Tips for a successful road check

If you operate or drive a fleet, roadside inspections are important to ensure that your vehicles are operating safely on the road. Here’s a guide to what to check for and how to avoid common violations.

If you’re not already familiar with the process of roadside inspections, typically what will happen is a certified inspector such as a state police officer or DOT employee will take a look at your vehicle and ensure all of its parts and accessories are in optimal condition and functioning correctly. They’ll take a look at your entire vehicle, from the brakes, exhaust system, fueling system, tires, trailer, lighting/signals, and more. They may also take a look at the driver – particularly their license, registration, applicable documents, seatbelt use, etc.

First, check your brakes. Brakes are one of the most common violations. Make sure there are no cracks, wear and tear, or air leaks. This is one of the most important parts of your fleet vehicle as they are critical to reducing the risk and severity of collisions by preventing your wheels from locking up or skidding.

Check your tires. This includes tire pressure and tread. Check every tire’s PSI and add air or replace any tires as needed. Schedule a tire rotation and alignment if needed. Last but not least, check the tread on your tires – make sure there aren’t any holes, nails, or cuts.

Secure your cargo. Make sure your cargo on your trailer is strapped down and secure. Are there enough tiedowns appropriate for the weight and length of the items you’re transporting? Make sure nothing is broken, loose, torn, damaged, or bent. Taking the time to check your cargo can prevent accidents and causing unnecessary hazards on the road.

Check your lights. This doesn’t only include your tail-lights or front headlights, but reflectors on the exterior of your vehicle too. Test your turn signals and hazards to make sure they’re functional, make sure your reflectors are all present, and replace any light bulbs and housings if necessary.

These are a couple of many steps you can take to make sure your fleet vehicles pass roadside inspections. Taking your vehicles for basic maintenance regularly can ensure that no unexpected problems or issues come up.

If you’re a fleet owner or driver, Quarles can help you achieve quality on the road. Visit to learn more about our fleet fueling products and services.