The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the regulatory body in charge of setting forth and enforcing safety regulations for commercial trucks on U.S. highways. The agency provides specific commercial truck inspection rules for commercial carriers in its policy manual. All trucking companies in Doylestown and elsewhere in the nation are required to abide by the FMCSA’s regulations.
Trucking Companies’ Responsibility to Perform Inspections
Federal rules require that carriers have their fleet inspected annually. Commercial truck inspections include a basic inspection of the parts and accessories of the truck. A few of the components that should be checked are listed below.
- Emergency doors
- Fuel system
- Lighting devices
- Wheels and rims
- Steering systems
All of these components must be in a functioning order. The FMCSA sets high standards that carriers must follow. CFR § 396.17 states: “It is the responsibility of the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider to ensure that all parts and accessories on commercial motor vehicles intended for use in interstate commerce for which they are responsible are maintained at, or promptly repaired to, the minimum standards .”
The administration clearly places the responsibility for maintaining the truck on the trucking company. Carriers have to ensure proper maintenance of parts, components, and accessories of their motor vehicles. If important parts are in need of service, the driver or company must put the part or truck out of service until the repairs are finished.
Maintaining Records of Inspections
The trucking company is also required to maintain accurate documentation of any inspections conducted on its fleet. Below are some of the documents that must be maintained on the vehicle.
- Inspection reports
- Inspection decals
- Certificate stating that the vehicle has passed the inspection
Truck drivers also have to perform a pre- and post-trip inspection of their truck to identify any safety defects or maintenance concerns. If there are safety issues or defects, they are then required to file a report noting the issue.
Commercial Truck Inspections and Accident Liability
When a company frequently fails inspections, fails to keep proper records, or is regularly cited for violations, the carrier’s poor safety record could wind up being used as proof of their negligence in a liability claim. Those safety issues could place a trucking company liable for an accident claim if one of its vehicles is involved in an accident that results in injuries or fatalities.
Trucking accident claims are complex to file and involve extensive investigations. You’ll want to seek the help of an attorney to begin taking legal action. Call 215-642-2335 to speak with a trucking accident attorney at Cordisco & Saile in Doylestown. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.