Call Us Today!

(713) 552-1117

Truck Inspections

Truck Inspections

According to the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT), all commercial motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds must undergo annual inspections. This is part of the Federal Trucking Regulations. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is under DOT, and partner state agencies routinely inspect less than 500,000 registered commercial vehicles on the road. In a congressional committee hearing, a truck driver even mentioned that the current system has a “catch me if you can” mentality. This lack of inspections leads to many preventable accidents involving large trucks. Trucking company negligence or the truck driver’s negligence can be the cause of accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need Houston’s Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer.

What Does A Truck Inspection Include?

There are six levels of DOT inspections.  Qualified inspectors or state police officers perform these inspections.  Here are the different levels of inspections.

1. Standard Inspection

This is the basic level of inspection, sometimes called level 1 inspection.   This is the type of inspection that you may see police offers do.  The idea here is to check the driver’s documents and check for alcohol and drugs. Additionally, they check for hazardous materials. This complete inspection is done while the truck driver is present.  The list of items that may be checked are:

  • Driver’s Daily Log and Hours of Service
  • Medical Card or Waiver
  • Vehicle Inspection Report
  • alcohol or drugs
  • Hazmat Requirements

Inspections of trucks involve reviewing or checking several items.  These items, which are set out below, must be inspected by a qualified inspector:

Items Inspected On A Commercial Vehicle

  • Seatbelt
  • Brakes
  • Brakes
  • Coupling devices
  • Brake lamps
  • Emergency exits and/or electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments (buses)
  • Frame
  • Fuel system
  • Headlamps
  • Lamps on projecting loads
  • Securement of cargo
  • Steering mechanism
  • Stop Lamps
  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Trailer bodies
  • Turn signals
  • Wheels, rims, and hubcaps
  • Safe loading
  • Windshield wipers

2. Walk Around Vehicle Inspection

This is similar to the level 1 evaluation.  However, inspections that require psychically getting under the commercial vehicle are not done during this type of inspection. To learn what goes into a vehicle safety inspection you may want to download the driver-vehicle checklist

3. Driver Only Inspection

Once again, this is similar to the basic level inspection of the driver.  However, this inspection goes more in-depth into the documents’ background.  The list of items checked are:

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

4. Special Inspection

This is a one-time examination.  This inspection closely examines a particular part or feature of the commercial vehicle.  Typically, this is done to support or refute a study or a claim regarding the vehicle.

5. Vehicle-Only Inspection

This is the same inspection as the level 1 vehicle inspection.  It can be done at any qualified inspection location.  The difference here is that the driver is not present.

6. Enhanced NSA Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

DOT regulations went into effect on January 1, 2005. These regulations require all commercial motor vehicles transporting “highway route-controlled quantities (HRCQ) of radioactive material” to pass the North American Standard Level VI Inspection. This inspection includes:

  • Inspecting for radiological shipments
  • Inspection procedures
  • Enhancements to level I inspections
  • Radiological requirements
  • Enhanced out-of-service criteria

What Happens If the Commercial Vehicle Does Not Pass Inspection?

If a Commercial vehicle does not pass inspection, it is subject to various interventions by FMCSA.  These may include the following:

  • Letter of Warning: This lets the carrier know the necessary correction.
  • Increased Roadside Enforcement: Carriers are flagged and inspected for specific faults.
  • Off-site Investigation: Investigators will concentrate on whichever BASICS the carrier failed.
  • Cooperative Safety Plan: The carrier may be required to develop a plan to correct performance.
  • Notice of Claim, Penalty, and Settlement Agreement: This involves fining the carrier or driver

Why choose Walker Texas Lawyer

Walker Texas Lawyer is an experienced truck accident attorney.  He has handled many truck accident cases and knows how to work with insurance companies and the legal system to provide you with the compensation you deserve.  At Walker Texas Lawyer, if you are involved in a trucking accident, our first concern is your safety.  Once you are taken care of, we will listen to your memories and recollections of the accident.  We will work to help you with the losses you have suffered.  Losses such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.

The Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Will Investigate.

Trucking companies are held to high standards of safety. We will perform a full truck accident investigation.  Our goal is to determine if all the rules and regulations were met.  Was the employer or driver negligent?  Was there a part of the failure? We will talk with witnesses.  Additionally, we will reconstruct the accident and bring experts to examine it. Furthermore, we will check maintenance logs, driver logs, safety inspections, GPS records, and truck accident reports.

The Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Will Handle All Insurance Claims For You

The insurance company and trucking company will have lawyers on their side. It would be best to have an experienced 18-wheeler and commercial vehicle accident attorney.  Insurance companies may act like your friend, but they are not in the business of paying out.  You need an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to represent you in fighting them.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a truck, call Walker Texas Lawyer.  He is the Houston Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer.  Call us today at 713-552-1117


(713) 552-1117


Truck Accident Resources

Related Articles

What To Do If You’re Involved In An Amazon Truck Accident

If you’ve been involved in a collision with an Amazon truck, the steps you take following the accident are crucial. Taking the wrong steps can lead to further complications and even legal issues. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your...

Understanding The Causes Of Serious Commercial Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks are a common sight on American roads. They carry essential goods and materials around the country, without which our economy could not function. However, commercial truck accidents can also be severe and even fatal. It’s essential to understand the...

What to Avoid After a Truck Accident in Texas

Being involved in a truck accident is never an easy situation. It can be overwhelming and intimidating. If it’s your first time dealing with the aftermath of a wreck. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that you don't make common mistakes after being...

Texas is a “AT-fault” state for car accidents

When you’re in a vehicle accident in Texas, the repercussions can stretch on for months, years, or even the rest of your life. Medical expenses lost income, and other costs can mount up after an accident. There are lots of results that happen after a wreck and these...

What to Do After a Stalled 18-Wheeler Accident

In 2019, over 4,100 people were killed in large truck accidents. Passenger vehicle occupants are often much more likely than truck drivers to be injured or killed because of the sheer size and weight of the truck.  In many situations, the truck driver...

Your Car Probably Has Computer Data On Your Accident

A device roughly comparable to airplane crash investigation devices can is often inside many modern vehicles. These records can record crucial data seconds leading up to impact (and sometimes even afterward). These devices allow automakers to make improvements based...

What To Say After An Auto Accident?

After an automobile accident, saying, “I’m sorry,” unfortunately comes second nature. Even if whatever happened wasn’t our fault, we often mutter the words, “I am sorry” to diffuse the tense situation. While these minor apologies may be polite social niceties, they...


Heavy commercial truck drivers need to exercise caution on the road.  The reason is that the sheer size and weight of 18-wheeler vehicles vastly exceed the size and weight of automobiles. As a result, truck accidents are far more deadly than other traffic-related...

Commercial Truck Accident Statistics

Auto accidents happen and any accident can have catastrophic consequences for the parties involved. However, semi-trucks or 18-wheeler trucks tend to cause the most serious damage and injuries. This is because they often weigh up to 80,000 pounds.  The sheer size of...

Not only does he put his full heart into everything that he does but he also fights very hard for the right cause and gets you what you deserve. He fights hard and tough but also stays extremely honest and so very kind to all of his clients. I’ve never met anyone in my life, a more motivated, strategic, go-getter lawyer than Walker. He changed my whole world with what he did for my family. We would have never been able to get the justice that was needed without him. I could never in my life thank him enough for what he did for my family. If you want someone strong willed, a fighter, and someone that goes above and beyond for justice and his clients…then you have found the right Law firm. I wish I could give a million stars cause 5 just isn’t enough. If you need to ask me about my experience personally feel free to message me. He never gave up on me….and I thank him beyond words.

Bri Heath

Practice Areas

Related Blog Articles

Associations & Awards