Preparing for DOT Inspections: 20 Violations Found for Texas Dump Truck

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On August 10, 2021, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office in McKinney, Texas reported a truck that failed its Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection. Several issues were discovered during the inspection performed by Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Deputies.

The 3-axle dump truck had stopped for a routine weight inspection and was found to be 7200lbs overweight. Overall, 20 violations were discovered during the inspection. Nine of these violations were out-of-service conditions, including missing brake parts, brakes unfit for operating, and defective tires.

The driver of the truck was also operating it with an invalid Mexican driver’s license, despite living in Texas for over a year. Furthermore, the trucking company’s insurance policy had been canceled, leaving the vehicle without coverage.

What Does a DOT Inspection Include?

A DOT inspection must be performed annually for all commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000lbs. They can be conducted anywhere by either a state police officer or a qualified DOT inspector. The purpose of these inspections is to make sure all parts of the vehicle are in good working order and safe to use. The six levels of inspection that take place annually are:

  • North American Standard Inspection:

Looks for the necessary documents to operate a commercial vehicle with the driver present, in addition to illegal transportation of drugs, alcohol, or hazardous material. The inspector will also check certain vehicle parts and accessories, similar to a typical car inspection, to ensure that everything is working properly. This includes parts inside, outside, and under the vehicle.

  • Walk-Around Vehicle Inspection:

The same as the Standard Inspection detailed above, but without checking the parts that are physically under the vehicle.

  • Driver-Only Inspection:

Examines more in-depth than the previous levels of inspection:

  • Driver’s license
  • Medical card
  • Driver’s daily log
  • Seatbelt​
  • Driver and Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Driver incident history
  • Hazmat requirements
  • Special Inspection:

One-time inspections to examine a certain part of the vehicle. They are usually performed to invalidate a previous claim about the vehicle’s safety or performance.

  • Vehicle-Only Inspection:

Includes everything in the Standard Inspection, but without a driver present.

  • Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments:

For all commercial vehicles transporting radioactive material.

If you are ensuring proper maintenance of your truck and know what to expect from these different levels of inspection, many fines, penalties, and accidents can be easily prevented.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today

If it wasn’t for the fortunate timing of this routine inspection, the truck in this scenario could have caused serious harm to the driver and everyone else on the road. If you want more information on preparing for these inspections and keeping others safe while operating a commercial vehicle, or if you were a victim of a truck accident, contact our firm today.