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How familiar are you with DOT inspections?



Melbourne, Fla.—Commercial drivers have to be constantly vigilant to detect unexpected road conditions, distracted drivers, and motorists who don’t understand how commercial vehicles operate. Truck inspections, also known as DOT inspections are designed to help prevent some of these unforeseen situations, and are conducted by the Department of Transportation which requires all commercial motor vehicles (CMV), weighing more than 100,000 pounds, to evaluate if vehicle parts and accessories are safe and in good working condition. As a commercial motor vehicle owner, you it is highly recommended that you get prepared ahead performing regular walk-around inspections before and after every trip using truck inspection checklists. Compliance with annual DOT inspections not

only maintains the excellent performance of vehicles but also helps prevents road accidents and other bigger issues from occurring.

There are six primary levels of DOT inspections. These may be conducted anywhere by a qualified DOT inspector or state police officer. 

An inspection can cover the following items:

  • Vehicle inspection walk-around or complete vehicle check

  • Documentation of coverage in place for the type of carrier and cargo

  • Driver licenses, qualifications, drug, and alcohol testing

  • Evaluation of driver logs and inspection records

  • Maintained accident record register

Among the six primary levels of inspections you may find:

Level I: North American Standard Inspection

At this level of inspection, the inspector will be meticulous in checking the driver's documents, in addition to looking for drugs, alcohol or hazardous materials that the driver may be transporting. 

Level II: Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

This inspection is almost identical to the level I evaluation, except that the inspector will not check any of the parts that require physically getting under the CMV. You may want to consider using a DOT driver vehicle checklist or mobile app to learn what goes into conducting a vehicle safety inspection.

Level III: Driver-Only Inspection

During this inspection you may expect an in-depth examination of all direct requirements to the driver such as license, medical card, daily log, seatbelt among others.

Level IV: Special Inspection

This one is a one-time examination conducted to take a closer look at a particular feature of the vehicle. It is usually done to invalidate a previous claim about the vehicle — in order to support or refute a study or suspected trend.

Level V: Vehicle-Only Inspection

A level V inspection can be conducted at any location. It includes everything in level I regarding the vehicle. Driver does not have to be present.

Level VI: Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

All CMVs transporting highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of radioactive material are required to pass the this inspection which includes:

  • Inspecting for radiological shipments

  • Inspection procedures

  • Enhancements to level I

  • Radiological requirements

  • Enhanced out of service criteria

It is, of course, also recommended to keep a copy of your commercial vehicle insurance in good standing and on hand in the event any emergency arises.





Give us a call for a consultation (321) 329-5556 and one of our local truck insurance specialists at Melbourne Truck Insurance will be more than happy to walk you through all of your options.



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