Level 1 DOT Inspection

Written by Jason Rocky

Published on June 29, 2021, 11:33 a.m.

The Level 1 DOT Inspection: What To Expect From the DOT During an Inspection

Knowing what the Level 1 DOT Inspection entails is crucial to the success of all truckers. Part of working as a truck driver involves getting pulled over during the middle of delivery. The DOT Number can stop you for an inspection at almost any time. But with some preparation, you can pass the Level 1 DOT inspection with ease. Please continue reading to learn the basics about Level 1 inspections. This way, you can stay prepared and maintain complete DOT compliance and BOC-3 . From getting an MC Number to BOC-3 process agents to IFTA state fuel tax filing. There's no limit to what our DOT compliance services can do for your business

The Basics of the Level 1 DOT Inspection

The DOT Authority Package uses six various inspection levels. Their level 1 inspection refers to the official “North American Standard Inspection.” It’s the most comprehensive DOT inspection that exists. It’s a very detailed and thorough inspection. Inspectors assess both a truck and the driver qualification files of each truck. The DOT inspector often begins by examining the seat belt and tail lamps. Then, the inspector will look at the steering wheel, exhaust system, and other aspects. The main focus of each DOT inspector is safety. He or she will also examine driving-related documents. These include the driver’s license and medical certificate. Inspectors also look at waivers and hours-of-service forms and documents. Read about FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended .

Every Level 1 DOT Inspector Will Examine the Driver’s:

-Day by day trucking logs

-Drug and alcohol use (How To Pass Dot Drug Test )

-HOS (hours of service) documentation

-Medical examiner’s certificate

-Use of the seat belt

DOT Level 1 Inspectors Will Also Assess:

-Brake lamps

-Brake system

-Coupling Devices

-Driver inspection reports

-Exhaust system

-Fuel system

-Head lamps

-HM (hazardous materials) shipping papers if you're a hazmat hauler

-Lamps for projecting loads

-Open-top trailer bodies


-Safe loading processes

-Steering mechanism


-Tail lamps


-Truck frame

-Turn signals

-Van bodies

-Vehicle inspection reports


-Windshield wipers

The Importance of Conducting a Pre-Trip Inspection

You now know the basics of what a DOT inspector looks for during the Level 1 Inspection. But don't waste this information. Use it by checking out your truck before you hit the road. This way, you can make sure everything in your truck works well. A pre-trip inspection is ideal for maintaining DOT safety compliance . Doing so will protect you from receiving future DOT safety violations. Here are some pre-trip inspection tips that you should consider doing. To get DOT number in California , contact us.What is DOT Audit?

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #1: Execute a Walk-Around Inspection

Walk around your truck and make sure it’s in good shape. Ensure that nothing on the truck looks out of place or damaged. Check the doors, windows, steps, and brackets of the truck. Even assess your weather stripping to ensure the truck works well.

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #2: Check the Lights

Check the lights, lenses, and headlights of your truck. Why? To make sure that fogging and/or cracking isn’t taking place.

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #3: Examine the Engine Compartment

It’s now time to assess your radiator and water pump. But that’s not all. Also try to examine your power steering pump and air compressor pump. You've got to make sure all components do not have cracks or damage. If you have loose engine components, get them taken care of ASAP. Also check How to get an IFTA Sticker ?

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #4: Look at Your Tires

Truckers should check out their tires on a consistent basis. The first step is to check the air pressure. Why? To ensure it’s at the DOT-recommended PSI. Then, make sure that the tires do not have cuts, bumps, or abrasions. Also, check the tires for nails and assess the amount of tread that they have.

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #5: Assess the Brake System of Your Truck

Checking the brake system is another crucial action to take before a trip. Take a look at the drums and brake pads of your truck. Make sure that you do not see cracks or damages. Then, test out your brakes. But only do so once you push the brake knobs. It’s now time to do an applied pressure test and static brake check. Then, you've got to do another test that examines the low pressure warning signal. Finish this part of your inspection by examining the emergency valves of your truck.

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #6: Inspect the Cab Interior

Look all over the interior of your truck cab. Focus on the mirrors, windshield, defroster, and wipers. Then, test-out your turn signals, hazard signals, and gauges. All must work well without any issues.

Pre-Trip Inspection Tip #7: Test the Horns & Engine

The final pre-trip inspection step is to examine your horns and engine. Make sure that the truck engine works well. To do this, all you've got to do is rev up your engine and test the horns.

What Is the Highest Level of DOT Inspection?

The Level 1 DOT Inspection (North American Standard Inspection) is the highest level. No other DOT roadside inspection is more comprehensive. Each DOT safety inspector uses a 37-step procedure. The procedure assesses both the vehicle and truck driver. When it comes to DOT roadside inspections, the Level 1 inspection is the most common.

How Do I Pass a DOT Inspection?

Remember these three tips to help you pass DOT inspections in the future:

1. Always keep your trucking paperwork organized.

2. Ensure that your truck receives consistent preventive maintenance.

3. Have a positive attitude throughout each DOT safety inspection.

What Are the DOT Inspection Levels?

There are six exact levels for DOT safety inspections. The Level 1 Inspection refers to the North American Standard Inspection. A Level 2 DOT Inspection focuses on a walk-around inspection. This means the DOT inspector assesses the exterior of the vehicle. The Level 3 DOT Inspection focuses on the driver. That’s why it often gets referred to as the “driver only inspection.” Level 4 safety inspections function as “special” inspections where the terms vary. The Level 5 DOT Inspection is a separate vehicle only inspection. A Level 6 DOT safety inspection is less common than the others and Freight Contracts . That’s because it’s an “Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments.” What Is the MCS-90 & How Does It Affect the Trucking Insurance of Motor Carriers?

Do You Need More Information About the DOT Level 1 Inspection?

If you're in need of more thorough information about Drug and Alcohol Program , please contact our organization today. The FMCSA Registration LLC professionals can walk you through any safety process. And that includes how to conduct your very own pre-trip inspection. Through our guidance, we can get you and your truck prepared for inspectors. This way, you’ll have the power to ace any Level 1 Inspection.

Now, say that you get pulled over for a DOT inspection & MC Number today. Try to ensure that the interior of your cab stays clean. Have your paperwork ready to hand over to an inspector. (You could keep it together in a three-ring binder.) Focus on appearing polite and pleasant toward any DOT inspector. And please call our number at any time to learn more information. Our organization is the apex of achieving and maintaining complete, MCS 150 DOT compliance. Check out Top 3 DOT Violations .

FMCSA Registration LLC Is Here To Help You Reduce Roadside Safety Violations

Each year, our organization serves as a top resource for reducing roadside violations. We have become a go-to service providing state-of-the-art fleet management solutions and Motor Carrier Authority . Sure, we take basic steps like facilitating Hours of Service compliance. But we also help truck drivers simplify their vehicle inspection reports. Plus, our experts can recognize vehicle maintenance issues early. All you've got to do is call our customer service phone number. Then, our team can assess your unique situation and help discover compliance solutions. This applies to all types of USDOT, OP-1 Form and CVSA roadside safety inspections. The more involved our company is, the more violations your truckers can avoid. Are you in need of securing Broker Authority? If so, FMCSA Registration LLC is here to help you get your Broker Authority today.

No other fleet management platform in the US has the advanced technologies that we do.

We use the platform to ensure both safety officers and drivers can recognize issues ASAP. This way, truckers can avoid major safety problems and violations. By catching faults ahead of time, we can save trucking companies time and money with Starting A Trucking Company Package . Better yet, our safety processes could even save the lives of drivers on the road.

Planning for Level 2-6 DOT Inspections

Every driver, owner operator, and trucking company should plan for inspections. This is crucial. It starts with adhering to all DOT and FMCSA safety regulations. Otherwise, drivers cannot stay on the road hauling their cargo and goods. To maintain complete compliance, everyone must prepare for a series of DOT inspections. These safety inspections almost always get conducted on an annual basis. In fact, the DOT performs 4 million commercial motor vehicle inspections every year and our Trucking Authority Package can help in that.

The Level 1 Inspection is almost always an annual CVSA inspection.

How often inspections take place for levels 2-6 can vary. Please contact us today if you’d like to receive a checklist for any type of inspection. This way, you and your vehicle will always have the right amount of preparation. How To Request the DOT PIN Number ?

FMCSA Registration LLC Serves as the Apex of Trucking Industry Compliance & Safety

Our company serves as a leading full-service firm that US truckers depend on. We can do it all. From teaching truckers safety processes to registering DOT Numbers. Our experts are passionate about ensuring trucking businesses maintain compliance. That’s why we focus so much on preparing trucks for DOT inspections. Through adherence to USDOT policies , truckers can stay on the road and make more money. Please call us now to experience our world-class customer service. We’re ready to help you and your team get 110 percent prepared for DOT inspections. Our team looks forward to helping your trucking company succeed. Is your company setting up first-time UCR registration? Or, does your team need help with the renewal process? If yes, contact us!