[box type="shadow"]The U.S. Department of Transportation regularly audits commercial vehicle operators to ensure they comply with regulations. Attention to detail and thorough record keeping, are the keys to making sure that your business passes each and every safety audit by the DOT. The best way to prepare for a DOT audit is to follow regulations, maintain proper documentation and understand what the audit process requires.[/box]
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Alcohol and drug testing rules apply to every person and to all employers of such persons who operate a commercial motor vehicle in commerce in any state.” A qualified staff member or a third party, such as a physician, may collect urine samples to test for illegal drugs or administer breathalyzers to check a driver’s blood alcohol level.
Your driver personnel files should be kept up to date with copies of their license — with applicable CDL or hazardous material endorsements — as well as their log books, which track the total number of hours worked each day. It’s also important to keep track of the maintenance of the vehicles in your fleet and their current registration to prove they are properly maintained.
Minimum liability insurance requirements for commercial vehicle operators will differ from state to state, but all commercial vehicle operators are required to hold liability insurance. Liability insurance covers bodily injury and damage to property that may occur during the operation of your vehicles.
Kevin Mullen, of ADS Logistics, writes, “It is becoming increasingly clear, under strong pressure from Congress … that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is ratcheting up motor carrier regulation ” Penalties may vary from fines to suspension of your business’s registration.[/box]