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Anyone in the trucking or transportation industry knows how vital maintaining DOT compliance is. Unfortunately, keeping up with all these rules and ensuring every document is in place can be very tedious and time-consuming.
To help with this process, many companies turn to DOT compliance services to handle these tasks for them.
Table of Contents
- What Are DOT Compliance Services?
- How to Evaluate a DOT Compliance Service
- Driver iQ
- J.J. Keller & Associates
- Foley Services
- Evilsizor & Associates
- Which Services Do You Need?
What Are DOT Compliance Services?
If your organization operates vehicles that require registration with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), it’s imperative that you follow all the required rules and regulations. Some of these regulations, including marking all fleet vehicles with their DOT registration number, are fairly straightforward, while others, such as maintaining driver’s records, can be difficult and time-consuming.
Failure to comply with all DOT regulations can have serious consequences, including fines, suspensions, and, in severe cases, loss of vehicle registrations. These consequences could delay the delivery of goods or services or even shut your business down.
For many organizations, the risk of non-compliance is too great. To alleviate this stress and ensure continuous compliance, many businesses use third-party DOT compliance service companies to handle this process for them.
How to Evaluate a DOT Compliance Service
It’s important to realize that not all DOT compliance service companies are the same. This is why it’s so important to take the time to explore your options.
When evaluating different companies that offer DOT compliance services, there are several factors you should consider.
When searching for a DOT compliance services company, it’s important to determine exactly what types of services your company requires.
Some agencies offer comprehensive DOT compliance services, which often come with a contract and monthly fees. Other agencies offer individual services that you can pick and choose from.
For example, some companies may offer complete managed solutions, while others may provide individual background checks and motor vehicle reports. Before entering into any contract, be sure to find out exactly what services the company offers and what solutions are covered under specific service plans.
Once you start searching for the right provider, you may quickly find out that some companies specialize in specific services. For instance, the agency may only work with companies hauling hazardous materials or only those with passenger vehicles.
It’s best to work with a DOT compliance services provider that has experience in your specific industry. Otherwise, you risk working with an agency that doesn’t fully understand DOT rules and regulations impacting your business.
Reputation and Experience
It might be tempting to work with a newer third-party vendor. Oftentimes, they offer lower fees than some of the more seasoned service providers.
Instead, make sure any DOT compliance provider you’re considering working with has a strong reputation for providing excellent services and years of experience in the industry. After all, your business is too important to risk hefty fines or suspension.
Check to see what previous clients have to say about the company’s services. Also, be sure to ask detailed questions to ensure the agency has the right expertise for your specific needs.
1. Driver iQ
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 76 reviews
- Comprehensive criminal and employment background checks
- Motor vehicle records
- Education and military records verification
- Current employee retention program
- Eligibility for rehire notifications
Driver iQ is a division of Cisive with decades of experience providing DOT compliance services to employers in the transportation industry. It’s an ideal option for those looking for affordable services to ensure compliance with all DOT driver and vehicle requirements.
It offers background screenings, obtains updated motor vehicle records, and verifies driver school records. These services can help you select candidates who already meet DOT standards.
Its driver screening services include criminal and employment background checks, education and military records verifications, and previous employment records. Driver iQ also provides notifications for rehire eligibility, so you can quickly recruit former employees.
Additionally, its current employee retention program alerts clients if driving records are pulled for any of their current employees. This type of notification gives you time to make a counteroffer before you lose a good worker.
2. J.J. Keller & Associates
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars; 5 reviews
- 7-day free trial
- 70 years of experience in the trucking industry
- DOT compliance consulting services
- Manage services handle DOT recordkeeping
- Online training and support services
J.J. Keller & Associates has been helping clients in the trucking industry navigate governmental rules and regulations for 70 years. It offers DOT compliance advisory and solutions management services as well as a number of online solutions, including training modules, fleet management software, and a safety management platform.
Its consulting services consist of DOT compliance assessments and pre-audit services to help you prepare for your upcoming DOT audit or for recommendations for improving fleet management efficiency. Managed services at J.J. Keller & Associates can handle the tasks of document tracking and ensure ongoing compliance with all DOT regulations.
Its driver compliance solutions track everything from drug and alcohol testing to hours of service logs and include driver qualification file management. Vehicle DOT compliance services are also available.
- USDOT compliance tracking app
- DOT background checks
- Pre-audit and failed audit support
- SAP courses and Corrective Action Plan services
- DOT clearinghouse checks
Purcell provides DOT compliance services to small to midsize businesses as well as those needing to secure DOT authority to establish a trucking business. Its DOT clearinghouse services include drug and alcohol testing and driver consent forms.
Its team of professionals can also assist with pre-audit services to help you prepare for your USDOT audit or provide support to companies that have failed their audit. As an added service, Purcell offers SAP courses and can develop Corrective Action Plans to help get your drivers back on the road after a failed drug or alcohol test.
Purcell also offers a compliance app, known as its USDOT App. This app allows clients to store all relevant information and documents pertaining to DOT compliance, such as driver inspection records, hours of service logs, and safety scores, in one convenient location.
4. Foley Services
Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars; 2 reviews
- Three service plan options
- Dedicated account manager
- Audit and pre-audit support
- Motor vehicle reports
- DOT clearinghouse checks
For over 20 years, Foley Services has partnered with both large and small motor carrier companies to ensure USDOT and FMCSA compliance. All clients receive a dedicated accounts manager and audit support, as needed.
It offers a tiered service plan that allows clients to determine the specific level of support they require.
Even its basic plan offers support with mobile DOT application filing and provides recruitment tools and initial motor vehicle reports. More advanced services also include document management, annual or continuous motor vehicle report tracking, and pre-employment screening options.
Clients who require CDL-licensed drivers can also request drug and alcohol testing services and DOT clearinghouse checks. It also conducts employment, criminal, and social media background checks to make the candidate selection process easier.
5. Evilsizor & Associates
- Two service plan options
- Free interstate permit checklist
- Brokerage supportive services
- DOT clearinghouse check
- Online training options
Evilsizor & Associates has served over 150,000 trucking companies and brokerage firms since its inception in 1990. It offers a full range of services to help clients remain in compliance with all USDOT and FMCSA rules and regulations.
Through its two service offerings, including DOT-Shield and DOT-Shield Premium, clients can select the package that best meets their needs and budgets.
Its basic service includes everything from MVR reports to a monthly monitoring program that tracks critical data, including insurance filing status and MC number status and automatic filing of MCS-150, as necessary. Those seeking more in-depth DOT compliance assistance can select the upgraded plan, which includes additional services, such as quarterly IFTA filings, driver and vehicle maintenance file management, and IRP renewal.
Additional services include fleet management, online training, and assistance with USDOT application filing.
Which Services Do You Need?
When searching for a DOT compliance services provider, it’s important to start by assessing your current needs. For instance, are you looking for a provider to handle the entire DOT compliance process for you or are you just looking for specific services, such as motor vehicle record checks?
Next, it’s important to set a budget, so you know exactly how much the company is able to spend on these services. Additionally, take the time to evaluate the five service providers above to determine which option best matches your needs and budget.
Most importantly, be sure to read the fine print before entering into any contract. You want to make sure you fully understand exactly what services are and are not included in the plan.
If your company, like so many, understands that the first step of DOT compliance is hiring the right drivers, working with Driver iQ may be your best option. The combined services of comprehensive background checks and up-to-date motor vehicle records can help your organization identify which candidates are a good match for your company.
DOT Compliance Service FAQs
What Does a DOT Compliance Manager Do?
A DOT compliance manager is responsible for making sure the company remains in compliance with all DOT rules and regulations. These managers are tasked with maintaining all required reports and documents, including safe records and hours of service reports.
What DOT Compliance Documents Do Drivers Need?
Truck drivers are required to keep numerous documents in their trucks and must be able to provide them upon request.
Here’s a look at some of the most important documents that drivers should have on hand at all times:
- Accident packet
- Certificate of insurance
- Commercial driver's license (CDL)
- Company information
- Hazmat paperwork, if necessary
- Hours-of-service logs
- Lease agreement for vehicle
- Letter of authority
- Medical certificate
- State permits
- Vehicle inspection reports
Many truck drivers keep most of these documents in a binder, so they’re easy to find.
How Do You Ensure DOT Compliance?
DOT compliance is mandatory in the trucking and transportation industries. So, it’s important to devise a plan to ensure your company meets these regulations at all times.
Some companies use a variety of checklists and notification systems to ensure everything is in place. Other organizations utilize the support of a DOT compliance service company, which can help them with some or all of these tasks.
Whatever method you choose, compliance takes teamwork between management and the drivers to ensure 100% compliance, so it’s important to include drivers as part of the process rather than simply telling drivers what they need to do to be compliant.