DOT Trailer Inspection Requirements

Did you know the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires trailer inspections? It’s important for semi-trailer owners to understand these requirements and adhere to DOT regulations regarding semi-trailer repairs and inspections. Use the following guide to keep your trailer in top condition and ensure compliance with all DOT requirements.

What is a DOT inspection?

If you own a commercial motor vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, you are required to have the vehicle inspected each year. This includes trailers. These DOT inspections are designed to keep all vehicles on American roadways safe, so the U.S. road systems remain safe and efficient. The inspector reviews all the systems of the trailer to confirm it is in good working order for operation on the roadways.

Who performs a DOT inspection?

These inspections are typically conducted by a DOT inspector or a police officer. Inspectors must be trained and certified to perform DOT inspections.

How often do DOT inspections occur?

To comply with regulations, you must complete a DOT inspection on your trailer at least once each year. However, inspections may occur more frequently, such as during roadside inspections.

What does a DOT trailer inspection include?

The following items are included on the DOT trailer inspection checklist. If any of these systems or components do not meet DOT standards, you will need to complete the appropriate semi-trailer repairs. For expert repairs that will bring your trailer up to standards, contact a local mobile truck and trailer repair service:

  • Brakes: The inspector will make sure all brake connections are solid and the brakes are in good operating condition.
  • Coupling: The inspection will include a thorough review of the coupling chains and pin.
  • Doors: Any trailer doors will be inspected to ensure they are working properly and do not exhibit any safety concerns.
  • Hitch: The hitch must meet safety standards for operation in order to pass the DOT inspection.
  • Landing gear: The landing gear must demonstrate that it can safely lower and raise the trailer without risk.
  • Lights: All lights must be in working order to safely illuminate the trailer while on the road.
  • Roof: The inspector will check the roof for potential sealing issues or other damage.
  • Springs: The inspection will include a review of the trailer’s suspension system to ensure it is not in need of semi-trailer repairs.
  • Tarpaulin: This feature must be inspected to confirm it can be safely secured to the trailer and will effectively protect cargo without issue during transit.
  • Tires/wheels: Inspectors will check for appropriate pressure, look for wear and tear and ensure the tires and wheels of the trailer are ready for safe travel.

Pass your next inspection with flying colors

For professional semi-trailer repairs you can count on, contact the experts at J & M Trailer Repair. We are your trusted mobile truck and trailer repair company offering 24-hour emergency service. Reach us today at 352-732-6777 with any questions about DOT inspections or to make repairs to keep your trailer in top shape. We’ll help you pass every inspection and keep your rig safely on the road.