Level 1 DOT inspection

The title of this post typically brings anxiety and fear to the mind of most truckers.

After I had dropped my trailer in Nogales, Arizona, I went over to our drop lot and picked up the new one, bound for Kentucky but via Joplin so I can take my time off. I did my usual pretrip, checked the tires, lights, brakes and such then took off up I-19 towards Tucson. About halfway there is a rest area, and the northbound side had signs instructing all commercial vehicles to pull off for inspection, and a dozen or more DOT agents milling around. And a lot of trucks with their hoods open for inspection.

They had a portable truck scale there, which I didn’t care about since my load is not even 20,000 lbs and I couldn’t possibly be overweight on any of my axles. I had my window rolled down and the two officer types there mentioned that as soon as I had scaled I was to pull in to one of the truck parking spots and they would “be right along.” Oh goody.

What followed was about 30-40 minutes spent checking all my lights, brakes, air system, drivers license, medical card, registrations and permits but not, for some reason, my logbook. I have my computer sitting on a special automotive desk in my passenger seat with the screen on my electronic logbook and once the officer saw that he didn’t even bother getting a printed copy from me. Which wouldn’t have been a problem since I run legit, anyway.

In the end I was given a completely clean bill of health and a printed report I have to turn in to HQ to have them review it and mail it back to the DOT folks. Oh, and a cute green sticker thing on my windshield… kind of like a gold star in elementary school, I guess.

Anyway, I drove and drove and drove, using up all my 11 driving hours for the day. I made it to the middle of New Mexico where I am stopped for the night. Tomorrow I will finish up in Oklahoma, then I will pull in to Joplin early Wednesday morning.


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