It’s often confusing to deal with yearly DOT (Department of Transportation) inspections. We’re offering this comprehensive guide to dive into the aspects of the inspections while providing insights into the inspection checklist, the DOT form, the pre-trip inspection, and everything else.

Whether you’re a truck driver, a fleet manager, or a commercial truck operator, this blog will give you the tools and knowledge necessary to ensure a compliant and seamless annual inspection process. Let’s get started!

What’s Included in the DOT Annual Inspection?

You should physically and visually inspect these exterior and exterior parts of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV):

  • Exhaust system
  • Brake system (linings and pads, rotors and drums, hoses, parking brake system, low-pressure warning device, tubing, air compressor, tractor protection valve, hydraulic brakes, electric brakes, antilock brake system, vacuum systems, and automatic brake adjusters)
  • Windshield glazing and wipers
  • Coupling devices (pintle hitches, fifth wheels, saddle mounts, towbar/drawbar tongue and eye)
  • Rear impact guard
  • Rims and wheels
  • Tires
  • Frame
  • Suspension
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting devices
  • Fuel system

It’s crucial to complete your DOT vehicle inspection checklist and watch for wear and tear and complete failure. Overall, you can prevent costly accidents and violations by doing your part!

Record-Keeping Requirements for Your DOT Vehicle Inspection

When you’ve got a CMV due for its annual inspection, you should work with a qualified inspector. They will prepare a report with the following data:

  • Company using the vehicle
  • Name of the person performing the inspection
  • Vehicle getting inspected
  • Date of the inspection
  • Vehicle components were inspected, and the results and the components did not meet FMCSA standards.
  • Certification of the completeness and accuracy of the inspection

You must keep a copy of the original inspection report for 14 months after completing the document. Keep it where the CMV is maintained or stored.

Pre-trip DOT Inspections

A pre-trip inspection should take about 10 to 15 minutes and must include checking the:

  • Tires
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Steering mechanism
  • Parking brake
  • Service brakes (including any trailer brake connections)
  • Windshield wipers
  • Horn
  • Emergency equipment
  • Rims and wheels
  • Coupling devices
  • Rear vision mirrors

Whenever you’re assigned to drive a new truck, there are more things to check, such as:

  • IFTA Stickers – These fuel tax compliance stickers are found on either side of the truck.
  • Inspection Stickers – This is found on the outside of the truck.
  • Cab Book and Card – This contains the inspection, registration, cab cards, permits, IFTA paperwork, and other necessary documentation for the truck.
  • Required Permits – These are found in the cab card book.
  • Elog Device – Most trucks have one.

Must Read: The Lowdown on DOT Trailer Inspections: Keeping Roads Safe

Get Help with DOT Compliance with Record360

Performing DOT annual inspections might seem tedious, but they’re crucial to ensuring you’re compliant. Without them, you could be penalized by the DOT. Likewise, your CMVs should always run smoothly to keep the business moving. If you’re fixing them constantly or they consistently break down, you risk various violations.

Creating digital inspection checklists and keeping everything organized when you use Record360 is easy. See how we can help you and request a demo now!