Look at the ground near and under the tractor trailer for evidence of any spills or leaks of water, oil, or gas. Turn on the engine and put it on fast idle mode for warming up.
Listen for any unusual engine noises. Take a look at the general engine space to see that all is well. Ensure that there is enough water in the vehicle and check crankcase levels. Check the lights on the front of the tractor and the back of the trailers. See that all headlights and other lights are in proper working condition. Be sure there is no excessive slack or wear of the compressor belt and also check the engine fan. Check all gauges to ensure that they are showing the proper readings.
Check the action of the steering wheel to see that it is working right. Confirm that the horns, four way flashers, windshield wipers, and other emergency devices are in top working condition. Check all the front wheels and the rear tires, on both the left and right side. Check all lugs and studs and look for any spent lubricants. Check the trailer thoroughly.
This includes checking the jaws, release lever, hook-ups, and also the tow bar, pintle hooks, safety chains, and the converter gear. Check the brakes, including parking brakes, and the stoplights. The Federal government makes the rules and then works with industry and state partners on how the rules should be enforced. This also includes setting standards for inspections, training enforcement personnel and determining the out of service criteria.
The driver, their paperwork and the vehicle s will be inspected. This is usually done at a facility checkstation or parking area. Level 2 A level 2 is a driver and vehicle inspection however the inspector or officer will not crawl underneath the vehicle.
This is commonly done roadside but can be done just about anywhere. Level 3 Driver and credential only inspection. The inspector will look at the driver paper or electronic log and other supporting paperwork that they should have in possession.
The first three inspections are going to be the most common inspections that drivers will face on a day to day basis. Special checks are designed to be a data study on a particular item to either support a study that has been done or to refute data that has already been gathered. Although they can be driver related, special checks typically revolve around items that are mechanical.
For example, one year a special check may focus on the most common violation s during an inspection or finding out the number of automatic slack adjusters vs a regular slack adjuster.
A driver may not ever know the difference, the procedure while being inspected may seem just like a level 1. Level 5 These inspections are vehicle only, there is no driver involved. Level 6 This level is reserved for those that haul transuranic waste and Highway rout controlled quantities of radioactive material.
The level 6 inspection is very thorough and tedious for the driver and the inspector. As I stated earlier, a driver or company will commonly be dealing with levels 1 through 3. What to expect during a DOT inspection Each state is going to be slightly different when you enter the facility. No traffic control? Be cautious and take it easy. You may even be asked to remove your keys from the ignition Your wheels will be chocked.
They will ask you to release your brakes. The inspection a level 1 will start and you will be given more instructions. Failure to follow instructions can get someone injured and will cause the inspection to go poorly for you. But you can make it go smoother and therefore faster if you get yourself organized. Know how to work the many systems of your vehicle. Make sure you know where you're logbook is, or have a plan for the inspector to look your electronic log. Know how to access your elogs and how to email them to the inspector.
Organize your permits. Rifling through permits alone adds 5 to 10 minutes or more alone onto the inspection time Got pets? Have a plan. If you have pets in the cab that need to be secured have a way to secure your pets to keep them from getting injured or having an incident with the inspector.
Animals can react in different ways in strange environments. Keeping your pets secured prevents them getting scared and running into traffic or winding up some other place they shouldn't that could get them hurt.
If you have no way to restrain your cab buddy, that can add quite a bit of time. For elogs you will need blank logbook pages and an instruction card on how to operate the elog. They change color depending on the year. As of this writing, the IFTA stickers are green. Permits; Any state specific permit you may need. Bill of lading, shipping papers or invoice. If your empty, just let the inspector know that your running empty.
Got a placarded hazmat load? They are required for hazmat loads. For certain hazmat packagings that are utilizing exceptions outlined in the permit. The permit itself will dictate if it needs to be carried. As far as I know, every state I know has one - Emergency response information. For certain hazardous materials such as explosives you will need a written route plan.
Again, for certain hazardous material that is being transported.No worries check out the below image. As far as I know, every state I know has one - Emergency response information. You may need to be OSHA trained before doing any form of hazmat containment. The inspection includes the following actions: Take a walk around the vehicle and note its overall condition.
It happens to every driver at one time or another whether it's their fault or a maintenance issue that rears its ugly head they didn't know about at a really bad time. The violation must be listed in the criteria or it is not out of service. The inspector will look at the driver paper or electronic log and other supporting paperwork that they should have in possession.
If you have received an out of service violation, be prepared to receive a ticket for that violation regardless of whether you own the truck or are a company driver. There you have it, a DOT inspection crash course! Got a placarded hazmat load? Actually, from what I understand from many drivers, companies have incentive programs for getting clean inspections. Special checks are designed to be a data study on a particular item to either support a study that has been done or to refute data that has already been gathered. If your empty, just let the inspector know that your running empty.
As per the FMCSA guidelines, a driver of a tractor-trailer is required to perform an inspection of his or her vehicle before, during, and after a trip, so as to pinpoint any defects in the truck and repair them prior to putting the truck back on the road. Be sure there is no excessive slack or wear of the compressor belt and also check the engine fan. Level 5 These inspections are vehicle only, there is no driver involved. Generally speaking, You shouldn't be getting parked out in the middle of nowhere unless your vehicle is so unsafe that it can't move. What to expect during a DOT inspection Each state is going to be slightly different when you enter the facility. Know how to work the many systems of your vehicle.
Permits; Any state specific permit you may need. With this helpful guide you should be able to minimize your hassle at the next roadside inspection and be back on your way in no time flat! Listen for any unusual engine noises. The inspection a level 1 will start and you will be given more instructions.
Check the trailer thoroughly. Got a placarded hazmat load? In such an inspection, they should make notes that indicate any actual problems or malfunctions of any components of the vehicle which may have occurred during the run. Level 2 A level 2 is a driver and vehicle inspection however the inspector or officer will not crawl underneath the vehicle. No traffic control? But you can make it go smoother and therefore faster if you get yourself organized.
The first three inspections are going to be the most common inspections that drivers will face on a day to day basis.
Check the trailer thoroughly. Be cautious and take it easy.