If you’re going to be driving hotshot, you’re in a unique insurance situation. It’s a unique line of work, after all, since you’re using a hefty pick-up truck to haul loads for a profit. So, it can be tricky to get your insurance all set up properly. One question you may have is whether you can work under someone else’s DOT, like an owner-operator. Now, that’s a great question, and we’ll explain why driving hotshot is different than being an owner-operator with a semi-truck. We’ll give you some helpful information about hotshot truck insurance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, obviously, had a huge effect on the world and the country. A lot of businesses have been in upheaval, and trucking and towing businesses have not escaped the turmoil. Our team has been watching what’s been going on with the pandemic, and we’ve been doing our best to help our clients problem-solve. During this very worrying time, we hope to help truck businesses keep their finances stable. We’ve got a few things we can look into to see what options there are for us to help our clients during COVID-19.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates a program called the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to improve the safety of commercial drivers as well as the driving public. This program identifies drivers with unsafe driving behaviors and prioritizes them for intervention based on the number and severity of their violations. SMS operates under the authority of another FMCSA program called Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA). Motor carriers are entirely responsible for their drivers under the SMS program. That means a violation charged to a driver becomes part of the motor carrier’s record.
Hazardous Materials is one of seven categories that inspectors from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) measure as part of its Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). It’s like the other six BASICs in that the FMCSA compares drivers with a similar number of safety events to come up with a percentile ranking. The higher the percentage, the greater the likelihood the FMCSA will initiate intervention efforts with the driver. However, this category is unique from the others because it only applies to drivers who transport materials the FMCSA considers hazardous.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently does not allow motor carriers to broker loads unless they first apply for and receive a license as a property broker. If you are a new broker, that means you must complete an application for broker authority using the Unified Registration System (URS) of the FMCSA. You will need to locate proof of insurance coverage to do so. The FMCSA also requires new applicants to submit Form BMC-84, also known as Surety Bond, and Form BMC-85, also known as the Trust Fund Agreement.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prepared a program designed to enhance safety and to ensure that oversized commercial vehicles are as safe as possible on the roads. The SMS Insurance/Other Indicator is part of a wider initiative and designed to check for licensing, registration, reporting, and insurance issues.
If you find that you need to choose a truck operating authority after being exempt in the past, or you need to change from one type of operating authority to another, you can do so using the process outlined below. A thorough understanding of how operating authorities work and what they require can help you save time and money during the process. Since your truck operating authority could impact the insurance you are required to carry, choosing the right model for your business is essential if you want to ensure you are getting the best possible rates on your insurance.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for making sure that commercial trucks and drivers are safe enough to be on America’s highways. To protect the public, the FMCSA completes regular inspections of equipment, driver log books, records of violations, and more. If your business is found to have a violation, the FMCSA will then notify the motor carrier of violations by mail in the form of a warning letter.
Regular maintenance for your trucks and fleet vehicles does more than just prevent you from experiencing emergency repair work costs and downtime; it enhances your safety on the roadways, too. As a trucker or an organization that owns trucks, if you perform deliveries or shipping services, you are also required to comply with key maintenance and safety regulations from the FMCSA. One way to track how well you are doing is the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC program; learning more about this safety program will help keep your drivers and others safe on the roads and ensure you remain in compliance.
One common question from truckers who have not yet obtained their operating authority (MC number) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is whether they can still lease their services to a for-hire carrier that has operating rights. According to Section 376.11, the answer is yes as long as the trucker meets all FMCSA requirements.