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What is a part of recent investigations?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides data to authorized people regarding the outcome of recent safety investigations. Drivers, employers, and other authorized parties should navigate to the Recent Investigations tab on the FMCSA portal to see results from the last five inspections. The dates on the five most recent investigations may span a period longer than 24 months that the Safety Measurement System (SMS) uses.

What drivers and motor carriers should expect during a safety investigation.

The purpose of a safety inspection is to ensure that drivers and motor carriers comply with all FMCSA regulations. During these general reviews, safety inspectors (SI) are looking for the following

Proper repair and maintenance of the commercial vehicle

According to Part 396 of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR), SIs review the following during an inspection:

  • Proper and safe operating condition of all parts and accessories, including axles and attaching parts, frame and frame assemblies, steering systems, suspension systems, and wheels and rims.
  • Emergency doors, emergency door marking lights in buses, and pushout windows.
  • Maintenance record for every vehicle under the control of a motor carrier for 30 or more consecutive days.
  • Proper identification of the commercial vehicle to include company number, serial number, make, model, year, and tire size. The SI also needs the name and company information of the owner if not owned by the motor carrier subject to inspection.
  • A record of inspections, repairs, and tests performed on the vehicle.
  • Proper lubrication.
  • Hazards that could affect the safe operation of the vehicle.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports

Motor carriers must require drivers to submit a daily report on every vehicle they operate except for any intermodal equipment that an equipment provider manages. Reports should give a brief description of the status of each of these parts of the vehicle:

  • Coupling devices
  • Emergency equipment
  • Horn
  • Lighting reflectors and devices
  • Parking brake
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Rims and wheels
  • Service brakes to include trailer brake connections
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tires
  • Windshield wipers

The report, which the driver must sign at the end of every shift, should indicate specific issues with any of the above vehicle equipment. The motor carrier must arrange for the repair of the vehicle and not allow the driver to use it if he or she documented any repair or maintenance issues needing attention.

These are just two examples of areas of concern to an SI. He or she may also review a driver’s hours of service record, medical exemptions, past safety concerns, and several other items. Drivers and motor carriers should be prepared for a safety inspection at any time, although the FMCSA usually provides notice of at least several days unless following up on a known urgent safety concern.

We can help you get truck insurance quotes.

Submitting to a safety inspection can feel nerve-wracking at first, especially for new drivers. However, it quickly becomes just another part of the job. If you haven’t compared insurance rates lately, we invite you to get some quotes from our team. You can get truck insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.