The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a federal inspection of all vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more. The GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle including not only the chassis, body and engine but also fluids, fuel, the driver and passengers! It does not include trailers. Their primary goal is to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
In the State of Oregon all repair facilities are required to keep documentation showing that their Inspectors are qualified to complete a DOT Inspection as well as Brake Inspections, maintenance, service or repairs. If a private fleet with their own mechanic cannot prove their employee is qualified they may be named in litigation if there is an accident.
The safest way to ensure that your fleet is compliant is to work with a reputable fleet shop with qualified mechanics and inspectors. Also, make sure that they have an adequate amount of insurance and are willing to name you as an “other insured” if the work is completed in your yard.
DOT Inspections are not flexible. If your vehicle fails the inspection you must fix the vehicle to pass. If tampering is noted (i.e. removing bulbs from the dash so the check engine light is not visible) the DOT Inspector will fail the vehicle. However there are several things that can be done to prepare for a successful inspection to make sure that everything is working properly. One of the most effective ways to stay compliant is to implement pre trip inspections within your company.
Have your drivers do a walk around Inspection. See if anything looks damaged or out of place.
Check your lights: Look at all lights, lenses, and headlights. Make sure they are illuminated, and are not cracked or fogged.
Check your Tires: Is the air pressure at the recommended PSI. Make sure there are no bumps, cracks or cuts. Look for nails and make sure there is plenty of tread.
Check the Brake System: Looks for cracks or damage on the brake drums or pads. Test your brakes. Check your emergency valves.
Check the engine compartment: Look at your water pump, radiator, power steering pump and more. Look for cracks. Make sure they are not damaged or loose.
Check Inside of the Cab: Inspect the windshield, mirrors, defroster, wipers, gauges, turn signals, hazards etc. Are all working as they should? Make sure no check engine lights are illuminated.
Test the engine and horns: Start the vehicle, rev the engine to make sure it is working properly. Test the horns.
To learn more about DOT Inspections or to schedule a service contact All-Pro Fleet Services at 541-826-0545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All-Pro Fleet Services is a locally owned Fleet maintenance and repair company who specializes in providing mobile service to commercial fleets in Southern Oregon. All-Pro Fleet Services is located at 174 Trout Way in White City. Their full service shop is equipped to handle major as well as minor repairs. All-Pro fleet Services also provides overflow service and emergency roadside repair. All APFS Technicians are qualified to complete Federal DOT Inspections and Brake Inspections.