Although acing a FMCSA compliance review is not totally possible, these reviews are easier if trucking company owners and managers are fully prepared. The purpose of these reviews is to keep roadways safe by making sure drivers and trucks are competent. Therefore, the primary focus is on the drivers, trucks and company procedures. Five tips to making your FMCSA compliance review easier include
- keeping drivers’ information and qualifications,
- records of hours of service,
- controlled substances and alcohol testing,
- vehicle maintenance
- current accident reports.
TIP 1: Have Your Data Ready
It’s never easy when the government comes to call. Your best response is to be organized and ready to provide all the information they ask for quickly. If you’re still working with paper or Google spreadsheets, how quickly can you get that data? Especially if you’re under pressure?
Using our specially designed software for transportation companies makes sure you have the required information right at your fingertips.
Steps of a FMCSA Compliance Review
When a compliance officer arrives, he or she conducts an opening interview with the owner. Necessary staff is interviewed, and accident reports for the last 12 months are reviewed. This inspection checks financial responsibility and vehicle maintenance. Information on drivers and hazard material procedures are assessed. After checking hours of service, the closing interview is conducted. Businesses are informed of the results within 60 days for a satisfactory rating and within 45 days for conditional or unsatisfactory ratings.
Tip 2: Online or On-site?
Be aware that in these days of the pandemic, many of these interviews are done online rather than in person. That makes having your data online and at your fingertips important. As with all government reviews, you only want to provide what they ask for. So having a system that allows you to submit exactly what they want – and nothing else – is critical. You’ll wrap up the review faster when you can send them a report through email than if you have to mail the data through the USPS.
Tip 3: Get Organized
It’s easy to let things slide. “I’ll get around to it,” justifies leaving papers out – or still using papers in the 21st century. The trucking industry is as computerized as any other other. It’s up to you to decide if you want to be satisfied with the shoebox of receipts and let it cause you to have to stress over an upcoming FMCSA compliance review.
There are a lot of parts to a complete trucking management software. People, especially those who don’t understand how computer programs look and work, think that it will take forever to learn the basics, much everything that a system will do it.
This is why we have kept TruckingOffice simple. You enter your data once. But we know how to take those dispatches and numbers to use them in multiple ways – invoices, IRP, IFTA, driver pay. There’s a lot less for you to learn as we take over the tasks that take you off the road.
Relaxing Through This Process
If you have TruckingOffice, our software for transportation companies, you’re already prepared for your FMCSA compliance review. With this simple, easy process, information is only entered once. The program automatically transfers data to necessary records. When a driver is hired, all that information is input. The computer automatically updates all records; when a driver takes a load cross-country, the original order tracks the driver’s miles and hours of service. If the driver has the brakes fixed on the trunk in Tennessee, that information goes on the truck maintenance log when the repair charge is posted.
Having all of this information centralized and easily accessible helps to put your compliance officer at ease, since it’s obvious that you manage your company well.
The easiest way to survive your FMCSA compliance review is to have the required information available. Complete records on drivers, test results, maintenance and accident reports are vital. After all, safety is the number one concern of everyone involved!