It’s CVSA Brake Safety Week. Starting on September 15 through Sept 21, inspectors will be looking at truck brakes as part of the ongoing attempt to get unsafe trucks off the road. DOT compliance – isn’t that just another way to say “we’re the government and we’re here to help” when maybe there isn’t a problem in the first place?

Making sure trucks have safe brakes is important. Only idiots would argue.

So what are the requirements for brakes maintenance?

FMCSA regulations are found here with Q&A for more specific details. has a page on the required DOT truck brake lining requirements. explains how the DOT brake testing is done.

DOT compliance takes a lot of work. In fact, there’s a 32 page PDF from the FMCSA that lists all the documentation a trucker needs to be in compliance. One of those documents is the record of that past year’s maintenance records.

Tracking Truck Maintenance

If there’s a 32 page long list of records you are required to keep to be DOT compliant, you need help. (And not that kind that comes from the government.) If you don’t want to carry a file cabinet in your cab, you’ve got to keep this material in an electronic document.

What we do offer is a simple and effective way to track truck maintenance – but we take it beyond even that.

1. We track your repairs

Repairs are part of owning a vehicle. Whether it’s preventative maintenance, the regular maintenance, or the emergency repair, you have to track all of them. So TruckingOffice trucking management software will take all that data – the date of the repair, the provider, the price – and store it safely. If you need to access it again – if the repair is still under warranty or during a DOT audit – it’s right there.

2. We track your expenses

But then it will take that same data and put it in your expenses records. No separate entry required. When we reuse your data, then you don’t waste time reentering data – and maybe doing it wrong.

3. We look ahead

Your equipment will need future attention. The key to avoiding on the road breakdowns is making sure you’re ahead of the schedule for your brakes, tires, or oil changes. Using TruckingOffice TMS maintenance module, you can schedule upcoming service with providers you trust. You will save money by scheduling work in advance and plan your time off the road. And if you don’t know when you need the work to be done because it’s based on time or mileage, you can trust TruckingOffice to let you know. After all, it’s tracking your mileage for IFTA and IRP anyway.

What Can You Expect if You Fail to Be DOT Compliant?

The DOT enforces rules and regulations that govern commercial motor vehicle operations.  As such, they can apply strict penalties or fines for non-compliance.  In some cases, they will suspend your right to operate the CMV, or they can even impose jail time for severe violations.

If you regularly review your operation, you can avoid non-compliance.  Here are some guidelines for drivers or fleet managers to follow for DOT compliance: 

  1. A copy of FMCSA rules should be available in the office and each vehicle.
  2. Perform pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections and provide documentation of such.
  3. Adhere to scheduled preventive maintenance on all vehicles.
  4. Maintain HOS records for each driver.
  5. Conduct random drug and alcohol testing and maintain records of the results.
  6. Display the DOT registration number on each vehicle.
  7. Maintain safety history and qualification records for each driver.

This checklist highlights some of the main aspects of DOT compliance.  You can learn more by visiting the FMCSA website.  

DOT compliance doesn’t have to hard

TruckingOffice makes it easy.

To ensure that you remain DOT compliant, trucking software is vital.  Our TMS can work with your ELD to provide HOS, fuel use, mileage, vehicle maintenance, and other pertinent data required by DOT.   

Try our maintenance module – and everything else – of TruckingOffice trucking management software. We’ll give you a free trial to explore every part of how TruckingOffice is the trucking office management program you need.

And remember, that CVSA Brake Inspection is this week.

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