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To Everyone with a DOT number and trucks that will require a CDL

Well as everyone knows now that since July 7th 2006 the feds require us to have a DOT number on trucks over 10,000lbs and a class "A" CDL with trailers 10,000lbs and also if the GCVW of truck and trailer is over 26,000 lbs regardless of trailer registered weight. Straight trucks over 26,000lbs require a CDL "B".

Yesterday we went through our FMCSA saftey audit and review (just like it called out for within 18 months of getting the number). We did well and passed our review with just a 4.5 point deduction but the missed points are a biggie and must get corrected very quickly and I wanted to share with you guys so you may be able to correct them before you are visited.

The first Biggie is Drug and Alcohol Testing Both Pre-employment and Random Testing. It used to depend on the size of the fleet but no longer. Whether you have 1 or 100 CDL trucks or drivers you need to be enrolled in a testing program and have it all on file. It is a big cost that has to be absorbed regardless of size.

You also have to have a written drug and alcohol written policy that the employee signs stating he has recieved the policy and understands it just in case he has an issue.

You also have to have a written drug and alcohol abuse policy stating the ramifications (consequences) for someone failing a random test or being suspected of arriving to work in violation of the policy.

You also have to have someone "Trained" as a competent person to evaluate/observe your other employees for substance and alcohol abuse.

Seperate time sheets for CDL drivers running log book exemption (100 air mile radius) showing hours of service last 8 days if you are a 7 day a week operation.

I just wanted to let you all know that if you thought the hassle was over when you got your number for your fleet you are wrong. It is just starting. The daily vehicle inspection reports, the safety equipment, the maintanence forms and stuff is just the tip of the iceburg (Don't forget that anyone adjusting and servicing air brakes needs a special cert).

I must say my inspector spent 4 hours going over everything with me and checking what we already had in compliance and was a pleasure to deal with. He was very patient with me as I asked questions and supplied me with answers that helped me understand what I needed to do. He also showed me in the FeD Law where the requirement came from so that there werre no issues with interpratation of the law. It was all there in Black and White.
 

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Congrats on passing.....So these regulations are for any truck over 10,000gvw or CDL trucks?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Matt

These regs are for trucks that get into a CDL requirement.

Say you have a truck with a GVW under 10K and you hook to a trailer 10K or over. you are now in a CDL class "A" Condition and hence the requirements must be met.
 

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Good info John and your right its just the begining and the cost have to be eaten by the owner of the company.

My post on the K30 and my verbal warning about the exposed fuel tank was a nice reminder on his part knowing i perform Fed inspections the truck should have been deadlined.


Alot of what you said is a big reason why theres only three operators on my tow rigs and myself have been threw hell getting legal driving documents again. I had to get a restricted and signed doctors letter to even beable to drive the 6 hrs i get from them for the med cert.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fred
I know its a hassle but if we are going to be in the Biz we have no options. It just makes it so much harder to compete against fly by nights that don't carry the proper insurances and jump through the hoops that the "legal" contractors do.

I am going to contact Foley Services on Monday and get into there Drug and Alcohol Testing system as well as there substance abuse compitent person recognition program. Cannot wait to see that this is going to :cash but I am sure it is cheaper than the fines for non compliance:cool:
 

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Thats sounds great. Just what we need, another government agency to conduct a cavity search every so often. When will it end?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah Matt
It seems like they will not be happy until we are all broke. Hopefully the costs for the pre-employment and random testing will be somewhat reasonable
 

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I think that with all this red tape you have to go thru to do bussiness legaly is anothe part in what id driving the costs of things up thru the roof. big co's that have to pay do it but just raise the price on the other end. the smaller guy well I guess we will just have to eat it. I think they really go to far with all this regulation stuff . like i posted on the uhaul trucks 24" trucks loaded as if it was a cdl truck and people who never run big trucks driving them. Or rv people with those massive rigs on a class C ??? And funny thing is there will still be people out there running with substandard trucks and personel.
 

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John you have to love that reasoning from them weekend worriors driving those monsters unsafe but equipment run everyday to put food on the table they have to bust your chops.
then people want to know why it cost so much to do bussiness today.
 

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I know when I got pulled over last year the DOT asked me if I was on a Drug testing program. I told him no. He said he would put my name in the pool?? I didn't ask any more questions about it.......Playing dumb! But my trucks aren't CDL with or without trailers.
 

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The drug and alcohol testing shouldn't be too bad we pay $38 per employee to have it done. They also sign a form stating that they are responsible for repaying the cost if they don't meet the 90 day probationary period.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know when I got pulled over last year the DOT asked me if I was on a Drug testing program. I told him no. He said he would put my name in the pool?? I didn't ask any more questions about it.......Playing dumb! But my trucks aren't CDL with or without trailers.
Matt,
None of your trailers are 10,000lbs or over?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The drug and alcohol testing shouldn't be too bad we pay $38 per employee to have it done. They also sign a form stating that they are responsible for repaying the cost if they don't meet the 90 day probationary period.
Good Idea...:grinz Price sounds good too
 

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Matt,
None of your trailers are 10,000lbs or over?
Nope, I used to have 7ton but that is what I got pulled over with. I could only pull it with my pick up......ya that is save, 7,000 lb tractor on a 2000lb trailer. Weighs more than the truck but it was legal!

My cargo trailer is 10k and the new flat trailer is 10k. Even pulling it with the 6500 I am perfectly legal I double checked and triple checked with a DOT officer at the Conex. He showed me right in the manual what it read. All you need to drive my trucks with a trailer is a med card.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not sure how that works Matt because its a federal law that if the GCVWR is 26001 or greater and the trailer is greater than 10K it says a class A is required "which includes a med cert.

So the way it works for me is that my F-550 (registered weight 17,500) pulling my 6 ton trailer has a GCVWR of 29,500lbs requiring a Class A CDL and all the BS that goes with it... Drug testing, Med, and all the other things the feds require Via obtaining a USDOT#.

Now, When i hook on the same trailer with my 3500CTD (Registered Weight 9990) with a trailer up to 16000lbs I am ok with a class D license because the the GCVWR is less than 26001 and there is no single GVWR over 26001.

Its all confusing I know but after you spend 4 hours with the guys (and he leaves you copies of the rules) it is pretty clear.

You said last year you were stopped and talked with the guy. Don't forget this law never went in effect until July 06. Not sure when you met with him.
 

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When I started the DOT odyssey I found JJ Keller (www.jjkeller.com) to be a good source of information.

They have all the forms, logs, and supplies, a number of very good handbooks (with easy to follow examples) and a handy e-mail service that provides monthly tips and updates.
 

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I know I have to get my crap together, because mine will be coming up soon. And I know I am not even close to compliant right now. :(

Thanks for the pointers John.
 
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