Is Pre-Trip Documentation Required by DOT ?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by SilverBulletBand, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    Yea that's how my Dad taught me years ago, pencil notes to start commit to ink at the end, now I take pictures of anything I don't like, on eq changes I always snap one off of the damages.
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  3. MGE Dawn

    MGE Dawn Heavy Load Member

    May 19, 2019
    Vancouver, WA
    I mean, the old adage is "log what you do, do what you log." And you SHOULD be doing a pre-trip inspection before you start driving, ergo... your logs SHOULD reflect that. And from experience, when they check your logs during inspection, they DO look for that ####, ESPECIALLY if they haven't found any other violations on you and they're getting desperate to break out the ticket book. Otherwise, see above
  4. SilverBulletBand

    SilverBulletBand Light Load Member

    Dec 15, 2018
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    Not arguing with anyone, just out of curiosity.

    I've had a CDL just over (2) years. I've worked for a (4) different companies in that time period. Quit (2) because of unsafe, shiittty equipment and company's give a shiitt less attitude to safety, one was seasonal. My current company is pretty decent.

    Only (1) of the companies ran ELD (National company), others all ELD Exempt for Local driving. Only (1) required documentation during Pre-Trip. Funny, cause that's the company that could care less about their drivers, condition of their equipment or safety.

    Just really curious if I ever get pulled over, I don't want to be out of compliance.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  5. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    Yea, but just flagging it is sufficient, legally you do not need a time deduction for the pretrip, unless your company had policys that require it.
    Mattflat362 and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  6. Toomanybikes

    Toomanybikes Road Train Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    Hah, I have had my CDL for over 10-12 years now, worked for several companies and almost the exact same experience:

    The companies that mouth the safety platitudes and insist you 'log' a pre-trip, yet, have disaster equipment.

    That said, I seldom logged a pre-trip that I didn't do, and I only did them when warranted. I have never been called out on it.

    The basic fact is the companies that emphasize the pre-trip also de-emphasize the post trip. The reason is the post trip requires paperwork that can and will get audited by the DOT. None of these crap companies want paperwork stating their equipment is crap. They want the dutiful, CPM driver wasting his time, free of charge, getting the equipment repaired and taking responsibility for the late load.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  7. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    I had this conversation with an Alabama State Trooper, about 9 yrs ago. He questioned why I noted a Post trip inspection, instead of a Pre trip. I told him, I knew it would come up someday, and had specifically asked this question during an in house audit. The Lady made a phone call, and the answer was post trip required. He disagreed. I also politely mentioned that I had also asked about being exempt from noting daily post trip inspections. Same in house auditor, agreed, since I’m a 1 Truck, O/O, and the only Driver. It makes sense, since the idea is to communicate to a Mechanic, and any possible future Driver of mechanical issues. He disagreed, called in to the Office. They sent him back a copy of the exemption. He gave me a copy, said to keep it in my log book, if I’m ever pinched for time, I’m covered. Nice Guy. He actually said, He Learned something new today. Ran into him about a year later, told him I remembered him. Also I had just gotten a inspection in Mississippi, 4 hrs earlier. Ok I won’t bother. I asked him if he could, since I need the good inspection for my safety score. He did a DOT, I passed. Since then, I show a pre trip, and a post trip, since I always have plenty hours available. And I don’t ever want to have to try to educate another DOT Officer. Others may not be so fair, and get angry. Human Nature.
  8. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Hampton Virginia
    When I was active I pretty well logged my pre/post trips as I did them. With this said most of the time I only noted my pre-trip by a line and logged a 15-minute post-trip honestly because this was about how long it took me. By my personal preference, I placed more energy into my post-trip because if I have an issue I rather be working to solve it after I shut down than just before I started for my day. This sometimes got my company angry because if I discovered a flat tire or a reefer problem they had to pay for a road call. They rather I drive to a shop I guess. I remember my Fleet Manager telling me once I needed to come by the terminal. When I got there I was told I had to do a routine driving test, take a drug screen and go speak to the supervisor over maintenance. The driving test was OK, my urine was clean, but, I and that maintenance (redacted) had words. Afterward, I walked into operations and told them I was cleaning out my tractor. I was not at my home terminal but was waiting for a ride to a place to rent a car. To make a long story short they backed down on how I did my inspections as I was also supported by safety.

    I admit TK charges a premium for road calls and to be honest, a driver should try to avoid them. This was not the primary issue, this lug head was demanding I drive with a flat tire to get them fixed. Before CSA-2010 I was willing to do this. From 2010 till I retired that dog never hunted!
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
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