Do You Know Your Hiring Requirements?

Do you know what your automobile liability carrier requirements are to hire commercial drivers? You should!

Part of your driver qualification process should be checking the hiring requirements; you can obtain a copy of your insurance company’s hiring requirements from your insurance agent.

So what are some of the requirements? Usually, there is a minimal age and minimum years of commercial driving experience. Your insurance company may have some motor vehicle report (MVR) guidelines, so look at those closely. Typically, there are items in the requirements that prohibit you hiring a driver. These can include factors such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, or excess speeding to name a few.

A good hiring process should include reviewing the requirements, reviewing the MVR, getting approval from your insurance agent, and obtaining an approval from the underwriter. If you pull an MVR and the driver has some violations and/or accidents, then you should definitely get approval from your insurance agent and the underwriter prior to making a hire offer.

Underwriters have the ability to approve a driver, exclude a driver, and place a driver under suspension. Good communication with your insurance agent should help keep you out of trouble with your insurance company. If you change insurance companies, always ask for the driver hiring requirements prior to binding coverage or renewal in case the new hiring requirements don’t align with your hiring efforts. Your insurance agent should be able to obtain this information to give you an opportunity to make informed decisions.

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Do I Really Need Bobtail Coverage?

If you are a truck operation and you use owner operators, then yes, you should have bobtail coverage. We have spoken to safety directors, managers, and owners at truck operations and have heard “we don’t need bobtail coverage, because our owner operator drivers are always under dispatch”. While that may be true, there is always a possibility that a driver may not follow the rules.

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Driver Incentives—A Different Approach

Safety and compliance programs should contain a driver incentive program. Although companies may have some variation of an incentive program, many are not as effective at improving safety outcomes as they could be. At Transport Safely, we have developed a driver incentive program that is focused on improving CSA SMS BASIC scores and accidents, both core elements that insurance companies monitor to determine if your operation has an effective safety program.

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Insurance Agents and the Safety Game

Insurance Agents and the Safety Game

If you are an insurance agent and you try to secure coverage for a transportation company, then you have to provide potential insurance companies proof that your client has some type of safety program. The application process usually has some questions about the type of safety program the company has and who is in charge of the safety program.

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Passenger Operation Online Safety Training Program

One challenge many transportation passenger operations like motor coach companies and bus companies face is that they have to develop a safety and training program based on truck operation safety programs. That just doesn’t work! It’s like placing a square peg into a round hole. For years, I completed audits of passenger operations and witnessed firsthand how they struggled with their safety, training, and compliance programs.

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Focus on Company Snapshot

Some transportation companies’ safety and training programs are complicated and difficult to navigate. However, these programs should be straightforward, easy to understand, and documented. Company employees should focus on the areas that their automobile liability insurance company and the Department of Transportation (DOT) regularly focus on - BASIC scores, MCS-150 data, accidents, and safety rating.

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Filed under: Insurance, Operations

What is Loss Control?

So, what exactly is loss control? Simply put, it is the controls you have in place to ensure DOT compliance and safety. Your insurance carrier wants to ensure that the company has sufficient controls in place to limit losses that can affect them paying claims.

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Filed under: Insurance

Avoid Fines: Update Your MCS-150 Report

One of the costly mistakes a transportation company can make is not updating its Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150 Report). This report must be updated every 24-months; failure to do so can lead to a fine up to $10,000 and your company being shut down by the FMCSA.

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Filed under: Operations