What are the Levels of DOT Inspection?

Level 1
This is a full DOT truck inspection level. The truck driver, their paperwork as well as their vehicle(s) will be inspected. This is a “full service” inspection where they crawl underneath, over, onto and through (you get the point) of your vehicle. This process is usually done in a parking area or at a facility (check station). Wherever there is plenty of places to put a truck and trailer. If you pass this inspection level, you will obtain the magical sticker you’ve heard so much about.

Level 2
Level is a truck driver and vehicle inspection. However, in this level, the inspector or officer will not crawl underneath the truck. The officer/inspector will go over the paperwork and walk around of the truck to check for violations. This is generally done roadside but can be done just about anywhere.

Level 3
This is Driver and credential only inspection level. The inspector will look at whether the truck drivers have necessary paper or electronic log and other associated paperwork that they should have in possession.
Be noted that the first three inspections are going to be the most common inspections that truck drivers will face on a day to day basis.

Level 4
The fourth level is all about your paperwork. It will start with the basic paperwork and move on to special situations. These kind of inspections are ”Special checks”.

Level 5
Level 5 is about common violations during a DOT inspection. There are several violations that can be listed from the regulations on an inspection. This kind of inspection is only for vehicles, they do not involve truckers. Many times a level 5 inspection is performed at the facility of a company in support of a compliance review or safety audit. They can also be performed at a company’s request at a terminal. However, that depends on the state.

Level 6
This level is reserved for those who haul transuranic waste and Highway route controlled quantities of radioactive material. This sixth level inspection is very thorough as well as boring for truck drivers as well as for the inspector. The only thing that isn’t done is asking the truck driver to turn his head to the side and cough!

Recommendations to get you through an inspection

Do pre-journey inspection – The majority of violations can be surpassed simply by doing a thorough pre-trip inspection.
Be organized –Being disorganized and not having a clue about what’s going not adds time to the inspection, but can cause inspectors to be doubtful. Don’t make it seem it’s your first days on the job (even if it is).
Listen and follow instructions-You will get many instructions thrown your way. If you don’t hear or understand something just ask.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all commercial motor vehicles (CMV) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,001 pounds undergo an inspection every year. A DOT inspection is conducted in order to make sure that all parts and accessories of the CMV are in good working order.  There are six levels of this safety analysis, which simply refers to the methods that will be employed during the assessment of a vehicle and the driver. They include:

What is an annual DOT inspection?

All commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must undergo annual DOT inspections. A DOT inspection is in an inspection conducted by the Department of Transportation to ensure that all the CMV parts and accessories are safe to use, in good condition and working properly.

How long does a DOT inspection last?

A Change to Your Required DOT Vehicle Inspections. AUGUST 9, 2016 – Annual or Periodic DOT Vehicle Inspections (the inspections in which you receive a sticker on the CMV indicating that it has passed inspection) must be conducted by a Qualified Inspector at a minimum of once every 12 months.

How long does it take to do a DOT inspection?

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the vehicle is safe for operation and is free from defects. Currently, there are no guidelines as to how long a pre-trip inspection should take. If you check everything you should be checking, a full inspection should take you approximately 30 to 50 minutes

About DOT Inspections

A Change to Your Required DOT Vehicle Inspections. AUGUST 9, 2016 – Annual or Periodic DOT Vehicle Inspections (the inspections in which you receive a sticker on the CMV indicating that it has passed inspection) must be conducted by a Qualified Inspector at a minimum of once every 12 months.