Preparing for a DOT Audit

uh this is oftentimes uh an area of uh.

    Non-compliance because it can be difficult to manage uh there’s a lot of moving parts and we h

46 vi

ave brought in a great speaker and his.

    Name is john solik he is the fleet driver trainer uh and uh owner of sonic truck safety and john uh thank you so much for joining us today uh it’s fantastic to have you joining our meeting and uh we appreciate your time today thank you you’re welcome good morning all right brian you go ahead and share your screen okay let’s see here bear with me here um i’m gonna find the window here bear with me okay and if everybody could while john’s speaking if you if you have questions why doesn’t everybody mute their microphone and if you do have something to say just feel free to unmute it that way john doesn’t get any background uh.

    Noise on his end while he’s presenting uh but uh please do chime in at any point in time should you have any questions okay i’m working on it here i’m trying to find my uh my share screen here got it got it okay john you have the time all right uh well it looks like a time for me to go to work though uh everybody hear me okay yes sir yes yep you’re okay all right yes what we’re going to do and what brian asked me to talk about is the relationship between a lot of your members particularly those in the construction industry but any of the members uh that might have vehicles in their fleet that are large enough to be subject to the usdot safety regulations and quite often we see that folks especially in the construction industry see themselves as building and creating things but in order to get that done they have a fleet but the fleet sometimes doesn’t get the attention it.

    Needs and that creates a pretty serious problem for the employer if the dot comes in to do an audit so uh what i’d like to do is just spend in the.

    Next 45 minutes to an hour with you explaining what will happen in a dot audit.

    Now this is a class that we have spent eight hours on going into great detail so this is a summary and i’ll be moving pretty quickly and happy to answer any questions and then at the end uh you’ll have my contact information if you wanted to contact me directly or you could reach me through red or through brian but uh what we’re going to do is try and make sure that you’re better prepared for a visit from the d.o.t if that should happen and i think brian is going to be advancing the slides for us so pardon me uh who has to follow the rules the federal motor carrier safety regulations which easier to refer to them as the usdot they’re a division they apply to companies who transport property or passengers commercial vehicles and interstate commerce so what does that mean first all of the states have adopted these regulations for intro state and will separate interstate from intra but you.

    Need to know that whether you.

    Never leave the state or whether you cross state lines all the time you may still be subject to these regulations interstate commerce is basically when something moves in the way of cargo or passengers from one state to another it’s.


    Not whether the driver leaves the state so a driver in seattle washington may.

    Never leave seattle but here she is transporting containers that may have come from another state or from another country so even though that driver is considered very local he or she is actually in interstate commerce and subject to all the regulations we’ll discuss but again the states have adopted these regulations for intro state that would be where the cargo the vehicle and the driver do.

    Not leave the boundaries of one state so what’s a commercial vehicle it’s anything that has a gross vehicle weight rating over ten thousand pounds and this is where sometimes we get into some problems uh over ten thousand pounds that’s the gvwr what did the factory rate it for and that’s usually on the door plate of the power unit or on a plate somewhere on a trailer so it’s the rating or the actual weight whichever is greater.

    Now that’s one definition of a commercial vehicle the other one is any vehicle whose rating exceeds 26 000 pounds either singly or in a combination or actual weight whichever is greater or any vehicle that carries hazardous materials that require placards or any vehicle designed to carry eight passengers for higher 15 passengers.


    Not for higher so can anybody can everybody see the powerpoint or.


    Not i see it okay as long as everybody sees it i see it but it’s.


    Not full screen anymore okay i’m gonna do okay sorry i just want to make sure here we go um [Music] sorry okay.

    Now we’re good all right so that’s the definition of a commercial vehicle uh what we.


    Need to keep in mind that quite often we see sometimes in construction we see a lot of pickup trucks that are being operated maybe foreman supervisor somebody who doesn’t.

    Need to drive a vehicle that requires a commercial driver license those vehicles if their rating is over ten thousand pounds or if it becomes in excess of ten thousand pounds because they’ve hooked on to a little trailer those vehicles become commercial and that’s where we see some very serious problems arising during a d.o.t audit because the company wasn’t even aware that those vehicles were subject i’m working with a company right.

    Now that has about 30 vehicles that are over 10 000 but.


    Not over 26 so they’re.


    Not required to have a cdl driver but they are required to go through all of the rules we’re about to almost all of the rules that we’re about to discuss and so this company is sitting there uh with about half of their fleet.

    Not in compliance with the dot and that’s the one of the challenges we have so we’ll move on.

    Now and i hope everybody understands what’s commercial and what is it your your d.o.t profile and that’s your report card that’s online and uh before we go any further there’s there are a lot of links to different places that you should know about and there are a lot of documents that we’ll be talking about and i’m going to put together a packet of computer links online links and documents that are blank that you can use if you don’t have good forms to use to to take care of your record keeping so we won’t be referring to those links in this presentation but there are quite a few that you should be comfortable with one of them is to know how to find your dot profile online so the profile is your report card of roadside inspections any crashes or any complaints from the public or from employees when those things occur at a higher level then we start seeing a concern with our scores on the c on the dot profile so uh data from a roadside inspection or a crash is entered on your report card your profile if your scores or crashes reach an unacceptable level an alert appears and you may.

    Now be selected for review or for an audit it’s so important for you to look at these profiles monthly.


    Now they they renew or update about every 30 days uh it’s.

    Not always exactly 30 days the last update was yesterday uh excuse me april 30 was the last update that’s the most current so you should be looking at these profiles you should have a login and a pin and if you have any difficulty uh getting those if you don’t already have one then please let us know but you.

    Need to be watching because quite often for various reasons you won’t know that there was a roadside inspection and there may have been some serious violations that could be leading you to be in a problem so you.

    Need to look every month have someone monitor and see that you know about everything that has appeared on your profile so here are the elements of an audit this is what the federal dot examiner will do when he or she comes in to see you and that they may.

    Not for some period of time actually come on to your property the auditors right.


    Now are doing what’s called an off-site audit they’re.

    Not coming out of the property because of the covet restrictions and they’ll they’ll request information and you send them the documents they’ll review them they’ll come back and request more they’ll ask questions when it’s all done they will then have a closing conference by telephone with the key people in the company and let them know what the results of the audit are and so that’s how they’re doing them.

    Now if they do an on-site audit then that means that they’re it’s comfortable legal everything else and they’ll come on site and they may look at equipment and they’ll probably dig much more deeply into your record keeping so here’s what it looks like they’re going to look at six areas the first factor i just called general is where you’re going to see uh insurance documents an accident register and a form mcs 150 which we’ll mention again that’s the document that you file to get a d.o.t.

    Number and that’s the document that shows who you are where you are and what kind of business you conduct it also has a summary or a snapshot of your roadside inspections and your crashes so they’ll look for that first and we’re going to talk about these in detail pretty quick the driver factor is the biggest one as far as record keeping drug and alcohol testing driver qualification files and the commercial driver license factor three is hours of service drivers are limited in the.

    Number of hours that they can drive after being on duty and and they’re required to take certain mandatory rest periods we’ve done this with paper logs going way back to 1938 and uh as old as i may look and be i wasn’t quite here yet in 38 but that’s when the rules started and.

    Now about three years ago we got into electronic logging devices.

    New technology and so we’ll be talking about that factor four is big especially for those of us in construction and this is inspections and maintenance and cargo securement factor five hazardous materials and factor six are is a ratio of your crashes.


    Now the dot only counts three types of a crash in their record keeping a fatality an injury treated immediately away from the scene or one of the vehicles involved had to be towed from the scene because of damage incurred so a fatal an injury or a crash hearse.

    Nurse or toe safety ratings if the if the audit is on site then you will get a safety rating afterward if the writing the audit is.

    Not on site then the auditor will finish up and assign violations if he or she has found any and you will be penalized there will be dollar penalties for violations however you won’t get a safety rating for an off site in order to assign a safety rating by law they have to be able to on the property and take a look at everything they can including inspecting vehicles so our safety ratings the best is satisfactory and a lot of you may right.

    Now have a satisfactory rating and it could be from years back the satisfactory rating still might have some monetary penalties if there are violations conditional rating is worse that rating will remain until an action plan has been submitted and a request for an upgrade has occurred a conditional rating means you don’t have to stop operating but it means you more than likely are going to get a huge increase in your insurance liability premiums for your fleet insurance companies don’t like to see that and some customers may.


    Not contract with you most government agencies won’t contract with a company uh with a dot.

    Number that doesn’t have a satisfactory rating so the conditional can be quite costly and could cost you business the worst rating is unsatisfactory that means so many violations have been detected that the in the eyes of the dot and their system you’re.

    Not safe to operate commercial vehicles on the highway and you would get a cease operations order within 45 to 60 days and you wouldn’t be able to operate any of your commercial vehicles during that period of time the 45 day cease of operations would be if you’re a hazardous materials transporter if you’re.

    Not carrying any hazardous materials it would be a 60-day period where you um where you would excuse me i’ve got them backward 45 days is for anyone who doesn’t haul hazmat on 60 days would be if you’re carrying hazardous materials and there’s a process to appeal the rating it has to be done quickly hopefully before you have the cease operations order i’ve gone through i don’t know over the years maybe 30 or 40 of these dot audits and we’ve only had four that dropped to an unsatisfactory three of them we were able to save and one did.


    Not so that’s the rating system so.


    Now let’s go through those six factors in a little bit of detail factor one we talked about there’s an insurance form mcs-90 you can’t prepare it your agent or broker who writes your liability insurance for the fleet has to prepare that form and you have to have a copy of it on hand you don’t send it anyplace but you have to have it there to show to the auditor when it’s requested.

    Now you’ll.

    Need this form if you’re transporting any property for hire or if you’re transporting hazardous materials and that could be private or for hire the mcs 90.


    Need an accident register and this is a list of all of your recordable crashes for the previous three years and remember the recordables would be fatalities injuries or toes.

    Now you don’t send that to anyone either but you have it available and you’ll have to that’ll be the first thing you’ll be asked for is your insurance form mcs 90 and your accident register the mcs 150 is a document that we’ve mentioned earlier it’s it’s something you file to get your dot.

    Number and then you have to update it every two years and it shows how many trucks how many drivers what you transport and some other information so those are the documents for factor one in the audit and if they’re in place and they’re current and accurate then you’ve passed factor one factor two as i mentioned is the big one for record keeping um it’s in three parts uh first we’ve got the driver with the cdl there are certain cdl regulations that apply again when you go over 26 000 pounds or when you’re carrying placarded loads.

    Now if you’re under 26 but over 10 you’re going to be subject to all of the other rules here except for drug testing which we’ll get to but this will.

    Not apply if you don’t have any cdl drivers with your cdl drivers this is what you should be doing verify today as soon as you can that this is really set up to remind you give you some points to follow to do an internal dot audit a mock audit and make sure that you’re prepared if you should ever get that call so verify that your drivers have the correct class and the correct endorsements uh hazardous materials doubles and triples.

    Now for those of you in construction if you’re running low boys and you’ve got a booster or a jeep those aren’t give you another set of another point of articulation and they become a double trailer and the driver would have to have that double triple endorsement if you’re running water trucks or fuel trucks you have to have the tank endorsement and if you’re running something that’s really heavy two or more trailers over eighty thousand pounds which would be a lowboy with a jeep for example you have to have what’s called a long combination vehicle training certificate and that’s something we could offer more details at some point if you.

    Need it you should monitor the medical certification renewal and self-certification process all cdl drivers have to have a medical certificate uh mostly every two years some are every one year and when they get renewed then they have to provide that information to the state department of license or department of motor vehicles and then it goes on to their driving record if they fail to self-certify then in essence they’re they’re unqualified and suspended cdl drivers and so you.

    Need to be monitoring to make sure that that self-certification occurred you.

    Need to watch for suspensions from other states a driver might be running in washington perfectly legal assuming he is perfectly legal but somewhere somewhere in the past there’s an issue with insurance or child support or something like that that could have caused that cdl to be suspended and.

    No one would know it so you.

    Need to check if this driver has been licensed in other states and then we’ll mention cdl one more time.

    Now when we talk about alcohol and drug testing in these regulations everything we talk about this morning applies to every vehicle over ten thousand pounds except the requirement for a cdl and the requirement to submit drivers to drug and alcohol testing so this part this slide only addresses cdl drivers.

    Now you have to be in a program where you’re going to make sure that these six tests are administered when they’re.

    Necessary all cdl drivers have to have a pre-employment drug test drug test only you don’t have to do alcohol on pre-employment they have to have a post-accident drug test and alcohol test if certain things occur if there’s a fatality or if the driver should get a ticket for the accident that occurred with an injury or a toe so if there’s an injury and a toe or a toe and there’s.

    No citation.

    No test is required there is always a test required if there’s a fatality you have eight hours to test for alcohol and 32 hours to test for drugs if you’re.

    Not able to do that and sometimes there are valid reasons your driver may be injured can’t produce a sample to be tested but you’d simply make.

    Notes why you weren’t able to finish that testing process random testing everybody who’s possibly going to drive a cdl vehicle it’s referred to as a safety sensitive function if they could be driving and this would be every driver plus uh maybe a supervisor a mechanic who might have occasion to drive if they might be in a cdl vehicle they have to be in the random testing pool and there are several requirements that we won’t take the time to get into today but if they have to be in the pool you can conduct it most companies turn it over to a third party administrator.

    Nothing wrong if someone gets paid for a random it’s simply that they have to go uh because their.

    Name came up and some of you may have a driver who’s been picked or three or four times and suddenly thinks that he or she is being really set up and being isolated and picked on uh that’s.

    Not the case tell them to go buy a lottery ticket they’re just getting lucky it’s uh i’m being a bit facetious but some people will be picked over and over some will.

    Never be picked in the time i’ve been married my wife and i she has had been called for jury duty six times i’ve.

    Never been called that’s the randomness if there’s a positive test excuse me i skipped one reasonable suspicion and this is where you as a supervisor believe your driver may be impaired and if that happens you have an obligation to take that driver for drug and alcohol testing under reasonable suspicion so there’s four tests pre-employment post accident random and reasonable suspicion if there should be a positive test or a refusal to test then there are two more tests required if you wanted to rehab that driver and bring them back to your service then they would have to go through a process with a counselor a substance abuse professional then they would have to submit to a return to duty test that would be the fifth one and then a series of follow-up random tests afterwards and uh quite a bit of detail there again we um there may even be a possibility i think depending on what red or brian would want to do we might be able to offer brief sessions on each one of these six topics because there’s so much more detail that we’re.

    Not covering today pre-employment tests and annual clearinghouse queries in january of 2020 a.

    New rule came in dealing with a.

    National drug and alcohol clearinghouse for tests and those tests are going to be available to you when you’re making your hiring decisions so you will.

    Now have right today you have an obligation for cdl drivers to send a query to the clearinghouse and get whatever information they have.


    Now this is a good program because it’s it’s covered up a lot of cracks in the system where drivers could test and.


    Nobody would ever know about it because they failed so uh this does help but you have to file a query for each person you hire a cdl driver and then once a year you have to send in and request queries on your entire driver group.

    Now in order to be properly prepared for this especially for reasonable suspicion testing your supervisors cdl drivers have to go through a two-hour awareness training session your drug and alcohol testing service provider could do that for you there’s online material we provide a two-hour training session it can be done in person or on this type of a format but it has to be done for anyone who has authority over cdl drivers and who would be the one to say i’m concerned about your condition right.

    Now we’re going for a test.

    Now when the tests are performed we quite often see that people have used the wrong paperwork and that’s actually a violation with a penalty attached the dot only wants you to test when their rule says test but quite often companies will want to test anyway on their own and they simply use the dot protocol because it’s easy to follow if you test for for example you might call it a post accident test but it’s an injury on the job it’s.

    Not dot related use the.

    Non-dot form and the control and custody forms are marked either federal or.

    Non-dot do.


    Not do a federal recording test when it wasn’t mandated by the feds and be sure everyone understands the requirement for post-accident testing and that’s something that should be in your driver’s safety meetings they know that if there’s an accident they may be called on for a test if you relieve them of duty at the crash scene and they’re they’re free to get away from the truck please don’t go across the street and relax and have a beer because it was you’re all shaken up over this thing for eight hours you may be subject to alcohol testing for 32 hours you may be subject to drug testing well that’s drug and alcohol testing and we went through it awfully fast but again there’s uh if you ever have questions and we i get questions almost every week from a truck driver from a supervisor saying how do i handle this one so uh if there’s some way you think i could help please let me know or get a hold of brian or red okay uh back into the audit.

    Now we’re still in factor two and.

    Now it’s the driver qualification factor this is probably the biggest record keeping requirement in the whole deal a qualification file is required for all commercial drivers.


    Now this is everybody i mentioned earlier there might be a foreman out there driving a pickup truck around if it’s a one ton depending on how it’s packed that one ton pickup may be over ten thousand pounds you could have a half ton and hook a trailer onto it and.

    Now you’re over ten thousand pounds those drivers have to have a qualification file.

    Now here’s what should be in the file and this is part of the packet that we’ll make available to all of you if you.

    Need it an application for employment and it’s a unique dot format it’s.

    Not what you might use otherwise you have to ask certain questions of a commercial driver applicant that you wouldn’t ask if someone is going to be a parts handler in a shop or a clerk in the office so use the dot format because it asks for things like driving history and crashes and previous addresses you.

    Need a driving record you.


    Need it within 30 days of hire and you.

    Need a road test.

    Now the road test the road test is a little bit unique because there’s an exception if you are hiring a cdl driver and he or she brings you a cdl that’s valid then the rules say you don’t have to give them a road test unless they’re going to pull doubles or tank vehicles you don’t even.

    Need to do the road test i would.

    Not recommend that i would give everybody a road test you don’t know where they came from you don’t know what their real skills are unless you put them in a truck with someone you trust to give them a valid test so i i think the road test should be done on everybody but if they bring you a cdl you actually don’t have to do the road test the medical examiner’s certificate and verification of.

    National registry.


    Now every truck driver this is everybody over ten thousand pounds has to have a medical card that they’re carrying with them the cards are going away for cdl drivers because they have a different process but they have to be examined and certified that they’re healthy and safe to drive.

    Now the people that do this are medical examiners and they have to be certified and listed in a.

    National registry so.

    Not only do you have to make sure you’ve got the medical examiner’s certificate which would be given to the driver and you can put it in the file but you also have to then go online and look for that examiner and make sure that he or she is certified and valid as an examiner and you have to put proof in the file.

    Now what i’ll send you in the list of links is a link where you go right to the registry put in the the examiner’s.

    Name or registration.

    Number and then they will show you if if he or she is certified simply print that page if you print that page then put it in the file and you’re good to go until the.

    Next medical examination is due every 12 months you have to get a.

    New driving record every 12 months order a.

    New record.

    Now there’s a three-step process that we have to accomplish here the first one is order that driving record the second step at the same time if you can have every driver complete a certificate of violation and this is where a driver in writing tells you how many traffic convictions he or she has had either in a truck or in their personal car for the last 12 months so.


    Now you’ve got their certificate that they’ve signed you’ve got the annual driving record you look at those two who compare them and make a decision by reviewing their driving record make a decision whether they’re safe to continue to drive for you so that’s the three-step process annual driving record certificate of violations and then annual review of the driving record and it’s to me it’s easiest if you can do them all at once.

    Now if you’ve got a huge fleet five or six hundred drivers maybe you’d break it that break that up and maybe do groups on a quarterly basis or something uh take a certain.

    Number each quarter but that has to be done if all of those documents are in your file today for your cert your commercial driver then you’re good you should go through the audit in pretty good condition if i had to guess and i’m.

    Not trying to malign or pick on anyone but if i had to guess there are folks that are on this call who don’t have a file for some of their commercial drivers because they see them as supervisors they see them as foreman and they’re driving a pickup or a small truck a service truck that the mechanic might drive is.


    Not typically going to be over 26 000 pounds so it doesn’t have to have a cdl to drive it but the driver the mechanic has to have a qualification file so that’s driver qualification.


    Now the third uh third factor in the audit is hours of service i mentioned earlier we used to have paper logs all the time certain people because they worked local or short haul didn’t have to make a log and then uh in 2017 the electronic logging devices came along most of the violations i’m seeing.

    Now are.

    Not for.

    Not so much for the driving limits and um without going through a whole lot of this uh we’ve got an 11 hour driving limit a 14 hour limit 70 hour limit we’ve got all kinds of stuff we have to watch out for the eld will do all of that for us and.

    Notify us if there’s a violation but the driver must be trained on the proper use of the eld and have the proper documents in the truck and that’s where we’re seeing a lot of violations drivers weren’t properly trained uh they they should have an instruction sheet in the truck they should have an operating operating manual in the truck and they should have a supply of paper logs in case there’s ever a malfunction so there should be at least eight paper logs.

    Now you.

    Need to monitor this monthly even though it’s eld and a lot of folks say well it’s all computerized i don’t.

    Need to worry about it anymore there are ways that drivers if they choose and drivers can be pretty smart at this kind of thing there’s a way to get around the system and they may be able to create false logs and maybe that’s to be able to work longer or drive longer there’s a report.

    No matter what kind of eld you have there’s a report that you can go in monthly and get all of the violations that occurred if any and you can work with that to learn how to avoid future violations and to deal with the driver either more training and maybe even disciplinary action there’s a term called personal conveyance pardon me and personal conveyance is a good feature if we don’t abuse it this allows the driver basically to get home and be off duty he can still drive his truck but when he’s completed the day he can get in the truck and go off duty and drive home and.

    Not eat up any more driving or on duty hours they’re very handy but there’s a lot of ways that it can be it can be violated and so we have to watch for that drivers may.

    Not turn on their eld and they’re running miles well the computer will keep track so every month you can look at your unidentified miles and find out who drove the truck and and take care of it document it one of the places we see innocently we see unidentified miles is the shop during the.

    Night might go out and run a truck a few miles just to check their work well those miles weren’t logged into a driver and you can you can set up a login for your shop personnel but if they’re.

    Not there and there’s.

    No driver that can be a violation so carry a supply of paper logs in the truck use them if you’re for oh i’ve said use uh prepare when you’re.

    Not eligible for the short haul short haul you can use the log for simply a time card because when your short haul which is mean it means within 150 air miles of your starting point all you.

    Need to really have is a time card showing what time you went to work and what time you went off duty don’t.

    Need to keep track of driving time and that kind of thing so your time cards we would keep them and and show them to an auditor if we have to again this is a subject where we’ve spent all day in seminars teaching how to deal with hours of service and logs and if you have any questions or concerns please let us know okay factor four inspections repairs maintenance of vehicles and cargo securement cargo securement falls into this category we as we had to have a file on every driver we also.

    Need a maintenance file on every commercial vehicle.

    Now that would be each piece by itself so we.

    Need a maintenance file for the power unit we would.

    Need a maintenance file for each trailer if we have boosters or jeeps those standing alone are rated over ten thousand pounds they should have a maintenance file in that file should be proof of inspections any repairs that were made any preventive maintenance and we keep those records for at least 12 months most of the truck shops with whom i’ve been able to work will keep their records for a lot longer than that because they’re tracing they’re watching for trends with tires oil use and that kind of thing but for at least 12 months you have to keep all of those kinds of documents.

    Now what i would do pardon my voice i’m sorry it’s getting gravely here what i would do is think in terms it may be a silly analogy but this maintenance file is like the chart that your doctor keeps on you your doctor has a maintenance file on you and every time there’s a visit every time you’re in the doctor’s office every time there’s an injection a medication surgery whatever happens goes into your file that’s your maintenance file it’s what that doctor did to keep you running well you’ve got a medical chart you want to keep on every commercial vehicle so your maintenance file is the medical chart you want to know first identify it your make been and you’ve got to have the tire size on every file and then when you have an annual inspection for example a copy goes in there that was part of what you did to keep that truck healthy and he repairs any preventative maintenance on just an oil change a routine oil change all of that should be in there.

    Now you’ve got to have a written policy that includes your preventive maintenance intervals somewhere you should have it in writing even if it’s on a white board somewhere but you’d have to show the auditor when he or she comes in and that would show you how often you’re going to do a pm service and it would probably be different for a long-haul heavy duty truck than a pickup truck but you.

    Need to have a record showing how often you’ll do pms on the power unit on the trailers on the converter gear and that type of thing we’re all subject to roadside inspections at any time in any state and typically since we’re probably dealing mostly with the state of washington this morning the washington state patrol officers are authorized to do roadside inspections they operate the scales the ports of entry and they can do these inspections.

    Now when the roadside inspection shows that there’s a maintenance related violation you have to be sure that when you get that inspection that you document the proof of repair that’s a very serious violation in a dot audit and one or two of those could cause you to lose your safety rating be sure that when there’s a violation written up that you take care of it and you have proof of repair the auditor is going to come in and he or she will know when you had a roadside inspection they’ll have all that information so they see that you had a truck out of service for breaks out of adjustment they’re going to want to see what you did about adjusting those brakes did a mechanic go to the scene did you have a toad somewhere whatever you did to get rid of that violation get rid of that defect has to be in writing every 12 months we have to do an annual or a periodic inspection on every commercial motor vehicle that means you have to have a separate inspection for a power unit a separate one for a trailer separate one for a jeep or a booster.

    Now those all have to have proof of inspection on the vehicle or in the vehicle so the inspections done in writing you can keep a paper copy in the vehicle if you’d like you can use decals that people like jj keller sell these to cals and you.

    Note the date of the inspection and everything on the decal and you can put it on the power unit and on the trailer and so on.

    Now i’d encourage you if you use decals on power units sometimes the weather road conditions bright sunlight something will cause some of them to wash out and suddenly the decals blank and you don’t have any proof of inspection i’d suggest with power units if you’re going to put a decal on put it on the inside back window of the cab if it’s got a back window if it’s a day cab put it somewhere where the weather isn’t going to destroy it because you’ll be asked for proof of inspection when you go through a roadside inspection if you don’t have it even though the things happen inspection if you don’t have the proof then you will wind up with a violation there’s another line on this screen that i can’t see and it’s because i’ve got let’s see if i can get rid of this thing here hold on here i.

    Need to try and move that but it’s.

    Not going to move okay um i can’t see that.

    Next slide brian are you on there can you tell me what the slide says that last bullet okay we’ll move on i apologize be done by qualified inspectors thank you thank you i’d better talk about that um yeah i’ve got a panel of of icons right there where i missed something at the bottom of the screen but we’re okay.

    Now in order to do an annual inspection you have to be qualified and there are two separate rules in the rulebook uh that would tell you what the inspector has to do basically that inspector has to have at least one year of experience and or training in performing those inspections and doing the kind of work that’s required to make the vehicle able to pass an inspection and you should have a document that will actually show that you’ve got an inspector that’s qualified if you’re using outside shops anywhere you should ask that shop to give you something in writing showing that the people who do the annuals for your fleet are qualified.

    Now the the qualification is it seems kind of silly to be sure you have to have it in writing but it’s actually one of the regulations have written proof that you have qualified inspectors so i would just keep them in a dot file somewhere and the letters from your outside shop saying yes our inspectors are qualified under such and such part.

    Number okay load securement is a big part of factor four in an audit and we are at greater risk in the construction industry because so much of what we do is very visible because we’re usually using flat bed or low boy type trailers so we become the low hanging fruit for an inspector it’s so easy to see some of these things violations of load securement or cargo securement will be part of your maintenance score so the regulations include minimum.

    Numbers of straps or chains a minimum working load limit.

    No damaged tie-down devices and brian i’m missing the last line there blue scientists on trailers okay quite often especially in construction and i suspect you’ve seen this quite a bit you’re going off-road you may be hauling some heavy machinery and you’re going off-road and by the time you’ve finished your work and you’ve unloaded the machinery and you want to go back on the highway there could be clumps of dirt rock debris on the trailer if that debris has.

    Not been cleaned off and you get stopped for an inspection you’ll be written up for improper cargo securement it seems a little bit.

    Nitpicky but some of those clods if they hit they could fly somewhere and do some harm or some damage the sometimes will tend to leave smaller tools laying loose and they can’t be laying loose they have to be secured somehow maybe in a basket a wire mesh basket or something like that that will hold small pieces we can’t have things laying loose i spent the first 25 years of my career hauling cars and in the car hauling business every driver had a bar a steel bar and that’s how we would tighten the winch and tighten the cable or the chain to keep the car from falling off i don’t remember ever losing a car but we lost a lot of tie down bars because the driver would finish and lay that bar on the side of the trailer and get distracted and forget to put it away and one day one of the bars landed on the pavement at highway speeds took one bounce and went through the windshield of the car behind our driver luckily it went on the passenger side and there was.

    No passenger because it probably wouldn’t have decapitated someone and it was simply a piece of work a piece of machinery laying loose because we didn’t put it away so please be aware of that and uh train your drivers they can’t have anything loose laying around on a flat bed or on a little boy chains hooks tools whatever there is have to be put away and.

    No yard debris on it okay the fifth factor may.

    Not apply to very many of you i’ve had a chance to do work with some of the members of smart with hazardous materials but.

    Not too many are handling it but in construction you may have hazardous materials and.

    Not realize it we just ran into that with a company in oregon and what they’re hauling is diesel fuel for job sites they didn’t realize that they had to treat that as a regulated hazardous material.

    Now the penalties are going to be very high on that i think the the penalties just for failure to train a hazardous material employee started around 1400 or fifteen hundred dollars per violation per day um and i don’t mean to scare you with that those are the maximums and i’ve.

    Never seen the dot assess maximum penalties yet so here’s what we have to know know what it is regulated for example diesel fuel is regulated in certain quantities but uh you don’t.

    Need to worry about antifreeze motor oil you don’t want to spill it but it’s.

    Not a regulated hazardous material so know what you’re hauling that is regulated hazmat and one of the most frequent violations is.

    Not having a proper shipping paper.

    Now the dot safety regulations for hazardous material require a special bill of lading it’s called a ship shipping paper and it has certain information that would.

    Not be required for any other kind of shipment if you’re carrying placarded loads be sure that you uh if you’re carrying plaque at a load you have to register with the dot make sure that there’s a copy of that registration in every truck that’s carrying hazardous materials that’ll be a violation if the driver can’t produce it provide employee training within 90 days of hire and every three years thereafter.

    Now the company that didn’t know that their diesel fuel was required to be regulated had.

    Not done any training and the penalties there were pretty severe so uh there’s a lot of training ways you could write your own material from the regulations you might be able to get something from your state trucking association i believe washington trucking association might have a trainer there i do the training i can provide material to smart where they can share it with you the basic training program should take two to three hours.

    Now this is a this is separate and different from hazard communication training which i suspect you’re all very aware of the hazardous chemicals in the workplace hazard communication training is an osha related uh requirement from the department of labor the hazardous materials training comes from the department of transportation but one of the things i’ve seen this is a little bit off what i was asked to do but one of the things i’ve seen is that quite often fleet operators don’t share the hazard communication training with their truck drivers and i asked one one day about it i said why aren’t you doing that training for them and he said well we cover everybody in the shop but the drivers don’t have to deal with any of that they’re.

    Not allowed in the shop well our driver is exposed on a daily basis to probably some diesel fuel some antifreeze some motor oil who knows what other chemicals they may have just under the hood so they should in my opinion they should have hazard communication training all truck drivers.

    Now going back to hazardous materials you may have to prepare a written security plan if you’re carrying loads of gasoline loads of certain types of other flammables jet fuel and that kind of thing you may have to have a written security plan that deals with the possibility of terrorism terrorist activity and how you’re going to prevent it in your company and that security plan is extremely important the penalties are high if you don’t have it and if you haven’t done the training it requires a separate training session so some basic things have the shipping papers make sure they meet the regulations make sure you’ve got a copy of the registration in your truck make sure somewhere you should either have the safety data sheet or a different type of document that shows what the risks are with that product that you’re carrying and have a written security plan if you have higher risk products okay the last factor factor six is crashes and i mentioned it a little bit earlier um a crash is recordable if it involves a fatality an injury treated immediately away from the scene or one of the vehicles involved has to be towed from the scene because of damage that was incurred and be a little careful with this please don’t don’t assume that you’ve got a recordable accident because of the toe because quite often the company might decide to tow it just for convenience it could have been driven away but they decided for convenience.

    Not to drive it that shouldn’t be count and should be documented very carefully.

    Now here’s where the audit is going to be very important the crash ratio the.

    Number of accidents per million miles cannot exceed one and a half accidents per million miles if it does then this factor will fail in a dot audit so you should be monitoring that and and take a look and they’ll go back 12 months for this this.

    Number so that’s that’s something that would make or break a factor all by itself if you’ve had too many crashes so this other bullet though says that you can deal with a.

    Non-preventable crash there’s a way that it could be appealed if you have compelling evidence that the driver couldn’t have avoided the crash so if this ever happened to you in a dot audit and you’re rolling along doing fine but you failed this piece it could be that we could find compelling evidence that some one or more of those the crashes you had couldn’t have been avoided and if we can do that and prove it to the dot then they will remove that from the final audit score so those are our six factors.

    Now if you give me another five hours i would preach on this subject till the cows come home we really do.

    Not always do very well with pre-trip and post-trip inspections with with truck drivers in every area i don’t care if it’s construction uh hazardous materials medical supplies food i don’t care what it is people with commercial vehicles tend to.

    Not do the best possible inspection sometimes it’s complacency well i’ve been driving this truck forever it was okay when i parked it last.

    Night things happen drivers are required to perform a pre-trip and a post-trip inspection every day.

    Now the pre-trip some people say well it’s got to be a 30-minute inspection it’s got to take 15 minutes it doesn’t say anything about time and the regulations it says before operating a commercial vehicle the driver will satisfy himself that the vehicle is in safe operating condition i don’t know how long that would take your drivers you know if you’re looking at a one ton uh pickup with dual wheels you’re probably over ten thousand pounds and it wouldn’t take long to walk around that and make sure all the safety things are working the lights the wipers and all the things they have to check for if you’ve got a tractor trailer combination it’s going to be a little bit longer if you’ve got a low boy with a jeep or a booster you’ve got a big heavy machine on there you’re going to be looking at load securement could take you quite a bit longer to do the pre-trip so whatever it takes is what you do to make sure everything works before you leave and the driver i think whenever he or she stops for some reason to deliver or eat or whatever they should make another walk around make sure.

    Nothing has failed on the road many of the roadside violations are the result of.

    Not doing the pre-trip and i see them every day i had one the other day the driver had 11 violations on the truck two of them we finally determined through investigation two of them were a maintenance issue that the driver.

    Never could have seen the other.

    Nine should have been seen in a pre-trip and they were.

    Not and the driver finally admitted he was in a hurry and he hadn’t really looked.

    Now they also have to do the same inspection at the end of the day but it’s a little bit quicker and drivers who are serious about doing a good post trip really can be working on their post trip as they come down the the come into the yard really you want to make sure the horn works you can toot the horn you can hit your high beams you can hit low beams you can in some cases see the reflection of a turn signal or a backup light or something you can be doing some things as you pull into the yard but everything should be okay when you park that truck even though the.

    Next morning somebody else.

    Needs to be looking at it so pre-trip and post trip are really serious when i was in the industry i really believed um i don’t like to write warning letters the worst thing you ever have to do is fire a driver i wanted to try and be a little more positive so i was looking at constructive ways to get them to to do better we were i was in spokane we had 28 drivers up there some of the best drivers i’ve ever worked with and they were getting lazy and they were getting complacent and they weren’t checking the things they were supposed to check our drivers were supposed to check the oil level before they went out and the mechanics were telling me that they’re bringing trucks in out of oil and.

    Nobody’s checking so i went out early one morning and i took two or three dipsticks and weighed it at the gate well when they stopped and asked what was going on i said i’m just making sure you checked your oil i had three dipsticks in my pocket two of them admitted well i guess i didn’t i’m sorry the third one said of course i checked it so when i handed him his dipstick uh and a warning letter to go with it he didn’t lie to me anymore and suddenly everybody knew about checking oil and we got better but we also used to give out a free lunch or a company jacket or something like that to try and encourage people just some incentive program and i’m a believer in that anyway whatever you’d like to do and whatever your budget will allow but get these people to do a good pre-trip and a post trip and if you’re safety people on the job site have the the time to do it i would i would encourage people to come in and do a second pre-trip before the driver leaves if you’ve got time have somebody else look it over and see if he missed anything frequently cited items um can we back up brian uh frequently cited items that might have been caught during a pre-trip this is what i’m seeing all the time load securement uh loose chain a cut strap uh.

    Not enough straps.

    Not enough chain lights tires lights are really frequent tires.

    Now a flat tire in the eyes of the dot is a tire that has less than 50 percent of its re recommended air pressure drivers.

    Need to be looking at their tires if they’ve got duals they’ve got to really have some way of trying to check that inside tire i’m a believer if time permits and and you should make it permit i’m a believer in the driver carrying a tread depth gauge and a tire pressure gauge and once in a while check everything like that you don’t want to have a tire that actually was getting you by maybe to get you home and yet they stopped you and it only had 48 pounds of pressure and it should have had a hundred you’re going to be out of service right there we see a lot of cases where the driver didn’t have proof of an annual inspection he knew it had been done he didn’t know where to find the proof he didn’t know where to look for the paper copy and he didn’t know that there was a decal for example somewhere so they.

    Need to know that and.

    Need to look for it fire extinguishers reflective triangles quite often they’re missing or the extinguishers been used and the driver didn’t.

    Notice so these are the kinds of things we.

    Need to watch for and again i’d encourage you to consider having playing some games with them these people have a hard job we ask them to work crazy hours different shifts all kinds of pressure uh pressure from dispatch pressure from the job site and we still want them to be safe all the time and they.

    Need to be doing good inspections and any way you can encourage them then i would encourage you to do it all right so that’s it that’s a thumbnail sketch and i almost feel bad having to go through it this quickly but if you can just keep the.

    Notes that you’ve got from this slide presentation these things will if you can make sure that they’re okay today you should be okay by monitoring every six months every quarter whatever you have to do make uh there’s one pitfall that we do get into once in a while and it’s with random drug testing and random alcohol testing and that’s it will fail to tell the service provider that a driver has joined the group or has left the group you.

    Need to be sure that random pool is pure don’t let anybody in there that isn’t a cdl driver and make sure you’ve got everybody that should be if you’ve got a a foreman a supervisor with a cdl and on occasion he or she might be asked to drive a truck somewhere they should be in the random pool even if they.

    Never drive a truck if the possibilities there they should be in the random pool so i think that’s it uh brian i’ll quit babbling here and if there are questions i’ll do my best to answer them those pre-inspections do they have to be documented okay the question is does the pre-trip have to be documented.

    No if you’d like to document it it’s.

    Not a bad idea but it doesn’t have to be documented because it says the driver will satisfy himself that it’s safe and that’s all the rule doesn’t mention anything in writing it does mention the post trip should be in writing if there are safety defects if there are.

    No safety defects the post trip doesn’t have to be in writing either did i understand your slide to say that all trailers have to have a dot inspection regardless of weight capability only those that would be rated over ten thousand pounds okay so that’s totally yeah you yeah you could have a little trailer that um isn’t rated over ten thousand but be really careful what you hook it on to if the combination goes over 10 000 then the trailer even though it’s a little dinky trailer it suddenly becomes a commercial vehicle those medical certification cards uh big copy will be kept in the driver file but can the driver’s copy be shrunk down and laminated for the driver to carry on their person or do they.

    Need to be paper you know i don’t understand why but they’re.

    Not supposed to be laminated and that means since they a few years ago they changed the format and they made it so big it’s.

    Not a wallet card anymore but as far as i know the roadside inspectors don’t want it to be laminated so you just have to fold it or keep it somewhere where you can always reach it in a hurry.

    Now i mentioned during the presentation the cdl drivers are in the process and it may happen this year of.

    Not even getting a medical card from the examiner anymore it will all be done by uploading online to the dot thank you so everybody i have recorded this presentation and we’ll post it on the smart youtube website and if anybody would like a copy of the powerpoint you can email me as well and i’d be happy to provide that i would like to add as far as the medical certification you’ve had drivers uh when they’re go to get their dot card the providers told them that they would send it to a department of licensing themselves and.

    Not to worry about self-certifying and then we get.

    Notices that their license has been suspended or downgraded uh so regardless of that i i highly encourage and we make it a practice that our employees submit it there’s an email address you can use on department of licensing so they have record of it just as a a cya deal i think that’s an excellent idea that’s very smart because uh yeah you don’t want to trust some stranger who said yeah i’ll take care of it because you’ll.

    Never know until the day your driver gets stopped at the roadside i think that’s a very good idea hey john can your files be kept electronically or as long as they’re locked and kept away from people or must they be in an actual file paper file they can be electronic and there are companies.

    Now that actually provide that service to you i think they’re kind of expensive and i think that once you’ve got the initial file compliant it’s.

    Not very hard to keep it up afterward but it can be done on paper or electronically either one you just um i’m glad you asked that because when the dot asks for documents you have 48 hours to produce them from the time they ask so if as long as in 48 hours you can produce a paper copy if that’s what they want then you’re in good shape.

    Now you have a system where it’s online and you’re willing to give the auditor the login then the auditor can go in and look at whatever they want to look at at those files i would prefer only giving them what they asked for though um lori i have a question what if you come into a company and you recognize that the driver profiles are.

    Not in compliance and specifically um the employer inquiries weren’t sent at the time um drivers in the past had been brought on board and hired what what’s your recommendation for is there anything that you can do to correct that when you’re kind of you’re past the 30-day mark um what i would do and uh this can help but it’s.

    Not a guarantee that you won’t have a violation i would uh recommend that if you do an internal audit and look through your records and you discover that lori and suddenly do we miss this or we miss that they’re time sensitive so you can’t go back and recreate something that should have been done six months ago i would put a kind of a form letter one letter and copies of it in the files where they’re.

    Needed saying on this date we did an internal audit of our compliance with the safety regulations and we discovered some missing documents they can’t be recreated today but we believe from this date forward we are compliant.

    Now i don’t that may.

    Not may or may.

    Not get you out of a violation but i’ve seen quite often that it does when the dot sees that this isn’t a flagrant frequent type of thing happening you simply missed one what they’re looking for and this isn’t written anywhere but what they’re looking for is your intent to comply are you really trying and they’re going to see that just by the way you’re keeping your records and is there a system in place that should work so if your intent is there there’s a system in place you really uh probably would get a little bit of mercy from them just by that letter saying we already found our own mistake we didn’t.

    Need you we found our mistake and we have corrected it it won’t happen again i think that’s worthwhile and it doesn’t say anything about that in the rules but i believe it helps john uh there’s a question from the chat room that asks the dot requirement for hazmat for carried fuel only large amounts or cans uh okay there i’ll try.

    Not you if you ask me you know i’m a consultant and if you ask a consultant what time it is they want to tell you how to build a watch so i’ll try and keep this brief but there’s actually two answers here first if you’re uh let’s let’s deal with diesel fuel that’s the one that has a huge exception diesel fuel is a flammable liquid so is gasoline so’s jet fuel diesel fuel because of its high flash point is a lower risk in the usdot regulations they have considered diesel fuel may be called combustible other than flammable.

    Now there’s a rule in the regulations that says if you’re carrying combustible liquids in.

    Non-bulk packages you’re.

    Not subject to any regulations a.

    Non-bulk package in the d.o.t rigs the hazmat rigs a.

    Non-bulk package is one that will.

    Not hold more than 119 gallons so if you’re carrying diesel fuel in smaller packages and that’s why you see so many hundred gallon tanks in the back of a pickup uh that diesel fuel is.

    Not regulated by the d.o.t if you’re putting it in a bulk package which would be anything over 119 gallons a thousand gallon at twelve hundred a twenty four hundred gallon tank taking diesel fuel out to a job site for example that is regulated it’s gotta have placards and you’ve gotta go through all of that but you do have a big exception for combustible.

    Now the second thing that i wanted to address is there’s a term in the in the regulations called materials of trade if you’re a private carrier and you’re carrying smaller quantities of hazardous materials and they are.

    Not part of your regular job but they are there to support the primary business then those small quantities are.

    Not subject to the regulations the example i would use is a landscaper and a landscaper is going out to cut the grass that’s their primary job in order to get it done they have to have some gasoline the gasoline can become a material of trade because it’s only there to support the primary business or if the product that’s hazardous is there to protect the vehicle or the driver such as a fire extinguisher then that’s.

    Not subject to the regulations.

    Now if you’re going to carry something like this you cannot have more than 440 pounds of the materials of trade on board at one time liquids such as gasoline cannot be in a container that would hold more than eight gallons so you could have several eight gallon cans of gasoline on the truck and if it doesn’t exceed 440 pounds it’s all a material of trade you could have a couple of bottles of welding gases and each welding gas cylinder cannot exceed 220 pounds but you could have two of them on board so materials of trade get you out of quite a bit of regulation if you can deal with those small quantities i hope that answers it

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