Why Me? Because Hotshot Rigs Are DOT Targets!
At Matchpoint Auto Transport we recently completed a successful DOT safety audit. The officer printed out our DOT inspection record for 19 inspections over the last year. When my partner shared the news that we passed the safety audit, and that there were 19 inspection reports, my reaction was, “only 19?” I still drive part time and have been personally inspected 8 times in the last year, and we have had weeks when our 3-truck company fleet has had 4 inspections, while our owner operators (IDO’s) are also getting hammered with inspections.
It’s clear the DOT inspection activity related to Hotshot rigs is exponentially greater than the Big Truck activity. In casual conversations with big truck drivers at fuel stops we hear that the average Big Truck on the road has 1-2 inspections per year. If that’s true, why do Hot Shot rigs get inspected at such a significantly higher rate? This special 3-part blog series will offer a theory behind the inspection hassle, and then offer some simple strategies to reduce the exposure.
Hot Shot drivers need to understand the DOT inspection elevated activity has little to do with safety, and is mostly about generating state revenues. It’s also about what’s easy for the DOT officers. Commercial Carrier Enforcement officers have quotas both in terms of the number of inspections they need to complete each month, and the revenues from fines those inspections must generate. It’s about time and money. Unfortunately Hot Shot rigs have a reputation of being operated with poorly maintained equipment that is out of DOT/MC compliance. So from a time and money perspective, Hot Shot rig inspections yield officers the best return on their time. A Hot Shot inspection is fast, easy, and will generate a fine a high percentage of the time. Why do people rob banks, because that’s where the money is. Why do Hot Shot rigs get inspected so much, because it’s the easiest way to make a Motor Carrier Enforcement quota.