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TTZ #005: DOT Inspection Survival Guide

DOT Inspection Survival Guide: Essential Advice for Truckers

Truck drivers must adhere to DOT regulations and maintain a high level of safety in order to ensure a successful DOT Inspection and a successful trucking career. Here are some tips to help reduce violation risks:

  • Maintain Your Tractor-trailer: Regular maintenance and keeping detailed records of inspections and repairs will demonstrate a proactive approach to safety.

  • Respect Hours of Service Regulations (HOS): Ensure time logs are accurate and within allowed limits. Familiarize yourself with the HOS regulations.

  • Load Securement: Properly secure your loads to prevent accidents and ensure other drivers' safety.

  • Maintain Proper Documentation: Keep all required documents, such as driver's licenses, medical certificates, and vehicle registrations, up to date and easily accessible.

  • Conduct Pre-Trip Inspections: This is a MUST. Make sure your truck is in good working order before each trip.

  • Watch Your Speed: Observe speed limits on the road and at weigh stations to avoid drawing unwanted attention.

  • Choose Your Employer Carefully: Avoid working with companies with a negative reputation and a high CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) score.

  • Address Safety Issues: From a cracked windshield to an expired fire extinguisher these things need to be fixed as soon as possible to maintain compliance with regulations.

  • Check Kinked Airlines: Inspect airlines before each trip to ensure proper brake function.

  • Verify Load Weight with a Certified CAT Scale: Regularly check the weight of your truck and trailer to ensure compliance with weight regulations and avoid penalties.

  • Organize Your Permit Book: Make sure your permit book is up-to-date and well-organized. DOT Officers love it when you're organized!

  • Avoid Bypassing Open Scales: Scales will typically pursue you if you bypass them and subject you to an inspection, increasing the likelihood of citations, violations, or fines.

  • Check Mug Flaps: Ensure that the mud flaps on your tractor-trailer are not torn or missing. This is a part of your Pre-Trip!

By following these tips and maintaining a safe and compliant truck, truck drivers can reduce the risk of violations during a DOT inspection and promote safety for everyone on the road.

Here is a complete video from start to finish of a Level 1 DOT Inspection.

Ready to start your trucking career and earn your CDL? Check out this blog that breaks down the process into 5 easy steps.

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