As a motor carrier, you have a lot to manage. Not only must you ensure the safety of your drivers as well as the general public, but you also have a responsibility to remain compliant with regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). To illustrate this compliance, passing roadside inspections is critical. Failing to do so could result in thousands of dollars in fines or even out-of-service (OOS) orders, which prevent drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles until issues are fixed.
However, remaining FMCSA-compliant presents its own set of unique challenges, as violations are often caused by a lack of driver accountability or their failure to complete thorough pre-trip inspections. Specifically, some of the most common FMCSA violations stem from the following situations:
- A driver operates a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license.
- A driver is not physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
- A driver fails to properly secure a load.
- A vehicle has a flat tire or an audible air leak.
- A vehicle’s brakes are out of service.
Because you are putting immense trust in your drivers, it’s important to have policies and procedures in place to avoid violations and intervene as issues arise. However, once a driver leaves your facility, monitoring their on-the-road behavior and compliance becomes more difficult. These concerns are compounded when you consider that roadside inspections can occur at random, leading to potential corrective actions or even business disruptions.
This guide provides an overview of roadside inspections, highlighting what they are and why they’re important. It also includes general best practices motor carriers can use to prepare their drivers for roadside inspections. As a reminder, this resource is informative in nature and is not meant to substitute advice from legal or insurance professionals.
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