DOT File Preparation & Programs Management 

When managing any DOT Safety Management Program the paperwork is endless.  Having an effective and efficient process to manage keep organized is essential in every program.  Keeping your files in proper order is necessary to avoid the chaos that will quickly follow as these document begin to pile up.

 

Taking steps now to get organized will help ensure your success in maintaining the compliance programs for years to come. Front Range Compliance Services, LLC, is here to help you with all of your files and record keeping management to ensure you are maintaining compliant with the FMCSA and all state specific rules and regulations.

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Paper vs. Electronic Files

One of the most frequent question we get is, “Can I have electronic files or do they have to be paper?”

 

The only requirement with document type is that you have each of the necessary DOT files. Bottom line is, DOT files may be in either format that best fits your management abilities.  We at Front Range Compliance Services, LLC, prefer to set up all files in electronic format. The electronic format is easier to organize and track without having bulky filing cabinets filling up our client’s offices. This is 100% acceptable as long as photocopy of the original can be produced when requested by an enforcement official.

 

From an organizational standpoint, when creating electronic files, it is absolutely crucial to develop a file naming sequence. This will allow the computer system to keep the files in a structure so they are easily located or searched for.  For example, it you have a fleet of 15 Truck Tractors and 15 Trailers, each would be required to have a Periodic Inspection.  If you scan the inspections and name them all 30 “Annual Inspection”, they are going to extremely difficult to find.

E-File Naming Sequences

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Naming sequences as described below are key and so easy to replicate.

 

We recommend a file name sequence that first identifies the type of document, the unit or person, and date of either the completion or expiration. For Example Files will appear in your file browser as:

Driver Files Example:

> Driver Qualification (File)

    >John Doe (File)

        >DQF (File)

            >Annual-John Doe.5-15-2020

            >Annual-John Doe.5-15-2019

            >Annual-John Doe.5-15-2018

            >CDLA-John Doe.exp 3-15-2024

            >DQ-John Doe.7-17-2016

            >Med-John Doe.exp 2-12-2023

            >Med-John Doe.exp 2-14-2021

            >MedOrig-John Doe.7-17-2016

            >MVR-John Doe.5-15-2020

            >MVR-John Doe.5-15-2019

            >MVR-John Doe.5-15-2018

            >MVRMedVar-John Doe.2-22-2021

            >MVRMedVar-John Doe.2-24-2019

            >MVROrig-John Doe.7-12-2016

            >PSP-John Doe.7-12-2016

        >Drug and Alcohol Testing (File)

        >Safety Performance History (File)

        >Training (File)

Vehicle Maintenance Example:

>Vehicle Maintenance

    >Unit 101 (File Name under Vehicle

      Maintenance)

        >AnnInsp.Unit 101.2-12-2021.pdf

        >AnnInsp.Unit 101.2-15-2020.pdf

        >DVIR.Unit 101.2.7.2021.pdf

        >DVIR.Unit 101.1-28-2021.pdf

        >Repair.Unit 101.2-12-2021.pdf

        >Repair.Unit 101.2-7-2021.pdf

        >Repair.Unit 101.1-29-2021.pdf

        >Repair.Unit 101.2-15-2020.pdf

    >Unit 201

        >AnnInsp.Unit 201.11-8-2020.pdf

        >AnnInsp.Unit 201.1-6-2019.pdf

        >DVIR.Unit 201.2.10.2021.pdf

        >DVIR.Unit 201.1-16-2021.pdf

        >Repair.Unit 201.2-11-2021.pdf

There are many different formats for electronic file management, the key is to be consistent throughout your program.  If you are doing the electronic file be sure your company server is properly partitioned to only allow access to authorized management officials.  Additionally, be sure all files are backed up and secure.

 
 

Necessary Files

  • Accidents

    • Accident Register

    • Vehicle Accident (By Unit Number and Date of Accident)

  • Driver Qualification

    • Each Regulated Driver

      • Driver Qualification File*

      • Driver Qualification Tracking Sheets*

      • HR Personnel File*

    • Drug and Alcohol Testing*

      • FMCSA Clearinghouse*

      • D&A Testing *

        • Pre-Employment *

        • Random*

        • Post Accident*

        • Reasonable Suspicion*

        • Return-To-Duty*

        • Follow Up*

    • Safety Performance History and Investigation*

    • Policy and Procedure Receipts

    • Training

  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Program*

  • Program Enrollment*

  • FMCSA

    • FMCSA PIN Letter*

    • Permits

    • MCS-150

    • UCR

    • Audit Documents

    • DataQ Challenges

    • SMS/Safer Review

  • Hazardous Materials

    • SDS

    • Security Plan*

    • Shipping Papers

    • Hazardous Waste Manifest

  • Hazardous Materials (cont.)

    • Permits and Registrations

      • PHMSA

    • Cargo Tanks Certification

    • Training

      • Initial Hire Training

      • Recurrent Training

  • HOS

    • Driver Time Records (Short Haul Exception)

    • Site Air Mile Radius Maps

    • ELD Information

      • ELD Instructions

      • ELD Training

  • Insurance

  • IRP/IFTA

    • IFTA Filings

      • Each Quarter Filing

        • Filing Document

        • Supporting Documents

    • Other State Tax Accounts

    • IRP

      • Renewal Documents

  • Policy & Procedure

  • Training Programs

    • Onboarding Program

    • Safety Meetings

    • Training Plan

  • Vehicle Maintenance

    • Unit # Files for each truck and trailer either Owned/Leased/Used By

      • Maintenance Log

      • Annual Inspection

      • PM Reports

      • DVIR’s

  • Vehicle Maintenance Tracking Sheets

  • Roadside Enforcement Inspection Reports

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A general DOT Program will need to following files for all the documents to be properly named and secured within.  These file can be either paper or electronic.

 

Please remember certain files are required to be secured and only accessible to the appropriate management official. These confidential files are indicated by star below:

 

Necessary Files

A general DOT Program will need to following files for all the documents to be properly named and secured within.  These file can be either paper or electronic.

 

Please remember certain files are required to be secured and only accessible to the appropriate management official. These confidential files are indicated by star below:

Document Retention 

Within the DOT Files and Record Keeping requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations there is not just one standard for the time you must maintain the records.  In fact the mandatory retention times are all over the place.  Below is a reference guide to help you to ensure you keep all your record for the correct time frame.

 

Special Note:  In the event of a critical incident or civil litigation, consult with legal council for the appropriate retention requirements of all associated records.

Document Retention 

Within the DOT Files and Record Keeping requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations there is not just one standard for the time you must maintain the records.  In fact the mandatory retention times are all over the place.  Below is a reference guide to help you to ensure you keep all your record for the correct time frame.

 

Special Note:  In the event of a critical incident or civil litigation, consult with legal council for the appropriate retention requirements of all associated records.

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Book Your Compliance Assessment Now!

Want to learn more? Need help with your DOT File Management? Want to see what Front Range Compliance Services, LLC, can do for you? Click the button below to book your Compliance Assessment now. 

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