Preparing for a Level II DOT Inspection

March 17, 2020 7:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Every commercial vehicle over 10,000 pounds is required to undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection once per year, in order to ensure that the trucks are compliant with safety regulations. There are six different levels of a DOT inspection, which include driver and vehicle inspections as well as special inspections for specific circumstances or types of cargo.

Preparing for a Level II DOT inspection includes preparing for a standard Level I inspection, because Level II includes everything in Level I, with certain exceptions. Here’s how to prepare for a Level II inspection.

What’s involved in a Level I DOT inspection

A Level I DOT inspection takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Be aware that in addition to checking the driver’s documentation, the inspector will be looking for any signs of drug or alcohol use:

  • Most common level: This standard inspection is also the most common one performed. The inspector will look at documentation for both the driver and the truck, and perform a physical inspection of certain parts of the truck.
  • Documentation required: When preparing for a DOT inspection, you’ll need the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL), their medical certificate stating they passed the DOT physical exam and any medical card or waiver. You will also need the logbook records for the last eight days that the driver worked, detailing their service hours. If you’re hauling hazardous materials, your inspector will need those credentials as well.
  • Truck inspection: The inspector will look at specific parts of the truck, including the exhaust, brake and fuel systems, steering wheel, tail and head lamps, cables, wipers, suspension, wheels and rims, turn signals and the seat belt. If your truck hauls HAZMAT loads, they will also make sure you’re in compliance with those safety standards.

What’s involved in a Level II DOT inspection

A Level II DOT inspection is much the same as Level I, but it’s called a “walk around” inspection because the inspector is not required to check the parts of the truck that would involve climbing under the vehicle. Because of this, it only takes about 30 minutes to complete.

In order to prepare for a DOT inspection, we suggest completing your usual pre-trip inspection, with an eye toward the areas the inspector will be examining. Look for damage and disrepair before setting out—if you catch any issues, alert a supervisor right away.

Always be sure to have your paperwork handy and make sure the inside of the cab is clean.

DOT inspections with J.H.T. Service & Repair, LLC

J.H.T. Service & Repair, LLC understands the importance of passing DOT inspections, which is why our shop focuses on maintenance and repair for heavy trucks and trailers. We can also perform the DOT inspections and repairs ourselves, so you can rest assured that your truck and trailer are operating at the highest levels of safety. Whether you need DOT inspections, routine maintenance and repair or our 24/7 emergency services, we’re here to help. Visit or contact our LaSalle, CO shop today!

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