Overview of the DOT Inspection
As an effort to increase roadway safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) enforces specialized inspections on commercial motor vehicles (CMV) to ensure all systems and parts are in good working order. Additionally, it ensures certain laws and regulations are met and strictly followed. In North Carolina, your commercial motor vehicle (if it weighs more than 10,0001 pounds) must undergo an annual DOT inspection. The North Carolina DOT is the main group that conducts these inspections. Still, state troopers, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are also authorized. The DOT Inspection is a scheduled event, but a DOT officer or state trooper can also perform them at random—at a weigh station or even on the side of the road, for example. The best way to prepare for this inspection—scheduled or otherwise—is to stay atop your vehicle’s maintenance needs, and we at Coast to Coast Fleet Services can help.
What Happens During a DOT Inspection?
As a commercial truck driver, you and your vehicle are subject to one of six levels of inspection. Level I is the North American Standard Inspection, and it is the most common and most thorough. It checks the entire vehicle for worn or damaged parts, including the brake system, wheels and tires, battery, cargo, lighting, and more. The driver will also be evaluated for seat belt use, proper documentation, and alcohol or drug consumption signs. Level II is a Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection; Level III is a Driver-Only Inspection; Level IV is a Special Inspection; Level V is a Vehicle-Only Inspection; Level VI is an Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments. If a violation is found, the CMV or driver will be placed out of service (OOS). Violations range for both vehicle and driver, with some common errors being an invalid/expired license, not wearing a seat belt or improperly loaded cargo. Only until the violation has been corrected and documented will the vehicle and driver be put back in service.
Learn More Today
The DOT inspection is an important service for all commercial motor vehicles and their owners. If you need assistance preparing for yours, or if your vehicle received a violation that needs to be fixed in record timing, trust Coast to Coast Fleet Services in Durham, North Carolina. We can ensure your CMV is up to code and remedy any faults that may have been flagged during the inspection, such as an oil leak, low tire tread depth, or inoperable lights. Of course, we are also here with tips and advice on how to pass your next DOT inspection: perform a pre-trip and post-trip inspection, secure shipments properly, have all necessary documentation with you, you’re your company name and USDOT number visible on your vehicle, and regularly clean your equipment. We understand what being OOS can do for a business, so we make it our mission to be your reputable source for all your DOT inspection needs. To learn more, get in touch with our fleet services experts at 984-322-3019. Located at 2209 Dominion St Durham, NC 27704, we are always happy to help.