As a carrier, you must be prepared at all times for DOT audits. We know that it can be stressful but there is no need to panic! There are various things you can do to make your audit process less stressful and pass with flying colors.
Keep in mind that DOT audits occur with little to no notice at all. Not being prepared for these audits can truly jeopardize your business. A successful driver must be prepared for a random audit at any time. This is your sign to compile all your paperwork and have it ready for future audits. Act smart!
The best way to prepare for your upcoming audits is to maintain all your documentation in order.
You may be asking yourself, so how will my audit be conducted?
Well, these DOT safety audits are conducted at your place of business or online by submitting the documents requested to the FMCSA or via mail and fax as well. An agent from the FMCSA will contact you in regards to which type of audit you have been selected for.
PRO-TIP #1: you will be contacted either by phone or email, so keep those handy!
PRO-TIP #2: auditors may request additional documents related to your vehicle, as well as any operating procedures and any type of record!
But, what happens if I fail my DOT audit?
After you have been audited, you will receive either of these 3 marks: satisfactory, conditional, or unsatisfactory.
• Satisfactory mark means that you had all your requirements, however, you can be audited again if your CSA score is too high or you were involved in a crash.
• A conditional mark is that the auditor believes that your company had a violation during the audit but is not considered a risk. As a result of this, you could receive DOT audit fines and higher prices for your insurance coverage.
• You can change this by filing a safety management plan and go back to a satisfactory rating!
• Unsatisfactory mark is when it gets tricky. It means that the auditor found serious violations and that you are not staying compliant with the federal safety regulations, which will result in fines! This could put your business “out of service”.
• You can also file a safety management plan for this!
The good thing for you is that here at Simplex our DOT experts can help and guide you through ALL your audits. We can take care of all your paperwork, so you can focus on growing your business.
Act smart and get organized today!