Improving Your Company's Compliance With DOT/FMCSA.
DOT Driver Policy
It is important for a company to have a strong driver policy saying the exact duties a driver is expected to perform. In addition to a strong policy, a company should conduct a driver orientation when hiring new drivers.
Why Does my Company Need a Driver Policy?
It is a company’s job to educate all drivers about federal laws the driver must follow.
Drivers need to be told not to break hours of service rules. Companies need to tell drivers national rules like the 11 hour, 14 hour, and the 70 hour rule. Drivers must also follow the rules of the 30 minute break.
Drivers can use exceptions to the laws but it’s not easy to do. A driver can’t just say to a trooper or officer “I claim the short haul exception to the rule.” A driver and the boss need to be able to talk about the conditions when the exception is allowed.
What Should be in a Driver Policy?
A driver policy needs to tell drivers that they must wear their seatbelts and when driving they cannot use a handheld cell phone. Drivers need to know how to care for the truck. Drivers need to check the oil and keep the truck clean inside and out.
Drivers need to show that they know how to perform inspections. A driver must complete the required inspection before they drive and after the trip every day. Drivers need to know what to do with required company paperwork.
Part of driver orientation must be how to use the company’s electronic log device. The driver needs to also know the national Hours of Service rules. The driver needs to show the company they know how to properly fill in a written logbook.
Drivers need to be told that there are some national things that won’t be allowed. Drivers can’t speed, follow another car or truck too closely or drive with the wrong license. Each company boss can decide other things that will not be tolerated. The driver policy should tell a driver what a serious traffic ticket is. And if a driver gets 2 serious tickets in 3 years the driver will lose their license for a while.
Drivers must be told to talk to the company boss about changes in their license. If a license gets cancelled, the driver must tell the company boss. If a driver gets a warning their state driver’s license is going to be taken away, the driver needs to tell the boss the date.
Drivers need to be told to turn in all inspection papers to the company. The drivers also must turn in any traffic tickets that they get in any truck they drive.
A description of the federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse needs to be given to the driver. The company needs to tell the driver the benefits of signing up with the Clearinghouse.
The company policy needs to explain for drivers what will happen if they do not follow the rules.