Vehicle Inspection

Vehicle Inspections for Your Fleet

Lower your risk with regular vehicle inspections

Vehicle costs are a top expense for nearly every operation.  Proper vehicle inspections can lower risk, increase regulatory compliance and save your company money.  Inspections must be conducted prior to and immediately after operating any DOT regulated vehicle.  Most companies require similar pre-trip and post-trip inspections for all vehicles.

Get our Vehicle Inspection Training document here!

Prior to your inspection, preparation is key

You must review the previous driver’s vehicle inspection for defects.  This may be done electronically or via paper form.  If the previous driver noted a defect, review the DEFECTIVE ITEMS section of this outline.

Vehicle Inspection Process

The following is my preferred method for inspecting vehicles – yours may vary.  The key is to be consistent and do the inspection the same way, every time.

Click here to learn more about LimoLogs
The only compliant vehicle inspection designed for passenger carriers!

Initial Walk-Around

Begin at the driver’s door and go around the vehicle counter clockwise looking for any physical damage or mechanical issues.  Some companies may have you conduct body inspections and safety inspections separately, follow your company’s training and guidance.

Key areas to inspect:

  1. Body panels – Check for damage and security 
  2. Tires – check for
    1. Proper inflation
    2. Adequate tread depth
    3. Rocks between tread that could become a projectile on the road
  3. Rims – look for
    1. Cracks and other damage
    2. Oil leaking from center hub
  4. Brakes 
    1. Visually check brake pads 
    2. Listen for air leaks, if applicable
    3. Inspect brake lines for rubbing and damage
  5. Lug nuts – Verify that they are secure and all present on each tire
  6. Look under the vehicle as you go:
    1. Leaks – there should be no leaks of air or fluid
    2. Suspension components – must be intact and free of damage
    3. Steering components – must be intact and free of damage
    4. Check for broken or damaged exhaust hangers, exhaust leaks
    5. Look for broken or damaged drive shaft components
  7. Mud flaps, if equipped, should be properly secured
  8. Reflectors should be clean and intact
  9. Glass (windshield, side and rear windows)
  10. External mirrors
  11. DOT numbers, if applicable

ANY BODY DAMAGE MUST BE REPORTED PRIOR TO STARTING THE VEHICLE!

Engine Compartment Inspections

Open the cover and begin your engine compartment inspection.  The location of individual items should be covered in training, but if you have questions, ask your fleet manager.

Key areas to inspect:

  1. Check all fluid levels
    1. Oil
    2. Brake fluid
    3. Coolant
    4. Windshield washer fluid
  2. Belts should be tight and free of damage
  3. Hoses should be intact and free of leaks
  4. Alternator(s) and air compressor should be securely mounted
  5. Battery should be secure, free of leaks or corrosion with terminals tightly connected
  6. There should be no loose components or wires
  7. Start the vehicle and listen for any engine noises that sound out of place – this is also a good time if the vehicle is equipped with air suspension to listen for leaks at the back of the vehicle.

Lighting System Inspections

Lighting inspections are best completed with a partner, when that isn’t feasible reverse lights and brake lights will be difficult to check unless backed up against a wall or mirrors have been provided.  Never exit a vehicle in gear to check lighting.

I prefer to check the vehicle lights in the following order:

  1. Turn on headlights – check
  2. Turn on brights – check
  3. Left turn signal – check all
  4. Right turn signal – check all
  5. Hazards – check all
  6. Check all parking and clearance lights as you make your way around the vehicle

In-Cab Items to Check

  1. Check gauges
    1. Engine temperature
    2. Fuel level
    3. Oil pressure
    4. Battery gauge
    5. DEF level (if equipped)
    6. Air pressure (if equipped)
  2. Note and investigate any vehicle warnings
  3. Check windshield wipers
  4. Check washer fluids
  5. Test horn
  6. Adjust mirrors
  7. Test seat belt

Additional Items to keep in mind during your vehicle inspection

  1. Verify location of triangles, fire extinguisher, spare fuses, and first aid kit (if applicable)
  2. Check for annual inspection sticker and paperwork
  3. Check for insurance and registration, as well as any applicable city or airport permits
  4. Verify vehicle has 7 spare logs, 1 spare vehicle inspection, and  ELD Instructions (if applicable) – DOT Vehicles
  5. Verify ELD is present and operating (if applicable)

Brake Tests

Brake tests vary by state and vehicle but follow the same general principles.  Use chocks when appropriate and follow the guidance of the state and manufacturer.

Engage the parking brake and put your foot on the service brake.  Place the vehicle in gear and then slowly release the service brake, the vehicle should not move.  

Test the service brake by rolling forward slowly and then applying the brake, the vehicle should stop without pulling to either side.

Air Brakes

  1. Apply the parking brake and press the service brake.  Hold for one minute while watching the gauge for loss of air pressure.
  2. Pump the service brake until the warning alarm goes off – usually around 60 PSI
  3. Continue pumping the brake pedal until the air supply buttons pop out – usually around 30 PSI.
  4. Start the vehicle and allow air pressure to build back up to normal levels before continuing.

Passenger items

Some of these items are required and others are best practices, always follow your state and company’s guidance for vehicle inspections.

  1. Test all doors to make sure they open and close properly
  2. If applicable, test handrail
  3. Ensure step light works properly
  4. Verify all seats are secure
  5. Verify that the passenger area is clean and free of garbage or tripping/slipping hazards
  6. Ensure the trunk or cargo area is clean and empty
  7. Check that emergency exits are properly labeled and secured
  8. Put cleaning supplies out of sight
  9. Test radio and any applicable audio/visual equipment
  10. Stage the vehicle appropriately in accordance with your company policies
  11. If applicable, test wheelchair lift and verify location of securement devices
  12. If applicable, ensure bathroom is clean and stocked

Additional tips for your inspection

  • Allow plenty of time – A proper inspection will take 15-30 minutes depending on the vehicle.
  • Always start in the same place and work around the vehicle in the same direction – This helps eliminate missed steps.
  • Always check passenger comfort items as well – We sell an experience, not just safe transportation.

Dealing with defective items during a vehicle inspection

If a defective item is located during the pre-trip or post-trip inspection, the driver must determine if that defect affects the safe operation or the vehicle, or is likely to cause a mechanical breakdown.  If the driver, in their professional opinion, determines either of those to be true, they may not operate the vehicle and must notate the defect on a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR).  This places the vehicle out-of-service.  Many companies also choose to have other defects notated on the same report.

Prior to operating a vehicle placed out-of-service, the company must sign off on the repair as either completed or unnecessary.  The next operator must view the report and sign off on the company assessment prior to operating the vehicle.

Training your drivers for pre-trip inspections

While CDL drivers must show proficiency in pre-trip inspections in order to obtain their license, for most states, there is no such requirement for non-CDLs.  In addition, it may have been several years since an operator received their license.  Training drivers how to conduct a proper inspection is thus a must for all operators.

When possible, a properly labeled diagram of the vehicle engine compartment and dashboard can be a great training aid for new drivers.  This is particularly true of buses, which can vary greatly in their setup.

NEVER ASSUME A DRIVER KNOWS HOW TO CONDUCT A PROPER INSPECTION ALWAYS TRAIN AND TEST NEW HIRES!

Quality Control Concerns

Unfortunately, some drivers choose to pencil-whip inspections, putting the public, themselves and their employers at risk.  However, there is a a low cost method of quality control.

Here is the method that I recommend:

  1. Purchase small brightly colored stickers
  2. Write a number on the sticker (corresponding to a spreadsheet)
  3. Then, place the sticker on an area of the vehicle to be inspected
    1. NOTE:  The goal is not to hide the sticker, just to make sure the area is checked
  4. Note in a spreadsheet where and when the sticker was placed
  5. Direct drivers that all such stickers must be reported (text message works great)
  6. When a driver finds a sticker enter them to win a gift card or other prize
  7. Record drivers who operated the vehicle and did not locate the sticker – I recommend mandatory retraining if three or more are missed

Learn about our Outsourced Fleet Management service here!

Vehicle Inspections recap

Proper vehicle inspections are key to ensuring a safe and positive experience for our guests.  By conducting your inspection in the same way every time, you will be more likely to identify any issues with your vehicle.  Always follow state, manufacturer, and company guidelines and make sure you’re familiar with the vehicle you are operating – if not ask for help.

NEVER SHORTCUT A VEHICLE INSPECTION – YOUR SAFETY IS TOO IMPORTANT!

ADA Compliance

ADA Compliance

Click here to view our article in Chauffeur Driven.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)—which celebrates 40 years on July 26—is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. As it relates to luxury ground transportation industry operators, the law and its amendments apply to both employees of the company and its clients.  As it relates to the luxury ground transportation industry, ADA compliance is generally “enforced” through lawsuits commonly filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, local government, or the affected individuals.

All business owners should familiarize themselves with ADA requirements to prevent situations like one that recently occurred in Phoenix, where the owner of a business was fined for having two of their 10 “reserved parking” signs posted a few inches too short.

This guide is broken down into sections based upon the employee’s role and training that should be provided to help ensure compliance.  While by no means a comprehensive guide to all ADA regulations or DOT requirements, these bullet points should provide the basis for ensuring compliance and proper staff training. 

Employment

  • Applies to employers with 15 or more employees
  • Complaints may be filed with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Generally requires reasonable accommodations for existing employees or qualified applicants
  • Requires no additional medical screen, other than that required of all employees
  • Employers must post notices informing employees of their rights

Customer Service Staff

  • Train on how to communicate with hearing impaired—offer email or text messaging
  • Give basic training on how to accommodate other common ailments or equipment, including those with Alzheimer’s, blindness, dementia, diabetes, mobility issues, assistance devices, or service animals
  • Provide accessible vehicles or accommodations:
    • Offer ramped or lift vehicles
    • Know which drivers can help with passenger mobility devices
    • Know which drivers are physically capable of assisting passengers into the vehicle
    • Know approximate step heights of different vehicles
  • Quote rates the same as passengers not requiring accommodations. For instance, a minibus may have to be sent for a sedan rate
  • Allow service animals in the vehicles. They may not be required to be crated, stored in the rear of the vehicle etc.  You may designate specific vehicles as long as they are equivalent to those provided to the general public
  • DO NOT tell a client or potential client that you do not provide accessible vehicles and refer them to another provider. Any company that owns a vehicle that seats more than eight passengers (including driver) and has purchased a vehicle since February 25, 1992, is required to provide accessible vehicles, even if none are available in your market, generally within 48 hours
  • Prepare Form A for each passenger requesting accommodations and keep a copy for the office. The copy must be sent to the passenger within 24 hours; if mailed send by end of the next business day

All Chauffeurs

  • Should receive training on assisting individuals with disabilities.  This may include assisting passengers into the vehicle, accommodating an unexpected service animal, or an unexpected wheelchair or scooter user
  • Should be trained on how to fold and store wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers:
    • Remember that many of these devices are extremely expensive and impact the user’s mobility.  Store them carefully to prevent any damage
    • The driver or other company staff member must assist with storing accessibility devices, if requested
  • Should be aware that passengers are not required to move to a seat from their mobility device, but may do so if they prefer

Accessible Vehicle Chauffeurs

  • Train on testing ramps and lifts:
    • All equipment should be inventoried and tested prior to every trip in case of an unexpected need
    • Instruct troubleshooting knowledge, including automatic operation, manual override, battery reset, and fuse replacement
  • Train on pushing wheelchairs onto and off of ramps and lifts.
  • Passengers may elect to be loaded onto the vehicle facing toward or away from it, regardless of manufacturer specifications
  • Train on proper tie-down procedures:
    • Ideally two front, two back
    • Avoid connecting to movable or removable parts
    • If possible, ask the passenger preferred tie-down points
  • Seatbelts should be offered, but may not be required unless required of all passengers
  • Ask the passenger to lock the brakes, if available
  • If you are unable to secure the wheelchair, service must still be provided
  • Passengers may disembark and re-board the vehicle at any scheduled stop and may request additional stops to use an accessible restroom.  Such additional stops are not required but should be accommodated when possible and if not the reason for not making the stop must be explained to the passenger

ADA DOT Audit Items

Over the road bus operators (OTRB) or operators with under luggage buses:

  • Fixed-route vehicles must be accessible for large operators; small operators may provide equivalent service or qualify for an exemption under 191 allowing advance notice requirements.  Small operators are less than $9.6M annual revenue
  • Company must be able to accommodate within 48-hours for non-fixed routes either themselves of through another carrier
  • Log any requests not accommodated
  • Provide annual OTRB report
  • Display evidence of ADA training

ADA Website Requirements

In addition to having your fleet and workplace ADA compliant, it is essential that your website also be accessible to everyone.  Your company’s site needs to readable and usable to the visually impaired and those with other disabilities. Failure to comply can open you up to potential lawsuits. 

If you’re unsure whether your webpage measures up to ADA requirements, the American Bus Association posted a great article that provides an extensive overview of online compliance

Filings and Forms

OTRB annual filings are due the last Monday of October. Forms and documentation should be kept on file for five years:

  • Form A AND Form B:  All operators who own motorcoaches or under luggage buses are covered by these regulations
  • Form C:  Applies to operators using motorcoaches or under luggage buses for fixed routes
  • Form D:  All operators who own motorcoaches or under luggage buses are covered by these regulations

Reports should be sent to:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Information Management MC-RIS
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20590

Training Resources

There are a number of valuable online resources available for luxury ground transportation operators to ensure compliance.
ADA Service Video
ADA Training Program for Motorcoach Operators
Motorcoach Operator’s ADA Pocket Guide.

Review The Americans with Disabilities Act Here!

DOT consulting

Short-Haul Exception Expanded by FMCSA

View this article on ChauffeurDriven.com


Summary

FMCSA posted a new rule yesterday (5/14/2020) that will take affect in about four months. The new rule contains 4 substantial changes to hours of service.

  • Short-haul exception is now 150 air-miles or 14 hours start to finish
    (previously 100 air-miles and 12 hours, except Alaska)
  • Adverse driving window (on duty time) is extended by 2 hours
  • 30 minute break (property carriers) is now only required after 8 driving hours (instead of on-duty) and can be taken as on-duty time
  • Sleeper berth exception now allows 2 breaks totaling at least 10 hours, given at least 7 hours is spent in the berth (previous 8).
RuleExisting RuleNew Rule
Short-Haul12 hours, 100 Air-Miles14 Hours, 150 Air-Miles
Adverse DrivingAdds 2 Hours to Driving Time OnlyAdds 2 Hours to Driving or On Duty Time
30-Minute breakMust be Sleeper Berth or Off-DutyCan also be On-Duty
Sleeper Berth8 Hours Consecutive Required7 Hours Consecutive Required

Short-Haul Exception

Under 395.1(e)(1) If a driver operates within a 100 air-mile radius of base and also starts and ends at the same within 12 hours, they do not require a traditional log.

Hours of service are still required, but only need the start time, end time, and total hours worked each day.

If you meet the requirements, consider using a form like this one instead of driver logs.

Please note, this form has been updated for the new regulation that is not yet effective.

Driver’s Time Record V2.3

Why this is important:

  • With the expansion to 14 hours and 150 air-miles, even more local limo drivers qualify for the short-haul exception
  • If a driver qualifies for the short-haul exception 22 out of every 30 days, they do not need ELDs.

Again, very few local operators will need ELDs. This not only saves money, but also lowers the administrative burden of properly managing ELD systems and/or paper logs.

Adverse Driving Conditions

Adverse driving conditions are defined under 395.2 as snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions, none of which were apparent on the basis of information known to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun.

The previous rule allowed drivers to exceed the maximum driving hours by 2 full hours in order to complete a run, or reach a place of safety or security if adverse driving conditions caused the delay.

The previous regulation did not extend the on-duty hours so a driver near the end of their shift was unable to use the adverse driving condition exception. The new rule corrects this and allows both on-duty and driving time to extend by two total hours. It also expands to include the driver’s knowledge of road conditions.

30 Minute Break

Under 395.3, property carrying drivers who do not qualify for the short-haul exception must take a 30 minute break at least once before exceeding 8 driving hours.

Under the previous rule this break must be off-duty or sleeper-berth time. The new rule expands to allow on-duty time to count as the required break. It should also be noted that more drivers will now qualify for the short-haul exception listed above.

Sleeper Berth Exception

A sleeper berth is defined under 395.2 and is generally found on over-the-road trucks. Sleeper Berths may be used in lieu of traditional off-duty time if the requirements of the exception are met. There can be found in 395.1(g).

One of these exceptions previously allowed a combination of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and up to 2 hours as a passenger (10 hours total) to start a new work shift.

The new rule modifies this to only require at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, as long as the total hours in sleeper-berth and passenger time is still at least 10 hours.

Full Text

Review the full text of the new rule here.

Association Support

On a related note, the National Limousine Association (NLA) and the American Bus Association are cited in the final rule in support of the short haul exception extension.

Consider joining one or both as they fight to help our industry!

Temperature Check

Temperature Checks

The Society for Human Resource Management has released a guide to Employee Temperature Checks. Below is a summary of key points and application to the transportation industry.

Full text of their article can be read here and is a must read for anyone implementing Employee Temperature Checks.

Legal Mandates

It is important to acknowledge that while many businesses mandate temperature checks, it may also be a legal requirement to operate in your area. We highly recommend reviewing your state and local requirements.

Passenger Temperature Checks

No official guidance has been released on checking the temperature of passengers or customers. In general, businesses are not requiring customers to submit to checks unless there is a large population of vulnerable individuals, such as hospitals or assisted living centers.

We recommend reviewing local guidance, speaking to your attorney and setting a universal policy before implementing checks. At this point, in accordance with the majority of businesses, we generally advise against requiring passengers to submit to temperature checks.

ADA Concerns

Temperature checks have traditionally been considered medical examinations and are generally prohibited by The American with Disabilities Act. Due to the unique nature of the COVID-19 response the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that temperature checks are allowable. That said, one expert cited in the article recommends paying anyone sent home with a temperature.

Testing Procedure

If possible, have checks conducted by someone with medical training. Utilizing medical staff is not a requirement, but if you have trained employees on staff, they should be utilized. If not, consider providing basic blood-borne pathogen training via an online training provider.

  • Test everyone or no one
  • Provide PPE to the tester (gloves, mask and eyewear)
  • Conduct testing in a private area
  • Use a no-touch thermometer
  • Maintain social distancing in test line
  • Pay employees for time spent waiting to test
  • Do not record results, only who was checked
  • If an employee has a fever, keep the results and action confidential

Word of Caution

Avoid asking employees about symptoms of COVID-19. While this virus is not a protected medical condition, symptoms can be similar to things that are.

Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

Reasonable suspicion testing is an important part of any drug and alcohol program. For DOT regulated employers, each person who supervises drivers must receive at least 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse and 60 minutes of training on drug use. 382.603

What Must Training Include?

The following indicators of alcohol misuse or drug use:

  • Physical
  • Behavioral
  • Speech
  • Performance

Contact us to sign up for substance abuse testing services today!

When to Test

To test under DOT regulations a supervisor TRAINED in reasonable suspicion must WITNESS specific, current and identifiable things that lead them to believe the individual is in violation. This MUST be based on appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors.

An accident or client complaint is not sufficient for DOT reasonable suspicion testing, but may be enough for a non-DOT regulated test depending on your company policy.

Testing Best Practices

  • Ensure all dispatchers and ideally all staff receive training
  • Whenever possible have 2 witnesses, 1 must be TRAINED in reasonable suspicion.
  • Each witness should document what leads them to believe the driver is in violation.
    Here is a form to use.
  • Notify the driver that they are required to submit to reasonable suspicion testing. Do so with the second witness present and attempt to minimize confrontation. It is important to notify the driver that if they refuse to test, it will be treated as a positive, and that you cannot allow them to drive their personal car without notifying local law enforcement.
  • A manager or employee should transport the driver to the testing center and offer to take them home. Let them know a car will be available to pick them up once at least 12 hours have passed.
  • Alcohol testing must take place within 2-hours or you must document the reason for the delay.

    DO NOT USE THE DRIVER UNTIL RESULTS ARE RECEIVED!

Contact us to sign up for substance abuse testing services today!

Once Results are Received

For most employers, any positive result or refusal to test results in automatic termination. For CDL drivers, be sure to document the notification of positive test results. Here is a form we use.

Be sure to report the results in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse as well as providing a list of approved Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) in the area.

Negative results happen. Many medical conditions may mirror the symptoms of substance abuse. For negative results, have a company plan in place to address it immediately. Many companies choose to offer compensation for loss of work following a negative reasonable suspicion test.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CONTACT US OR YOUR DRUG TESTING PROVIDER’S 24/7 HELP LINE!

Absence

Furlough, Layoffs and Leaves of Absence

During these hard times, here is some advice on DOT record keeping during a driver absence. While each company is different, this guide is a snapshot of the most common options, along with the forms we use for our clients.

When a driver is unable to work, there are two common ways to address the absence. Which option is best is based on many things, so be sure to discuss your plans with your HR or Legal Team to fully understand your choices.

COMMON OPTIONS:

This simple bullet point list explains the DOT requirements and best practices for each of the most common options.

  • TERMINATION WITH INTENT TO REHIRE
    Drivers must be rehired fully upon return
    • For CDLs and in many states, Non-CDLs a new pre-employment drug test is required
    • MVR – within 30 days of hire
    • New Driver Qualification File
    • Updated Background Check – if required for new hires by your policy or local rules
    • Drivers may lose benefits, seniority, etc

  • FURLOUGH, LAYOFF, OR LEAVE OF ABSENCE
    SHRM explains the differences here.
    • Complete Driver Self Certification, MVR and Annual Review at least once every 12 months
    • Driver must remain in Random Drug Pool (CDLs and if required by law or policy, Non-CDLs)
    • On return, verify any new employer records and collect an hours of service record for intermittent drivers.
    • Drivers may be able to retain benefits, seniority, etc

Ensure that you craft company policies that outline how to handle planned driver absences. Review all policies carefully for compliance with local, state and federal regulations and apply them uniformly. It is a good idea to review all policies yearly as rules change.

RECOMMENDED FORMS:

Document driver absences using this form – NOT REQUIRED
Driver Furlough, Layoff or Leave of Absence

Upon return we recommend completing these forms:
Employment Record
Hours of Service Record for First Time or Intermittent Drivers

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

CONTACT INFO
It is a good idea to update driver contact information including addresses prior to any absence in order to help with any required notices.

PAYROLL
Review state and federal laws regarding payroll regulations and calculations for employees subject to furlough, layoffs or leaves of absence. Your payroll company should be able to assist.

COBRA
Continuation of Health Coverage (COBRA) rules may apply to employers who offer health benefits.
Find more information on COBRA here.

THE WARN ACT
The Warn Act applies to employers with at least 100 full-time employees for layoffs that exceed six months. Most limousine and bus company employees are not covered by The Warn Act, but many states also have their own version which may be more strict.
Find more information on The WARN ACT here.

Experts

“Compliance Experts”

Let’s start by stating the obvious, we’re very pro-consultant and outsourcing, especially in compliance. That said, it’s important to note that at the end of the day, your company is responsible for any fines or rating reductions; regardless if you did work in-house, outsourced, or some combination thereof. Choose true experts to help you run a safe, legal and efficient operation.

DOT Experts

Most DOT experts are experts in the trucking industry or more commonly, not really experts at all. Regulations change constantly and before you pay someone for their advice, make sure they know what they’re talking about.

Over the last few years, I’ve read multiple articles and watched multiple videos that simply contained false information. The fine if you follow some of this advice: OVER $25,000 first offense.

Ask your consultant or potential hire how many audits they’ve been through, what percentage of those are passenger carriers, and how long they’ve been directly managing compliance. Simply running your own company or retiring as an inspector does not guarantee they have current, thorough or up-to-date knowledge.

Learn more about our DOT Experts here!

Drug Testing Experts

Drug testing is outsourced by everyone. Operators rely on their partners to be experts in the intricacies of FMCSA regulations so that they can simply send drivers to test and retain the proper forms.

We recently conducted an audit response for a company with 9 violations related to drug and alcohol testing. Nearly all of which should have been caught by a true drug testing expert. Their drug testing vendor, who was licensed by a national franchise, failed to catch or prevent any of them resulting in fines of over $10,000.

Ask your drug testing provider how many FMCSA regulated companies they provide services for. Check the forms used against DOT regulations and ensure you receive copies of all tests and custody control forms. Do not just trust them to keep them for you or to do them properly.

Click Here to Learn More About our Drug and Alcohol Testing Program!

ELDs and Digital Vehicle Inspections

ELD providers love to point out that they are FMCSA approved. This process is simply a self-certification where the person selling the device states that it complies with regulations. Feel comforted? The two most common providers we see are non-compliant.

Digital vehicle inspection providers are generally even worse. Can your driver digitally review the last vehicle inspection in accordance with 396.13(b)? If not, you need to provide a printed copy of each inspection for them to review before they operate. Imagine trying to do that for every 2am run on a vehicle that went out the night before. Reports content is also directed by regulation.

The simple problem is most software designers are not compliance experts. They sell software, usually with long term contracts, to lock you in whether you are happy or not.

Check out LimoLogs here!

Summary

Fake experts are everywhere and can cost you tens of thousands in fines while happily collecting your money every month. Take the time to vet your partners, make sure they have the experience, history and expertise in their specific subject area and then double-check their work. No one is perfect, but choosing the right partner goes a long way toward protecting your livelihood.

If you have questions, feel free to give us a call and check our site for our backgrounds and referrals.

CBD Use

SUMMARY:
CBD is readily available and becoming immensely popular as treatment for a variety of health issues including chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, and more. CBD products are legal and many people report great improvement in their symptoms.

The challenge is that CBD products are not FDA regulated and may contain higher levels of THC than stated on the label. This can result in failed drug tests. DOT does not exempt drivers who test positive due to CBD use.

The results of a failed CDL drug test must now be reported into a database, making if very difficult for these drivers to find future work. If you receive a positive result, use a form like this to ensure you properly notify the driver.

Short answer: IF YOU’RE A CDL, DO NOT USE CBD.

CONTACT US TO JOIN OUR FULLY MANAGED DRUG TESTING PROGRAM!

DOT “CBD” NOTICE:
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334, (Farm Bill) removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.  Under the Farm Bill, hemp-derived products containing a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not controlled substances.  THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.  Any product, including “Cannabidiol” (CBD) products, with a concentration of more than 0.3% THC remains classified as marijuana, a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

We have had inquiries about whether the Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees can use CBD products.  Safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing specified under 49 CFR part 40 (Part 40) include:  pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others. 

It is important for all employers and safety-sensitive employees to know:

  1. The Department of Transportation requires testing for marijuana and not CBD. 
  2. The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate. The FDA has cautioned the public that: “Consumers should beware purchasing and using any [CBD] products.”  The FDA has stated: “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”*  Also, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies because their products contained more CBD than indicated on the product label. **[i]
  3. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.  Furthermore, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result. Therefore, Medical Review Officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product. 

It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.  Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products.

The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. This policy and compliance notice is not legally binding in its own right and will not be relied upon by the Department as a separate basis for affirmative enforcement action or other administrative penalty.  Conformity with this policy and compliance notice is voluntary only and nonconformity will not affect rights and obligations under existing statutes and regulations.  Safety-sensitive employees must continue to comply with the underlying regulatory requirements for drug testing, specified at 49 CFR part 40.

Camera Integration

Limo & Bus Compliance ELDs Now Integrated with Translogic Tech Camera Systems
Month to Month ELD and Camera Solutions

We are proud to announce that the full integration between LimoLogs and Translogic Tech has been completed and units are available for order.  Both of our companies specialize in safety and technology solutions for passenger carriers with a focus on top-level customer service.

“This was a natural fit for us,” says Joe Guinn of Limo & Bus Compliance.  “We believe that long-term contracts allow for poor customer service and inferior products.  Ray has been the go-to solution for top tier cameras with reasonable rates and month-to-month contracts.”

“We were excited to integrate with Limo & Bus Compliance because they share our vision of a safer, more integrated industry,” says Ray Gavino of Translogic Tech.  “We’ve been providing cameras for about 15 years, so it was only natural that we try to find a partner that would give our customers access to fully integrated ELDs.”

The new fully integrated units are capable of operating multiple cameras, integrated WiFi routers, door sensors and more.  All agreements are month-to-month and are incorporated into LimoLogs, an industry designed compliance and fleet management system.

Limo & Bus Compliance is an approved ELD vendor with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

About Translogic Tech:  Translogic Tech is owned and operated by Ray Gavino and Devo Bavishi, two veterans of the transportation industry.  Translogic has been providing their propriety camera solution to passenger carriers for over fifteen years, with thousands of units deployed nationwide.

About Limo & Bus Compliance:  Limo and Bus Compliance is owned and operated by Joe Guinn and Chris Przybylski.  Joe and Chris combined their experience as operators and their experience as DOT Consultants with over 160 successful audits to offer the only fleet and compliance software specifically created for the limousine and bus industry.

Joe Guinn
Limo & Bus Compliance
(971) 236-8287
[email protected]
lbcfleet.com


Ray Gavino
Translogic Tech
(866) 959-3226
[email protected]
translogictech.com

Camera Announcement