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The Key to Fleet Safety? Automated Driver File Management
Foley
6 mins read

Fleet safety is paramount to any business that employs or relies on drivers, but a couple of recent events have made it even more critical to a motor carrier’s success.

First, there’s been a sharp rise in so-called “nuclear verdicts” in cases involving truck crashes. (With nuclear verdicts, juries award ten million dollars or more.) As a result of these verdicts, insurance premiums have skyrocketed for trucking companies across the board—so much so that some companies are scaling back on their insurance because they can’t afford the price hikes. If that sounds like an unwise response, you’re correct: Cutting back on insurance puts carriers at greater risk if their drivers are involved in any accidents.

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Another reason driver fleet safety remains critical to a carrier’s success . . . we know for a fact that the FMCSA is laser-focused on removing unfit drivers from the roadways, more so than ever before, thanks to its collaboration with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration (CVSA).

So what can a carrier do to avoid the FMCSA’s ire, manage insurance costs, and—most of all—ensure the safety of its fleet? The answer might surprise you.

When it comes to driver fleet safety, sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make the biggest difference.

In the game of American football, the most important element isn’t the star quarterback or trick plays. It’s getting the fundamentals right, like blocking and tackling.

You should approach your driver qualification files the same way. Because if you don’t keep your driver files in tip-top shape, it won’t matter how fabulous your business is or how well you recruit drivers. The small details matter most on game day. (And in case the metaphor isn’t clear, game day is when the feds come knocking on your door.)

Now, you might be thinking: “Driver qualification files? That’s it? Easy-peasy.” And in a way, you’re right. The concept of driver qualification files isn’t overly complex. But neither is blocking and tackling once you understand the basics. The challenge is in consistent execution.

Unfortunately, too many carriers don’t have the necessary processes in place to consistently maintain compliant driver qualification files. And THAT’S a problem. But luckily, one with a solution: automation.

A good automated system can monitor things like upcoming expiration dates on CDLs and run MVR checks on time each year.

If you don’t think things like that are important, think again. Because the number one FMCSA violation for the last five years is allowing a driver with a suspended or revoked CDL to continue driving. And that’s something that a good automated system can catch before it causes you any headaches. And by a headaches, we mean hefty fines, out-of-service orders, safety rating downgrade, and ending up on the FMCSA’s naughty list.

An automated DOT compliance system, like the Foley Platform, makes it easier to maintain driver fleet safety.

Honestly, if you’re reading this article and you’re not using the Foley Platform, what are you waiting for? The Platform is based on our decades of experience working in the transportation industry. We understand DOT compliance, including its many nuances. Our in-house counsel keeps up with all regulations while our top-notch software team maintains an online system that’s easy for customers like you to use.

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With the Foley Platform, you can . . . 

  • Manage driver file creation and screening in one secure online location
  • Easily add on extras (like MVR monitoring)
  • Get help whenever you need it (thanks to a dedicated account rep)

By the way: If you’re still using paper driver files, STOP. Because when the DOT audits you, you WILL be required to deliver DIGITAL files within 48 hours, or else. This is just another reason why you need to make the jump to an online system if you’re not already using one. (We can help you make the move—it’s not as hard as you might think.)

As for the benefits an automated compliance system offers? When it comes to driver fleet safety, here are the two biggest ones.

You’ll have peace of mind that your files can pass muster with the DOT and you can rest assured you’re doing your part to keep the roadways safe for everyone.

Sounds like a win-win, right? Request a demo of the Foley Platform today and improve driver fleet safety.

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