Preparing For a DOT Audit

Companies that have to prepare a DOT compliance audit often describe the experience as challenging and daunting. Even what triggers a DOT audit is something that is still unclear to a lot of people because they don’t want to get into the details. However, if your company develops a strong understanding of the safety programs and evaluation, the process will get hassle-free. In this feature, we will help you understand a few important aspects of the DOT audit and how you need to prepare it.

Who can Be Audited?

When it comes to getting audited, most people in the transportation business will get confused about it. Sometimes, the primary reason for many such firms is to only operate commercial motor vehicles.  bear in mind, regardless of the type of industry or the vehicle involved, if the gross vehicle weight is more than 10,000 lbs, it will be subjected to the rules and regulations of the FMCSR. Furthermore, the companies that operate solely in intrastate commerce apply to the regulations of motor vehicles.  The reason why DOT is such an important part of this concept is that it inspects the safety performance of a company and will rest assured about the smoothing compliance with the security guidelines.

In simple words, the motor carrier authority is responsible for knowing whether or not you’re complying with the staunch rules set by the state. If you don’t know, the DOT review inspection is divided into 6 categories. However, you will come across them as factors, some of which are:

  • General
  • Operational
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Drover
  • Vehicle
  • Accidents

Keep in mind, each of these factors is reviewed and given a different rating such as satisfactory, conditional, or unsatisfactory.  If your company attains satisfaction, this doesn’t mean that they can put a cut on the compliance efforts. It implies they are doing the minimum effort to get a good rating on the DOT review. Similarly, if your company attains conditional or unsatisfactory, this implies that a lot of effort has to be invested in order to make things work in the right direction.

Also Read: 5 Reasons to Do a Marketing Audit in a Small Business

Now, we will guide you through the different kinds of factors in the DOT review:

Factor 1: General

In this review, the carrier should be willing to present the necessary documentation of the liability coverage of the carrier or the cargo. Furthermore, the carrier should also be prepared for the examination under the MCS-90 or the MCS-82 form.  During this review, the DOT will also ask you to produce the company’s register giving details of the different vehicle accidents.  Some of the important details to be provided will be as follows:

  • Accident Date
  • Drivers’ Name
  • Number of fatalities
  • Number of injuries
  • Location
  • The presence of any sort of hazardous materials

Even if the carrier doesn’t have any details of the accidents, still it will be mandatory for them to provide a full report to the DOT review.

Operational Components

In this review, the hours of service matter the most.  For your information, any business operating a CMV is anyways on a separate list. This review demands at least 6 months of driver logs and the availability of all the essential documents during the inspection.

Furthermore, the carrier will also be expected to prepare a full document on paper for every driver.

Driver’s Qualification

In this process, every driver will be required to produce their driver’s license along with the qualifications and the alcohol test.  The DOT review expects every company to be strict enough when it comes to hiring the perfect drivers for their work.  Failing to provide details of the driver’s qualification will list you turning hostile.

The Vehicle Requirements

Bear in mind, the inspection and maintenance issues are listed in the factors above.  The DOT expects the carrier to demonstrate any CMV under their control for the next 30 days. As soon as a company enrolls in this program, they will have to provide details of the systematic inspection. Therefore, if your company registers with them, you will have to identify the requirements of the vehicle. The motor carrier authority will see if they align with the usage of the past vehicles.