DOT Audit – We Survived


One of the things most new entrants to trucking dread is the DOT audit that everyone is promised within about the first year and a half of the time they started their business.  Some places do it at 6 months, others catch you sometime later.

Today was my scheduled audit day, and I’m relieved and happy to say… We Passed!

Now, I wasn’t really worried, as in chewing my nails, but like anyone with any activity containing the word ‘audit’ I was concerned.   And I wanted to get it right the first time.

It was stressful to a degree, particularly thinking about the possible ramifications if I had completely misunderstood or forgotten to do something in all of my pre-audit preparations.  Which was enough to keep me awake quite a while last night trying to think of anything else I needed to do instead of snoring away like I should have been doing.

After all, I didn’t want the inspector to look at me and say anything remotely like… “What the…. are you stupid?”  My ego would simply not have been able to stand a personal failure like that.  Ok, I admit it, I am a little, just a teensy bit perfectionist-like.  Just a bit.

Thankfully, he didn’t do that.  Not at all.  Actually he was very nice, calm, and super-professional.

I did have one bad moment when he pointed out that my drug testing consortium had failed to give me one piece of necessary paperwork, and even after I called them and asked them to fax it over ASAP AS I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF MY AUDIT, they failed to send the correct document.  Needless to say, this arrangement will be coming to an end and I’ll have a new provider lined up by tomorrow as their failure indicates a level of ignorance about the necessary documentation the DOT requires.  And that’s not a good sign as far as I can tell.

The nice thing was that the inspector did not flunk me over that particular issue.  He just gave me good advice on what to look for in my new consortium provider that I’ll put to good use in my search for the current provider’s replacement.

Aside from that, all my duckies were apparently in the correct rows, my paperwork was legible and sorted, and it went pretty smoothly.

Thank God!  Now maybe I can relax and get a good night’s sleep tonight.

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10 thoughts on “DOT Audit – We Survived

  1. Job well done! Considering how detailed and well thought out your posts have been, I would have really been surprised had you failed. I mean, you could write a book on the process, or have you already started that? 😉

  2. Thanks Joe and Bocara! Lol Joe, no, I’m way too lazy to write a book…… J.E., he said that they should be able to provide the number of drivers enrolled in the consortium, and that they should also have percentages of tests done randomly that are at a minimum of 50% drug screenings and 10% alcohol screenings within that testing group. He also said the consortium should be big enough that the random testing is truly random, and that you should be tested give or take about twice a year in a truly random grouping. At least that’s what I think he said, I was having palpitations being so irritated at my current consortium folks… 😉

    • Thank you for the reply. Basically more cover-your-self paperwork.

      I enjoy your blog. Keep living the dream. Thank you, again.

  3. Oh, and he said you should ask when the testing is done. He said some small groups do all of their “random” testing in one month, then don’t do it after that, or some do it on a schedule so the folks being tested pretty much know it’s coming. Neither is good…

  4. Is there a checklist to prepare you for the audit? We just started our hotshot buisness but still feel a little lost as to what we should have when we do get audited in regards to paperwork.

    • Gloria, the dept of transportation sent an advance letter that gave a list exactly of what I needed to have ready for the inspection. They don’t sneak up on you, as the intent of the inspection/audit is to see what you have right, and where you need more guidance. In our case it was I think 14 months before we were inspected an we got the letter probably a month before the inspection was scheduled.

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