Successful motor carriers who are subject to federal safety regulations embrace compliance as part of their overall risk management strategy. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary business interruptions (i.e., roadside inspections); preventable violations, which can damage a company’s reputation; and possibly monetary fines and penalties. Each of these outcomes has the potential to decrease revenue, increase expenses, or both, negatively impacting your bottom line and long-term sustainability.
For those who are new to the regulations or are looking to self-assess their compliance efforts, Great West Casualty Company designed the Safety Road Map to help (see https://info.joemorten.com/safetyroadmap). In the “Regulatory Compliance” section are three tasks designed to aid your compliance efforts. If you have already completed these tasks, that’s great! Keep at it and look for other ways to improve. However, if you identify any gaps, consider these resources as you take corrective action.
1. USE THE MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY PLANNER.
The FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Planner (MCSP) website provides simple explanations and templates to help motor carriers understand and comply with federal safety regulations. In this task are listed a few resources Great West recommends getting familiar with, such as the free documents in the Forms Library (ex. driver qualification file checklist and forms), and the “Carrier Compliance Questionnaire” for conducting a self-audit.
2. RECORD ALL VEHICLE CRASHES IN AN ACCIDENT REGISTER
All DOT-reportable crashes must be recorded in an accident register. However, Great West recommends recording all vehicle-related incidents, not just the DOT reportables. The reason for this is that it is easy to forget about smaller incidents, like backing into a loading dock. Out of sight and out of mind, minor incidents can add up and could be a leading indicator that more serious incidents are on the horizon. If you would like a free accident register, please contact Great West and we would be happy to send you one.
3. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOT REGULATIONS AND FMCSA.
This task speaks more to those who are new to the trucking industry and federal safety regulations. Regulatory compliance can feel overwhelming, even to those who have been in the industry a long time. Not knowing what you do not know can also be frustrating. Three
resources are provided: Great West’s Learning Library, the FMCSA’s New Entrants website, and ETHOS, which is the FMCSA’s Educational Tool for Hours of Service. Four videos in the Learning Library are recommended, plus you may find the FMCSA’s New Entrants and ETHOS websites very helpful.
Note: Completing these three tasks is voluntary and does not constitute compliance with all of the regulations. These tasks are meant to assist you as you start down the path of compliance.
CALL TO ACTION
Download the “Carrier Compliance Questionnaire” from the MCSP website and conduct a self-audit.
Record all vehicle-related incidents in an accident register.
Complete the third task in the Regulatory Compliance section of the Safety Road Map.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.