The trucking industry is getting more and more competitive every day. The demand for drivers and safety-sensitive personnel is rising as we speak. The increased number of hiring processes and frequent recruitments often result in critical details being forgotten or overlooked. One of the most critical details is complying with the rules and regulations laid down by the department of transportation and the federal motor carrier safety administration. The most common incidents involve drivers using drugs and alcohol at the workplace which is one of the biggest violations of the rules laid down by the US department of transportation.
Then there are other challenges as well such as a lack of a safety inspection protocol for the vehicles, no driver assessment, and testing programs, inept road accident prevention policies, ELD-related compliance, and many more. All in all, DOT compliance is essential if you as a trucking company or owner/operator want to keep on functioning throughout the year without any interruptions or obstacles. The following section talks about a few very common yet critical challenges that every company regulated by the US department of transportation faces. These challenges can be easily overcome if you have the right DOT compliance service group working with your company. Let’s have a look:
- Are There Any Non-English Speaking Drivers In Your Company? If there are any non-English speaking drivers in your company, you will have to invest in the most practical ways of communicating with them. According to the federal motor carrier safety administration, every truck or commercial motor vehicle driver working in the United States must know English. They must be able to read and speak the language and should be able to converse with the general public in addition to understanding important highway traffic signs.
2. The Inability To Carry Out Uninterrupted Drug Testing Your third-party administrator or DOT compliance service group can help you understand the regulations related to drug testing. Remember, pre-employment drug testing is a necessity and must be performed on all your drivers. There is also a post-accident drug testing requirement that must be fulfilled by you as the owner/operator. For example, if you have a driver who has been cited for a moving violation and an accident is caused as a result leading to someone requiring medical treatment, you will have to perform post-accident drug testing for that driver. Other than this, there is also the random drug testing that becomes quite a problem for many businesses out there in addition to reasonable suspension training, return to duty tests, and follow-up procedures as well. All these challenges can be met successfully if you have the right DOT compliance group by your side.
- Load Securement Could Be An Issue
According to the rules and regulations of the FMCSA, all the cargo that is being transported must be secured to the vehicle efficiently. There should be no chance of it falling off the vehicle and resulting in any injuries, fatalities, or accidents. Remember that the cost that you might have to pay in the form of a fine resulting from an unsecured load is going to be more than that of the apparatus that you need to secure that load onto the vehicle in the first place. Your legit DOT compliance service group can help you choose the most appropriate straps, cargo bars, nets, chains, and other equipment to secure your load.
- Not Able To Manage Driver Breaks?
You must be aware that the FMCSA has limited the maximum average work week for your truck drivers and safety-sensitive position holders to 70 hours. So, if any of your drivers have reached their maximum 70 hours of driving within a week, they can only resume driving if they have remained off duty for at least 34 consecutive hours. This should also include two nights from 1 to 5 am. All your drivers are also required to take at least a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of their shift. This little requirement is also very challenging to manage because a lot many drivers may be tempted to work more to get paid a little extra. Some might not be able to keep a track of their hours of service which again can increase the overall risk your employees might be exposed to.
- Getting A Valid Medical Certificate
The federal motor carrier safety administration would expect your commercial driver’s license holders to carry their medical examiner’s certificate with them, especially when they are on duty. This is a requirement that should never be ignored. They could be asked to provide a copy to their state driver’s licensing agency as well. If any of your drivers have allowed their medical certificate to get expired, they will not be able to operate as commercial motor vehicle drivers.
- Preventing Drug Use And Abuse At The Workplace You must have enough knowledge about the DOT compliance safety, and accountability program. According to this program, the safety management system now follows a risk-based model. It has been designed specifically to prevent any drug or alcohol abuse before it even begins. You as a motor carrier will have to make efforts to score high in behavior analysis safety improvement categories. Compliance with these safety categories is a major challenge that your third-party administrator can help you with. The categories relate to various safety factors, alcohol issues, controlled substance use, and a lot more.
- Creating A DOT Compliance Alcohol And Drug Testing Program As a trucking company, you must have faced this issue several times. Whenever you hire or employ new drivers, you find it difficult to create a relevant and accurate alcohol and drug testing program for all your employees and safety-sensitive position holders. This becomes even more complicated when you suspect that some of your employees or drivers might be using drugs or alcohol or abusing some sort of prohibited substance at the workplace under your nose without you even knowing about it. This situation could result in severe fines and penalties for your business that you just do not wish to bear. DOT Compliance service providers also send DOT Compliance letters for securing your business.
To Sum It All Up
Unless you keep updating and complying with the various rules and regulations laid down by the US department of transportation and the federal motor carrier safety administration, you just can’t stay compliant. This is where third-party administrators and DOT compliance facilitators come into the picture. Choose one for your company today!
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