Tire maintenance violations under the United States Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program are very serious, and always have been, because they pose such a high safety risk. The CSA program applies to all vehicles operating on U.S. soil. 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:
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.
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|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|
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:
Follow recommended repair procedures outlined by Tire Maintenance Council (TMC) to reduce the risk of a citation.
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.