DOT week, also known as International Roadcheck week or DOT Blitz, is a program created by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) which will deploy inspectors across North America to ensure that commercial vehicles and their drivers are upholding the set safety standards. Every year, the CVSA chooses a focus for their inspections, typically based on the past year’s violations.
Last year, in 2021, there was a strong focus on vehicle lighting and hours-of-service compliance. More than 40,000 commercial motor vehicle inspections were conducted for 2021 during DOT week. Inspectors removed 6,710 commercial motor vehicles and 2,080 drivers from roadways – a 16.5% vehicle and 5.3% driver out-of-service rate.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced this year’s DOT week dates as May 17-19 with a focus on wheel ends.
Previous DOT week data identified wheel end components as a top 10 vehicle violation, accounting for about one quarter of the vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during the blitz. Wheel end components are a crucial component to keeping commercial vehicles safely on the roads. They not only support the heavy loads carried by commercial motor vehicles, but help maintain stability and control, and are critical for braking. Last year, brake systems held the number one spot for out-of-service vehicle violation issued.
Capacity Strain During DOT Week
While DOT week is an important safety measure to ensure unfit vehicles and drivers aren’t in operation, it does pose a serious issue in terms of how it affects the available capacity and market spot rates. There are 6 levels of DOT inspections, the most common type of inspection that occurs during DOT week is a Level I Inspection. Even this basic inspection can take drivers off the road for 45-60 minutes. With over 19,000 inspections happening, this causes major delays in freight transit times.
Shippers will need to take DOT week into account when planning their freight movement and be sure they are working with partners who can help minimize any interruptions to their supply chains.