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3 Things You Need to Do Before Hiring New Drivers
Mariah Barr
6 mins read

Maintain DOT Compliance From the Get-Go & Avoid Common Mistakes with Hiring Drivers

If you're new to hiring drivers, don't worry—we got you. Below, we're sharing three essentials to help you avoid trouble with the DOT.

These essentials include:

    Knowing what you don't know

    Addressing driver file management NOW

    Embracing digital solutions like Dash

Know what you don't know about hiring new drivers.

It's easy to think, "I'm just hiring a couple of drivers for my business. How complicated can it be?"

But here's the reality. The DOT has all sorts of rules, regulations, and requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). All of these requirements must be kept in a tidy driver qualification file.

If you're thinking you're in the clear because you're not hiring CMV drivers, think again. Because any driver who operates a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, transports at least 8 passengers including the driver, or who transports hazardous materials that require placarding is required to have a file containing their qualification documents. (See 49 CFR Part 391 for the complete regulation.)

Confusing, right?

When you're first learning the ins and outs of DOT compliance and driver qualification files, it can feel like drinking from a fire hose. Luckily, consulting valuable resources (like our in-depth library of free articles, guides, and webinars) will help you learn quickly and stay up to speed.

Address driver file management now, not later.

Your team is busy recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new drivers (and likely other employees). You might be thinking you'll reach out "soon" to team members, like your recruiter and head of HR, to get the necessary driver files squared away. But other things keep coming up, and before you know it, months have passed.

Sound familiar?

We're not judging, but we urge you to get out of this "I'll deal with it later" mindset. You don't want to mess with the Feds regarding driver file management. Penalties are stiff for non-compliance.

You'll also want to address two issues that often plague businesses getting started with hiring drivers for the first time:

    Silo mentalities

    Manual approaches

Dismantling Silo Mentalities

We all know the problem with silo mentalities. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. This can lead to unnecessary redundancies or, on the flip side, something important falling through the cracks.

At Foley, we can help you quickly dismantle siloes for good.

Karen Previti, a D.O.T. / Safety Compliance Specialist from PGT Innovations, shares her experience: "Everyone was working in silos, and Foley helped us pull it all together."

Nixing Manual Processes

Remember, manual processes will S-L-O-W you down. There's no excuse for it in the Age of Automation.

If you're wondering, "Well, how much time do manual processes really take," just ask Kathy Jones, the Corp Fleet Safety Manager from Koppers.

Jones says, "Before [Foley], everything for driver onboarding was done in a manual way, and it would take us three to four weeks. Foley has already cut that down to a week. We have orientation every Friday, so we could hire someone in a week and have them on the road Saturday."

Learn more about how Foley helped reduce Koppers' time to hire.

Embrace digital solutions like Dash.

We know DOT driver compliance inside and out, thanks to 20 years of industry experience. Plus, we listen to our customers about what would make their lives easier. We married the two and created an effective way to recruit, screen, and manage driver compliance in one easy-to-use online platform called Dash.

But don't take our word for it.

Cilla Denham, a recruiter for New England Ice Cream, has this to say about working with Dash. "We can onboard a new driver faster with Dash. Background checks come back more quickly, and everything is finished in a little over a week for everything if the candidate is on their game. I am much more organized using it, everything is all in one place, and I can keep track of things. DOT exams are automatically uploaded because the candidate license is already in the platform."

Prospective drivers love using Dash as well since they can fill out job applications on their phones (and save progress).

Talbot Theunissen, COO of Mallini Transport in Houston, echoes these sentiments: "Foley's Dash platform is faster, more intuitive, and cleaner . . . . It is easier for [applicants] to fill out forms on their phones and keep the process moving in general."

Hire new drivers the right way.

See Dash in action. Request a demo and discover how Dash can help you quickly and compliantly recruit, screen, and onboard new drivers.

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