If your business has any sort of shipping or transportation department, you’re bound to have had your fair share of experience with the ever-changing complexities of Department of Transportation (DOT) reporting. DOT regulations are hard to follow and can be even harder to comply with, whether in terms of Hours of Service logs, Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports, or Driver Qualification File documentation. Any fleet manager knows the risks of non-compliance, from heavy fines, to loss of licenses or vehicles, to operational deauthorization. But luckily, in today’s business world, you can implement an automated DOT reporting system to help save you time, money, and, most of all, non-compliance troubles. The following article will provide an overview of some of the key facets such a system has to offer, and how it can help get your business on track to full DOT compliance.
Automated Mobile Hours of Service Logs
One of the top benefits of an automated DOT reporting system is that it makes it easy for drivers to remain aware of their duties and responsibilities, as well as report their compliance easily, so their supervisors and any auditors can have automated reports on the same. Using a mobile device, your operators can both log their Hours of Service (HOS), as well as check up on what they need to do or avoid in order to comply with HOS requirements – all in one app. For instance, they can specify when they go on- and off-duty, in addition to tracking their hours of sleep, for compliance as well as health and safety. Doing all this electronically will spare them a load of paperwork, and, combined with an on-board Electronic Logging Device, will keep headquarters seamlessly up to date with real-time reports, as well as enable hassle-free in-house HOS audits.
Automated Driver Qualification File Management
Another feature of automated DOT reporting is the ability to gather, store, and, when needed, modify or replace the documentation required to keep your Driver Qualification Files (DQFs) up-to-date. By storing all documents digitally and securely, you can be sure that all requisite paperwork is accessible to any relevant parties. Moreover, an automated system will automatically detect if any documents lapse or fall out of compliance due to changes in regulation, and alert you of the need to update or replace those files. For example, if a DQF document is about to expire, an automated notice will be sent out to dispatch, giving you the chance to upload the needed amendments online, in a timely and securely encrypted manner, thus avoiding fines and penalties with anticipation.
Automated Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports
An automated DOT reporting system will also greatly facilitate the notorious Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) process. Not only will the system guide your drivers through the inspection, step by step, so they can check off each completed inspection as they go, it will also allow supervisors to ensure these inspections are being done properly. This is easily doable with smart detection technology, which can verify that a driver has spent an appropriate amount of time physically inspecting each part of their vehicle, based on the complexity involved in each step. What is more, drivers can easily upload their signed inspection reports, and attach detailed photos to prove compliance or report problems in real time. Ultimately, automated DVIR software will up your fleet safety and extend the life of its vehicles, while avoiding the delays of DOT check-point or roadside checks for observably defective vehicles by ensuring anticipatory maintenance.