DOT Monitoring Services with Truck Insurance Quotes

DOT Monitoring

The trucking industry is heavily regulated and one slip can cost your company more than a little money. The government expects you to know and keep track of every DOT violation that crops up. When do they expect you to run your business? It would be nice if your company had someone looking out for you to warn you when unaddressed violations are about to become your worst nightmare.

Guess what? That’s what Truck Insurance Quotes does for our customers. Keep reading to learn more.

How Does Truck Insurance Quotes Provide DOT Monitoring?

We’d like to start our relationship with a perk.

Our free DOT monitoring service tracks violations so that we can help our customers stay on top of their obligations. When you maintain a clean record with the DOT, it impacts your truck insurance in a positive way.

Nobody likes bad surprises. If you’ve had DOT compliance issues come up, it helps to know about it before the DOT comes knocking at your door. It doesn’t take much for things to go south if a driver thought they received a warning instead of a fine or the DOT officer wrote down the wrong information. No matter how careful you are, you can’t be everywhere at once.

Truck Insurance Quotes uses FMCSA’s DataQs system to provide DOT monitoring at no charge to our clients.

Who is authorized to use Clearinghouse?

What is the FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was created as part of the Motor Carrier Improvement Act of 1999. The FMCSA falls under the Federal Highway Administration and works to reduce accidents and injuries involving commercial motor vehicles. The administration regulates commercial motor vehicles including half a million trucking companies, thousands of Interstate bus companies and over 4 million CDL drivers.

As part of this mission, the FMCSA carries out the following responsibilities:

  • Enforcing trucking safety regulations
  • Identifying high-risk drivers and companies
  • Innovating safety information systems
  • Maintaining equipment standards
  • Raising awareness

One of the ways the administration raises awareness is through the DataQs system.

What Do You Know About DataQs?

DataQs Provides a way for trucking drivers and companies to review federal and state data regarding pending violations. The system also provides a way to appeal violations with incorrect or incomplete information.

If you would like to challenge FMCSA roadside inspection reports or correct information in crash reports, this is the easiest way to do it. Although there is no direct impact on court cases, by fixing the information in DataQs, you can then challenge the court case backed by corrected FMCSA information.

Our DOT monitoring service alerts trucking companies when violations are recorded and notifies you so that you can act accordingly.

Are You Looking for Better Truck Insurance?

Choose the truck insurance company that can protect you and your drivers. Truck Insurance Quotes has knowledgeable transportation insurance agents to help you find the most comprehensive coverage for the risks you face every day. Give us a call or message us on LiveChat for fast answers and to get a free quote.

How to survive a DOT compliance audit

DOT audit

If your company is subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), it’s likely that sooner or later you’ll deal with a DOT compliance audit. You don’t have to be a trucking company. Any outfit that operates vehicles over 10,000 pounds can be audited. This can include landscaping businesses, concrete companies and towing companies.

When you receive an audit notice, there’s reason to be concerned. In 2019 only six percent of firms escaped an inspection or audit without a violation. But if you follow a few best practices, you can get through a DOT audit with minimal hardship.

Why DOT Audits Take Place

Sometimes audits are random, and sometimes they’re triggered. Accidents attract the attention of auditors, especially accidents resulting in injury and death. Compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) points from accidents and roadside inspections can add up and lead to an audit.

Be Prepared with Good Record Keeping

The best way to survive an audit is to be prepared before the DOT calls on you. That means keeping your records up to date. Have your documentation secure, centralized and backed up.

A big source of audit violations is the driver qualification file. Common problems include missing inquiries into employment records, lack of medical certificates and not having a file on every driver.

It’s also important to maintain vehicle files, accident reports and records of drug and alcohol testing.

When the Audit Notice Arrives

Surprise audits are unusual. Normally you will receive a notice in the form of a letter, which will direct you to provide information and/or call for next steps.

Respond promptly. If you suspect the audit might not be random, it’s fine to ask. Usually, they’ll tell you. Be thorough but don’t volunteer documentation. Give them what they ask for.

Requested files might include tax information, truck insurance documentation, fiscal information, employee lists, vehicle lists and alcohol and drug forms. If they request information beyond the scope of FMCSA, it may be in your best interest to provide it anyway.

If there’s documentation you think might be relevant but hasn’t been requested, gather it but don’t give it to them at this point.

If your documentation doesn’t look right, don’t change it or make anything up. If you’re caught at this the DOT will not only severely penalize you but will never stop auditing you.

During the Audit

Have a quiet, private space to meet with auditors. Don’t offer food; they’re not allowed to accept it. Arrange your schedule to avoid interruptions. Don’t volunteer information or provide more documentation than was requested.

If your files include irrelevant details, remove them. If you’ve gathered unrequested documents that could be relevant, keep them in a nearby room and retrieve them if necessary. You don’t want auditors fishing through files they haven’t asked to see.

Audit Outcome

After the audit you’ll receive a rating of Satisfactory, Conditional or Unsatisfactory. If you’re rated Satisfactory, great! Keep it up with the safety practices and record-keeping that got you where you are.

A Conditional rating means there’s at least one item to be corrected. The good news is that you haven’t failed, and the DOT doesn’t see you as a safety risk. There are likely to be fines, and you’ll have to create and submit a Safety Management Plan to correct any infractions.

An Unsatisfactory Rating is what no one wants. You could be shut down. At the very least, you’ll have to devise and carry out a program to reverse that rating.

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How the government shutdown is affecting the transportation industry

government shutdown trucking DOT FMCSA

The news has been going wild with reports of the government shutdown, which began in December. Many people have been affected by the partial shutdown, and it still seems unclear how long the shutdown will last. The DOT, like many government agencies, has been affected by the partial shutdown, although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have not been greatly impacted. We’ll explain how the government shutdown has affected the DOT, the FMCSA, and the FHWA.

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