If you’ve started a Trucking Company, you must schedule a DOT New Entrant Safety Audit within the first year

What is the New Entrant Safety Audit?

After you’ve applied for and received operating authority, your company will be in the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. The New Entrant Period is 18 months and during the first 12 months of this period, your company must pass a safety audit performed by a certified U.S. federal safety investigator, or state or provincial enforcement officer.

When should I schedule my safety audit?

The FMCSA will mail you a letter with instructions on how to schedule your audit. Once you’ve been notified, you have 90 days to schedule it.

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What does the safety audit cover?

  • Driver Qualifications: The auditor will check your driver qualification file (DQF).
  • Accident Registers and Documentation: Next, the auditor will check your company’s accident reports. Specifically your company must have active motor carrier insurance, an accident register listing any DOT-recordable accidents involving your company, and an accident report for each accident.
  • Driver Duty Status/Hours of Service (HOS): The auditor will ask for “supporting documents” to compare against your driver’s logs to check for compliance with HOS regulations. You can use any documents that help the auditor determine the accuracy of your driver’s logs, such as receipts, dispatch records or bills of lading (BOLs).
  • Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use Testing: The auditor will also review your company’s Drug and Alcohol Program including company records like test results and contracts with any third-party administrators.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: You should have a maintenance file for each truck that shows all inspections, maintenance, and repairs, as well as driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs).
  • Hazardous Materials: If you haul hazardous materials, make sure you are compliant with required permits and rules. For more information on best practices you can visit the FMCSA website.

What happens after the safety audit?

The auditor will review the findings and issue a pass or fail rating. If your company fails the safety audit, you should submit a corrective action plan to fix any safety violations. If you fail to do so, your company could be placed out of service otherwise.

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