What Is a DOT Inspection?
To increase safety on the road, the United States Department of (the DOT) requires inspections on commercial motor vehicles, or CMVs, to ensure all their parts and accessories are working properly and efficiently. If you are in Altoona, IA, Ankeny, IA, Des Moines, IA, Norwalk, IA, Pleasant Hill, IA, or the surrounding areas, we at Smith Automotive in Polk can perform DOT inspections on your vehicle. In addition to commercial motor vehicles, we also repair vehicles from Honda, Nissan, Acura, Dodge, and more.
There are six levels of DOT inspections to assess the vehicle's drivability. These inspections can only be performed by a state police officer or a certified DOT inspector (which our Expert technicians at Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill are). The inspection levels are as follows:
Level One: North American Standard Inspection
This is the most common level of DOT inspections as well as the most thorough. The DOT official will inspect the driver's documents (their license, logs, medical certificates, Hazmat endorsements, HOS documentation, inspection reports, etc.) and make sure the driver is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The official will also do a complete inspection of the vehicle, including its seat belts, tires, suspension, windshield wipers, brakes, turn signals, steering wheel, headlamps, and fuel systems. This level of inspection usually takes 45-60 minutes to complete.
Level Two: Walk-Around Driver and Vehicle Inspection
This level of inspection is very similar to that of Level One, except the DOT official only inspects parts can be examined without physically getting under the vehicle.
Level Three: Driver-Only Inspection
In this level, the DOT inspector will only inspect the driver's information and certifications, not the vehicle. They will review their skill performance evaluation certificate, driver's license, HOS documentation, medical card, endorsements, RODS, and HAZMAT requirements. They will also check the driver's seat belt usage and their use of alcohol and drugs.
Level Four: Special Inspection
This level of the inspection involves a one-time check of a specific item. The length of time a Level Four inspection takes depends on the part of the vehicle that needs to be inspected.
Level Five: Vehicle-Only Inspection
A Level Five inspection consists of only the vehicle inspection portion of a Level One inspection and must be conducted without the driver present. In this inspection, the DOT-certified inspector will check the vehicle's brakes, fuel, cargo, exhaust, steering, lighting, suspensions, tires, steering wheel, trailer, windshield wipers, emergency exits, engine, and battery.
Level Six: Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments
This DOT inspection is only for vehicles that are hauling radioactive cargo. A Level Six inspection is the enhanced version of a Level One inspection; the radiological shipments are checked to make sure the cargo and the driver are defect-free before they can leave for delivery. Each decal for a Level Six inspection is valid for only one trip. This is the longest inspection out of the six and takes around an hour to complete.
Your Reliable Shop for DOT Inspection
We at Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill are experts in all things auto repair. We've been fixing cars since 2008, and our owner Rusty Smith and technicians have decades of combined experience. We can perform Diagnostics, Engine Repair, and more on your vehicle.
Reasons You Should Do Business With Us:
To schedule an appointment with Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill, give us a call at 515-265-4141 or schedule an appointment online. Smith Automotive - Your go-to team for all your automotive needs