How Often Do Commercial Vehicles Need to Be Inspected?

Portrait of auto mechanic senior man with face mask at auto repair shop

When it comes to commercial vehicle inspections, there is actually a larger, philosophical discussion hiding under their somewhat straightforward veneer. This discussion centres around the need, or lack thereof, of individuality and special use cases in our society. Although it might feel like a stretch for such a niche topic to inspire such a discussion, it is nonetheless the reality.

You see, one of the chief difficulties in commercial vehicle inspection information is the inconsistency across locations and different jurisdictions. For instance, Canada has ten provinces and three territories to claim. Can you guess how many different legislative rulings there are for those 13 areas?

If you guessed 13, congratulations! You are correct. Each province and territory has investigated, assessed and decided on their own specific rules and regulations for commercial vehicle inspections. And not a single pair of them came to the same conclusions. In fact, the traffic laws in all these different places are often hilariously different and somewhat arbitrary, leaving many to question what need there is for them in the first place.

This is the crux of our discussion on the subject of individuality and freedom of choice. When we look at vehicle inspections across our great nation and see only contradictions and inconsistencies, it’s hard not to question why that is. Oftentimes, the answer is dissatisfactory, too, as it involves lobbyists, special interest groups, rushed decisions and overwhelmed bureaucrats.

But perhaps you did not come here looking to get into the idea behind why we all need to have our own say on things. Perhaps you just wanted information about when to inspect your commercial vehicle, and for that, we can only provide general guidelines, chiefly as a result of the discussion brought up above.

So, how often do commercial vehicles need to be inspected? Annually is the best answer. Some provinces make this mandatory for all vehicles, regardless of their use as commercial or personal transportation. Others just enforce an inspection on an annual basis for commercial vehicles, with the logic being that they are likely carrying more dangerous and expensive materials.

An annual inspection will not ward away all the regular maintenance required, like checking and filling fluids, replacing windshields and what have you. But, it will help keep you within the regulations of many provinces and, where the requirements are not as stringent, you will have the comfort of knowing that your vehicle is in good working order, which can be essential to one’s peace of mind.

Still, an annual inspection is not the only time that you may want to inspect your commercial vehicle. Following a collision or other accident is a great time to have your vehicle inspected by a professional, as is when moving from one province to another. The second case often referred to as an out-of-province inspection, helps provincial governments keep track of new commercial vehicles in their area while also ensuring that they are safe to operate on the open road.

Hopefully, you have found some helpful information to get started on your next commercial vehicle inspection. However, for either specific regulatory information for your province or to learn about what is involved in these inspections, your best bet is to refer to your provincial government’s official website. This is the best way to receive accurate, useful information.

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