What are "D.O.T. cops"?

Discussion in 'Questions To Truckers From The General Public' started by handlebar, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. handlebar

    handlebar Heavy Load Member

    Hiya, folks.
    I've only started listening to trucks since I moved to a place close to where two interstates (I-40 and I-77) cross, a mile from my house and radio shop. Along with the bear sightings and coop reports, I keep hearing about D.O.T. vehicles being stopped with trucks, etc., or called out as "rolling", same as the NCSP, Iredell County Mounties, and the Statesville locals.
    I understand that DOT is state (or Federal?) Dept of Transportation, but what is supposed to be their role in highway enforcement? Are they just supposed to be checking commercial haulers for proper safety & stuff?
    I don't mean this to be a troll, as I hear the truckers apparently as concerned about the DOT guys as they are about the Troopers.
    What's up?:biggrin_25511:
    -- Handlebar in NC --
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  3. Injun

    Injun Road Train Member

    May 15, 2010
    West o' the Big Crick
    DOT cops, or "diesel bears" are the ones who scale and inspect us. Almost all of them are state officers who have the added authority and are supposedly trained in Commercial Vehicle enforcement.
    handlebar Thanks this.
  4. handlebar

    handlebar Heavy Load Member

    Thank you, Injun. I'm still curious, though:
    When I worked at the Alaska State Troopers, we had one or two Troopers in each Detachment (well, each Detachment with roads, anyway) who were specialty trained in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. They carried portable scales in the trunks of their Chevy Caprices (this was awhile ago).
    Is that what the DOT guys do, or do they make you drive out of your way to a regular scalehouse for weights?
    As it is, I've always been leery of a single-tire drive-on portable scale being accurate at all, kinda like a pocketsized PBT for breath alcohol content. Refusal could get you arrested, but the values were only close enough to justify having a "real" Breathalyzer machine or blood test done.
    Which way do the DOT guys "scale" you?
    Thanks again,
    -- Handlebar --
  5. Palazon

    Palazon Road Train Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    Tacoma, WA
    I've seen them carry portable sclaes (twice). I've never heard of them directing you to a "real" scale before, but it wouldn't suprise me. I only saw them doing the portable on an out of the way border crossing between ID and WA. And no, I just saving miles...
    handlebar Thanks this.
  6. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    Let me "splain" this to you. DOT stands for Dept of transportation. A Federal or State agency. Anything Federal is usually just paperwork such as permitting or auditing or overseeing the trucking industry from their offices in D.C. You won't see the Federal DOT cruising around in vehicles enforcing truck rules, normally. But you will see state Police agencys enforcing truck rules. Some states have a "Commercial enforcement division" that concentrate on CMV's, even though they can bust anyone. Same as a "regular" cop can bust an 18 wheeler. Cops are referred to as "Bears", "The DOT", "Evil Kneivel", "Diesel bears", "County Mounties" "Plain wrapper" etc. I've seen a county worker in a Pick-up with an amber light on the roof being reported as a "DOT cop". This is what you're hearing on the CB radio. A lot of newbies have the Smokey and the bandit syndrome, right?
    handlebar Thanks this.

    NYROADIE Heavy Load Member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Rochester NY

    NY only has portable scales, at least they didn't used to but who know's what they have up there sleeve?
    handlebar Thanks this.
  8. Bumpy

    Bumpy Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2009
    New Ulm,MN
    DOT= Disappear Or Trouble.....:biggrin_2554: :biggrin_25519:
    379exhd Thanks this.
  9. x#1

    x#1 Road Train Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    Cherokee County, Alabama
    Georgia CMV DOT is actually The Public Service Commission so different states reference/label each agency accordingly.
  10. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Levittown, PA
    There ae times when the roadside inspector is actually a DOT employee too, the report has the federal symbol instead of the state in the upper left corner...
  11. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    Diesel bears... they will introduce themselves right before they get in your pocket...:yes2557:
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