DOT Compliance

What are the Reasons and Outcomes of a DOT Compliance Review?

Passing the New Entrant Safety Audit isn’t the end of the road for your business; if there are any breaches, a Department of Transportation (DOT) compliance review is required. What are the reasons and outcomes of a DOT compliance review?

What is a DOT Compliance Review?

A DOT Compliance Review is required for everyone or any firm that owns a truck capable of transporting enough weight that the combined weight of the truck and cargo exceeds 10,000 pounds. Like a safety audit, a DOT compliance review is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) way of ensuring that you’re following all of the agency’s safety guidelines. 

DOT Compliance Evaluation

A compliance evaluation is a comprehensive safety inspection of a motor carrier’s fitness. It covers a wide range of topics and necessitate proof that your day-to-day activities are working well. A Federal or State Safety Investigator will conduct an on-site review of your activities as part of the compliance check.

Preparing for DOT Compliance Assessment

If you do not satisfy the FMCSA rules, you may face several fines due to an inspection. Preparing for a DOT compliance assessment as if it were a new entrant safety audit is the best way to go.

According to Simplex Group, you’ll have to show the FMCSA that your organization adheres to all safety rules, so every aspect needs to be on point. Let’s shed more light on the process and explore the reasons and outcomes of a DOT compliance review. 

When Does a DOT Compliance Review Happen?

While a company is monitored by the FMCSA, compliance reviews can happen at any time. But there are various factors that can trigger a DOT evaluation of a company by the FMCSA.

Some of the most common DOT compliance review triggers include: 

  • A Failed New Entrant Safety Audit – Companies who do not pass the New Entrant Safety Audit on the first try are likely to be monitored by the FMCSA. The easiest way to avoid this situation is to have a clear grasp of the requirements; thus, the FMCSA will not have a starting reason to conduct a compliance assessment later. 
  • A Complaint – Safety issues are taken extremely seriously by the Department of Transportation. If your drivers behave dangerously on the road, they are endangering the lives of innocent bystanders. The DOT goes to great lengths to verify that your firm follows all safety laws. If a complaint is filed against you and appears accurate, you may anticipate a more comprehensive investigation.
  • Poor CSA Basic Scores – A carrier’s score is calculated using data on the company’s drivers, including all safety-related roadside inspection infractions and state-reported crashes. The FMCSA may subject a company to a DOT compliance review if one of its drivers commits one or more of the seven categories of unsafe driving like dangerous driving, driving while tired, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  • An Accident – It takes only one accident to trigger the FMCSA to conduct an investigation. The FMCSA will conduct a review with as little notice as possible if an accident results in a fatality or severe injury. Depending on how severe the accident is, the FMCSA will provide more or less notice.

How Does a DOT Compliance Review Work?

On the day of the review, an inspector will start by asking for proof documents such as insurance, accident register, gross revenue, total miles, and a list of all hired drivers. Then the inspector will analyze the Driver Qualification files of some of them, covering the seven basics of unsafe driving.

The inspector will ask maintenance-related questions such as your safety performance, preventive measures, or countermeasures for accidents moving forward with the interview. In the end, the inspector will provide the DOT compliance review document that lists all the violations and the outcome that can be satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or conditional. 

DOT Compliance Review

Everyone or any company that owns a truck for their supply chain capable of hauling enough weight that the combined weight of the vehicle and cargo surpasses 10,000 pounds must undergo a DOT Compliance Review. Surviving the New Entrant Safety Audit isn’t the end of the story for your company; if there are any violations, a DOT compliance review is necessary.

One thought on “What are the Reasons and Outcomes of a DOT Compliance Review?”

  1. It sure was interesting when you said that a company must undergo a DOT compliance review if its operations involve trucks that are capable of hauling enough cargo. This reminded me of a close friend of mine who failed his DOT exam last week due to evidence of substance abuse. He intends to be clear from it to finally pass the exam, so I will ask him to consider getting the help of a substance abuse professional provider.

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