How to Prepare for a DOT Audit

DOT Audit

When preparing for a DOT audit, you don’t have to be nervous or wonder whether you’re ready. There are a lot of moving parts to documentation in a trucking business. Driver training and certification, safety measures and remediations can be some of the hardest to track, especially when you’ve got drivers on the road and often across the country.

How to Prepare for a DOT Audit

“Hey, did we ever get that signed remediation document from Evan after he got those tickets??” is not what you want to be yelling across the office at the last minute.

Instead of hoping your records are watertight, online documentation and storage can be one of the best ways to ensure it is. Link that up to your communication and training system, and you don’t have to worry about things getting dropped. Really.

Here’s how to prepare for a DOT audit by harnessing Infinit-I’s system. It’s our business to help you keep reports in tiptop shape!

Flawless records: not impossible

The main point is fairly simple. You need to produce, date, sign, file, and be able to find detailed reports regarding your business, driver behavior, and driver records, at all times. What DOT is going to be most interested in—and what’s going to protect your business most in the event of any litigation—is a flawless record that drivers are being trained and remediated in safety, prevention, and accident response.

When you use the Infinit-I workforce system to keep track of driver training, remediation, and continuing education, it produces the detailed reports you need, proof that you acted in a responsible and timely manner to get drivers up to date on laws and regulations when needed, and correct negative behavior that leads to violations, tickets, or accidents. Every video watched, every module completed, every document you send through Infinit-I comes with a timestamp and proof that it was sent and received.

Like receipts in the front seat

This makes a huge difference.

Imagine you’re on a big shopping trip and at the end of the trip, you have to show you’ve purchased everything, whether you used card or cash, what time you visited each store, and provide proof that you got all the correct change, as well as delivery of the goods. The list is massive and takes you all over town. Plus, you’re on a time crunch. In between, you’re getting phone calls, emails, and are on the schedule to pick your kids up from soccer practice and take your cat to the vet.

Remind you of anything?

At the end of the day (in this totally imaginary scenario, of course!) what do you probably have? If you’re the average person, you’ve got a pile of receipts in your front seat, change in your wallet or purse, and credit cards scattered in your pockets. Now imagine you’re doing this for years, and you’re not accountable just at the end of the day for that day, but for all your shopping trips, at any moment. And what if you were accountable for all the other shoppers’ records as well?

I’m thinking you’d be tempted to shop online.

Electronic “paper” trail

Using Inifnit-I is like shopping online instead of keeping track of paper receipts. Every “transaction” is electronic, so it has an automatic electronic “paper” trail. Everything is dated, and there’s no question what stage of completion a training or remediation plan is in.

No matter how organized you are, there always comes a moment of slippage when you’re trying to juggle records on paper alone. One mistake could cost you thousands in fines, or tens of thousands in a lawsuit. With so much at stake from one incomplete or missing record, trying to file paper may no longer be your best bet.

When DOT comes knocking

Let’s play out this scenario. When DOT comes knocking, they’ll pick out a handful of your drivers with tickets or violations. If you’ve used a digital documentation system that’s built into training and remediation, your company can easily show the auditor the training records the driver has received. You can prove you’ve done your due diligence. You can immediately show all training modules completed and passed, for 100% of your drivers, along with proof of your plans for preventative measures and accident countermeasures. Don’t waste any time not being able to find papers, or finding papers that weren’t signed or dated.

Clients have even turned what started as a negative DOT audit into a positive one, saving their safety rating. Read the story of a DOT turnaround from one of our clients.

When a lawsuit comes knocking

Let’s take it a step further. What prepares you for a DOT audit also prepares you for the courtroom. Due diligence doesn’t just mean avoiding fines; it means preventing loss of property and life. That is the number one goal of safe driving, and it is the most crucial point of all. And if you’ve done your due diligence here, and can prove it, you can also prevent a big financial hit to your business.

When a driver gets sued, “if it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.” Train your drivers to be the best on the road. Then prove it in court, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Only available, locatable records, with no gaps and no missing pieces can do this.

Preparing documents for DOT audits is a complex and all-too-common problem in the trucking industry. Infinit-I provides a ready-made solution. Sign up for a free live demo.

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