Essential Steps to Keep Your Trucking Business Running Smoothly
Being an owner-operator in the trucking industry means taking on both the responsibilities of a driver and a business owner. It’s a challenging task, but if you’re determined and willing to put in the work, it can be a rewarding career choice. As an owner-operator, there are several tasks you need to do to keep your trucking business running smoothly, especially when it comes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. In this blog post, we’ll cover the essential FMCSA owner operator must do’s, including DOT 5 Panel drug testing, DOT physicals, registering for the FMCSA Clearinghouse, and more.
1. Get a DOT 5 Panel drug test:
One of the FMCSA owner operator must-do’s is to get a DOT 5 Panel drug test. This test is a requirement for all drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). A DOT 5 Panel drug test checks for the five most commonly abused drugs: marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and PCP. The test must be conducted by a certified laboratory and performed by a qualified technician. It’s important to note that you can’t drive a CMV until you have a negative drug test result on file. You’ll need to take this test at least once every two years. Every owner operator must have a pre-employment test on file. Need to order a test today, contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or [email protected] or press link below: https://workplacescreening.com/product/dot-5-drug-screen/
2. Join a consortium
Every owner operator must join a consortium. A consortium is a group of DOT owner operators and/or employees of a DOT firm. It allows individuals or smaller employers the ability to have random testing without being subject to testing every quarter. The consortium will pull the appropriate amounts of drivers to be tested each quarter. On average a driver should expect two random drug tests each year and an alcohol test every 2 years or so. Need to join a consortium? Contact our knowledgeable support staff today at 844-573-8378 or [email protected]
3. Get a DOT Physical:
Another essential FMCSA owner operator must do is to get a DOT physical. A DOT physical is a medical examination that checks if you’re physically able to operate a CMV. During the exam, a healthcare professional will check your blood pressure, vision, and hearing. They’ll also ask about your medical history and medication usage. If you pass the exam, you’ll receive a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), which is valid for up to two years, depending on your health status. It’s crucial to have a valid MEC on file, or you won’t be able to operate a CMV. Each owner operator must have a pre-employment physical on file and repeat every two years if healthy. If less healthy and according to your issue, you will have to repeat the physical every 90 days to one year. Need a physical today? Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or [email protected] or press link below to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/product/dot-physical/
4. Register for FMCSA Clearinghouse:
One of the newest FMCSA owner operator must-do’s is to register for the FMCSA Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that provides real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. As an owner-operator, you must register for the Clearinghouse and check it regularly to ensure your drivers’ compliance. The Clearinghouse also has other benefits, such as simplifying the hiring process and reducing administrative paperwork. Owner operators must register as a driver and as an employer. Owner operators must have a pre-employment query as well as an annual query on file. If you need assistance today with your FMCSA Clearinghouse duties, contact our Support Staff today at 844-573-8378 or [email protected] or you can press on the link below to join our FMCSA Clearinghouse Memberships: https://workplacescreening.com/product/fmcsa-clearinghouse-membership/
4. Follow Hours of Service Regulations:
As an owner-operator, you must follow the FMCSA’s Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. These regulations aim to prevent fatigued driving by limiting the number of hours a driver can operate a CMV in a 24-hour period. The current HOS regulations state that drivers can drive up to 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. They can’t drive after the 14th hour on duty, and must take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving. It’s crucial to follow these regulations, as there are steep penalties for non-compliance. For more information on Hours of Service: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service
5. Stay up-to-date on FMCSA Regulations:
Finally, one of the most critical FMCSA owner operator must-do’s is to stay up-to-date on FMCSA regulations. The trucking industry is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay informed about new rules and regulations. You can do this by keeping an eye on the FMCSA website or by joining a trade association. Staying current on the regulations can help you avoid fines, penalties, and other legal issues.
As an owner-operator, you have a lot on your plate, from managing your business to driving long hours on the road. However, taking the time to complete the essential FMCSA owner operator must-do’s is critical to maintaining a successful trucking business. Make sure to complete your DOT 5 Panel drug test and DOT physical, register for the FMCSA Clearinghouse, follow HOS regulations, and stay up-to-date on FMCSA regulations. These steps may seem daunting, but they’re vital to keeping your business running smoothly, avoiding legal issues, and ensuring your safety while on the road. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on the right track to running a successful trucking business. If you need assistance with your FMCSA requirements or need to order a test today, contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or [email protected] You can also order any of our services now by pressing on link below: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/