Semi Truck Inspections FAQs

Who is a “brake inspector”?

A “brake inspector” is a qualified employee who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, inspections, and service to brakes .  These individuals meet qualified requirements through an apprenticeship and/or training program of one year or more.

When should tires be checked?

Drivers who haul hazardous materials are required by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) to check their tires to prevent overheated tires resulting in fires.  On average, drivers should check their tires every 100 hours.

When should loads be checked?

Federal law requires drivers to check their load and securing mechanisms at these points.

    • Before the trip begins
    • Within 50 miles after the trip starts
    • A change of duty status or after the driving for 3 days or 150 miles, whichever happens first.

 Is a driver required to keep a Driver Vehicle Report in the vehicle?

No. Once the report is completed it can be immediately filed.

Is a pre-trip inspection required?

Before a driver hauls a load, there are few tasks that need to be completed per federal safety regulations.

    • Review previous driver’s vehicle inspection report and sign if there are any reported issues.
    • Ensure that cargo and vehicle safety components are properly secured and/or distributed.
    • Be completely satisfied that the vehicle and all of its parts are in good working order.

Where are roadside inspections done?

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance requires roadside inspections at the following places.

    • Weigh stations
    • Portable scales
    • Other roadside locations

When does a Roadside Inspection Report need to be delivered?

Inspections reports are either received from the state or from a FMCSA official at a roadside inspection.  Once the driver receives a roadside inspection report, the driver must deliver the report to the motor carrier upon arrival at the next terminal.

What does a motor carrier have to do with the inspection report?

A motor carrier must correct the issues on the inspection report and certify that they have been taken care of. The report needs to be mailed out within 15 days of receiving it.

How should an annual self-inspection be documented by a motor carrier?

The report should contain the following,

    • Name of motor carrier who operates vehicle
    • Name of person performing inspection
    • Date of inspection
    • Vehicle being inspected
    • Vehicle components being inspected.

How does a driver meet the annual inspection requirements?

Vehicles that operate in foreign commerce or interstate need to have an inspection at least once a year.  The requirements vary and can include,

    • State administered inspection
    • Self-inspection
    • Roadside inspection
    • Commercial business inspection

Who can perform an annual or self-inspection?

A qualified inspector who works with the carrier or a third party at a weigh station, for example.

How long does a driver need to keep an annual inspection report?

An inspection report must be kept for 14 months.

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