DOT compliance involves commercial fleets meeting the requirements for operations set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). While this once involved a lot of paperwork, telematics systems that gather and store fleet data now make the job more convenient and accurate than ever.
Fleet managers must keep track of issues related to DOT compliance, including compliance standards for different aspects of the operation and the status of commercial driver licenses (CDL). They must also keep the company prepared for DOT compliance audits, understand HOS regulations and ensure that Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) are done properly.
Preparation for DOT Compliance Audits
Since the federal government implemented the Safety Measurement System, the number of DOT compliance audits have increased. The Safety Measurement System uses data from weight stations and roadside inspections to determine a commercial vehicle’s safety.
A DOT compliance audit can happen at any time. Fleet managers use telematics to better keep a company compliant with federal regulations. They also lead to compliance audits running smoother and the ability to deliver numbers with great accuracy.
The Importance of ELD
An ELD system is critical for DOT compliance. The ELD synchronizes with a commercial vehicle engine, gathering and storing important data such as: duty status, miles driven, engine hours, engine power status, vehicle motion status and identification of the driver, vehicle and motor carrier.
This data is used to certify a driver’s record of duty status (RODS), ensuring that it is complete and accurate. A safety official can then review this information to ensure the driver is operating within federal guidelines.
Areas of DOT Compliance
The U.S. Department of Transportation keeps an updated list of issues related to CDL compliance. To meeting the standards for commercial status, a driver and his or her vehicle must meet certain standards created by the federal government.
The federal government’s HOS standards generally place any vehicle used for business and involved in interstate commerce in the commercial vehicle category. These vehicles may also meet other standards, including a weight of at least 10,001 pounds or use as transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.
Mandated by law, a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) is a formal record that confirms completion of a commercial vehicle inspection. These inspections are required at the beginning and end of each day. Records of these inspections are critical data for commercial fleets and DOT compliance audits. Telematics are key to ensuring that compliance is maintained and that DVIR records are complete. For fleet managers who want to make DOT compliance records more accurate and convenient to maintain, advanced telematics software is a strategic business tool.