The FMCSA’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis guarantees most every motor carrier will be scrutinized for safety compliance on a monthly basis. With scrutiny adds to your chances of being audited. Your company can go from a hero in safety compliance to a zero with just one bad driver.
CleanFleet can help with you through your audits and responding to audit requests.
As a new entrant into trucking, your company will be required to go through a detailed DOT safety compliance audit within the first 12 months of operation. Non-compliance with any one of sixteen key audit areas will result in failing the audit and could cancel your operating authority. Prior to an audit, we can review your records and assist with any needed preparation. We can even sit with you and your auditor to help smooth the process.
At any time after your new entrant audit, the DOT can determine a need to re-audit your required safety records. We can assist there too!
Performing a periodic review or mock-audit of your safety files and documentation is a best practice to always being prepared for an audit by the Department of Transportation. On any schedule you determine, our experts can review your files, determine any shortcomings, provide forms and even assist in bringing the files up to full compliance. Our reviews include:
DOT/FMCSA safety interventions with your company can be random or targeted based on your violation history. An intervention can consist of a full Compliance Review of all the record keeping requirements noted in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR’s) or focus on a specific class of safety violation such as Hours of Service or Maintenance.
The results of a full Compliance Review can assign a Safety Rating to your company of Satisfactory; Conditional; or Unsatisfactory. Along with the assigned rating my come fines depending upon the seriousness and quantity of violations found.
Additionally, your company will be asked to create and respond, in writing, with a Safety Management Plan (SMP) of actions being taken to address corrective action in the key areas of violation. The first order of business is to understand the deficiencies and what controls were missing. Then, you need to convince FMCSA that you now deserve a rating upgrade to Satisfactory. A motor carrier must base their request on evidence that they have taken the corrective action identified in their safety management controls, as well as developed and implemented this plan to bring the company into compliance. The FMCSA offers a 17 page tutorial on how to construct an acceptable SMP.
For carriers receiving an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating, you are given just 60 days to respond to have your SMP reviewed and approved or face being placed Out of Service on the 61st day until such time your SMP is approved. It should be noted that the FMCSA reserves 45 of those 60 days to review your plan in order to guarantee it will be addressed within the 60 days. This review period really only gives you, the carrier, 15 days to construct and respond with an acceptable SMP. You do not want the FMCSA to delay your rating upgrade because your request was not complete or not completed in a timely manner.
We have assisted scores of carriers construct Safety Management Plans. Our experts understand the SMP process and will work with you to respond timely and get it right the first time to avoid costly delays and further actions that could be taken against your company.
A carrier assigned a Conditional Safety Rating by the FMCSA as a result of a Compliance Review are allowed to continue to operate but are often placed under addition inspection scrutiny. Additionally, the Conditional rated carrier is often subject to increased insurance rates and denied load opportunities because of the less than Satisfactory rating.
The FMCSA offers a process for upgrading a Safety Rating. The process to upgrade is daunting and time consuming, often taking months and hours of work by the carrier. The FMCSA goal is to process upgrade submissions within 45 days of receipt however, because the carrier is able to continue to operate with a Conditional safety rating, the FMCSA places Unsatisfactory/Out of Service upgrade requests as first priority which can delay processing.
We have successfully helped many clients through the upgrade process and have the expertise to make it as quick and as painless as possible.
Don’t let a Conditional Safety Rating subject your trucks and drivers to additional inspections. Worse yet, don’t let a Conditional rating increase your expenses or be denied a business opportunity. Finally, don’t let the process of going through an upgrade scare you away from doing it! We are here to help!