How to Prepare for a Trailer Safety Inspection

by | Oct 9, 2015 | Automobile

When you are driving your truck around, you know that you have to comply with various government regulations. Shipping is one of the most tightly regulated industries in the United States. You have to comply with federal regulations as well as state and local regulations. Typically, you will be asked to comply with DOT regulations and FHWA regulations. Sometimes these overlap; sometimes, only one or the other is required.


DOT stands for Department of Transportation; this is the most common inspection to which you will be subjected. The United States has a federal department of transportation. Also, each state has a state department of transportation. Typically, the state departments of transportation will carry out the duties of the federal department of transportation as well as performing the unique functions of the state. For example, one state might have a certain decibel regulation that another state does not have. You’ll usually be required to comply with the federal DOT and the state DOT of the state in which your truck is registered. However, you can still be inspected in several different states.


FHWA stands for Federal Highway Administration. This is only a federal organization, and there is no statewide equivalent. This organization also has a set of standards that you must adhere to, but they are the same around the world. You will have to comply with these, but once you comply with them in one state, you comply with them everywhere.


The federal DOT requirements are the same everywhere; therefore, it’s nice to know what to expect. First, you will have to produce your driver’s license. If you have shown up for a trailer safety inspection, you will have to produce a license that authorizes you to drive such a large trailer. In the United States, this is one of the models of a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

You’ll then have to produce your daily log to inform the inspector where you’ve been and where you are headed. The inspector will then check your coupling devices and your frame. The inspector is trying to make sure that your vehicle is safe to be on the road, and the trailer will not come detached from the car. Couplings are key to the trailer safety inspection.

The inspector will then check your medical insurance card, your automobile insurance card, and your personal safety items. Those personal safety items include a fire retardant system, such as a fire extinguisher, windshield wipers, hazmat requirements, turn signals, brake lights, and tail lights.

When you are submitting yourself to a trailer safety inspection, you have to keep in mind the different regulatory agencies as well as the many different things that are going to be inspected. A company such as Business Name can help you keep your trailer in good condition. What’s most important is that you keep your trailer in good working order. You should stay informed of the different regulations, but if you use common sense, you should be fine. You can also connect with them on Facebook.

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