Drivers and carriers must be familiar with the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and which violations are the most serious. This provides carriers with the necessary focus in properly maintaining vehicles. It also helps prevent unnecessary delays as a result of being placed out-of-service.
What are the critical vehicle inspection items that, if defects are cited, will place the vehicle out-of-service until repairs or replacements are made?
- Brake Systems
- Coupling Devices
- Exhaust Systems
- Fuel Systems
- Lighting Devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads)
- Securement of cargo
- Steering mechanisms
- Van and open top trailer bodies
- Wheels, rims and hubs
- Windshield wiper
Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers must inspect all of the above parts before driving the vehicle. “The driver shall be satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition. If defects are present, they must be corrected before operating the vehicle.” (FMCSA Part 396.11)