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 but of the driver.  However, this inspection goes more in-depth into the background of the documents inspected.  The list of items inspected 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 takes a close look at 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 correction is necessary.
  • 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 the compensation you deserve.  At Walker Texas Lawyer, if you are involved in a trucking accident, our first concern is for your safety.  Once you are taken care of then we will listen to you and 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 failure? We will talk with witnesses.  Additionally, we will reconstruct the accident and bring in experts to examine. 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. You need 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.  That’s why 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

Truck AccidentsTruck Inspections