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Best Guide About What Does DOT Stand For in Trucking?

What Does DOT Stand For in Trucking

If you are a driver no matter in which field you are operating, I am sure you have heard about the abbreviation DOT, So what does DOT stand for in trucking?

In this article, I am going to tell you what does DOT mean in trucking. Keep reading to know more.

What Does DOT Stand For in Trucking?

Actually, there are several meanings for DOT in the trucking industry, for you to know, DOT stands for Department of Transportation.

It was established by an act of Congress in October 1966 and began operation in April 1967.

As well as, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs it.

This federal government agency is responsible for maintaining and developing the system of transport in the United States.

Besides, the Department of Transportation develops, implements, and enforces federal regulations about the use of roads and highways and provides federal grants to help improve transportation programs.

However, there are other meanings related to DOT; check the following list to know:

1. DOT Number:

when you ask about what does DOT stands for in trucking, A DOT number comes first to mind.

The DOT number is a unique identifier provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to every trucking company.

Having this number allows you to get better access and monitoring of a company’s safety information.

You need to have DOT number in many cases including the following:

  • Vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.
  • Vehicles with a GCWR of over 10,001 pounds.
  • If the vehicle is used to transport more than 15 passengers.
  • Vehicles involved in interstate commerce and this include trade, traffic, or transportation:
  • Between a place in a State and another place outside the State (this include a place outside the United States)
  • Between two places in a State whether through another State or through another place outside of the United States.
  • Between two places in the same State as a part of a trade, traffic, or even transportation.

What Are The States That Require a DOT Number?

There are some states that require their intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants to obtain a USDOT Number. 

These states are the following:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

2. DOT Certification: 

What does DOT stand for in trucking when related to DOT Certification?

When you have a DOT certification this will indicate for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that you have the skills and qualifications needed to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

You need to pass a series of written and driving tests to be able to obtain your DOT certification.

To become DOT certified, you must pass a series of written and driving tests. You’re also required to complete a DOT physical as well as a background check to ensure you don’t have any violations or convictions. 

You’ll also have to complete a DOT physical as it is a way to ensures that you have no health issues that prevent you from safely operating a commercial motor vehicle.

3. DOT Requirements: 

There are some requirements set by the Department of Transportation that all truck drivers have to follow.

If you want to obtain your DOT certification successfully, you must meet each of these requirements.

 While every state has different standards, common requirements include:

  • Being between 18-21 years of age.
  • Holding a valid driver’s license.
  • Having at least three years of on the road driving experience.
  • Passing a drug and alcohol test
  •  Passing a DOT physical.

4. DOT Compliance:

it refers to meeting the standards established by US Department of Transportation.

In order to be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle, you need to follow federal regulations set up by the US Department of Transportation.

Violation of any one of them can lead to serious consequences, and commercial motor carriers are regularly monitored to ensure that the drivers as well as others are kept safe.

To make following the regulations easier, here is a brief about the DOT compliance checklist that you need to follow.

  • Have your own copy of the DOT and FMCSA rules in your office for continuous review. Provide a copy to each driver to memorize and have with him/her as well.
  • To avoid surprise breakdowns, you need to implement a vehicle maintenance program.
  • Have thorough inspections of vehicles before and after each trip.
  • Track all incidents and work to avoid them in the future.
  • Make records about the driver history.
  • Collect the information related to hours on the duty of each driver.
  • Let your drivers perform tests for drugs and alcohol to ensure compliance and avoid tragic accidents. According to the DOT regulations you also need to let supervisors perform tests as well.

5. DOT Physical: 

if you are a commercial motor vehicle, you need to be physically able to operate the vehicle safely.

Obtaining a DOT physical exam is the better evidence that you have no medical conditions that have the ability to prevent you from operating your commercial motor vehicle safely.

In DOT physical exam, you need to provide detailed information about your health including:

  • Medications you take.
  • Surgeries you’ve had.
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.
  • Health symptoms or medical conditions you currently have.
  • Physical examination tests your hearing vision blood pressure other health indicators.

You need to take in your consideration that a CDL driver must complete a DOT physical exam every two years.

When you pass a DOT physical, you receive a medical certificate that allows you to drive a commercial vehicle for 2 years, provided you have no physical or mental condition that requires testing more often.

In some medical conditions you need to have an annual DOT physical. These include:

  • Diabetes Mellitus.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Heart Disease

If you have a medical condition such as very high blood pressure, you may be required to have physicals every 3 months while you having medical treatment to correct or manage the issue.

6. DOT Inspection: 

you must complete an annual DOT inspection if you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds.

This inspection is done to ensure that your vehicle and its parts and accessories are in good condition, safe to use, as well as working correctly.

In addition, DOT inspection is done by a licensed professional who works for the Department of Transportation.

As a way to pass a DOT inspection, you need to meet all the requirements listed on the DOT inspection checklist.

In the end, I think that it is clear for you about what does DOT stand for in trucking and what does DOT mean in trucking and the related concepts.

So make sure to meet its compliance and perform the required inspections in order to drive safely on the road and for other safety as well.

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