When you own a commercial vehicle that weighs over 10,000 pounds, the vehicle must be inspected annually by a DOT inspection service station for your vehicle to be in compliance with regulations. The yearly inspection is to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive, that everything involved with the vehicle is in good working order. The Department of Transportation has six levels of DOT inspections, with the Level 1 North American Standard Inspection being the most comprehensive. This inspection will take some time, as all records, all inspection reports, your daily log, your medical card, and the entirety of the vehicle is going to be carefully looked over to make sure you and the vehicle are safe for the road.
What Is Inspected on Your Commercial Vehicle?
In the level 1 inspection, your inspector is going to check your vehicle meticulously, looking for hazardous material, drugs, or other illegal substances you might be trying to transport. Your seat belt,, brakes, fuel system, headlamps, steering wheel, rims, and every other working part of your vehicle is going to be checked to make sure your vehicle is safe for the road. A DOT inspection can be done almost anywhere by a DOT inspector or a state police officer if necessary.
What Is a Driver Only Inspection?
You may be required to go through a driver-only inspection, which is a DOT level 3 inspection. This inspection doesn't look at the vehicle but at the driver operating it. Your driver's license, daily log, medical card, seat belt, vehicle and driver inspection report, and driver incident history will be carefully looked over.
How Can You Prepare for Your DOT Vehicle Inspection?
A good way to prepare for your DOT inspection is to look over your vehicle on your own and look for problems. Check the wipers, make sure all the lights work, and take the time to inflate all of your tires to the proper pressure. Look for any cracks in your vehicle's glass, and take your time as you see if anything is wrong with your vehicle.
Your ability to work can be hampered if you fail your DOT vehicle inspection and have to wait for repairs in order to get back on the road. Get yourself ready for the inspection ahead of time and be prepared for the inspection to take some time.
For more information about DOT inspections for commercial vehicles, contact a local resource.