and semi trucks to expand their fleets and grow their businesses.