New Braunfels, TX, January 18, 2023
In our line of work we utilize fleet trucks and trailers each day traveling miles and miles to serve our customers and deliver a quality and timely product. DOT compliance is of the utmost importance to safety and operations. The (FMCSA) defines a commercial motor vehicle as ANY vehicle or combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (or actual weight) of 10,001 pounds or greater that is operated on a public roadway in commerce. With the GVWR of most ¾ ton pickup trucks now exceeding 10,001 pounds, fleet vehicles and drivers will likely be regulated by Section 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Ontivity takes this as one of our highest priorities and we have equipped our fleet trucks with with Motive devices, which work in unison with the Motive App, to help facilitate our DOT compliance. It is part of the Ontivity culture to stay DOT compliant just as we do with conducting a JHA or inspecting our PPE prior to use. We encourage everyone to make this part of your daily inspections as well. Here are two key points that help keep you operating within DOT Compliance.
- Conduct Pre-Trip and Post Trip Inspections
- Maintain and Monitor your Hours of Service
Conduct Pre-Trip and Post Trip Inspections
Driver vehicle inspections are an important part of the overall safe operation of a vehicle. A quality pre-trip inspection can identify defective equipment before it fails. Repairing a flat tire at your office results in a much faster and less expensive repair vs. having the tire repaired at an interstate weigh station. A proper pre-trip inspection will help you avoid being placed out of service during a DOT roadside inspection. This inspection is meant to be a thorough check of the truck, trailer, and any equipment or load that you are carrying. The inspection is to ensure that everything is in correct working order, prior to the truck and driver departing on a trip. This inspection should only take about 10 -15 minutes depending on whether you have a truck, trailer, or any loaded equipment or material. During the inspection, this is a great opportunity to ensure you have roadside triangles or flares, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and spare fuses. Ontivity uses the Motive App which allows us to streamline this process and easily conduct our vehicle inspections.
Maintain and monitor your Hours of Service
The primary reason for hours-of-service regulations is safety. The goal of the regulations is to keep fatigued drivers off the road. Hours of Service regulations focus on when and how long a driver is allowed to drive by placing specific limits on the amount of time a driver drives a commercial motor vehicle and how many total hours can be worked before the driver is no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle. The three maximum duty limits are 14-hour duty limit, 11-hour driving limit, and a 70-hour duty limit in an 8-day period. Law enforcement officials are focusing on HOS violations both on the roadside and in back-office audits (i.e., compliance reviews). In the event of a traffic enforcement or roadside inspection, law enforcement will review the HOS records of drivers and issue violations and/or citations for any violations discovered. In some severe cases, they will also place the driver out of service until they have enough hours to proceed. If the motor carrier is selected for an audit, Hours of Service violations are double-weighted compared to other compliance factors. This means that if an inspector discovers a pattern of HOS violations, the carrier is more likely to receive a conditional or unsatisfactory rating, which, in extreme cases, can result in the carrier losing its authority to operate. Remember, it is up to each individual driver to monitor their logs to ensure we stay in compliance.
If you want more information on those topics, reach out to the Ontivity safety team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get you taken care of.