If you have (or are beginning to have) interest in the trucking business, you probably know about the annual DOT inspection. The Department of Transportation does this inspection. It’s typically done on all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) weighing 10,001 pounds, and above. The sole objective of this process is to ensure that every part or accessory of a CMV is in excellent condition, functioning correctly, and safe to use.

Levels of DOT Inspection

There are eight levels of DOT truck inspection. The state police officer or a qualified inspector do these inspections. We’ll explore the eight inspection levels below. Read on!

North American Standard Inspection

This is the first level of DOT truck inspection. It is the most common and most comprehensive. Furthermore, during these checks, the inspector usually looks at essential documents, such as;

  • Commercial Driver license
  • Record of duty status (RODs) compliance
  • Hours of service records, and more

Vehicle/Walk-Around Driver Inspection

The second level of inspection is much similar to the first level except for one thing. Which is, the inspector or officer does not go underneath your vehicle to look at anything.

Driver-Only Inspection

The next level is the driver-only inspection. It involves an in-depth examination of the vehicle operator credentials. Too often, inspectors check the drivers for RODs and skill performance evaluation (SPC) certificate. Furthermore, reviewing of driver’s license, seat belt usage, and medical certification may also be involved.

Special Inspection

Level 4 inspection involves checking for a specific feature of your vehicle. Alternatively, the inspector might just look at the valves, and nothing more. It is usually a result of a suspected trend among specific types of equipment. Getting to this level means you have nothing to worry about, at all.

Vehicle-only Inspection

As the name suggests, the level five inspection involves a thorough examination of the vehicle. This inspection will mostly occur after an incident or accident that happened in the absence of the driver. Much like level 1, the inspector will have to get under the vehicle to take a look at the brakes, suspensions, and exhaust systems. Wheel assemblies, steering mechanism, and electrical system are among other areas the inspector may focus on.

Enhanced North American Standard (NAS) Inspection

These ensure that the HRCQ or Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Material meet the North American Standards. It often includes examining, among other things, radiological shipments and the inspection procedures.

Jurisdictional Mandated Commercial Vehicle Inspection

Usually, jurisdictionally mandated commercial vehicle inspection applies to selected commercial vehicles. This includes, but is not limited to, limousines, shared-ride transportation, school buses, and taxis. CVSA-certified inspectors do these in most cases. Sometimes a jurisdiction-approved contractor or other designated government employee may help. Furthermore, while a jurisdiction-specific decal may be applied, you’ll get no CVSA decal for a Level VII Inspection.

North American Standard Electronic Inspection

The last level of inspection is an electronic inspection. It’s often conducted while the vehicle is still in motion, and without direct interaction with a safety officer. Level VIII inspection must include appropriate driver’s license class, USDOT or (Canada) NSC number, and hours-of-service compliance. In addition, a descriptive location that shows GPS coordinates is also integral.

If you are not sure how to prepare for the rigorous DOT inspection process, look no further than our trucking management software. It will allow you to use pre-built checklists and do more than just vehicle inspecting the field. To learn more about the TruckingOffice solution, be sure to give us at (800) 253-9647.

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