The level 1 inspection is the one of 8 levels of inspections performed by DOT in the trucking industry. It is one of the most intensive inspections performed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for commercial motor vehicles. The level 1 inspection involves reviewing the driver's documents as well as walking around the equipment to make sure that everything follows the FMCSA's regulations.
If you are a property or passenger carrying carrier then chances are you are going to have a couple DOT inspections during your career. In 2021 there were over 1,800,000 inspections performed by the DOT and enforcement officials in the US. The DOT performs these inspections to make sure that drivers are acting responsibly and protecting themselves and others while out on the public roadways.
We recently compiled violation data collected by the FMCSA to show trends in enforcement over the course of the year. We are looking at overweight violation trends over the year and when compared to our "DOT Violations issued by State in September" post we can see a similar trend among all violations issued.
If the data continues the following its current trend it's possible that the industry will be in a period of heavy enforcement over the next 3-5 months. Below you can see the overweight violations that were issued from 2021 to September 2022 and the trend that the data follows.
Below is the trend of overweight violations issued by each state so far this year. You can see which state are more aggressive or more lax when it comes to issuing overweigh violations for semi trucks.
These violations include overweight on axles, gross and tires load limits.
Overweight violations are some of the more costly violations in the trucking industry. Depending which state you are in you could pay a lot for every pound you are over the required limits. If you have traveled over bridges overloaded the violations can cost much more.
Being sure to scale every load is an effective way to make sure that you are always legal. Onboard scaling systems can also help drivers know if they are above or below their legal limits. These scaling systems cost much less than the cost of getting an over weight violation.
If you are ever issued a violation for something that you know you were with in the bounds of the law then you can file a DataQ with the FMCSA and have it reviewed and removed from affecting your CSA score.
The Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers with a similar number of safety events (i.e., inspections, violations, or crashes). This is used to determine a carrier's CSA score.
Weigh-in-motion (WIM) scales are embedded scales that can weigh vehicles while they are in motion on interstate roadways. This type of scale works by using sensors in the road and imaging technology to tell what kind of vehicle is currently on the scale and how much each axle weighs. These systems can tell if a trucks load is properly balanced or heavy on an axle group which can affect handling. Some of the more sophisticated systems can tell which tires are low on pressure as well. The accuracy of weigh in motion systems are continuing to improve and can provide weights with 3% error or less.