What to Know About DOT Inspections

Any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that weighs more than 10,000 pounds must go through annual dot inspections. If you’re unfamiliar, a DOT inspection is an inspection by the Department of Transportation that checks to see if all CMV parts and accessories are safe, in good condition, and work properly.

What to Know About DOT Inspections

Always Be Prepared for Inspection & Know What to Expect

The more prepared you are, the smoother your inspection will go. You should always have the appropriate paperwork on you, so that should already be in order.

As the operator of the vehicle, you are required to provide:

  • Driver’s license
  • Driver’s daily log and hours of service
  • Driver and Vehicle Inspection Report

They might also check for:

  • Medical card and waiver
  • Alcohol and/or drugs
  • Hazmat requirements

For the vehicle inspection itself, they’ll look at the following, and potentially more:

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

The Best Preventative Measures

It may already be part of your routine, but it’s always a good practice to check for defective or potential problems. Perform simple walk-around inspections and check your tires, test your lights, look for cracks in your windows, or anything that might be out of place.

The Goal is Education

The goal of DOT inspections is to educate companies and drivers about potential hazards, current laws and regulations, and safety components. Keep in mind that the officer is just doing their job, and that the goal of these inspections is not to inconvenience you or run up fines. The more you’re aware of the rules and regulations, the smoother your inspection will go and the safer you and your cargo will be.

CDL Requirements and Disqualifications

If you’re looking to become a truck driver, there are certain requirements and disqualifications you should know before trying to get your CDL. It’s important to know if you’re qualified, to be prepared for your exams, and what requirements you’ll need to meet.

CDL Requirements and Disqualifications

Truck Driving Schools

To obtain your CDL, you’ll need to get training from a truck driving school. It’s important to research potential truck driving schools so you get the most out of your training. You should also factor in the price, location, and quality of the driving school.

The CDL Exam

At the end of your training, you’ll have to take the CDL exam. Make sure you spend plenty of time studying for this exam, because passing it is the only way you can receive your CDL. Take plenty of practices tests and do what it takes to be prepared.

The Physical and Medical Standards

Besides passing the exam, you also have to meet certain physical and medical standards. These standards are put in place to ensure you can drive a truck safely. Vision and hearing requirements are among those standards, including range and color for vision. Conditions that may bar you from receiving your CDL include epilepsy and narcolepsy.

Age Requirement

Once you’re 18 you can receive your CDL, but to cross state lines you have to be 21.

Criminal Record Restrictions

Certain types of criminal activity could prevent you from obtaining your CDL. Having your license suspended for any driving violations or other criminal activity will bar you from receiving a CDL.

CDL Suspension and Reinstatement

After obtaining your CDL, there are still certain behaviors that will lead to the suspension of your CDL, such as traffic violations, health changes, or DUIs. CDL suspensions and reinstatement will vary by state, so it’s important to know your state’s regulations.

Coffee Alternatives for Truckers

Sometimes you might need a boost throughout the day, and coffee is a readily available source of caffeine. Caffeine gives you a quick jolt of energy, but wears off, leaving you feeling more tired than before. Caffeine is also addictive, so drinking coffee regularly means that you’ll have to drink more to get the same effect over a long period of time. Luckily, there are some great alternatives to coffee to help you get a boost of energy. Whether you’re looking for a healthier option or just want to try something new, here are our favorite coffee alternatives.

Coffee Alternatives

Tea

Tea is one of the best alternatives because it’s cheap, has caffeine, and is much better for your health. It doesn’t have the same amount of caffeine as coffee, but that’s part of the reason it’s healthier. Teas are rich in antioxidants, help with weight loss, and have properties that help fight cancer. Seeing as how coffee has around double the amount of caffeine that tea does, you might be worried that it won’t give you the same energy boost. But, where coffee gives you a boost and followed by a letdown, the caffeine in tea is absorbed into your bloodstream over a longer period of time. This helps for allowing you to reap the energy boost for longer periods of time. There are also tons of different types and flavors of tea to choose from, so you’re bound to find a taste you like!

Smoothies

If you’re trying to cut caffeine completely, but still need an energy boost, smoothies are the way to go. Also, because the popularity of smoothies has been rising greatly over the past few years, they’re easy to get while on the road. The flavor combinations are practically endless, and they’re a great way to incorporate energy boosting foods like spinach, fruits, nuts, and more.  Smoothies are healthy, affordable, and a great way to get an energy boost.