We sometimes get the question: what kinds of inspections do commercial vehicles have to go through to ensure they are operating safely?
It’s a great question, especially since the way CVSE (Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement) carries out inspections has evolved over the years.
The most notable change is increasing mobile inspections and using technology to help focus inspections on commercial vehicles that need them. So, how does this play out?
Well, looking back 15 years, all commercial vehicles (by definition: any vehicle designed to carry a load with a licenced GVW of more than 5,500 kg) were required to stop at fixed scales (AKA inspections stations). Think of it as a dragnet approach, where all vehicles – good and not-so-good – were required to spend time being inspected at fixed locations.
There are a couple problems with this kind of dragnet approach:
- Inspections were predictable
- Inspectors were dedicating a lot of time to vehicles that were in good, safe working order
While commercial vehicles are still required to report to inspection stations, we have moved toward a more targeted and mobile approach to enforcement – in conjunction with stationary weigh scales – which allows CVSE officers to concentrate on vehicles more likely to fail an inspection. It frees up CVSE’s resources, allowing them to spend more time on those vehicles needing to be looked at.
“It’s all designed for efficiency,” says CVSE Deputy Director Perry Dennis. “It’s designed to catch those that are trying to evade the process, and let the good ones go by.”
So, how do officers separate the good from the bad? Technology plays a big role.
Based on National Safety Code standards, data is collected to determine a carrier’s rating, taking into account history such as violation tickets, out-of-service records, and at-fault crashes. Inspectors are highly trained in spotting defects on commercial vehicles; so, the carrier’s rating, combined with what the officers see on the road, allow them to separate the good from the not-so-good (or unknown).
Technology is boosting efficiency at stationary inspection stations, too. Weigh2GoBC technology allows commercial carriers to bypass Weigh2GoBC inspection stations. A vehicle with a registered transponder communicates with a weigh-in-motion equipped station upon approach, and the vehicle is identified and checked for height, weight and safety credentials while travelling at highway speed. By reducing the number of vehicles that must report to inspection stations, inspectors have time to identify and focus on higher-risk carriers.
CVSE also participates in road check events on the international and provincial levels. The annual CVSA International Roadcheck takes place across North America over a 72-hour period, with enforcement agencies randomly stopping commercial vehicles at various locations across their jurisdictions. Now, it’s important to note that, although the road check is meant to be random, officers also stop trucks that show evidence of an infraction.
Wait, there’s more…
Commercial vehicle safety doesn’t end there. Carriers must have internal maintenance and safety programs in place for their vehicles and drivers, which includes monitoring their drivers’ records. They must also ensure every vehicle is inspected at a government licenced facility twice a year as part of the Vehicle Inspections and Standards program.
Did you know CVSE officers are also trained to inspect commercial vehicles that are carrying dangerous goods? The Transport of Dangerous Good (TDG) program promotes safety in BC in combination with the federal TDG program.
So let’s review…
Every year, a commercial vehicle operates with the following safe guards in place:
- Internal maintenance and safety programs
- Bi-annual inspections at a government licenced facility
- Stationary inspections at weigh scales
- Targeted mobile inspections
- CVSE International Roadcheck
CVSE not only has a duty to enforce, but also educate. Providing guidance to commercial truck drivers during each interaction is a big part of what officers do. In fact, a stop doesn’t always mean a ticket – it can be a warning and opportunity to inform. Drivers often come into the inspection stations to ask officers questions, too. And we’re really glad they do.
In the end, commercial vehicle safety requires government and industry to work together. Maintaining solid relationships and open lines of communication with commercial drivers, BC Trucking Association, and other provincial associations is vital to maintaining a safe transportation network for goods, services, and travellers.
Page 1 of 40 comments on “What You Need to Know About Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspections”
Where can I get an inspection done on my dump trailer around Victoria?
I’m not able to insure it until I get it inspected so I’m planning on getting it towed
Hi Josh – thanks for reaching out to us here. We encourage you to do an online search for designated commercial vehicle inspection facilities in the Victoria area.
Hi, I think I already know the answer but still wanted ask does commercial trucks need inspection after some modifications, let’s say turning a box truck into flat deck?
When in doubt – best to have them check it out. Commercial vehicles are required for regular inspections regardless, but any modifications which occur between those regular inspections should also be reviewed and approved by a red seal mechanic.
Regarding the statement above, (at ‘https://www.tranbc.ca/2018/07/24/what-you-need-to-know-about-commercial-vehicle-safety-inspections/#comment-750722), that”officers also stop trucks that show evidence of an infraction”, kindly disclose a list of all of the provinces Truck Scale Web-Cams so that I can audit the success of your enforcement visually, en mass.
Good morning Shunned Inspector,
You are more than welcome to connect with staff at our inspection stations with any questions you might have: https://www.cvse.ca/inspection_stations.htm
And, here is a link to our webcams:https://drivebc.ca/#webcams
Kindly advise what “inoperative” means with respect to
“Section6 – Lamps
1. Required Lamps
a) operation of all required lamps (Applies to Truck, Trailer, and Bus )
25% or more of LEDs of any one lamp assembly are inoperative”
Hi there Unemployed (Shunned) Inspector. Thanks for your question. We encourage you to ask the good folks in our NSC area for further clarification on this. Here’s the link to more info on how to connect with them: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/vehicle-safety-enforcement/information-education/contacts#nsc
Can I drive a tandem truck with air brakes an pull a 53 foot gooseneck with electric brake
With class 3 with air
These are questions best directed to ICBC, as they set the requirements for air brakes and license classes. You can also check with the inspection stations, but ICBC would be your best first bet.
Hello dear.I am from Edmonton Alberta.And I bought commercial 53ft trailer from Team action Kamploos with invalide CVI. I get plate for it from Alberta registration and now I want take my trailer to my home terminal to get safty paper works.So can I get temporary pass or How can I move this trailer.
Hi there – thanks for your comment. We shared your question with our staff in the CVSE and they let us know that you will need a temporary operating permit to travel through BC without a valid CVIP. And you will need another one for Alberta probably, but that’s something AB VIP can help you with. CVSE staff encourage you to reach out to ICBC with your situation first. Hope this is helpful. Safe travels.
Hi. I drive with Uber since last year September. I got my Toyota Corolla for commercial vehicles inspection . Is it required Sami annual or annual inspection? Thanks
Hello Chris – thanks for your question. Commercial vehicle inspections are performed annually or semi-annually depending on vehicle usage. Check the details on your insurance or reach out to the Passenger Transportation Branch to confirm.
Passenger Transportation Branch Office:
200-1500 Woolridge Street Coquitlam, BC V3K 0B8
At what weight does a farm plated pickup need to display nsc and give numbers?
Is it the same as a cometcial vehicle at 5000kg or the same as when it would need an inspection at 17000kg.
I never see farm plated trucks with nsc# even when towing heavy
Please email your enquiry about farm vehicles and the NSC to: CVSEgeneralinquiry@gov.bc.ca
Can I drive a licensed and insured CVI expired vehicle to an inspection facility to be updated and put back into service?
Good morning Kris – thanks for your question. We asked our folks in the CVSE and they let us know that you will need to get a Temporary Operating Permit (TOP) from your Autoplan agent. You will need to let them know it is for the required vehicle inspection and that the vehicle already has insurance coverage. Hope that this helps!
When does a vehicle need yearly / 6 month inspections on it, is there a certain GVW you hit and this comes into effect.. 5500KG?
I know under that you don’t need to scale but over 5000KG you still need to display a GVW and NSC number on your truck. Just not sure if you also need yearly inspections between 5000KG and 5500KG.
Hi there Byron. Thanks for your question. We have sent it to our staff for their input and will get back to you here as soon as we have the information for you.
Our apologies for the delay in getting this response back to you. Here’s what we heard: It does not matter if the vehicle is classified as commercial or private on the registration paperwork, the gross vehicle weights are what differentiate when a vehicle needs to be inspected.
Vehicle Inspection Guide
Depending on the type and size of commercial vehicle, CVIP inspection may be required semi-annually or annually, as shown in the following chart:
Commercial Passenger Vehicles
Vehicles licensed under the Passenger Transportation Act – Semi-annual
Buses licensed and insured as farm vehicles – Annual
Trucks and Truck Tractors from 8,201 kg LGVW to 17,300 kg LGVW except logging trucks – Annual
Trucks and Truck Tractors 17,301 kg LGVW and over – Semi-annual
Logging trucks 8,201kg LGVW and over except farm vehicles – Semi-annual
X-plated industrial machines of 17,301 kg LGVW and over, with these body styles: compressor, derrick, pumper, conveyor, drill rig, crane, seismograph, drill – Annual
Trucks and Truck Tractors operating under quarterly permits – Annual or semi-annual depending on type and LGVW of vehicle
Emergency vehicles 8,201 kg LGVW and over – Annual
Farm vehicles 17,301 kg LGVW and over – Annual
Driving school vehicles – Annual
Dump Trailer – a dump box designed to disgorge its load out of the top, bottom, front, side or back from the axles it rides on or by being moved to another piece of equipment (i.e. Transfer Trailer) – Semi-annual
Logging Trailer – any trailer capable of hauling logs that is attached to a vehicle registered as a logging truck or a trailer designed or modified to transport logs (i.e. Flat Deck Trailer with stakes) – Semi-annual
Other than log or dump – Annual
Floater plates – Annual or semi-annual depending on type
Hope that this info is helpful!
Just would like to make sure trucks with GVW up to 8,200 kg do not need CVIP inspection?
Thank you very much!
If the truck is under 8,200 and registered as a private vehicle they do not need a commercial inspection unless they are specifically asked to get one. For further details on what vehicle require CVIP inspections please see the website using the following link. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/vehicle-safety-enforcement/services/vehicle-inspections-standards/vehicles
If there’s anything else we can help you with, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thank you and have a great day!
Do i need also need marked GVW on the vehicle if my vehicle is max 8800kg?
Hi there Ron – sorry – just to clarify – are you wondering if you need to have your GVW displayed on the outside of your vehicle?
Can I get a safety on my commercial truck in my garage with my mechanic and get a safety sticker somewhere else
Not quite sure what you mean. Are you asking if, instead of taking your vehicle to a certified inspection shop, can your mechanic come to your house to verify?
All final provincial vehicle inspections must be conducted at the location of a licenced designated inspection facility.
On 256st maple ridge lots of trucks with brake parts falling off on the road ,
They need to set up here!!! And one truck lost a steel bridge when turning onto 128 st!,
And a dump truck lost the pup !!!
Hi there anonymous – thanks for this information. We have sent your comment forward to the good folks in the CVSE for follow up.
Hello I just bought a small car with a B.C. cvse sticker on the windshield what does this mean.!Any information would be great. Thank you.
Hi Lee – thanks for your question. The CVSE is our Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement – the good folks responsible for making sure all things related to commercial safety are taken care of on BC highways. Here’s a link to more information: http://www.cvse.ca
Why your car has a sticker on it – we can’t say. Perhaps an employee put it there proudly?
It seems the majority of time that i drive by the scales at vanderhoof or Prince George they are closed and i very seldom see a truck pulled over anywhere on the highway,and i drive a lot.
Hi Ian – thanks for letting us know your concern. Some weigh scales have random hours which are supplemented by mobile enforcement. Here is a list of our CVSE inspection stations, their hours and contact information. If you would like to confirm hours of a particular station, or speak further with someone directly about a concern you might have, we encourage you to contact the station directly. http://www.cvse.ca/inspection_stations.htm
Also, if you have a general concern about commercial vehicle safety enforcement, you can call our 24 hour hotline: 1-888-775-8785
Hope that this helps!
I have to agree cvse is a joke. They are just a bunch of revenue collectors. If you were about safety you wouldn’t ticket every chance you get. I avoid the scales like the plague. You know the record of a driver, so when you inspect him/her you know if they are a chronic offender. The poor guy just trying to make a living and makes a mistake once or twice a year doesn’t need to be ticketed for every little thing. And you wonder why your hated so much!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
CVSE takes a best practices approach to compliance and tickets are only one tool in the belt – officers are trained to use all data at their disposal in making informed decisions with regard to enforcement, to work with our clients and to use discretion where and when appropriate.
Bahahahahaha,CVSE is a joke. The junk trucks know where you guys are within 5 min of you setting up.Word goes out over a certain FM radio station thats not in English and poof,junk scabby trucks go another way around. You still pull over good mechanical sound and well maintained trucks and use it to bump the numbers.My Current CVSA decal on the windshield don’t mean anything to the guys n the lower mainland.
I run 49 states and 9 provinces and BC is the absolute worst province to run in. Jackbooted thugs hiding behind a badge and flashing lights on a vehicle.
And I ain’t scared to post my real name of give you my email.You have already harrassed me enough. Can’t do anything worse to me..
Hello Jason – thanks for sharing your feedback. Mobile enforcement is designed for and utilizes the element of surprise but it also gives our staff the agility to move locations when vehicles begin to go around. Officers can quickly pack up and move to a new location or in some cases we will use scout vehicles on side roads or have multiple locations operating at one time. CVSE officers are trained to honour CVSA decals that are valid in the current quarter unless defects are noticed or the officer wishes to look more closely at the drivers documentation. CVSE officers are also given as much information and data as possible to help them make informed decisions when choosing a vehicle or driver for inspection. We hope this helps!
Most R.V. are not up to standerd,,,30 to 356 ft trailers being toed the drivers do not have a lic. to pull then most safety chains are to long,,etc,,, Just sayin.
Thanks for this comment Anonymous!