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What are the DOT Requirements?

by Olufisayo
DOT Requirements

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements are an essential set of rules and regulations that truckers who hold a commercial driving license (CDL) need to follow. Although it may seem like an exhausting and extensive set of requirements, they are there to protect truckers and others on the road, since driving a commercial truck is a big responsibility.

Every trucker and trucking company needs to be DOT compliant. Simplex Group recommends thoroughly researching these requirements or finding a company that can help to ensure that you stay compliant.

We have an overview of some of the requirements you need to follow to be DOT compliant.

Let’s first talk about why these regulations are needed.

Why are there DOT Requirements?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants to ensure that there are fewer crashes and deaths caused by truck drivers. Therefore, they have set rules and regulations for CDL holders to ensure that these instances are limited. These rules and regulations may be slightly different depending on the state you are traveling through and where you obtained your CDL, but some requirements are established at the federal level.

The areas that the DOT requirements focus on are: targeting high-risk carriers, improving safety information systems and technology, strengthening operating equipment, establishing operation standards, and increasing overall safety awareness. It is the driver’s responsibility to know and make themselves aware of these areas to drive safely.

After obtaining your CDL, there are a few DOT requirements that every driver needs to follow.

Important DOT Requirements

You can find these regulations on the FMSCA website and receive a physical handbook or read online documents.

Hours of Service

When a driver is transporting cargo, they can only operate for a certain amount of time to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. A driver cannot drive for more than sixty hours for seven consecutive days. In addition, each driver needs to take a thirty-minute break within an eight-hour shift.

Truck Maintenance

Each truck that is on the road must be safe to drive. A truck is safe to operate when it has been adequately maintained. Proper maintenance includes using tires that are at the proper PSI and are not worn down. Good tire care can prevent accidents when driving in harsh weather conditions.

The brakes must also be in good condition and not worn down. It takes a lot more braking power and stopping time to bring a truck to a halt, so this is essential.  All lights on the vehicle must be working correctly and the mirrors must be properly adjusted to provide a wide range of coverage. Plus, all fluids in the vehicle need to be checked, so there are no problems with the engine.

Proper Insurance

Each driver needs to carry the proper insurance for their vehicle. Having the correct insurance papers is essential in the case of an accident. The driver must be equipped with this information to exchange the documents with the other driver.

DOT requirements are essential for truckers for their safety and for the safety of everyone on the road.

Image by Schäferle from Pixabay

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