For DOT Inspectors and state police officers, there’s no fooling around when it comes to making sure you and your truck are in tip-top shape. Mandates can vary between states, so it’s best to be 100% ready for any of the 7 levels of inspection with these tips:
1. Prepare Beforehand - A level 1 inspection checks anything from your driver’s license to your truck’s windshield wipers. Make sure you complete a pre-trip inspection of your truck and check for the necessary paper documents before you leave. Don't do anything while driving that would call attention to yourself.
2. Stay Up-to-Date - Can you list everything that’s in your permit book? If not, you may want to refresh your memory. Familiarize yourself with each document—cab cards, insurance information, etc.— before your next trip. This is also a good time to make sure no documents are out-of-date or expired.
3. Keep Cool - Resist the urge to crack jokes or smart talk your way through an inspection. Professional courtesy is always a good idea, and if you’re finding it difficult to stay calm, keep silent. If you are prepared and have all the required documentation, the inspection should be over before you know it.
DOT inspections can be tedious and, at the worst, problematic for you. Keep these three tips in mind if you get pulled over and remember that being fully prepared beforehand is always a good idea.