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  • Writer's pictureFront Range Compliance

Everything You Need to Know: Annual Inspections

Annual Inspections of vehicles are required every 12-months by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). I mean, it's in the name. Knowing what to expect from and how to prepare for these inspections will help you pass with minimal issues.

Front Range Compliance employee, Luke Byers, completing annual inspections on vehicles.

Every 12-months, commercial motor vehicles (CMV), weighing more than 10,000 pounds, must undergo an annual inspection. This inspection is to ensure that all parts of the CMV are in safe and working order. Failure to complete or pass the inspection can lead to fines, audits and the suspension of your clearance to operate by the FMCSA.


Again, knowing what to expect from the annual inspection will set you up for success in maintaining your vehicles and passing the inspection. Here are a few ways you and your company can prepare for the annual inspection.


Prepare Documentation

During the inspection, the inspector will not only inspect the workings of your vehicle but also the required paperwork. Make sure each vehicle has the FMCSA required documents such as proof of insurance, accident registers, driver documentation and more.


Educate and Prepare Drivers and Employees

One of the best ways to prepare for anything is to make sure you and your team are educated, especially when it comes to annual inspections. Take a proactive approach to this by implementing a driver training program. If everyone is trained on vehicle maintenance and how to spot potential defects you won't have to rely on one person to ensure your whole fleet is taken care of.


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Teach your drivers to conduct a proper Pre-Trip Inspection!

Conducting a proper pre/post trip inspection will allow your company to notice vehicle malfunctions as they happen and not during your annual inspections. Use code FRCS10 for $10 off the purchase of the course!



Maintain Vehicle and Records of Repair

Front Range Compliance employee, Luke Byers, completing annual inspections on vehicles.

The biggest part of passing your annual inspections will be maintaining the condition of your vehicles. You will have to provide records of repair for your vehicles to the inspectors to prove that you have been maintaining them. Make sure that all previously noted defects have been repaired by the time the next inspection comes around. Keep in contact with your maintenance technicians to ensure routine maintenance has been done and other necessary maintenance has been completed.


Use Checklists

Keep a list of everything needed to pass inspection each year, including all of the necessary reporting requirements. By using a checklist you will be able to see what you have done and what still needs to be completed. It is important to know which requirements apply to your operation and it is always better to be over prepared rather than under prepared.


The annual DOT inspection is a necessary part of maintaining your legal operating authority and helps ensure that you are operating safely. Staying up-to-date on inspection requirements and understanding any changes to regulations is an essential part to maintaining a thriving and optimized trucking business.


If you have any questions about annual inspections, driver training, or any other compliance needs reach out to Front Range Compliance Services using the link below and we would be happy to assist you!

Enjoy this post? Check out our other blog posts or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be the first to know when new classes are made available or for other updates like this! You can also opt-in to our newsletter for exclusive offers, regulation changes, and industry news!

Make sure to check also out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing DOT Compliance Essentials and Periodic Annual Inspection Qualification Training (Appendix A).


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