Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Ensuring Safety Compliance for Your Trucking Company - Single Point Capital

Ensuring Safety Compliance for Your Trucking Company

By March 22, 2022April 26th, 2022Factoring
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For the past few years, the trucking industry has had a focus on safety compliance. While other industries have their own safety compliance and guidance, adherence to those guidelines falls under OSHA. However, because the trucking industry has the FMCSA acting as the guiding agency, OSHA really does not play a role in safety compliance. The FMCSA is focused on reducing injuries, ensuring the wellbeing of drivers, monitoring hours of service (HoS), and other metrics. These aspects of safety allow the FMCSA to quantify and grade the performance of trucking companies throughout the United States, as well as issue fines, disciplinary, and correctional plans to carriers that violate safety compliance. Here are a few guidelines to keep your fleet in compliance with the FMCSA.

Define Your Fleet’s Safety Policy

Not all drivers can be expected to memorize everything the FMCSA publishes word-for-word. At the same time, claiming ignorance of specific guidelines will not help anyone avoid being flagged for violations. The best way to make sure everyone in your fleet is on the same page is to develop a safety policy to set expectations. This way, even as new drivers are onboarded, they are aware of what to do and not to do. The FMCSA has even released a safety planning tool for carriers to make the process easier.

ELD Requirements

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are not standard equipment in every truck. Gone are the days of paper logs to keep track of breaks and hours of service. Every driver in your fleet should know how to provide ELD logs in a digital format when requested. It should be noted that failure to provide logs can result in fines ranging from $1,000 up to $10,000.

Fleets Need Driver Training

Your drivers are also the public face of your brand. How they operate on the road reflects on your business, and violations can damage your fleet’s reputation and business potential. Also remember that many people may drive your trucks. Yes, you may employ dedicated drivers, but supervisors, managers, and anyone else in your organization with a commercial driver’s license may end up behind the wheel as demand gets heavy.

Screen Your Drivers

The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearing House obviously does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to screening drivers. However, beyond drug tests, fleet owners should be looking at traffic citations, potential medical issues, and even if there were interpersonal conflicts where HR counseling was involved at previous places of employment.

Onboarding

Never assume that your new employees know everything, or are immediately familiar with your specific company. Just because they are used to a certain workflow does not mean that’s how things are done in your fleet. Make sure they receive specific training after they are hired, or even implement a mentoring system. Have employees sign off on manuals and documents

Invest in Fleet Tracking Software

One of the features of fleet tracking software is the ability to generate maintenance schedules. Making sure all vehicles are in the best condition will prevent malfunctions, improve driver productivity, and reduce accidents. Additionally, maintained vehicles end up costing less for repairs than neglected trucks.

Accident Reviews

Even the best fleets have accidents. After a certain amount of time on the road, a fleet is just playing the odds, and there are so many factors at any given moment that can result in an accident. By establishing an accident review panel with managers, drivers, and other employees, you can review if an accident was avoidable and if there is anything that could be implemented to prevent similar incidents moving forward.

Reward Your Drivers

Following safety compliance is no small task, but if everyone is helping each other as a team, you should be able to measure your fleet’s ongoing success, right down to individual drivers. You can acknowledge and reward your employees with special privileges, such as flexible hours, gift cards, or anything else that keeps your drivers motivated to focus on safety compliance.

If you are thinking about launching a trucking company, talk to the experts at Single Point Capital. We will help with everything from permits to insurance and more to make sure you are fully compliant when you launch.

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