TIRE MAINTENANCE & CSA
Tire maintenance violations under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program are very serious, and always have been, because they pose such a high safety risk. The majority of the tire violations are those that could cause a tire to rapidly lose pressure and render the vehicle "Out of Service" (OOS). These count much higher against a fleet and driver in the Safety Management System (SMS) score point system. It is in the interest of the driver to keep an eye on the vehicle's tires, as well the other critical safety items.
CSA uses data gathered from roadside inspections to assign a score from seven different Behavior, Analysis, Safety Improvement Categories (BASIC) areas. These include:
- Unsafe driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driver fitness
- Controlled substances/alcohol
- Cargo related
- Crash indicator
- Vehicle maintenance
Tire violations are tracked under the "vehicle maintenance" area. The most severe violations are weighted at 8, while the less severe are weighted at 3. Tire violations including flat tire or exposed fabric, ply or belt material exposed, tread or sidewall separation, audible air leak, cut exposing ply or belt material and tread depth carry an eight-point violation. Re-grooved tires, tire load weight rating and under-inflated tires carry a three-point violation. Both fleet and driver scores are affected by violations and any vehicle maintenance violation stays with the fleet for 24 months.
|Section||Violation Description Shown on Roadside Inspection||Group||Weight||OOS||Driver Resp.|
|393.75(a)||Flat tire (pressure 1/2 of sidewall max pressure) or fabric exposed||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(a)(1)||Tire—ply or belt material exposed||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(a)(2)||Tire—tread and/or sidewall separation||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(a)(3)||Tire—flat (pressure 1/2 of sidewall max pressure) and/or audible air leak||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(a)(4)||Tire—cut exposing ply and/or belt material||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(b)||Tire—front tread depth less than 4/32 of inch||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(c)||Tire—other tread depth less than 2/32 of inch||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(d)||Tire—bus re-grooved/recap on front wheel||Tires||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(e)||Tire—re-grooved on front of truck/truck-tractor||Tire vs. Load||3||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(f)||Tire—load weight rating/under-inflated||Tire vs. Load||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(f)(1)||Weight carried exceeds tire load limit||Tire vs. Load||8||Yes||Yes|
|393.75(f)(2)||Tire under-inflated||Tire vs. Load||3||Yes||Yes|
HOW TO AVOID OOS TIRE VIOLATIONS:
INSPECT TIRES PRIOR TO EACH TRIP
Drivers can perform pre-trip inspections to ensure the tractor and trailer tires comply. Each tire issue is simple for a driver to spot while inspecting the vehicle. Here are the issues you should check for during your pre-trip inspection:
- Proper tire pressure
- Tread depths
- Irregular wear
- Inspect suspension components
SWITCH TO WIDE BASE SINGLES
Maintenance practices become easier when you switch to wide base singles for drive and trailer axles. Not only are there fewer tires to maintain, but also drivers have fewer tires to inspect. The pesky inside dual tires can also be a frequent culprit for tire-related issues, especially under-inflation; wide base singles prevent this problem altogether. MICHELIN® X One® tires provide a great wide base single option.
FOLLOW RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
Follow recommended repair procedures outlined by Tire Maintenance Council (TMC) to reduce the risk of a citation.
UTILIZE TRAINING RESOURCES AVAILABLE
Michelin North America and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) partnered on a free training video for the tire and transportation industries. "CSA Tire Inspection" covers the guidelines for inspecting truck tires under the CSA Program. This video helps educate drivers and technicians on the federal inspection regulations for truck and bus tires.
Watch the CSA Tire Inspection video for specific inspection tips.
Keep an eye on your vehicle's tires as well the other critical safety items to avoid a dangerous driving situation and to avoid an unwanted CSA violation. For more details on tire maintenance protocol and CSA standards, visit http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov. Recent changes can be viewed at http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Whats_new.aspx.