Like it or not getting a DOT truck inspection is required part of the job. The current blog will give you the tips as well as actionable recommendations on what to expect and how to get prepared for DOT truck inspection both roadside and at a check station.
Some portion of truckers can’t stand DOT and others don’t mind that their vehicles be inspected in the order they to be safer. No matter you want it or not there will come a time when you will have to submit to a DOT truck inspection both roadside and at a check station or “chicken coop”.
It is important to know that each state runs their check stations in a different way. However, in general after pulling into the check site, a ‘smartly uniformed attendant’ will ask you to go to the lane to start the inspection.
In this blog, I will try and concentrate on the DOT inspection and help you navigate the process and prepare you what to expect.
The experience shows that truck drivers who do regular and in-depth trip inspections on the items which are listed in their driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) tend to do excellent. It doesn’t mean that there is 100% guarantee, but it does radically reduce the num, ber of violations you may potentially receive.
So, here are the levels of inspection:
This is a full DOT truck inspection level. The truck driver, their paperwork as well as their vehicle(s) will be inspected. This is a “full service” inspection where they crawl underneath, over, onto and through (you get the point) of your vehicle. This process is usually done in a parking area or at a facility (check station). Wherever there is plenty of places to put a truck and trailer. If you pass this inspection level, you will obtain the magical sticker you’ve heard so much about.
A level 2 is a truck driver and vehicle inspection. However, in this level, the inspector or officer will not crawl underneath the truck. The officer/inspector will go over the paperwork and walk around of the truck to check for violations. This is generally done roadside but can be done just about anywhere.
This is Driver and credential only inspection level. The inspector will look at whether the truck drivers have necessary paper or electronic log and other associated paperwork that they should have in possession.
Be noted that the first three inspections are going to be the most common inspections that truck drivers will face on a day to day basis.
The fourth level is all about your paperwork. It will start with the basic paperwork and move on to special situations. These kind of inspections are ”Special checks”.
Level 5 is about common violations during a DOT inspection. There are several violations that can be listed from the regulations on an inspection. This kind of inspection is only for vehicles, they do not involve truckers. Many times a level 5 inspection is performed at the facility of a company in support of a compliance review or safety audit. They can also be performed at a company’s request at a terminal. However, that depends on the state.
This level is reserved for those who haul transuranic waste and Highway route controlled quantities of radioactive material.This sixth level inspection is very thorough as well as boring for truck drivers as well as for the inspector. The only thing that isn’t done is asking the truck driver to turn his head to the side and cough!
Recommendations to get you through an inspection
Do pre-journey inspection – The majority of violations can be surpassed simply by doing a thorough pre-trip inspection.
Be organized –Being disorganized and not having a clue about what’s going not adds time to the inspection, but can cause inspectors to be doubtful. Don’t make it seem it’s your first days on the job (even if it is).
Listen and follow instructions-You will get many instructions thrown your way. If you don’t hear or understand something just ask.