We’ve been asked about how to get a DOT inspection several times recently. “Is this a thing?” we asked our trucker Allen (who is the founder of TruckingOffice) and he said yes, trying to get a DOT inspection is a thing. Especially when a trucker has had a couple of bad inspections, or their safety rating is low. So getting another DOT inspection is important to truckers.

DOT Inspections

Most companies that an owner-operator might lease on to require an inspection, if not multiple inspections per year. The DOT requires an inspection annually. So who does this?

The best place to get a DOT inspection is at a truck dealership. Based on what we see along the highways here in northeastern Ohio, there are still several to choose from. It may be smart to call ahead to schedule your appointment. After all, you don’t want to have to wait all day till they can get around to your rig.

Here’s a possible option: Scale houses along the highways might also have someone who can take care of this for you. You could try pulling in behind the building and asking if there’s someone on-site who could take care of a DOT inspection for you. This suggestion was made but it may be obsolete, as the retired trucker who suggested it to us hasn’t done this in a long time. So let us know – did this work for you recently?

Safety Ratings

A safety rating is assigned to a vehicle when it goes through a Compliance Review. There are three safety ratings for trucks: Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, and Conditional. These ratings are available through the FMCSA SAFER website.

Essentially, the SAFER system shows data about trucking companies. This database provides details about the companies, their size, commodity information, and most importantly, their safety records, specifically any out-of-service inspection summaries and crash information. It’s updated monthly.


Satisfactory is the best rating given to a trucking company. Having a satisfactory rating gives the shipper confidence in the trucker. Their equipment is in good shape, and the chances of delays due to equipment failure are reduced.


If a truck or a company has failed to meet some safety standards, they may be given a conditional rating. That gives time for the updates to be made. This is when most people want a new DOT inspection. They’ve done the work and want to remove the conditional rating that may be hurting a trucker’s chances of getting loads or better rates for insurance.


When a truck or company has not complied with safety standards, they are given 45 to 60 days to make the improvements necessary to stay on the road. A DOT inspection will be needed to remove this rating.

Do You Have a Safety Rating?

Many truckers/trucking businesses don’t have a safety rating. Without the proper DOT inspection or an FMCSA audit, there may not be a safety rating. While that sounds good (who wants to be in a government database anyway?) a trucking firm may miss out on loads or discounts without any rating.

So go check out what your company’s safety rating is. Very simple, easy to use website will show you where you stand.

TruckingOffice PRO helps you keep that satisfactory DOT inspection rating.

By tracking your loads and dispatches, you’re creating data that can help you make good decisions about your equipment. When to repair? When to replace? What’s costing you money? TruckingOffice PRO software tracks your trucking business, including maintenance records, to help you build a successful trucking business.

TruckingOffice makes it easy. So give us a try. Free! No credit cards or debit cards or checking account numbers needed for you to examine your business’s growth.

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