DOT Safety Compliance

We take care of your compliance needs, while you focus on growing your business

DOT/FMCSA Safety Compliance Services icon
DOT/FMCSA Safety Compliance Services
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Substance Abuse Testing
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ELD + Hours of Service
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Audit Guidance + Support
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Being a professional commercial driver is one of the most challenging jobs in the nation. Before you get on the road, you need to receive advanced training on how to operate a commercial truck, be physically fit for the job, and obtain your CDL. 

Running a trucking company can be even more challenging. You need to understand and manage a business, hire safe and qualified drivers, and keep your customers happy. You must also follow all rules and regulations according to the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and safety guidelines under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to stay compliant and grow your business. 

If DOT compliance regulations are not met as mandated, and your CSA score is poor as a commercial carrier, you could easily jeopardize your business by being hit with DOT violations. Imposed as fines, they could eat into your profit margins, increase your insurance costs, or be targeted for more inspections and audits, therefore putting you out of business

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under the United States Department of Transportation is responsible for overseeing many aspects of the trucking industry. These mandated regulations oversee safety compliance on companies, drivers, and the equipment. Their authority extends to all commercial vehicles used on public highways.

Simplex Group is the only full-service trucking compliance company in the nation. With 20 years of experience helping trucking entrepreneurs grow, let us help you ensure your DOT safety compliance today.

Who Enforces DOT rules?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for enforcing DOT compliance in America. DOT FMCSA rules are a safety measurement system designed to keep drivers, pedestrians, and passengers safe. These DOT-compliant regulations apply to commercial motor carriers. A company will be considered a commercial motor carrier if they fall into one of these categories:

  • Bus companies
  • Trucking companies
  • Vehicles carrying more than 8 passengers when gaining profit
  • All vehicles that are transporting over 15 passengers
  • Any vehicle transporting hazardous materials, regardless of size or gross combination weight rating
  • A vehicle with a gross combination weight rating over 4,536 kg

DOT regulations and DOT compliance are essential for the safety of the general public. A commercial motor carrier that violates DOT compliance regulations for inspection and maintenance requirements can be fined, have their permits revoked, and even be shut down. Maintaining DOT compliance is crucial for the success of any commercial motor carrier business.

How Does the FMCSA Enforce Its Rules?

The FMCSA takes many measures to ensure companies are DOT compliant. Through state agencies and law enforcement, they perform over the road safety inspections of drivers and/or equipment monitoring the safety performance of each carrier. Motor carriers can be identified as potential high risk to the general public based on safety performance history and then audited by the agency, which would result in monetary penalties if found non-compliant. 

Trucking companies must be completely familiarized with the regulations governing not only drivers, but also the company itself as both parties must comply with different mandates and regulations to be DOT compliant. 

This is much easier to do when you have Simplex Group handling it all for you. From permitting and tax reporting to insurance and factoring, we handle it all so you can travel all roads with peace of mind.

Driver Compliance

A trucking company owner must understand the complex directives of commercial fleet compliance. If you are starting a trucking company, our compliance experts at Simplex Group will help you get your business started and take care of all your paperwork. This allows you the opportunity to concentrate in managing your business while we assist you in the administration of your operation. 

In order to stay DOT compliant, a trucking company must maintain superior safety practices and record keeping. Their program must include safety policies for all drivers, vehicles with the proper gross vehicle weight rating, hours of service (HOS), testing for abuse of substances, transportation of hazardous materials, safety precautions when operating commercial motor vehicles, and hiring practices, among other comprehensive FMCSA rules.

Driver Screening

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Before you hire a driver to join your fleet, you must follow a screening process mandated by the DOT. The applicant driver must complete a full job application specifically designed for commercial drivers, while the hiring company is required to take the following steps: 

  • Verify commercial driver license validity
  • Review the applicants driving record 
  • Verification of proper driving skills for the equipment to be operated by applicant driver (road testing).
  • Written and documented verification of past employments
  • Verification of medical exam records

Driver qualifications files are also imperative to have as part of the hiring and mandated documentation process. A commercial truck driver who is assigned to driving operations in interstate or intrastate routes, must meet certain requirements before assigned to a safety sensitive function, such as operating a commercial vehicle on public road is.

The FMCSA assigns safety scores to carriers resulted from states law enforcement agencies’ safety inspections on carriers when stopped while conducting driving operations.  Maintaining a good safety standing CSA score is crucial when identifying your company as a safety compliant company.  ON the contrary high CSA scores is an indication that the carrier hasn’t maintain it’s safety program to standard as mandated by DOT regulations.  Being identified as a carrier lacking safety standard will lead to imposed audits, fines, higher insurance premiums, lack of trust by freight brokers and shippers, which it could put your company out of business. 

Lacking safety standards for driver qualifications and gross vehicle weight rating and disregarding DOT regulations—especially hazardous materials regulations—will lead to audits, penalties, higher insurance premiums, and a lack of trust by freight brokers and shippers, which could put your company completely out of business. You can count on Simplex Group to ensure you’ll always be compliant with everything from gross vehicle weight to safety standards. 

Contact us today to speak to one of our representatives about helping your trucking business thrive.

Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations

Hours of service (HOS) compliance is a crucial safety component mandated by the federal agency. Drivers are required to comply with these regulations, while carriers are mandated to manage this safety aspect of the regulation with extreme care through post-trip inspections and other measures.

Some of the key components of this part are:

  • A driver can’t work more than 11 consecutive hours.
  • A meal break is required after the 8th hour of driving.
  • A full driving shift can last more than 14 hours.
  • A truck driver must be off duty for 10 hours before beginning a shift
  • A truck driver who uses a sleeper berth must spend 7 hours in the berth

The rules are even stricter for drivers who transport passengers. A manager of a passenger vehicle company must keep a careful eye on those who drive for them as well to avoid serious injury to passengers.

Standards for Driving Passenger Vehicles

  • A driver can’t work more than 10 consecutive hours
  • A passenger driver must be off duty for 10 hours before the beginning of a shift
  • Passenger drivers are not required to take a meal break
  • A passenger vehicle driver who uses a sleeper berth must spend at least 8 hours in the berth total

Fortunately, Simplex Group offers an ELD system, where your drivers will be able to log and report their HOS with ease, ensuring everything stays compliant all the way through.

Fleet Equipment Maintenance and Repairs Compliance

The vehicles you operate must be in top condition to comply with DOT rules. Each vehicle must go through regular inspections and have regular safety audits. To show that you as a carrier are in compliance with this regulation, you must maintain a preventive maintenance written program for every vehicle under your operation and control, and carefully comply with all record keeping requirements pertaining to the maintenance and repair of each vehicle.

 The federal government has established safety improvement categories (SICs) to improve commercial motor vehicle safety. These SICs are aimed at reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

As part of the federal regulations, all interstate truck and bus drivers must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). To get a CDL, drivers must pass both written and skills tests. The written test covers information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) handbook. The skills test measures the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial truck.

Fleet Accident Registry and Post Accident Testing

If a driver is involved in an accident while operating a commercial motor vehicle, the company must enter the occurrence within its Fleet Accident Registry, not just simply rely on accident reports from the police. If applicable in accordance with Post Accident Testing DOT criteria, following the accident, the driver has to take a drug and alcohol test even without reasonable suspicion of being under the influence. The driver has up to 8 hours for the breath-alcohol test and up to 32 hours to complete the drug test.

DOT Numbers

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Trucks, passenger cars, and other vehicles used for commercial operations will be issued a DOT number. A USDOT numberis assigned to moving companies that perform interstate trips. If you transport anything across state lines for interstate commerce, you will be required to have such a number. 

If you transport federally regulated commodities or operate as for-hire carriers transporting passengers, you must also get an MC number. Your DOT or MC number will allow the DOT to keep track of your accident records, safety records, registration status, compliance reviews, and any accidents your drivers have been involved in.

Our DOT Compliance Services

If you are new to the trucking industry or are managing a fleet for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed and have a lot on your plate. Our main goal at Simplex Group is to take care of the tedious part of the job, so you can focus on growing your business and keep our nation running through interstate commerce. 

Our experts will make sure your safety compliance program is spot on, and we’ll guide you through all of your compliance requirements. You won’t have to worry about anything except the road ahead. We’ll tackle the paperwork and ensure your trucking company meets all regulatory compliance requirements. We will work with you every step of the way to help you avoid costly penalties and keep your drivers safe. Contact us today to learn more about our DOT compliance services!

What Is a New Entrant Safety Audit?

A newly established trucking business must go through a safety audit within the first 12 months it is in business. The auditor will make sure that you are following all DOT compliance regulations in the following areas:

Driver Qualification Files

An auditor will make sure that all of your drivers have a valid CDL. They will make sure the drivers have passed hearing and vision tests and are also medically qualified to operate a commercial truck. They also want to make sure that you have on file the following records:

  • Valid and up-to-date medical card
  • Job application
  • Verified past employment history for the past 3 years
  • Pre-employment drug test results

Vehicle qualification files will apply to:

  • Tractors, Trailers and/or Chassis
  • Registration/Cab Card
  • Annual Vehicle Inspection
  • Maintenance receipts

Drug and Alcohol Testing  

Any company in the trucking industry should have a written Substance Abuse Program in place. Each driver within the company must be registered in the Alcohol Clearinghouse and enrolled in a Consortium or Random Program to comply with the FMCSA drug and alcohol regulations. Keep in mind that a participation letter of enrollment in either of these programs must be kept on file. 

A pre-employment test should be conducted for every new-hire and a negative result should be provided before assigning the driver to safety-sensitive duties. Failure to do so may result in a hefty fine imposed by the government.

DOT compliance regulations require drug and alcohol testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions. The DOT drug and alcohol testing program is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). DOT has established five classes of employees who are subject to drug and alcohol testing:

– Drivers who operate a commercial truck

– Mechanics who work on commercial trucks

– Loaders and unloaders who work with hazardous materials

– People who work in an airport or aircraft operation, including baggage handlers

– People who work in certain security-sensitive positions

What Is a Compliance Review?

When the DOT performs a safety compliance review of your trucking operations, they want to make sure that you are taking safety seriously and following mandated regulations. A state or federal investigator will come to your operations center and perform an audit.

You may be reviewed if you have had a major accident or if your safety rating has recently changed. Also, if someone has complained about your company regarding violations of safety regulations or a truck in your fleet has failed a roadside safety inspection, then your company may be subject to review.

You may face several financial penalties due to a negative outcome of a DOT Compliance Review Audit.  If your carrier is found non-compliant, your company could receive monetary fines, and/or suspension of operations.

We Can Help You with All Your Compliance Needs

Let Simplex Group help you with our DOT safety compliance services. We will make sure that the qualifications of your commercial transportation drivers are in order. We will also file and maintain all of your paperwork, assuring that there are no bumps on the road ahead for you. 

Feel free to contact our team of experts and learn more about our DOT compliance company.

Contact Us Today

Our intuitive dashboard, Simplex Hub, and our mobile application, Simplex 2GO, will guide your business toward success and help you with all your safety compliance and permit needs. We’re the one-stop shop for all the services you need for your trucking venture. We handle it all so you can focus on growing your business. Click here to learn more and get started down the road to success!