The process of managing the federal regulations for driver qualification files can be daunting.
Not only does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require motor carriers to maintain a driver qualification file for each commercial driver, carriers must know the specific pieces required in the file, as well as the requirements for maintaining that file over time. However, the regulations only cover the MINIMUM requirements for the driver qualification file. Read on for some tips on how carriers can do more than the bare minimum and raise the bar for regulatory compliance.
- Upgrade your employment application. Ensure that drivers are providing the most comprehensive information about their work history and qualifications right out of the gate. Adjusting your driver employment application to include more in-depth, behavioral questions can help you get at the heart of a driver's qualifications and enable you to tell from the start whether the driver will be a good fit in your organization.
- Enhance your interviewing skills. It's not enough just to ask the basic employment questions; these days many organizations are moving toward behavior- or competency-based interviewing formats to gain the most knowledge about the driver during the interview process. This will help you gauge how a driver might respond to certain situations so you can form a better opinion of their qualifications.
- Dig deeper into MVRs. The minimum requirements for a driver's motor vehicle record include investigating their record for the previous three years. But some carriers are going back even further in their records – some as much as 10 years – in order to paint a more comprehensive picture of the driver's record.
- Go further than employment history. When it comes to checking employment history, carriers can do more than just verifying employment. Pick up the phone and call the other carriers' safety departments to ask how the driver operated when he worked for the company, even if it takes more time to do so.
- Provide better education and training. Regardless of whether the training occurs during the onboarding process or is a continual part of the driver's employment experience, everyone benefits from enhanced training.
- Improve driver wellness programs. Due to the sedentary nature and stress of the job, truck drivers are more at risk for health problems than those in other occupations. Protect your investment in your drivers and show them how valued they are by improving (or initiating) a wellness program that puts your drivers' health in the spotlight.
It’s important to remember that even in the current driver shortage, carriers should not lower their standards when it comes to hiring qualified driver applicants, because carriers often pay the price down the road. For more information on how InfoStream’s managed service can help your organization with driver qualification file management, visit www.infostreamonline.com or call 833.255.5046.
InfoStream, an EBE company, combines EBE’s industry-leading technology and InfoStream’s industry-leading customer service to create a standard that is unlike any other managed service offering in the marketplace. Our leadership has a combined 100 years of experience in risk, safety, and compliance. With our home office in East Moline and satellite offices nationally, we service clients all over the United States and Canada.