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Heavy-Duty Fleet DOT Inspections Service in Mooresville, NC

Commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds are required to has regular DOT inspections. Schedule your DOT inspection today.

Contact Gallaher Fleet Solutions today.

Commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds are required to has regular DOT inspections. Schedule your DOT inspection today.
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Understanding DOT inspections

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) takes the lead on ensuring that all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are safe by performing regular inspections. Their team checks all parts to make sure everything works correctly and safely. Most truck drivers are familiar with Fleet DOT inspections, but do you understand the details with each inspection level? What about the most common DOT violations to avoid?

Fleet DOT at a State Level

Each state oversees its own DOT inspections, usually conducted by state groups in collaboration: 

  • State troopers – Authority to perform inspections
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – Funds and oversees DOT inspections
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) – this nonprofit organization outlines inspection guidelines for CMVs 

CMV Inspection Levels

Level One – North American Standard Inspection

This is the most common and the most thorough inspection. The inspecting officer looks at the tractor and the trailer, including: 

  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • How well cargo is secured
  • Lights
  • Tires

They also talk to the driver and look for signs of:

  • Drug use
  • Intoxication
  • Required documents 
  • Seat belt use

Any violations may result in a driver being taken out of commission for driving. 

Level Two – Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

This level is not as rigorous as the first level inspection. An officer will not go underneath the truck but checks everything else. 

Level Three – Driver-Only Inspection

There is no vehicle inspection. Instead, the officer checks the following records and documentation:

  • Driver’s license
  • Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR)
  • Electronic logging device (ELD)
  • Hours of Service (HOS)
  • Record of Duty Status (RODS)

Level Four – Special Inspections

This particular inspection is rare. Officers usually complete a single-item inspection as a type of research. 

Level Five – Vehicle-Only Inspection

This is the counterpart to a driver-only inspection. This inspection happens at a carrier during compliance reviews and the driver is not present for the inspection. 

Level Six – Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

If a driver is hauling dangerous or hazardous freight, this inspection looks at conditions that are unique to these shipments. Drivers must meet specific handling procedures and advanced OOS conditions.

What to Expect During an Inspection?

A state trooper can perform an inspection anytime, anywhere. They may occur on the side of the road, at weigh stations, or at truck stops. Drivers are expected to act professionally and respectfully, understanding that law requires these inspections. 

Finding no violations is the most desired outcome. If a driver doesn’t have violations, they receive a CVSA decal that is good for three months. This lets other inspecting officers know that a CMV passed inspection recently. 

Some violations are not serious. The driver can still perform their job, but they do not pass inspection and are expected to fix any violations within 15 days. These may also count against Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores for both the driver and the carrier. 

If a driver receives an OOS violation, they cannot drive again until all violations are addressed and documented properly. The most common OOS violations include: 

  • Logging errors or missing information
  • Missing or expired medical card
  • Missing or expired license
  • No seat belts
  • Not meeting HOS laws 
  • Lights that don’t work
  • Tire tread that is less than 1/16 inches 
  • Any fluid leaks
  • No annual inspection
  • Cargo that isn’t loaded safely
  • Fire extinguisher not in working condition