If you run a transportation operation, you’re required to maintain lengthy Driver Qualification Files (DQFs) on every driver you employ. Even for small operations, creating and maintaining these files can be a hassle, and it only grows more difficult as an operation grows. Compounding this is the high rate of turnover in the transportation industry, meaning that most companies are constantly cycling through new drivers and their DQFs.
This can make it exceedingly difficult to keep your DQFs up to date, and ready to submit should you receive a regulatory challenge. Yet failure to do so can carry stiff penalties, or worse.
Fortunately, there are some ways to make driver qualification file management a bit easier.
1 – Embrace A Paperless Process
Any company still attempting to handle driver qualification file management with paper records is only making their lives needlessly difficult. Fully paperless solutions and Driver Qualification Management systems allow for the entire electronic management of DQFs. There is some initial time and money cost, as every existing paper form will need to be scanned – but once this is done, the time savings moving forward will be enormous.
2 – Create A Central Library
Digitizing your documents and deploying a driver qualification management system are only the first step. All DQFs should be put into a central library and database which is linked to all software systems that need access to it. This allows you to adopt electronic management systems as needed while knowing they’ll all be able to access the same library of files in the future.
3 – Offer Mobile-friendly Tools Drivers
The benefits of centralized digital driver qualification file management systems can also extend to your drivers. With a mobile-friendly tool, drivers can use their phones or onboard tablets to directly access their own files and provide necessary updates. Automated administrative features can also remind them when documents are nearing their expiration date, or when key licenses or registrations need to be renewed.
4 – Keep Control of Your Documents
Many providers offering digital DQ file management want to take over control of your documents, storing them on their own servers. This isn’t a good idea! If something happens to them, your documents could be lost or made inaccessible. It’s better to choose a driver qualification management system that allows you to control and maintain your own files.