DOT Compliance for Trucking Companies
DOT compliance for trucking companies is a rule. If your trucking company is not DOT compliant, they could conduct an on-site investigation. As a trucker, you should be aware of your paperwork and the importance of DOT compliance. The result of ensuring DOT compliance is peace of mind for both truckers and the public. Trucking companies may enjoy a safe working environment and reduce their chances of getting inspected by the DOT by following the proper procedures.
Driver qualification files
A driver qualification files, or DQ, is a comprehensive file that compiles information about a truck driver’s driving record, past employment, motor vehicle records, and credit history. Besides serving as a legal record, driver qualification files also serve as verification of a driver’s certification and training. The FMCSA requires trucking companies to keep a DQ file, and owner operators must do the same.
Managing a driver qualification file is a challenging process, and many trucking companies choose to outsource the task. But managing driver qualification files is an ongoing process, and many common DQ file violations can make this process even more complicated. To begin, the driver qualification file should always be in a secured and safe area with restricted access. It should also contain sensitive information, such as license numbers and employment history. This information may be more detailed than required, and an employer may want to keep more details on a driver than is actually needed.
DOT drug and alcohol testing
DOT drug and alcohol testing for trucking companies is a legal rule for truck drivers. The DOT requires employers to conduct these tests to protect the public safety. If a driver consumes alcohol or drugs while working, he or she must undergo a return-to-duty drug or alcohol test. If the driver passes the drug test, he or she will undergo follow-up testing every 12 months. Depending on the severity of the violation, more tests may follow after that.
The DOT requires a random alcohol and drug testing program for all truck drivers. The employer must notify the driver ahead of time and put in place a randomized selection process to ensure that only those drivers who are at risk for a DUI or drug test are subjected to these tests. In most cases, drug testing is required after an accident, but if the driver refuses, the accident can still be investigated. Regardless of the reason for the drug and alcohol testing, the results of the tests will be published online, so that trucking companies can see if their employees are violating the law.
DOT inspectors can stop commercial drivers at any time. This includes weigh stations, truck stops, and state troopers. To avoid a DOT violation, commercial drivers must act in a responsible manner throughout the inspection process. While an inspector may not do anything wrong with the driver, he or she may be aware of the open driver’s side door. A truck driver must be ready for any stop and keep the cab of the truck clean and in good condition.
When a violation happens, the vehicle or driver may not be able to operate, and a new driver will replace them to take over the truck. Yet, the violations count against the carrier and driver, and can lower their CSA scores. Drivers who violate the hours of service regulations or the safety of hazardous materials can also be placed out-of-service until repairs are completed. Some violations are more serious than others, resulting in a Uniform Traffic Citation.
Avoiding DOT compliance review
Many truckers realize that a DOT compliance review is usually not a fun experience, and a trucking company can spend two to ten days waiting for one. You have to pay for diesel fuel, buy insurance, and make payments if your company is going to operate. During this time, your business won’t be able to dispatch trucks. That’s where it can become a real pain. But there are ways to avoid DOT compliance reviews.
The first step is to know what to expect during a compliance review. The inspectors will look at your D&A section, your Commercial Vehicles by Gross Vehicle Weight, and your Maintenance program. They may ask about accidents you’ve had or how you encourage your drivers to follow local laws. If you have an unsatisfactory score, you can expect a DOT compliance review. If you fail to follow any of these requirements, you’re going to have to undergo a thorough investigation.
Outsourcing DOT compliance
Outsourcing DOT compliance for trucking companies can make the process easier for you and your drivers. If you have a small fleet and don’t have time to do it all yourself, outsourcing the compliance process can help your company keep its trucks in the best possible state. You can outsource this responsibility to a company that has extensive experience in the transportation compliance industry. Safety Audit Prep is one such resource, with combined technical accuracy and state of the art safety protocols, your DOT compliance solution under one system.
Safety Audit Prep provides comprehensive DOT compliance services for businesses with fleets of vehicles. Whether that involves one truck or a thousand, the software can handle it all. The team behind the software includes experts in the fields of;
- DOT compliance
- DOT regulations
- FMCSA requirements
- DOT drug and alcohol testing
- Application and registration
- Audit and review process
- File Management
- File storage and retrieval
With nearly 50 years of collective transportation sector expertise.
Safety Audit Prep can help with DOT compliance so you can avoid fines, penalties, and possible shutdowns. By streamlining the required processes and allowing you to run a more effective and profitable venture. With this support and 24/7 access and monitoring, your company can operate worry-free. Also, you won’t have to worry about ensuring that your drivers are safe on the road.