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Changes for Vehicles: CVSA 2014 OOS Criteria

As of April 1st, 2014, the new version of the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) will be in effect. The latest version includes a number of changes with a completely new section for vehicle criteria.

The OOSC is revised annually by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which considers regulatory changes that occurred within the last year, enforcement and industry input as well as technological improvements. 

The OOSC is used by officers to determine if a driver and/or vehicle is to be placed out of service after a violation. 

Here are the highlights of the 2014 revisions to the OOSC:[1]   

Driver OOS changes

  1. Drivers that have had their commercial driving privileges suspended by any jurisdiction (not just their home jurisdiction) will be placed out of service if the loss of privileges was due to a safety-related issue or an unknown issue.

[BCTA note: the following three changes apply to US drivers, who must carry a medical card in addition to their commercial driver’s licence. Canadian Class 1 to 4 commercial driver’s licences include medical certification. Please see this January 16, 2014, Bulletin article for details.]

  1. CVSA clarified through rewording when a driver is to be placed out of service for not having a medical examiner’s certificate (medical card) or having an expired medical card.
  2. A note was added explaining that CDL drivers who do not have their medical status on their motor vehicle record shall not be placed out of service if they have a valid medical card with them. This note will be removed once the transition period is over and all CDL drivers have the information on their MVRs (January 30, 2015).
  3. An OOS violation was added for having a fraudulent medical card. Officers have been instructed on how to verify the truthfulness of a medical card if there are questions (including contacting the medical examiner listed on the card).

Vehicles OOS changes

Brakes The OOSC now includes guidance for a missing clevis pin retainer (cotter pin) on an air drum and disc brake unit, as well as for missing or damaged “pad retention components” on hydraulic disc brakes. The air loss criteria was also updated to state that if the vehicle cannot maintain air pressure with the engine running and compressor “cut-in” while the service brakes are applied or released, the vehicle must be placed out of service.

Driveline and driveshaft This is a new section, describing OOS violations involving the following components:

  • The driveshaft yoke ends
  • Universal joints (also known simply as “u-joints”)
  • Center or “carrier” bearing
  • Driveshaft tube

Exhaust An exception was added to the exhaust portion of the criteria for buses. If there is an exhaust leak that is further forward than allowed (six inches from the rear if the bus burns gasoline, 15 inches if it burns another fuel), the bus will not be placed out of service if the leak is behind the rearmost door or window that can be opened (not counting emergency-only exits).

Suspensions There were several changes in the suspension portion of the OOSC, including adding a reference to a new “inspection guidance — interpretation.” The updates explain a technical issue related to the “cross tube brace” that occurs with some suspensions. A corroded or damaged cross tube brace on certain types of suspensions is not considered a violation, much less an OOS violation.

The suspension section now also uses modern terminology for axle position parts on spring and air ride suspensions. As an example, the “torque rod” is now correctly referred to as the “suspension connecting rod.”

A new paragraph deals with suspension component bushings. If the officer can move the axle position component along its axis because of a worn, damaged or missing bushing, the vehicle is to be placed out of service.

Three new paragraphs address “adjustable axles” (trailer suspensions with adjustable axles), defining criteria for cracks in suspension attachment welds and undercarriage body rails and attachments. Suspension attachment welds cannot have a crack over 50 percent of the welded area, and the undercarriage rails and rail attachment cannot have a continuous crack of four feet or longer.

General information

In the general information section, CVSA states that officers cannot count brake pushrods that can’t be accurately measured toward the 20 percent criteria (i.e., a vehicle with 20 percent or more defective brakes is to be placed out of service). Also, if the vehicle is equipped such that officers cannot measure pushrod travel on all brakes, they are to consider the inspection a Level 2 (walkaround) inspection, rather than a Level 1 (complete driver and vehicle inspection).

The “critical inspection items” to be considered when the officer decides whether to issue a CVSA sticker was updated to include the new driveline/driveshaft section and re-ordered to match the new section order in the 2014 OOSC.

In addition, guidance was added asking the officer not to issue a sticker when unable to verify the travel on 20 percent or more of the brake pushrods, if the pushrods were visible but could not be measured.

Finally, CVSA updated its list of “inspection bulletins” of technical information for roadside inspection officers, including those relating to antilock brake system (ABS) inspections and driver medical cards. An entirely new bulletin was added to cover the new driveline and driveshaft inspection section.

Note: If you have not yet ordered your 2014 North American Standard OOS Criteria Handbook, BCTA is taking pre-orders until Friday, March 21, 2014. The BCTA member price is $52/handbook vs. $59 for non-members. Visit the Shop for details and/or to place your order.



Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION

HUB International TRANSPORTATION specialists are based in Vancouver. Our longstanding relationships with the best providers in the business allow us to deliver the solution that serve you best. With HUB, you can run your business knowing that you are headed in the right direction.

[1] "CVSA 2014 OOS Criteria include Substantial Changes for Vehicles." BC Trucking Association. BC Trucking Association, 20 Mar 2014. Web. 25 Mar 2014. <>.

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