Texas has more truck drivers than any other state in the country. Accidents are bound to happen with all of the trucks on the road. That is why a trucking company must have preventive policies and training manuals in place to help prevent collisions.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has strict regulations governing the trucking industry. A violation of those rules can result in expensive fines, more road inspections, and audits. Staying compliant with the DOT regulations is a must if you want to stay in business.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency within the DOT tasked with enforcing safety regulations for truckers. Simplex Group helps trucking companies meet all compliance standards.
Hiring an outside agency to handle your compliance may seem extravagant if you own a startup trucking company. However, compliance is a difficult and detailed process, and you have to worry about hiring drivers and acquiring clients. We can take care of the paperwork and record-keeping while you take care of your business.
You first must determine if your company is required to comply with the FMCSA rules. Your company falls under the authority of the agency if your trucks are used for interstate commerce and are in any of the following categories:
The Interstate Commerce Commission requires you to use placards for transporting hazardous materials in bulk. Your client should provide them for you. The client must use special labels when they package their products. You should place the placards on each side of the vehicle and each end.
A DOT number is required before you start operating your trucking company. You are considered a new registrant for the first 18 months of operations.
Proof of insurance and the name of your agent for service are required as well.
Operating authority is required if you are transporting federally regulated commodities. Trucking companies that require operating authority need a motor carrier’s number, which will require an extra fee and more paperwork.
A mistake in your paperwork can delay the process of beginning your operations, which is why we make sure the paperwork is filled out perfectly. We provide the necessary insurance to get your DOT number as well.
A trucking company would be nowhere without its drivers, and you will find no shortage of drivers in the Lone Star State. However, when you have many drivers to choose from, you have more backgrounds to check.
The FMCSA has standards for screening drivers. Interstate truck drivers must be over 21 and have a class C license. A company must also take the following steps.
Trucking companies are expected to keep up-to-date records on driver’s license information and their drivers’ health records and must run a driver’s motor vehicle records once a year.
Simplex can take care of employment verification and pull motor vehicle records on our client’s behalf. We keep meticulous records that are always audit-ready!
The Federal Government does not require commercial drivers to take a pre-screening drug test. Texas does require a drug test to obtain a CDL. A trucking company must give drivers random drug tests at least once a year.
We offer drug testing at all of our locations for a discounted price, as we have contracts with different labs. We maintain records on our client’s employees and send alerts when a physical exam, drug test, or license renewal is due.
Driving a truck is hard work, and drowsy driving is a major cause of accidents. The DOT has strict rules about how many consecutive hours a trucker can work.
Drivers are only allowed to operate their vehicles for 11 hours a day after being off duty for at least 10 hours. They must take uninterrupted 30-minute lunch breaks for every 8-hour shift they work. Driver’s keep track of their time using an Electronic Logging Device (ELD).
Some drivers try to get their work done more quickly by not taking the proper amount of time for lunch. In other cases, a driver may record themselves as working when they have gone on a personal errand. The FMCSA audits ELD records, and they can charge a company a fine if a driver has falsified records.
Simplex Group provides ELD and compliance training for you and your drivers. We perform ELD audits and review your records for falsification by drivers.
The FMCSA mandates that drivers inspect vehicles before and after a trip. Commercial vehicles are subject to random roadside inspections by DOT agents, so your trucks must be in tip-top condition.
Simplex can train your employees on how to do vehicle inspections and help to organize and store files of daily and annual inspections.
A DOT Audit is an evaluation by the Department of Transportation of a company’s safety performance to confirm they are doing the proper recordkeeping.
Every new entrant trucking company will have a New Entrant audit from the FMCSA within the first 12 months of operation. We provide assistance to companies to pass this rigorous audit and avoid being put out of service. An audit also takes place after several violations on roadside inspections related to a particular regulation.
The FMCSA has grouped the regulations into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Many violations in the same category will trigger an Alert on the BASIC. When 2 or more alerts are trigger the FMCSA will send you a letter informing that a compliance review audit will take place. If the auditor states that you need to make improvements, we can help you establish a corrective action plan. Getting products where they need to be is one of the most important jobs in the country. A trucking company must concentrate on getting things from place to place instead of worrying about government regulations. Simplex takes care of compliance for you so you can keep this nation running!
There are quite a few laws governing the trucking industry. Compliance can be overwhelming for both new and seasoned owner-operators, and so can all of the other tasks necessary to run a lucrative trucking company. Simplex Group offers several other services besides compliance.
Simplex Group can assist you in getting you the right coverage for your business. We can ensure that your drivers and your fleet are fully insured for anything that can go wrong.
The amount of insurance you will need will depend on whether a truck is used for interstate or intrastate hauls. We can create a mixed radius policy designed just for you if you do both kinds of hauls.
The amount of insurance you need will depend upon several factors. The DOT has certain insurance minimums based on the length of a haul, the size of the truck, and the type of cargo that you will carry. If you are an auto hauler, you will need much more liability and cargo insurance than you will need if you are simply hauling household products from state to state. If you are transporting hazardous materials, you will need more insurance than you would if you are carrying dry goods.
One great thing about working with an established company like ours is that we offer our customers perks. We provide a fuel card to our customers that will get you discounts at pumps in 48 states. It can even get you discounts on maintenance and fuel. Our customers can get free roadside assistance. Your drivers will find that there are promotions every month.
Factoring occurs when a trucking company sells its unpaid load invoices to a freight factoring company. The factoring company will charge a small fee between 2%-4% from the overall amount of the invoice. Simplex Group has partnerted with OTR Capital, one of the largest and most reliable factoring companies in the nation. Our program provides you with a dedicated team to manage all your back-office needs while offering very low factoring rates, no hidden fees, and no monthly minimums. We want to do everything we can to ensure the success of your trucking business. Offering you reasonable-priced factoring can help you with cash flow when you are getting started.
Planning your load to maximize your profits and ensure your driver’s safety can be very time consuming. Our team has years of experience in freight planning, and we can assist you with the crucial job. When we partner with you, we teach you the skills and give you the toolkit you will need to run a successful business.
If you carry hazardous materials or your truck is over 80,000 pounds, you will need special tags and permits for your vehicle. Some states require you to have a temporary trip and fuel permit when you travel through them. The number of permits you will need may seem a bit overwhelming.
Fortunately, our trained staff has years of experience obtaining every permit and tag you may need. You will never have to worry about being caught without the necessary tags you need to haul your load when you work with us.
Running an interstate trucking company involves paying taxes in several different states. Poor tax management has been the downfall of many small companies. When you hire Simplex Group, you will partner with a team of trucking tax experts who will use all of their knowledge and experience to ensure you save as much money as possible and pay your tax bill on time.
Simplex will handle your compliance, so everything can be perfect for your first audit. We know your company needs a perfect audit to blossom. Give us a call today.