International RoadCheck & ABS Brakes

This month’s article is about an important event scheduled each year in May – International RoadCheck. Why consider this in April? ABS brakes are important for safe driving, especially for trucks that have a lot of cargo and weigh many tons. This year the CVSA RoadCheck will be held on May 16 to 18 so be sure to check your truck’s ABS brakes today and every day. Here are some tips to assist you.

But first, let’s start with what and why we have International RoadCheck.  International RoadCheck is a three-day event that always takes place in May. It’s an opportunity for law enforcement officers from all over North America to perform targeted inspections and then share the results publicly.  The purpose of International RoadCheck is to improve road safety by making sure that trucks on the road are safe. In this way, they are protecting both the driver and the motoring public that share the roads with trucks.

What to know about this year’s International RoadCheck.

There are two focus items this year: They are Cargo Securement and ABS Brakes.

Today’s article will talk about how to check your ABS system.

The first step is to locate the yellow ABS light on the dashboard of your truck.  When you turn on the ignition of your truck the proper function of the ABS yellow light is to cycle on – then off.  Simply, that means that when you start the truck, the yellow light comes on for a few seconds and then turns off again. This is what should happen. This indicates that the ABS system is working correctly.

If the light fails to come on, then there may be a fault in the system, or the light has burned out. Either way, the system now needs to be checked by a qualified technician.

If the light comes on when you turn on your truck and does not go out after a few seconds, there is very likely a fault in the ABS system and again, the unit must be checked by a qualified technician.

If you are already hooked to a trailer, then the system when starting the truck also checks the trailer’s ABS system. The above remark about the Yellow ABS light still applies.

If you have started your truck and you are now hooking up to the trailer, when you plug in the electrical cord, you need to look down the side of the trailer. Near the very rear of the trailer, there is a yellow ABS light. It should function the same as the yellow ABS light on your dashboard. This means that when you plug in the electrical cord, the trailer’s yellow ABS light should cycle on and off. If the ABS light on the trailer does turn on and then goes off, this tells you that the ABS system is likely functioning correctly. If the light fails to come on or if the light comes on and then stays on, this indicates a fault in the system.

Some more about the benefits of International RoadCheck.  It is a time-tested program that helps keep the roads safe by identifying issues with vehicles, drivers and other factors that could lead to crashes. The results of International RoadCheck are used by provinces, states, and local agencies across North America to improve their safety programs. International RoadCheck is also an opportunity for you as a driver to learn about your vehicle’s condition and how it may affect your ability on the road. You can use this information when scheduling maintenance or repairs before any problems arise.

What to Expect During International RoadCheck

You’re probably wondering what to expect during International RoadCheck. Well, I’ve got you covered! Here’s a quick rundown of what will happen:

> Inspectors will be out in force looking for violations that could affect your safety on the road. They’ll be checking everything from your tires and lights to your seatbelts and mirrors.

> If inspectors find something wrong with your vehicle during their inspection, they can issue a violation ticket or a warning letter depending on the severity of the problem found.

> Remember that the emphasis for this year’s blitz is ABS brakes and
Cargo Securement.

Tips for a Smooth International RoadCheck

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your vehicle passes International RoadCheck and is ready for the road:

> Make sure all lights and turn signals work properly.

> Check tire pressure, tread depth, and the wear pattern on all tires (including spare).

> Double-check your load securement

> Watch your yellow ABS lamps closely, making sure that they don’t indicate a defect or malfunction with your ABS braking system.

International Roadcheck is an important event that occurs every year. It’s a chance for you to get your vehicle checked out by the experts.

If you’re planning to be on the road May 16 to 18, 2023 make sure that your truck is ready by checking all its systems and making sure everything works as intended. Also, make sure that there aren’t any leaks or issues with any of the tires; these things could cause problems during International RoadCheck if they aren’t fixed beforehand!  You have plenty of time to get ready for this annual event. But please don’t fix these items just because of this event – these are things that you should keep in mind at all times!

Stay safe. 

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.