Today’s Pickup: Surprise inspection puts 21% of CMVs out of service

Good day,

A surprise national brake safety inspection day on May 3 netted nearly 12% of commercial vehicles inspected with brake violations, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced this week. The Operation Airbrake Program inspected more than 9,500 commercial motor vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

CVSA said that 79% of all vehicles passed the inspection, but 1,989 failed and were placed out of service – 1,146 of those failures were due to brake-related violations.

The brake violations broke down as follows:

  • 4,635 air-braked trucks and tractors were identified as requiring ABS; 8 percent (391) had ABS violations.
  • 3,222 trailers were identified as requiring ABS; 15 percent (487) had ABS violations.
  • 723 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; 6 percent (41) had ABS violations.
  • 57 buses required ABS; 11 percent (6) had ABS violations.

Did you know?

Opening its e-commerce platform to small- and medium-sized U.S. businesses is part of Alibaba’s strategy to earn 40% of its revenue from international transactions by 2022.


“These participants are the men and women who work tirelessly every day to keep our customers’ trucks on the road. Mack Masters not only shines the spotlight on their tremendous efforts, but also gives us a chance to hear from them on how we can increase uptime for our customers by improving our own service processes.” 

Jonathan Randall, senior vice president, sales for Mack Trucks North America, in announcing the winners of the Mack Masters competition. Jim Garner, Chris Zahara, and father and son Tim and TJ Stahl from CIT Trucks in Rockford, IL, were the winners.

In other news:

Spot rates continue climb

The holiday week caused the number of trucks and loads in the spot market to decline, but rates did not, with the national van average climbing another 10 cents to $1.90 per mile and the reefer rate also up, rising 5 cents to $2.17 per mile. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

3PLs benefitting from stronger volume, but margins shrinking

According to a Bloomberg News forecast, when freight brokers report their earnings, they are expected to good as strong volumes are driving increases in gross revenue, but higher rates are compressing margins, holding down profits. (Transport Topics)

Alibaba opens China’s e-commerce doors to U.S. businesses

Alibaba, China’s equivalent to Amazon, has launched a U.S. Merchants Network, hoping to offer U.S. small and medium-sized businesses a platform to sell their goods in China. (Supply Chain Dive)

Transportation fund ready to invest

A Bay Area investment fund focused on transportation startups has $120 million it hopes to invest in the next great business. (TechCrunch)

Gas tax increase hidden in Illinois budget

After much political wrangling, Illinois finally passed a state budget. Now that the details are coming out, residents are surprised to find that the state eliminated a tax credit given to oil producers, which is expected to result in a 4 to 5 cent increase in the price of gas in the state. (WLS TV)

Final Thoughts

The brake inspection event held in May by CVSA found that 21% of all commercial trucks and buses had violations that warranted being placed out of service. That number is in line with the 21.5% of vehicles placed out of service during the 2016 Roadcheck inspection blitz, but is still a number that could potentially be reduced with greater focus on preventive maintenance programs.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.