Compliance regulations, whether they be the Department of Transportation (DOT) or the National Safety Code in Canada, are intended to hold drivers and companies to a standard of safe operating on the roads that all companies must follow. The consequences of falling out of compliance can be expensive, to say the least.
Trucking companies that find themselves non-compliant with regulations can face everything from fines to insurance hikes to litigation or even criminal charges. Not to mention the potential for lost time, business and your company’s reputation.
Given the importance of compliance to a carrier’s operations, you’d expect it to be the one business process given the most attention for improvement when it comes to efficiency. Yet so many companies stick to the same old methods: using paper files and tracking spreadsheets.
Sure, you may be thinking, “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But we believe there are advantages to switching to an online truck driver management solution that will dispel any resistance you may have towards maintaining the status quo.
1. Streamline Data Collection and Make the Best Possible Use of Your Time
Compliance starts in recruiting. While the safety department is responsible for managing compliance, so much of the information necessary for a compliant DQ file is captured at the job application stage. For that reason, how you set up hiring and onboarding processes helps ensure compliance later on. When you establish a proper system for quickly and easily capturing all relevant driver documentation, you’ll help reduce the amount of time safety personnel spend chasing after people.
And speaking of recruiting, how efficiently are you screening your applicants? A fulsome software that encompasses an Applicant Tracking System with DQ file compliance can allow for knock-out questions to reflect your minimum qualifications
Using truck driver management software like TruckRight has been shown to decrease the time spent on preparing the Annual Record of Violations by as much as three weeks. How? Simply put, it eliminates the need to sift through different files, documents or spreadsheets looking for driver information. Again, it comes down to having systems in place. With all the necessary information already gathered and input throughout the year, a good program will be able to automatically populate and output the necessary forms to create your driver’s Annual Record of Violations in a matter of seconds.
How long will working on your compliance tasks take? Can you anticipate when or where you need more people working on this aspect of your business? By using an online DQ file management system, you can assign tasks to colleagues, track the time it takes, identify bottlenecks, and ensure you have the capacity to manage your workload during peak periods.
2. Improve Privacy and Security with Secure Access from Anywhere
One of the great benefits of switching to an online driver management system is that your DQ files are in one centralized, accessible location online. In trucking companies that are spread out in different cities, maintaining privacy and data security should be of main concern. How often have you had to send files from one terminal or office to another? Systems like TruckRight allow you to provide secure access to members of your team without having to send files via fax or email.
That also means you can eliminate the need for auditor visits to your office. All you need to do is assign remote access through secure Auditor logins. Throughout 2020, in response to the pandemic, the number of DOT off-site audits spiked to just over 50 percent. It’s likely we’ll see more of that going forward, so you might as well make the switch and get your company ready for the new normal.
Increased trucking insurance costs continue to be a concern ranking at number five in last year’s ATRI report. What if we told you that using DQ file management software could help you save a few bucks on insurance? Not only can you assign DOT compliance officials auditor logins, you can also do the same for your insurance company.
By providing insurers the necessary transparency into your practices as a safely-operating, fully-compliant carrier, you’ll improve the possibility for them to reward you for your efforts. If nothing else, not having an insurance rep coming into your office to review your files could save you the expense of having to buy them coffee or lunch.
3. Keep Your Documents Organized and Current
What if you never had to scramble to find the paperwork you needed to respond to a compliance audit ever again? Instead of spending time searching through filing cabinets or even stacks of papers, an online DQ file management system puts needed information at your fingertips, eliminates the need for physical storage space and reduces costs associated with purchasing paper, printing equipment, ink, etc.
Few of us may like change, but we all know change is inevitable. And yet, you’d be surprised at how many people, like busy trucking recruiters, human resources or safety personnel fail to keep up with change. Because too many people overlook or ignore change, they end up using the same outdated documents. How wrong is that?
A good online DQ File compliance management system will help you keep up with change, especially when it comes to the DOT. Imagine using a software solution that will update your forms or add new ones without you having to worry about managing that process, or worse, discovering too late when you’ve fallen behind.
4. Improve Your Compliance Communication and Reporting
Eliminate the guesswork around compliance. Paper files and even spreadsheets can leave HR and Safety personnel feeling a little in the dark. Dashboards provide a snapshot of what’s going on with all of your drivers. You can see at glance what your compliance status is and where potential issues may need to be addressed.
Auto-generated and scheduled reports can send directly to team members, keeping everyone informed without any of the work.
Automated expiration alerts sent directly to drivers helps them take accountability and upload a copy of their new driver’s license or sign a new policy without you having to chase them.
Online truck driver management systems make it possible for truck drivers to take action on their files without having to be dispatched and rerouted to your location.
Your Team Deserves the Best Tools for the Job
The best systems are easier to get up and running than you might expect with the vendor’s team doing most of the work on your behalf. TruckRight was designed by truckers for truckers, with the intent of making a fleet run more efficiently without a lot of extra work.
If you’re still sitting on the fence over whether to hang on to your old system for managing compliance files, consider this: you wouldn’t send your drivers out in a beat-up old truck, so why force your recruiting, HR and safety personnel to continue to use outdated technology that makes you less efficient?
If you’d like to learn more about how TruckRight can help improve your trucking company’s efficiency with DQ files, reach out and talk to us to find out more.