90-Day Truck Inspections: Part II


In a previous article, we discussed the requirement for daily vehicle inspections by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In this article, we will look at the requirements for 90-day inspections, as required by the state of California.

If your truck has a GVW (gross vehicle weight) rating of 10,000 lbs. or more in California, it must be inspected every 90 days. Known as a BIT (Basic Inspection of Terminals) inspection, it’s essentially the same as DOT’s annual inspection requirements. Even if you lease your trucks, you are responsible for BIT inspections and recordkeeping. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will ask to see your records for the inspections done by a mechanic during an audit.

What Items Are Inspected?

BIT inspections ensure the safe operation of regulated vehicles by motor carriers. During the 90-day inspection the following items may be inspected:

  • Brake adjustment
  • Brake system components and leaks
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Tires and wheel
  • Fuel system
  • Vehicle connecting devices (fifth wheels, kingpins, pintle hooks, etc.)
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame (cross members, fasteners, tire clearance, and slider-rail)
  • Safety Items (triangles, horns, speedometer, seat belt, mirrors, etc.)
  • Lighting devices (tail, brake, back up, license, markers, flashers, etc.)
  • Windshield wipers
  • Ensure proper lubrication
  • Inspect for leaks (oil, grease, coolant)
  • Tread depth is measured and recorded on the report
  • Brake lining is measured and recorded on the report
  • Unit is stickered per state and federal regulations (49 CFR §396.21(a))
  • Report is filled out per state and federal regulations (49 CFR §396.17(c)(2))

Each 90-day inspection report at minimum must include:

  • Identification of the vehicle, including make, model, license number, company vehicle number, or other means of positive identification.
  • Date and nature of each inspection and any repair performed.
  • Signature of the motor carrier’s authorized representative attesting to the inspection and to the completion of all required repairs.

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