What to Keep in Mind About DOT Inspections

May 24, 2018 7:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s not uncommon for truckers to get nervous about DOT inspections and weight measurements. But these inspections don’t have to be a big scary deal—they’re just a part of the job when you work for a trucking company in Minnesota or anywhere else. Ultimately, the relationship between truckers and law enforcement should, ideally, be a cordial and complementary one.

Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you undergo a DOT inspection.

  • Random inspections can have benefits to the driver as well: Random inspections don’t have to be frightening, even if they can sometimes be a nuisance. If officers only performed probable cause inspections, there would be no real way for drivers to improve their CSA scores, especially considering probable cause inspections put drivers closer to a situation in which they are disciplined or potentially lose their job. You shouldn’t have to worry about failing a random inspection so long as you perform thorough pre-trip inspections and address any mechanical issues that arise as soon as possible.
  • If you give respect, you’ll get it right back: Many drivers who have been on long journeys and are forced to undergo a random DOT inspection can get impatient or snippy with the officers conducting the inspection. Remember, these officers, like you, are just doing their job. If you comply with their requests and engage with the officers in a respectful manner, you can expect them to act with the same courtesy toward you. There’s no need to make the inspection an unpleasant affair.
  • Officers are there to educate as well as enforce: The ultimate goal roadside inspectors have for DOT inspections is to ensure greater compliance from trucking companies and their drivers so that everyone on the roadway is that much safer. The point is to train and educate drivers to keep everyone safe—not just to issue fines or fail drivers on their inspections.
  • Trucking companies are taking additional steps with their DOT inspections: Many officers have noted how carriers are taking federal regulations more seriously than ever as a means of lowering their insurance costs and raising their CSA scores because of the enhanced safety that comes with complying with these regulations. In all likelihood, if you are a trucker, you work for a company that already has serious stipulations in place about safety compliance, so if you are following all of the carrier’s rules, the DOT inspection should be little more than a formality anyway. This means you may as well just let them get the inspection done without issue, because you should already know you’re going to pass.

DOT inspections happen, and while they can slow down your day a bit, they’re really nothing to worry about, assuming you are doing everything you can to keep your vehicle safe. If you have any further questions about DOT inspections or how best to be prepared for one, we encourage you to contact K-Way Express, Inc., a trusted trucking company in Minnesota.

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