90-day Transition Period for New Vehicle Inspection Manual

Posted on Mon, 2016-07-11 14:50

Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement has released the 2016 Vehicle Inspection Manual with improvements to details for steering and coupling devices, as well as new criteria for mud flaps. Most changes are effective July 1, 2016, with a 90-day transition period, with the exception of mud flaps, for which there is a 12-month transition period ending July 1, 2017. Read on for additional details…

Designated Inspection Facilities have until September 30, 2016, to switch to using the new VIM, at which point the 2010 version will be repealed and the 2016 manual goes into full effect. When applying new mud flap criteria, which include a change in the variance of mud flap length and distance from the ground, inspectors can continue to pass vehicles that do not meet requirements until next July.

The 2016 VIM harmonizes BC with National Safety Code 11 - PMVI (2014), which was adopted in October 2014 after extensive input from the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the provincial associations. BCTA provided input based on comments we received throughout 2012/2013 on the proposed draft of NSC 11. We also provided input in October/November 2015 on the draft of the BC VIM from our Vehicle Standards Committee and members that operate DIFs.

Changes in the 2016 edition of the Vehicle Inspection Manual

The inspection items and criteria in BC’s 2010 VIM are by and large the same as NSC 11 (2014) and the 2016 version of the VIM. The changes primarily consist of formatting and organization. However, there are some differences worth noting:

Items for close attention that are better identified in the new manual

  1. Section 4 – Steering – Self – Steer and Controlled Steer Axle

  2. Section 10 – Coupling Devices – Hitch Assembly Structure and Attaching Components

Items for close attention that are considered new/an industry change (hence the 12-month transitional period)

  1. Section 8 – Body – Fender/Mud flap

Higher profile for inspection of emission control equipment

In addition, while the inspection procedures and criteria for emission controls and devices have not changed, the profile of inspecting emission control equipment will be more prominent in the inspection process, as this item is now identified separately in the VIM.

Some concerns about emissions controls include that some carriers and technicians may dismantle them to improve fuel efficiency and/or address engine operability and reliability problems. And, in the case of add-ons like diesel particulate filters for older trucks, incorrect installation of equipment may cause a potential fire hazard.

For example, a Vehicle Inspection & Standards Notice from November 2015 warned that some vehicle components or equipment, particularly hydraulic lines, installed in close proximity to a DPF are at risk of catching fire from the high temperatures a DPF can reach during normal operation, which involves a soot-burning process. Inspectors must now confirm that components near a DPF are in good working order and those sensitive to heat are shielded from exposure.

BCTA, along with the other provincial associations and CTA, has raised concerns specifically about the practice of dismantling emissions control devices in the past, since it gives the vehicle in question an unfair fuel-efficiency advantage and undermines environmental benefits. While we are pleased to have influenced greater awareness of the need for inspection in BC, we know that some emissions-reducing devices may cause challenges for carriers. As DIFs, inspectors, and technicians adopt and follow the 2016 VIM, members are welcome to contact Greg Kolesniak, BCTA’s Policy Director, at gregk@bctrucking.com or 604-888-5319, ext. 211, with comments or questions. 

Order copies of the Vehicle Inspection Manual and the associated documents online through the Queen’s Printer of BC at http://www.vsis.qp.gov.bc.ca.

For background, see the following documents: