The Vehicle Maintenance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers with a similar number of safety events (i.e., inspections, violations, or crashes). This is used to determine a carrier's CSA score.
What is the Vehicle Maintenance basic?
Carriers are to properly maintain a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and to prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, and overloading of a CMV.
These violations are focused on the standards that your equipment must meet in order to drive safely on US roadways. These infractions are easy to spot, which make them some of the most issued violations by the DOT.
There are 406 different types of vehicle maintenance related tickets that the DOT can issue. Everything from a burned-out taillight all the way up to pushing/towing a loaded bus.
Getting violations in this FMCSA BASIC category can lead to DOT audits and other penalties by the FMCSA.
What are the Vehicle Maintenance groups?
Vehicle maintenance violations are broken into 26 different groups. These groups help determine the severity of the infraction as it relates to safety. Items such as warning flags are less severe while items like towing a loaded bus is the most severe.
|Violation group||Severity weight|
|Brakes out of adjustment||4|
|Brakes, All others||4|
|Cab, Body, Frame||2|
|Clearance Identification Lamps/Other||2|
|Failure to Prevent Movement||3|
|Improper Load Securement||7|
|Other Vehicle Defect||3|
|Tire vs Load||3|
|Towing Loaded Bus||10|
|Vehicle Jumping OOS||10|
|Wheels, Studs, Clamps, etc||2|
|Windshield / Glass / Markings||1|
Top 10 most issued vehicle maintenance violations
The vehicle maintenance BASIC is one of the most violated areas of trucking enforcement. It accounts for over 60% of violations issued by the USDOT.
Below are the top 10 most issued vehicle maintenance violations issued across the country for 2021. This gives some indication into what the DOT finds most important in terms of proper vehicle maintenance.
|Inoperable Lamp required||177,959|
|Inspection, repair and maintenance of parts and accessories||78,916|
|Operating a CMV without proof of a periodic inspection||49,387|
|Clamp or Roto type brake out-of-adjustment||39,922|
|No or defective lighting devices or reflective material as required||39,256|
|No/discharged/unsecured fire extinguisher||34,740|
|Brake hose or tubing chafing and/or kinking||31,560|
|Oil and/or grease leak||29,566|
|Tire-flat and/or audible air leak||26,486|
|CMV manufactured after 10/19/94 has an automatic airbrake adjustment system that fails to compensate for wear||23,753|
If you are ever wrongfully issued a violation keep all of your documentation and fill out a DataQ to have the violation reviewed by the FMCSA
To see the full list of vehicle maintenance violations that make up the vehicle maintenance basic you can download here.