The FMCSA has been conducting offsite audits for over 3 years. Starting in 2019, they were largely focused on safety reviews. However, the number and types of offsite audits have been on the rise. The pandemic encouraged the transition while the ease and cost effectiveness of offsite audits are continuing the trend upward.
In 2020, nearly 5 times the number of offsite audits were conducted as compared with 2019. Last year, 2021 saw a rule change enabling the FMCSA to issue safety ratings after an offsite audit. More motor carriers are receiving a “conditional” safety rating than “satisfactory”, despite so many audits being done remotely. This is something the agency could never do before.
Given the trend of the past 3 years and the fact that offsite audits appear to be working, they will likely remain part of the agency’s approach for years to come.
Let’s examine the audit numbers for 2021.
6% increase in audits; 95% resulting in violations
30% increase in audits that uncovered severe violations
37% increase in audits with critical violations such as missing records
The rise in conditional safety ratings is an important consideration for any HR manager or Fleet Manager. Conditional safety ratings can have costly consequences, including lost customers, higher insurance rates, and increased liability in court.
The Transition to Offsite Audits
As we can see, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is relying more heavily on offsite audits. It is time for you to embrace a DQM File Management tool to help ensure your compliance and facilitate these offsite audits. DQMConnect has a truly unique approach to DQM File Management. You maintain control of your files and it presents you with your compliance status and prepares the necessary audit files right from the Dashboard. No waiting. No loss of control. The data is yours and is accessible 24×7. For you and for the auditor should you need it.
Let us show you why more carriers are moving to DQMConnect to stay in control, in compliance, and audit ready!
If your business is in the trucking industry, such as a fleet management company, you are likely aware of the DOT audit process. A DOT audit can be a nerve-wracking experience, but if you prepare for it properly, you can make the process as smooth as possible. Let’s discuss what you need to do to prepare for a DOT audit, what happens during an audit, and what happens if you fail one.
Ultimately, the best way to make sure a DOT audit does not become an issue for your company is to have strong DOT driver qualification file management with the help of software.
How to Prepare for a Trucking DOT Audit
The best way to get through a DOT audit is to be prepared before it even happens. Here are a few tips on how you can do that:
- Know the DOT Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the DOT regulations so that you know what is expected of your company. This way, you can make sure that all your policies and procedures are in compliance.
- Keep Detailed Records: DOT auditors will want to see detailed records of your driver qualification files, maintenance records, and more. Make sure that these records are organized and up-to-date before an auditor arrives.
- Be Proactive: If you know that an audit is coming up, take some time to review your procedures and make sure everything is in order. This will help put the auditor’s mind at ease and make the process go more smoothly.
What Happens During a DOT Audit?
During a DOT audit, an auditor will review all your company’s records and procedures. First, you will receive an opening conference where the auditor will explain the audit process and what they will be looking for. Next, the auditor will review your DOT driver qualification files to make sure they are complete and up-to-date. They will also look at your maintenance records to ensure that your vehicles are being properly maintained. Lastly, the auditor will conduct interviews with you and your staff to check for compliance with DOT regulations.
They will look at your driver qualification files, maintenance records, drug and alcohol testing programs, and more.
If you fail a DOT audit, you may be subject to fines, penalties, or other consequences. However, if you are prepared for the audit and have strong DOT driver qualification file management, you should be able to avoid any issues.
What Your Driver Qualification Files Need to Have
To DOT audit-proof your trucking business, you need to ensure that your driver qualification files are complete and up-to-date. This includes maintaining records of the following:
- Driver’s licenses
- Medical certificates
- DOT physical examination results
- Employment applications
- MVR reports
- DOT drug and alcohol test results
- DOT crash reports
- Safety performance history
By keeping detailed records of your drivers, you can be sure that you are in compliance with DOT regulations. This will make the audit process much easier and help you avoid any penalties.
The Pitfalls of Failing a DOT Audit
A trucking DOT audit is unique in that there are DOT regulations in place specifically for the trucking industry. These regulations are designed to ensure the safety of both drivers and the general public. As a result, DOT audits tend to be more stringent than other types of audits.
If you fail a DOT audit, you may be subject to:
- DOT compliance review
- DOT safety rating downgrades
- DOT enforcement actions
- DOT shutdowns
If you are not prepared for a DOT audit, it can be a stressful and difficult experience. However, if you take the time to prepare and have strong DOT driver qualification file management, you should be able to handle an audit with ease.
How DOT Driver Qualification File Management Helps
DOT driver qualification file management is the key to success when it comes to DOT audits. By using software, you can keep track of your driver files, maintenance records, and more in one place. This will make it easier for you to find the information an auditor is looking for and ensure that everything is up-to-date.
Driver file management software can also help you stay in compliance with DOT regulations. The software can remind you when it is time to update a driver’s file or administer a drug test. This will take the guesswork out of DOT compliance and help you avoid any penalties or fines.
Handle Your DOT Audit with Ease Thanks to DOT Driver Qualification File Management
If you are looking for an easy way to prepare for DOT audits, DOT driver qualification file management software like DQMConnect is one of the best ways to remain prepared at all times. DOT driver qualification file management software is designed to help trucking companies stay DOT compliant and audit-ready at all times.
With DOT driver qualification file management, you can keep track of your drivers, vehicles, and maintenance records in one place. This will make it easier for you to find the information an auditor is looking for and ensure that everything is up to date.
Contact Vehicle Licensing Consultants today and stay DOT Audit-ready at all times with a free 30-day trial of DQMConnect.
If you have a fleet management company, it’s important to be aware of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Driver Qualification File (DQ) requirements. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in serious penalties, including driver disqualification. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common DQF violations and how to avoid them using driver file software.
Not Having a DOT Medical Card or A Missing Negative Drug Test
One of the most common violations is failing to have a DOT medical card on file for each driver. You can avoid this by using driver file software to track medical cards and ensure that they are up to date. Another common violation is failing to keep a negative drug test on file. Again, software can help you stay compliant by tracking drug tests and ensuring that they are up to date.
Failing To Keep The MVR Driving Record Current
Another common violation is failing to keep the Motor Vehicle Record (also known as the MVR) current. The MVR is an important document that contains information about a driver’s history, including any accidents or moving violations.
Failing To Keep A DQ File For Every Driver Who Needs One
Another common violation is failing to keep a DQ file for every driver who needs one. This can be a problem if you have driver turnover, as it can be difficult to track which drivers need a DQ file and which don’t. You can avoid this violation by using software to track which drivers need a DQ file and ensure that they are up to date.
Driver Turnover Causes More DQ Management Headaches
Driver turnover can cause more DQ management headaches, as it can be difficult to keep track of which drivers need a DQ file and which don’t. Although you might think it’s not a big deal for a file to slip through the cracks, it only takes one driver to get into an accident without a complete and up-to-date DQ file to cause serious problems.
Avoid DQ File Violations With Driver File Software From Vehicle Licensing Consultants
By following these tips, you can avoid some of the most common FMCSA DQ file violations. However, the best way to ensure compliance is to use driver file software from Vehicle Licensing Consultants. Our driver file software DQMConnect™ is designed to help you stay compliant with all DQ file requirements, including tracking medical cards, drug tests, MVRs, and more.
Contact us today to learn more about our driver file software.
Driver qualification files are an important part of running a trucking company, but they can also be a challenge to manage. They take up physical space, and if you’re not careful, they can quickly become disorganized and difficult to find anything. But there’s good news! There are many benefits to digitizing your DQ files to make your DQ file management easier than ever.
Any Time, Anywhere Access
One of the best things about digitizing your DQ files is that you can access them anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re in the office or out on the road, as long as you have an internet connection, you can pull up any DQ file you need. This is a huge time saver and makes it much easier to keep track of your DQ files.
Safe and Secure Storage
When you digitize your DQ files, they’re stored safely and securely in the cloud. This means you don’t have to worry about losing them if your computer crashes or if something happens to your office. And because they’re stored off-site, you can rest assured that your DQ files are safe from fire, theft, or other disasters.
Save Physical Space and Hard Drive Space
Digitizing your DQ files also frees up physical space in your office. No more need for filing cabinets or storage boxes full of DQ files! And because they’re stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about taking up valuable hard drive space on your computer.
Be Alerted to Upcoming Compliance Requirements
When you digitize your DQ files, you can set up alerts that will remind you when compliance requirements are coming up. This way, you can make sure your drivers are always compliant and avoid any penalties or fines.
Easy to Use for Any Level of Experience
Our DQ file management system, DQMConnect™, is designed to be easy to use for anyone, regardless of their level of experience. Whether you’re a small trucking company with just a few DQ files or a large fleet with thousands of driver files, our system can handle it all. Plus, our friendly and knowledgeable customer support team is always here to help if you have any questions or concerns.
Digitize Your DQ File Management Today With Vehicle Licensing Consultants and DQMConnect™!
If you’re ready to make DQ file management easier than ever, contact Vehicle Licensing Consultants today and ask about our DQMConnect™ system. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and get you set up.
Vehicle Licensing Consultants today announced DQMConnect™, a new product that is revolutionizing the Trucking Industry, is now integrated with Geotab. DQMConnect™ is a Driver Management Platform, plus so much more. The integration with Geotab is a key feature allowing DQMConnect™ to serve as a hub for all your driver data. Driver data starts its journey when a prospective employee completes the built-in SMART eApplication, guiding the entire process with the goal of DOT compliance. All driver data is stored in securely online and provided to the hiring manager, safety manager, and HR as needed. Once the decision is made to hire, DQMConnect™ communicates the new driver to Geotab. Likewise, employee termination is communicated to Geotab to remove the driver from the Geotab app.
DQMConnect™ is the leading Driver Qualification File Management tool and the Geotab integration now makes both platforms more powerful. Drivers can easily access DQMConnect’s driver communication portal, where important driver file data can be shared with home office while stored securely online. Most importantly and unlike many other DQ solutions, this self-managed software tool is designed to meet the growing needs and complexity of DOT driver qualifications while allowing businesses to keep control over their driver files.
DQMConnect™ features and benefits include:
• DOT Smart eApplication
• Previous employment safety verifications
• Customizable interview questions
• E–road test and automated certification of completion
• Seasonal hiring
• Driver life cycle workflow management
• DOT auditor managed portal
• HIPAA compliant
• Automated alerts for renewals
• Easy file upload
• Ability to manage multiple companies
• Driver communication portal
• Simplified SMART e-application enhanced to improve applicant experience
• Alerts: both text and email capable to access their portal
• Easy file upload
• Mobile friendly
And now integrated with Geotab, the leading telematics platform.
About VLC (im4trux.com): VLC is a full-service consulting firm focused on providing fleet management solutions and compliance expertise in the trucking industry. VLC began with owner operator fleet compliance and quickly gained recognition for their simple, friendly, and knowledgeable approach to an ever-evolving industry. With the data collected to help businesses acquire permits and meet required reporting deadlines for compliance, they quickly realized they could expand their approach and help in many other areas the industry is struggling with. The most common concern being fleet optimization.
VLC has been serving the transportation industry for more than 50 years and have a wealth of information, an amazing staff, and software solutions that simplify trucking regulatory and compliance reporting. Their team of experts has helped many businesses overcome the challenges in the trucking industry and are constantly working to innovate and collaborate to make drivers and fleets the best they can be. In addition to all your licensing, IRP registration, permitting, and reporting needs, VLC uses their extensive knowledge and experience to solve business challenges related to driver safety, productivity, and reductions in operational costs.