trucker standing between two semi-truck trailers

DOT blitz week 2024 | What truckers need to know

Every May and June, freight rates go up as drivers opt out of hauling. That quiet is the sound of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance International Roadcheck. CVSA is a nonprofit that partners with local highway patrol and CMV inspectors for three days out of the year for this event. They flag tractors, trailers, and drivers for safety violations, and the Roadcheck always has two new regulation targets.

Here’s what drivers can expect during DOT inspection week 2024.

  • When: Tuesday, May 14th-Thursday, May 16th
  • Where: United States, Canada, Mexico
  • DOT checkpoints: Weigh stations, roadsides, temporary inspection sites
  • Inspections: Tractor protection systems, alcohol and controlled substance possession

What is DOT blitz week?

Starting in 1988, the DOT Blitz or “blitz week,” takes place every spring across North America. The CVSA and its partners test drivers and equipment for compliance with the Department of Transportation’s safety standards. It’s the world’s largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles — 15 semi-trucks are inspected every minute of blitz week.

“Week” is bit of a misnomer: DOT checks are officially administered in a nonstop 72-hour window. Granted, that’s not including the flood of patrols leading up to the blitz, intending to get safety checks in before drivers take time off.

DOT inspection week often comes with a shortage of capacity. Compliance failure risks fines, cargo delays, and putting fleets out of service. But for carriers that prepare their drivers and vehicles to hit the road, it means there’s typically a surge in freight rates. Committed carriers can find plenty of hauling opportunity.

What are DOT inspectors looking for during blitz?

The CVSA and its partners conduct a 37-step procedure throughout the 72-hour DOT inspection. It goes one of three ways:

  1. Level 1: Most common (and most thorough) for blitz week. Includes licensing, paperwork, and under-the-truck inspection.
  2. Level 2: Driver check and walkaround vehicle inspection.
  3. Level 3: Driver-only inspection (hour logs, etc.).

These DOT checks vet a driver’s credentials and vehicle’s mechanical health to keep our roads safe, specifically in these areas:

  • Vehicle functionality: Brakes, coupling devices, fuel and exhaust systems, lighting, securement of cargo, steering, suspension, tires, wheels, rims, and hubs
  • Driver credentials: Valid commercial driver’s license, medical certification, etc.
  • Hours of service (HOS): Logs that confirm required rest breaks and driving time limits
  • Drug and alcohol impairment: Substance-free operation
  • Permits: State and federal permits for the vehicle (load limits, hazardous materials, etc.)

While drivers and their vehicles should be prepared to meet all of these regulations, the Roadcheck focuses on two targets. DOT truck inspections aren’t meant to be a “gotcha.” Ahead of blitz week, the CVSA releases what it’s looking for and when.

What will the CVSA check for this year?

For the upcoming 2024 road check, the CVSA is focused on tractor protection systems and controlled substance protection.

  1. Tractor protection systems: Inspectors will ask drivers to release all brakes by pressing dash valves, then listen and feel for leaks from air lines. The anti-bleed back valve, trailer supply valve, and trailer protection valve must be in working condition.
  1. Alcohol and controlled substance protection: Inspectors will assess drivers for DACH records and any signs of impairment. They’ll also examine the equipment for signs of substances.

Vehicles found to be compliant will be given a CVSA decal post inspection that’s valid for three months.

When is DOT blitz week this year?

Blitz week for truckers will begin Tuesday morning on May 14 and end Thursday evening on May 16. But patrols have routinely started the week before the blitz due to the well-known absence of drivers. So, treat every week like a DOT safety blitz.

What happens if a driver or vehicle is non-compliant?

If a truck or driver fails a CVSA Roadcheck, they’re immediately put out of service and given a full rundown for additional violations. Out of 60,000 inspections in 2023, 19% resulted in vehicle OOS violations and 5.5% resulted in driver OOS violations. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Equipment: The vehicle is taken off the road and sits until there’s a fix, e.g., until a mechanical failure is repaired.
  • Driver: Similarly, a driver cannot return to the road until safety is restored, e.g. the driver runs out the clock until HOS restrictions are lifted. Additionally, their CSA safety score takes a two-point hit and remains on their card for three years.
  • Carrier: Insurance rates may go up, and fines up to thousands of dollars are possible for each violation – both of which can limit the ability to haul freight.

It’s best to always keep safety top of mind. Relay carriers can access Amazon trainings and maintenance discounts to help ready their drivers and vehicles for a DOT truck inspection.

How can drivers prepare for blitz week?

  1. Vehicle maintenance: The CVSA has a DOT inspection cheat sheet covering proper performance and how to identify damage.
  2. Paperwork: Never start a haul without license, registration, insurance documents, and a log.
  3. Tech: Relay’s driver side of the app is designed to help with safety through trip planning, weather and traffic updates, and the ability to help track driver assignments for compliant hours of service.
  4. Training: Amazon Relay’s learning center has online maintenance and policy courses to help prepare approved carriers to pass the inspection.

Hit the road with Relay

The DOT safety blitz is all about responsible trucking – vetting for the type of safe, reliable carrier we want to haul our freight. Sign up to haul with Amazon.

Disclaimer: Amazon does not tender loads through any third-party load boards. Any Amazon loads posted on third-party load boards will only be tendered directly to approved and onboarded carriers via the Relay web portal or Relay mobile app. If you are interested in hauling loads for Amazon, sign up and book directly on

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