However, if you co-operated and learn to handle the situation well, there is better chance that you end up with less hassle. This make it be rule number one!
To be quite honest with you, there is no right and wrong way when it comes to handling a DOT inspection. However, there is a lot you can do to control your feelings and with that make the DOT inspection as pleasant as it could be.
If you choose to drive a truck for living then most likely you will have to deal with DOT inspection occasionally; it’s a pure fact!
Firstly, let me tell you that the last thing a driver wants to do is to upset the person that is conducting the DOT inspection.
Yes, you should know better than acting all smart and showing your frustration. You are the chosen one and once they stop you and pull you onside, they will perform the DOT inspection, regardless you like it or not.
So instead of whining, cursing and going yellow then red in the face, try to pull yourself together and among everything else be:
- Professional truck driver not just a truck driver;
- Courteous, polite and respectful;
- Listen what he/she has to say because some are a wealth of knowledge;
- Keep your ears open;
- Ready to take tips and learn;
- Be quiet (as hard as it may be).
What to Do During the DOT Inspection Performance
You should accept what is said; even if that means that you should accept a violation ticket that you think is unfair!
In cases where you think that the DOT inspection is not accurate and the officer is wrong, don’t try to argue with the officer.
Take the issue at the cord if you have to, but don’t do it there at the spot. You won’t gain nothing but more time spent in place and you know as well as I do that time is money this days. If you don’t roll your tires, you are not making any!
Remember, just as you don’t like to be told how to drive your truck, don’t tell the DOT inspectors how to do their job.
So here without any further delay, let me present you some tips for truckers on how to best handle a DOT inspection.
10 Best Advice’s for Handling a DOT Inspection like a Boss
1. Be Respectful, Courteous Pleasant and Professional During the Entirety of the Inspection
I know it’s not easy, but if you are visually stress, try to calm down and avoid any discussion that can put you through a greater risk of getting punished for things that you didn’t even know that exist on your truck.
2. Listen Carefully and Do What the Inspector is Saying!
You might be a PRO in what you do, but when a DOT inspection stops you, it’s time to listen what they have to say.
This is their 5 minutes and you better listen to them! In matter of fact a lot of DOT inspection officers are wise people with many years of experience under their belt! They can give you some good tips and bits that will be useful in future.
3. Ask Intelligent Questions
If you have some smart questions then ask, but don’t ask, just to ask!
There is nothing wrong with asking questions but make sure you’re asking something that makes sense and is a valid question that will not make you look stupid.
4. Don’t Repeat Yourself Or the DOT Inspection Officer. Just Make the Point Clear, and Move On
I know that all you are trying to do is show to the inspector that you understand what he is saying, but again, it’s his time to speak, and just because you understand what he is saying does not mean that he will have more understanding for you when it’s tickets time!
5. Don’t Try to Impress the Officer
Same goes for trying to impress the officer with your great knowledge. Regardless how well educated you are on a DOT inspection procedures and lows; remember he is the one holding the check up list.
6. Don’t Confront the Officer
Even if you think they are wrong, don’t argue with the DOT inspection officers. Take the issue to court, but don’t challenge them. All you will accomplish by arguing is watching the fines grow and accumulate.
7. Stay Quiet and Don’t Try to Tell the DOT Inspection Officer How to Do his Job
I know it’s hard, but stay quiet, accept what they say and let them do their job. You won’t earn their paycheck, so don’t tell them how to perform their job. Your best chance for surviving the DOT inspection with minimum to none tickets and fines is if you shut up.
8. Learn How to Pull Up Logbook Information
If the DOT inspection officer asks to see your log book records, be ready and prepared to hand them over. Many states require you to have a paper manual instruction book for the electronic logging device you are running.
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Always have the manual in your truck, on a safe and convenient place, and know where it is when you need it.
9. Be Familiar With the Required Documentation
Know the different documentation you are carrying in your driver’s documents binder.
You should be able to identify and locate any document that the DOT inspection officer asks to see.
10. Be Aware and Prepared
The inspector will be less likely to give you grief if he sees you know what you’re doing. If you are hauling hazardous cargo and any type of HAZMAT transportation, know the required documentation and have the permits and all the required documentation with you.