Class 8 trucks that have a weight rating of more than 10.001 pounds are required to undergo inspection every year. These inspections are regulated and conducted by the Department of Transportation-DOT.
The aim of the DOT inspection is to make sure that the truck, all truck parts of the commercial motor vehicle are in the best working condition. The DOT requires inspection of the truck driver as well.
In general there are six levels of the DOT inspection.
Thereupon, the truck drivers who are performing pre-trip inspections on a regular basis and are using electronic logging devices are the ones that tend to do very well on DOT inspections.
Mainly it is so, because the electronic logging devices are making inspections safer, faster and more efficient, both for the truck driver and for the DOT inspector.
In addition, electronic logging devices are eliminating the form and manner violations- featuring missing dates, locations, total miles and the HOS violations.
Henceforth, truck drivers by following all the rules and regulations can drastically reduce the violations that they can potentially receive.
So, my tips for success would be:
- Listen and follow instructions;
- Be polite;
- Be organized;
- Do your pre trip inspection;
Inspections…. Nobody likes them but still all truck drivers involved in the trucking industry should go through.
Further in this article you can read and learn more facts and figures about what DOT officers are looking for when performing a DOT inspection.
So, let’s take a look!
1. DOT INSPECTION: A Tidy Cab Means Move Along
The lifestyle that truck drivers are leading implies being constantly on the road. Speaking in that direction the truck cab becomes their home.
Straight proportionally, it means that truck drivers should pay enormous attention to maintaining their cab tidy.
Yet, it is not that hard. After all keeping a tidy cab can be seen as a win-win situation, you will enjoy the benefits of a tidy and clean home on the road while at the same time staying compliant with the DOT requirements and regulations.
Yet, there are some truck drivers who are not paying enough attention and time on maintaining their cabs. Due to that truckers when selected for DOT inspection might encounter few problems.
DOT inspectors don’t like to look at your cab and see a jungle. Truck drivers should never ever leave their cabs look bad and smell bad.
Keeping items of trash or bags is both not hygienic and can lead to illnesses.
Moreover, DOT inspectors can end up with a conclusion that the truck driver is not spending a fair amount of time to clean his own truck as well as that he is not keeping after the trucking company to fix things.
Thanks to these impressions the DOT inspectors often think that the chances for them to find something wrong with the truck are high.
2. DOT INSPECTION: Make Your Documents Easy To Inspect
If you are stopped for a DOT inspection, then you should expect document inspection as well.
So, all truck drivers should keep in mind that they need to keep their documentation clear and in order- that will make your documentation easy to inspect.
Moreover, it will leave a good impression in the eyes of the DOT inspector as well.
But on the other hand, if you are one of those truck drivers who has all documents at one place, and you keep it without any particular order then believe it or not the DOT inspection will take a while.
Not only that the DOT inspection will take a while, but as well the DOT inspector won’t be happy about it.
Just keep it clean and make every document look good.
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Remember: If your truck is maintained well and is in a good shape, as well as if you have a good documentation in place, then the DOT inspection won’t take a lot of your time.
DOT inspectors can notice it all straight away. Also, keep in mind that first impressions speak volumes.
3. DOT INSPECTION: First Impressions Are Lasting Ones
As I mentioned before, when you get pulled over for a DOT inspection keep in mind to make the first impression a lasting one.
Moreover, the best way for truck drivers to leave a lasting first impression is not to say something to volunteer himself. More precisely, handling yourself good and answering politely the questions that the DOT inspector has to ask you will push away any stepping stone.
So the cleanliness of the truck can speak volumes about the truck driver. DOT inspectors believe that keeping a clean truck is a big deal.
When I say this I do not refer to a sparkling clean truck at all time, but instead an averagely clean truck.
For example: If a truck driver is keeping the trash and all different kinds of stuff in the truck cab then it is logical for the DOT inspector performing the DOT inspection process to see that the driver is not on top of things.
4. DOT INSPECTION: If You Are Chosen For Inspection Then Prepare Yourself
Truck drivers at any time should be prepared for a DOT inspection.
It is in favor of the truck driver to stay compliant with all the rules and regulations, as well to maintain his truck in a good condition.
Tip: If you are chosen for inspection then you should prepare yourself and to cooperate with the DOT inspector. Yet, after all the better you cooperate with throughout the DOT inspection the better and quicker you will end up.
More precisely, the truck drivers who are regularly performing pre-trip inspection are the ones who will be compliant with the DOT inspection.
Also, it is of a great importance for the truck driver to know where all of his documentation and additional equipment is.
5. DOT INSPECTION: Be Courteous
As you already know, the truck driving career is putting truck drivers on the road for a long period of time, and that can affect truck drivers in many ways.