Mark Schedler - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
November 08 , 2019
Have Zero Roadside Violations in 2020!
In this new guide for 2020, our subject matter experts walk you through a roadside inspection, from selection to completion.
Preparing your drivers and dispatch team for successful roadside inspections doesn’t just help minimize the chance of vehicle-related violations — it’s critical for avoiding accidents and minimizing over-the-road repairs. Improve compliance and safety across your fleet with these 10 tips for a successful ELD roadside inspection.
Pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the cab. Remove extra garbage, especially from the top of the dashboard, which could impact viability and potentially cause items to drop into the area of the brake and accelerator pedals. A messy cab makes the officer ask “What else isn’t in order with this driver or vehicle?”
The benefits of planning every single trip in advance are three-fold:
While each company’s version of a “proper” pre-trip inspection may differ slightly, as a standard, required items should be checked in the same sequence each time to create the habit for conducting a thorough pre-trip.
Before operating the vehicle, verify that the ELD is in a fixed position where the driver can view the device when seated. Drivers must be able to present their record of duty status to an inspection officer via wireless web services and email, or USB and Bluetooth. For this reason, drivers should take extra caution to ensure their hours-of-service devices are fully charged and operating as expected.
Make sure drivers know the hours of service rules and understand how many consecutive hours they are allowed to drive before they are required to take a break, if they qualify for any exceptions, and how to make appropriate use of their ELD to help regulate their compliance.
Drivers should keep all applicable documentation up to date, organized, and easily accessible from their cab. Required documents include:
Prior days’ RODS must be certified immediately after the last change of duty status for the applicable 24-hour period. Leaving logs uncertified is the same as having a prior day paper log that isn’t signed — it’s a violation.
Post-trip inspections should include the same vehicle components checked in the pre-trip inspection. Establish a consistent step-by-step process for completing the inspection in an efficient manner, without leaving anything out.
Drivers of property-carrying vehicles should complete a driver vehicle inspection report when a defect exists that affects the safety of the vehicle or could cause a potential breakdown. Passenger-vehicle drivers should complete a DVIR each day regardless of defects.
Attitude is everything. Drivers should remain calm, be respectful, avoid argument, and ask the officer to explain the violation(s). A driver can’t talk themselves out of an inspection, but they can certainly talk the officer into one.
Drivers and motor carriers share equal responsibility for achieving violation-free roadside inspections. Drivers should be prepared for a roadside inspection at any time, while it is the ongoing responsibility of the carrier to keep drivers trained, well informed of regulatory changes, and positioned for success. For additional roadside inspection tips, request your FREE copy of the Roadside Inspection E-Book.
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Carrier Roadside Inspection Checklist
Review this checklist to identify gaps in compliance and reduce the risk of roadside inspection violations.
Driver Roadside Inspection Checklist
Drivers are on the frontline of a roadside inspection. Here's how to help them prepare.