Call us today at 301-350-4040 to set-up a DOT Inspection or Maryland State Inspection.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) takes a serious approach to commercial truck safety.

When you look at statistics, it makes sense. In 2015 alone, 11% of motor vehicle crash deaths were attributed to large commercial trucks. In an effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle crash deaths related to commercial trucks, the DOT requires all trucks to undergo a DOT inspection yearly. The DOT inspection consists of six levels of inspection to help maintain these vehicles and spot potential problems.

The first level is the North American Standard Inspection, which inspects documents such as an operator’s driver’s license, medical certificate, waiver, and hours of service. The inspector will look at the seat belt, exhaust system, turn signals, steering wheel, wheels, rims, headlamps, tail lamps, and fuel system.

Level two is the Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, which includes examining all parts listed in the level one inspection that requires the inspector to get under the vehicle to check thoroughly.

The third level is the Driver-Only Inspection which takes a close look at the operator’s license, medical certification, and daily log.

Level four is the Special Inspection,  which is a single time the examiner will take to look at specific items, usually scheduled to invalidate a claim made about the vehicle.

Level five is the Vehicle-Only Inspection, which takes a look at all of level one’s specifications, however, this happens without the driver present.

Finally, the level six inspection is called the Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments, which inspects certain radiological shipments as set forth by the DOT’s title 49 Section 173.403.

While the DOT requires an inspection only once a year, they do suggest an inspection every time the operator parks the truck. The DOT recommends a full walk around inspection, and to check the entirety of the truck as if you were an inspector come for the same thing. Keeping your records in order, your cab clean, and your vehicle ready for a roadside inspection at any time is the best way to avoid fines.

It is important to note that should your vehicle be found unsafe, the DOT can cite you for a myriad of reasons. The list includes; knowingly allowing, authorizing employee violations of OOS order ($5,391-$29,839), non-record keeping violations ($14,502), record keeping ($1,194 per day), non-recordkeeping violations ($14,502), Knowingly falsifying records ($11,940), Commercial Driver’s license violations ($5,391), Penalties pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossing violations ($15,474), financial responsibility violations ($15,474), violation of hazardous materials regulations and safety permitting regulation training ($463), violations of hazardous materials regulations and safety permitting regulations ($77,114), and violations of commercial regulations ($10,282) just to name a few of the many penalties one can expect to occur if the safety inspection is not met.

In short, it is much more beneficial to keep your vehicle ready and road worthy. it takes everyone’s diligent participation to decrease the number of traffic-related deaths,  so please do your part too.