DOT / FMCSA Compliance Solutions
Your 3/4-Ton Pickup May Be Regulated Just Like A Big Rig. Are You In Compliance With DOT Regulations?
Regardless of whether you’re involved in interstate or intrastate commerce, did you know that a typical 3/4-ton pickup pulling a trailer may be subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations and requirements* including:
- Registration and insurance
- Hours of service
- Cargo securement
- Driver qualifications
- Vehicle markings
With the availability of public information on the FMCSA Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) website, your operating record is now exposed to other parties including customers, brokers and insurance companies – and the media. Increasing violations subject you to increasing scrutiny, on many fronts. Your safety performance isn’t just about avoiding or managing fines – it affects your ability to do business.
A small company with 8 trucks paid a settlement of $10,050. In researching the company further, we found in big red letters: "This Carrier is Currently Under an Out of Service Order from FMCSA and May Not Operate".
Another small company with 4 trucks paid a $9,400 settlement and is also under an out of service order.
A larger company with 22 trucks and 17 drivers paid two different settlements, $10,530 and $6,170. They, too, are under an out of service order.
Most of the settlements were paid by small operators based on the number of trucks and drivers they list with their DOT registration, all of which is public information. Many of the violations were associated with Driver Fitness (e.g., no CDL, no medical card, etc.) and with maintenance issues.Source: FMCSA National Listing of Enforcement Cases by Subject Name Closed in Fiscal Year 2010
H&A provides an outsourced alternative to staffing your own department to manage your environmental, health and safety, risk management and DOT/FMCSA compliance. The benefits to outsourcing include:
- A qualified team of experts for less than the cost of a single risk manager
- More efficient handling of your DOT compliance program
- Reduction in your safety and regulatory exposure
H&A can review and help to ensure the completeness and accuracy of your driver qualification files. We can also provide continuous updates pertaining to expiration dates, renewal dates, training requirements and regulatory updates.
Under the new CSA initiative, your company can be selected for increased roadside inspections, a compliance review or other interventions based on different criteria. A proactive compliance program can virtually eliminate uncertainty during a DOT/FMCSA audit. H&A can perform a “mock” DOT compliance audit for your company, which will help you identify and address problem areas before FMCSA discovers them.
The majority of DOT compliance reviews include numerous violations of FMCSA regulations that could have been eliminated through a better understanding of evaluation criteria. H&A staff can review your existing FMCSA performance prior to a rating being issued to ensure that only valid violations are recorded. We can also help you dispute inaccurate violations through accepted Agency (FMCSA) processes.
H&A provides a range of initial and ongoing training to assure your continued DOT compliance, including:
- Supervisor Drug and Alcohol Awareness
- Load Securement
- Driver Qualification Requirements
- Hours of Service Restrictions
- Maintenance Recordkeeping
- Hazardous Materials
H&A can provide guidance and resources if you receive an FMSCA warning letter or notice of more serious enforcement action. Without completely understanding the potential impact a case can have, most carriers either pay the fine or enter into a consent agreement. There are alternatives. We have experience in monitoring your safety performance, responding to warning letters and reducing your exposure to increasing levels of enforcement actions.
If your company does use CDL drivers, the FMCSA places a great deal of emphasis on comprehensive, well-managed alcohol and drug testing programs. Working in conjunction with several reputable drug testing companies, H&A can establish, monitor and manage this program on your behalf.
To better understand the changing regulations and potential impact of the information on your CSA profile, call or email Mitchel Little today for a free consultation on your DOT compliance. 303.384.9828
*The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) as any vehicle used in interstate commerce, with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 10,001 pounds or more.