Service Center: How fleets can pass annual DOT inspections
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all commercial vehicles have an annual inspection to ensure that the vehicles are safe and within emission standards. The DOT sends out the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), and holds a 72-hour checkpoint to make sure the commercial vehicles are up to date. If a truck fails to provide proof of inspection, has not performed the inspection, or fails, that can cause monetary penalties. Here are some tips for companies and drivers to keep the DOT and CVSA at bay:
1. Keep the maintenance up-to-date on the truck.
Do not let maintenance or repairs get pushed back. The longer a company waits to have its trucks serviced, it increases the potential of more issues coming up. If a truck has faulty equipment and systems, it can affect the overall vehicle operation that can lead to a failure.
2. Make sure the driver’s logs and truck cab is clean.
Appearance is everything. If an inspection officer looks inside a cab and sees a complete disaster, they are going to assume the truck is not up to date and the driver is not organized. That truck will be an easy target, and will probably be inspected top to bottom. However, if a driver has a clean cab, all the paperwork is in order, and knows where all their safety equipment is, the inspection should be fairly smooth.
3. Drivers need to stay level-headed.
Officers want a smooth inspection just as much as drivers do. If a driver is looking to argue or hide problems from an officer, they are going to escalate the situation and create an issue. A driver should be honest and upfront with the officer, and an officer will more than likely look to compromise.
The bottom line for these annual inspections: be prepared. For a smooth inspection, both drivers and companies should have all their truck affairs in order. Tom’s Truck Center can perform all vehicle repairs and inspections to make sure a commercial truck passes. Give us a call today to schedule!