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Get to the Point! NAS Level I Inspection Points

The Point of the North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedure -CVSA Roadcheck, Are you Ready?

From a commercial vehicle safety inspector’s perspective, the point of the NAS inspection is to ensure both your safety and those of others traveling on the highways. The costs associated with being put out of service are insignificant when compared to the costs of crashes with innocent people. Be proactive and inspect your vehicle thoroughly before you take your next trip. The keys are in your hand.

Brakes – Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system; Check for “S” cam flipover; audible air leaks around brake components & lines; Check that the slack adjusters are the same length (from center of “S” cam to center of clevis pin), and that the air chambers on each axle are the same size. Check brake adjustment; Ensure aire system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi; Measure pushrod travel; Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamps & low air pressure warning devices; Inspect tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer.

Coupling Devices – Safety Devices-Full Trailers/Converter Dolly(s): Check the safety devices (chains/wire rope) for sufficient number, missing components, improper repairs, & devices that are incapable of secure attachment. On the Lower Fifth Wheel check for unsecured mounting to the frame or any missing or damaged parts; or any visible space between the upper & lower fifth wheel plates. Verify that the locking jaws are around the shank and not the head of the kingpin & that the release lever is seated properly & that the safety latch is engaged. Check the Upper Fifth Wheel for any damage to the weight bearing plate (and its supports) such as cracks, loose or missing bolts on the trailer. On the Sliding Fifth Wheel check for proper engagement of locking mechanism (teeth fully engaged on rail); also check for worn or missing parts, ensure that the position does not allow the tractor frame rails to contact the landing gear during turns.

Fuel & Exhaust Systems – Check your fuel tanks for the following conditions: Loose mounting, leaks, or other conditions; loose or missing caps; signs of leaking fuel below the tanks. For exhaust systems, check the following:Unsecured mounting; leaks beneath the cab; exhaust system components in contact with electrical wiring or brake lines & hoses; & excessive carbon deposits around seams and clamps.

Frame, Van & Open-top Trailers – Inspect for corrosion fatigue, cross member(s) cracked, loose or missing, cracks in frame, missing or defective body parts. Look at the condition of the hoses, check suspension of air hoses of vehicle with sliding tanderns. On the frame & frame assembly check for cracks, bends, sagging, loose fasteners or any defect; corrosion, fatigue, cross members cracked or missing, cracks in fram, missing or defective body parts. Inspect all axle(s). Inspect for non-manufactured holes (i.e. rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.), for broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake. For vans and open-top trailer bodies, look at the upper rail & check roof bows & side posts for buckling, cracks, or ineffective fasteners. On the lower rail, check for breaks accompanied by sagging floor, rail, or cross members; or broken with loose or missing fasteners at side post adjacent to the crack.

Lighting – Inspect all required lamps for proper color, operation, mounting and visibility.

Securement of Cargo – Make sure you are carrying a safe load. Check tail board security. Verify end gates are secured in stake pockets. Check both sides of the trailer to ensure cargo is protected from shifting or falling. Check rear doors are securely closed. Where load is visible, check for proper blocking and bracing. If needed examine inside of trailer to assure that large objects are properly secured. Check cargo securement devices for proper number, size & condition. Check tie down anchor points for deformation & cracking.

Steering – Check the steering lash by first turing the steering wheel in one direction until the tires begin to pivot. Then, placeĀ  mark on the steering wheel at a fixed reference point, then turn the wheel in the opposite direction until the tires again start to move. Mark the steering wheel at the same fixed reference point & measure the distance between the two marks. The amount of allowable lash varies with the diameter of the steering wheel.

Suspension – Inspect the suspension for: Indications of misaligned, shifted, cracked or missing springs; loosened shackles; missing bolts; unsecured springs hangars; cracked/loose U-bolts. Check any unsecured axle positioning parts & for signs of axle misalignment. Front axles, check for cracks, welds & obvious misalignment.

Tires, Wheels, Rims & Hubs – Check tires for proper inflation, cuts/bulges, regrooved tires on steering axle, tread wear & major tread groove depth. Inspect sidewalls for defects, improper repairs, exposed fabric or cord, contract with any part of the vehicle, tire markings excluding it from use on a steering axle. Inspect wheels, rims for cracks, unseated locking rings, & broken or missing lugs, studs or clamps. Check for rims that are cracked or bent, have loose of damaged lug nuts, elongated stud holes, have cracks across spokes or in the web area, have evidence of slippage in the clamp areas. Check the hubs for lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs, misalignment & positioning, damaged, worn or missing parts.

While driving remember these safety tips:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Buckle up
  • Obey speed limits
  • Maintain a safe following distance
  • Pre-inspect the condition of your vehicle
  • Make only safe & necessary lane changes
  • Minimize in truck distractions
  • Never drive under the influence
Professional Safety Consulting

Professional Safety Consulting