These three letters send shivers down the backs of even the most veteran of drivers, hairs rise on the back of necks and goosebumps appear out of nowhere. These three letters are a truck driver's worst fear: DOT. You don't have to have these fears if you know what to expect during the inspection.
The better prepared you are for an inspection, the faster and easier it will go. Here are four tips to have a smooth inspection.
1. Take care of your truck
It's understandable, there is only so much you can do to keep your truck clean on the exterior. However, you can keep your truck maintained on the inside. That doesn't mean it has to be pristine but you'll want to avoid trashing it. If your truck is dirty, an officer might assume your truck is not well-kept.
2. Have all documents ready
You are going to need to show the officer your medical card, hours of service, permit book and more. Have all those documents ready and within arm's reach. Bonus points for you if you keep them organized in a binder.
3. Have a good attitude
DOT officers get it, no one wants to be inspected. You will make his or her job easier and the entire process smoother if you have a great attitude. Answer any questions to the best of your ability and if you do not know the answer, do not try and make up a response.
4. Know your truck
When a DOT officer asks you about your pre trip, not only had you better have throughourly conducted one, you better know if anything was out of the ordinary and tell the officer before letting him or her finding it him or herself.
Sooner or later, all professional drivers will be inspected by a DOT officer. If you follow the four tips listed above, it should be a breeze and you'll be in the clear like a boss.