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Meeting DOT bobtail inspection requirements

June 24, 2022 By    

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a monthly inspection of all cargo tank motor vehicles, also known as bobtails, in service.

Is your company meeting this critical requirement?

And if so, how efficient is your monthly meter creep test and discharge system inspection process? There are a few things you can do to make meeting your DOT requirement easier on your team.

High error rate in our industry

Recently, our propane safety experts found that the error rate for monthly meter creep tests and discharge system inspections can be as high as 100 percent. Inaccurate inspections not only put your company at risk for failure to meet DOT requirements but also put your employees at risk when they are out on the road.

Here’s how you can make sure your company is completing monthly inspections with greater accuracy and efficiency:

Accurate and complete forms: If you’re still relying on paper forms, consider switching to a digital version. Digital inspection forms lower the likelihood of human error and save your office team the hassle of transcribing and filing them.

Employee training and support: Make sure your team has a clear understanding of the code requirements for conducting meter creep tests and discharge system inspections, whether they are new team members or longtime employees.

Clear documentation for your records: Another benefit to digital inspection forms is the ability for electronic document storage. Instead of adding to your overflowing filing cabinets, digital inspection forms can be easily accessed by your office staff or management team.

Meter creep tests and discharge system inspections are a necessary part of monthly operations at your propane company. Make sure your team has the tools and skills to meet this important DOT requirement as accurately and efficiently as possible.

Wes Sheppard is a senior consultant of safety and training at P3 Propane Safety. He can be reached at

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