Truck Inspections

Topic 26330 | Page 1

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JCTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Morning, all.

I have been reading various forums and have talked to a few drivers that were complaining about different companies and the topic that worries me is that several people have said their company trucks won't "pass DOT inspection."

Is this really a thing? Seems to me that the DOT inspection would be the bare minimum to pass. It also seems odd that people from different companies are saying this.

Not naming companies but was just curious what the community experience is with this.

Thanks in advance.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jason, that's very odd. Passing an inspection is the driver's responsibility not the company's. That's why drivers do a DVIR (daily vehicle inspection report) each time they start a driving shift. You don't need to concern yourself with these companies you don't want to name, but you should find some better drivers to talk to.

I find it very telling when a driver tries to feed me B.S. like this. It tells me way more about the driver's lack of understanding about what it means to be a professional in this career than it does about the company he happens to be bad mouthing.

If you report a problem that will cause you to fail an inspection and keep driving the truck, you are at fault, not the company. It's really that simple. Once you report a problem, the company is required to fix it and the individual mechanic has to sign off on it that it's repaired properly. That's the FMCSA rules.

You are really looking in all the wrong places for good solid advice on this career. BTW, truckers and their internet forums are generally terrible places for newbies to be seeking information. That's the whole reason Brett named this forum as he did.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Jason, my experience is limited, but I never feared an inspection when I drove for Schneider because their preventative maintenance program was so good. I think all the major carries have similar policies. There will always be a few trucks and trailers out there that won't pass an inspection, but I think the big majority would pass.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Bruce wrote:

Jason, my experience is limited, but I never feared an inspection when I drove for Schneider because their preventative maintenance program was so good. I think all the major carries have similar policies. There will always be a few trucks and trailers out there that won't pass an inspection, but I think the big majority would pass.

I take exception to this Bruce.

PM intervals are typically 50-60k miles regardless of company. Roughly translated 4-6 months in duration depending on the type of job (mileage varies)

Performing an effective PTI is the ONLY way to ensure a passing DOT inspection. Do not assume a clean inspection yesterday will afford the same result a day later.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Especially on the trailers.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

I've been routed to a terminal 3 times in the past month for maintenance/inspection reasons. One time because my truck needed scheduled maintenance. Once because I found a damaged seal on a trailer wheel that I saw while doing a trailer pick up inspection. Most recently, I was asked to pick up a specific trailer during a drop and hook because it was due for inspection.

As stated in previous responses, companies do have scheduled maintenance and inspections for their equipment but it is up to you to to make sure your equipment is safe and legal on a daily basis by doing a thorough pre trip inspection.

Below is the damaged trailer tire seal

0347731001566061036.jpg

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Great points on trailer PTI. When performing the trailer PTI make sure it’s up to date on the periodic inspection and that it hasn’t expired...

As follows, this was taken a couple of years ago...

0341112001566062132.jpg

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

If you wont do your pre-trip you could very well fail an inspection but most of all shouldn't be driving a truck if you wont inspect your equipment. If your company wont fix the problems you report to them and expect you to just keep driving hoping all goes well you shouldn't be driving for them.

JCTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Good info from all. I appreciate it.

I usually take what I hear with a grain of salt (or several grains!). I tend to look for multiple sources for information.

When I hear something that doesn't sound quite right, then I ask others with much more experience and professional knowledge.

I heard that some companies allow their trucks to travel that would fail inspections from at least 2 sources. It was about two different companies.

So I asked about it here and found out that it is against FMCSA regulations, a mechanic must sign off on it, the driver should take personal responsibility if their truck is broken, the driver should take pictures to protect themselves from a less than virtuous company, the importance of periodic maintenance, and finally, the importance of a driver inspection.

Sounds like some pretty sage advice, if you ask me. Granted, the internet and forums might be horrible for some advice, but sounds like this one is spot on.

As always, I'll keep the filter up, but what I'm hearing sounds like good stuff. Thanks all!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

One thing you'll notice is especially in the winter, sitting at a truckstop and seeing almost nobody inspects their equipment. A company cant fix equipment to pass an inspection if they, or the driver aren't aware of it. Many times the trucks you see getting inspected are small carriers because they look rugged on the outside and small companies typically dont have the money to fix equipment. They are so often on the edge of bankruptcy that they cant afford the downtime some repairs would take. We had a highly respected moderator leave the company he got his start with and go to a small company with only a couple trucks. He told us about some repairs that kept getting put off and despite knowing he'd fail an inspection he still ran and avoided the weigh stations as much as possible. He no longer is active on the forum for other reasons, but those issues with not having the funds for repairs is non existent with the large companies. If you have any near you, find a weigh station and sit in a safe place and look at what companies get pulled in. Very rarely do you see companies like Swift, Prime getting pulled in for an inspection or even coming off the interstate to weigh (use EZ Pass). Due to how much hate is online (which is all BS) about swift I'd guess they're one of the companies that you've been told wont pass.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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