Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections are annual inspections required of any commercial vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds to ensure that no damage will come from malfunctions from such large vehicles on the road. Here is what you can typically expect from DOT inspections.
Six Levels of Inspections
There are six levels of DOT inspections that can be performed by DOT officials or state troopers. Each level varies in how thoroughly they inspect your vehicle.
- Level I North American Standard Inspection: This level of DOT inspections thoroughly checks all of the important safety systems between your truck and trailer. The inspection will include seat belts, brakes, brake lights, headlights, turn signals, coupling system, windshield wipers, etc. The inspector will also check the driver for signs of drug or alcohol use, seatbelt usage, and proper documentation.
- Level II Walk-Around Driver Inspection: With this level of inspection, the inspector will walk around the vehicle to inspect it from the outside only. They will also check the driver for signs of drug or alcohol use, seatbelt usage, and documentation.
- Level III Driver-Only Inspection: This level of DOT inspection checks the driver only and not the rest of the vehicle.
- Level IV Special Inspections: These inspections are less common and may be done for research purposes where the inspector will check the cargo that you are carrying in the trailer.
- Level V Vehicle-Only Inspections: This level of inspection is only to check the vehicle for working safety systems. These inspections do not include the driver.
- Level VI Enhanced NAS Inspection of Radioactive Equipment: This is another rare inspection that is only performed for shipments of radioactive materials.
Just Say Yes to Inspections
Technically, you are legally allowed to refuse DOT inspections, but it’s better to accept the inspections and all that come with them. Refusing an inspection could make you unemployable to any trucking company in the future because it might seem that you are a careless or untrustworthy driver.
Here at Mid Carolina Diesel, we want your vehicles to always pass DOT inspections and be safe on the road at all times. Feel free to give us a call to set up any truck and trailer services and inspections, so we can help keep you safe on the road.