How to avoid a DOT audit of your trucking company

How to avoid a DOT audit of your trucking company

It’s the notice every trucking company safety or human resources manager dreads: You’re being audited by the state DOT.

Many trucking companies rely on paper filing systems or Excel spreadsheets to keep track of their driver compliance data. These methods are time-consuming and make record-keeping a cumbersome chore.

Is all of the data up-to-date in your driver qualification (DQ) files? How can you tell, at a glance, if a key piece of data is missing or expired? If it’s not properly documented and current, you could be facing thousands of dollars in crippling fines.

“Today, trucking companies average a driver turnover of 88% per year. That makes compliance record-keeping a nightmare for many firms,” explains Tyler Weston, President and Chief Operating Officer of Noble Diagnostics.

There’s got to be a better way

What if you had an easy-to-use online dashboard that would automatically alert your safety or human resources manager when sections of your DQ files are out of compliance, or soon to reach their expiration dates? It would enable them to manage your driver records by exception, so they could see the items that need attention and quickly take action to bring them into compliance.

If all this data was stored in a well-designed database, ten years of records would be just a few clicks away. Your compliance managers could keep your records up-to-date in a fraction of the time it now requires. This would free up many hours of their time to focus on higher-value tasks.

A solution to compliance headaches

Such a DQ file management platform exists today, and it’s exclusively available to Noble Diagnostics clients.

Compliance data in each DQ record is flagged using a user-friendly “stoplight” model, enabling your managers to easily see which items are out of compliance (red), which will expire in the next 45 days (yellow) and which are current (green). This visual approach takes the guesswork out of compliance management and can save your managers countless hours of time and headaches.

This comprehensive online tool also tracks critical vehicle data, including registration, annual inspection dates, engine hours and a log of past maintenance and repairs. This helps to ensure that your vehicles are safe to drive and helps to eliminate surprises when your vehicles are inspected at weigh stations.

For larger trucking companies, this DQ file management platform enables your compliance managers to take a high-level view of your operations, determining which terminal managers are keeping their drivers in compliance, and which may need corrective action.

From this high-level view, they can easily drill down to individual drivers and the areas within their DQ files that need immediate attention. A prominent graphic displays the percentage in compliance of each driver, enabling your managers to focus on those who are most out of compliance first – a critical part of risk management.

“With this toolset, we help trucking companies to not only avoid costly DOT fines but also to ensure that their drivers are healthy, free of drug and alcohol addictions and are operating vehicles that are safe to drive,” Weston adds.

This DQ file management platform was developed exclusively for Noble Diagnostics and isn’t available from any other third-party administrator (TPA).

Drug and alcohol testing – simplified

In addition to helping your human resources and safety managers to efficiently manage their driver and vehicle compliance, Noble offers a comprehensive online solution for ordering and managing employee and candidate drug and alcohol testing. NobleNow is accessible 24/7 via any internet-connected device and can provide your managers with a powerful toolset for managing these aspects of driver compliance.

New employee and random pool tests can be ordered using NobleNow, and results are communicated electronically from test labs directly into the online platform. Your compliance managers can receive notifications as soon as test results arrive, enabling them to accelerate the process of hiring the right people – and identify those with substance abuse problems earlier in the hiring process.

Background checks – fast and easy

Noble Diagnostics also offers a state-of-the-art online background check tool that simplifies this critical segment of the hiring process. It usually delivers results within 24 to 72 hours, helping your human resources manager to make informed hiring decisions, faster.

Like Noble’s other web-based tools, it provides a visual dashboard that enables your HR person to zero in on candidate records that contain derogatory information. He or she can view the status of background checks in real-time and can easily drill down to view any questionable part of the candidate’s history.

“Even if a check isn’t complete, if a flag appears that a candidate has a past felony, our clients can immediately remove them from the pool of potential hires. Competition is intense to hire drivers from a dwindling pool of potential candidates. That makes fast response times critically important,” Weston points out.


Noble Diagnostics’ electronic information platforms save our clients money and help them to mitigate risk.

“Our comprehensive toolset, backed by our experienced MROs, help you make educated decisions about hiring and managing drivers. That helps you be more productive and profitable and reduces your exposure to DOT fines, worker’s compensation claims, lost time and wages, criminal behavior, bad hires and lawsuits. We help remove the risk from your business,” Weston concludes.


Compliance Questions?