Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Driver Instructions for Safety as a

Print this guide and give it to your driver. It will walk them through signing in and taking the courses.

1. Go to

2. Login with the E-Mail and Password supplied by your company. Your company might not have known your email address when they signed you up. Your personal email address may not work. Make sure you get the email address from the company. You can change it to your personal email address after you sign in.

3.  You will end up at the overview page after you sign in. You will see the courses assigned to you. Click "View".

4. The course will open in a new window. The Overview Page will still be in it's existing window. Make sure to leave the over page open while you watch the course.

5. Watch the course all of the way through. Take all of the quizzes. Close the window when you are complete.

6. Closing the course window after completing the class triggers the Overview Page (that you left open). This action will tell the system your status.

 7. The main trouble shooting step is with your company. Get with the person that assigned you the course they can help you trouble shoot any logging-in errors. Logging-in errors are usually a mis-typed email address.

Driver Recruiting-Let Your Next Driver Find You

Your Safety as a Service subscription comes with a cool new feature-drivers. You always had the ability to provide your driver's with online training, an online employment application and a driver management portal. Now you can find drivers too. 

Here's how it works. 

Check out the Driver Recruiting page from your portal.

In the past you could obtain the link to your employment application and place it on your website or craigslist. The driver's application would be delivered to your portal.  

Now we have started a Driver Match Making service. Fill out a Job Profile from the same Driver Recruiting tab.

The Job Profile will tell us the type and number of drivers that you are looking for. 

The Job Profile triggers our recruiter's into action.  They will find a driver that meets your requirements. 

Driver Recruiting is one of the services that we offer at

Let us know if you have any questions

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lawsuit Against a Trucking Company. Part 2

This is the continuation of part 1.  It starts to heat up in post 2. We have a new shocking revelation.  Read on:

22             Q. Sir, I’m going to hand you what's been marked as
23      Defendants' — excuse me, Plaintiffs Exhibit 1, and can you
24      tell me if that is the personnel file or the driver
25      qualification file?
Page 7
1             A. It looks like a combination of both. It has his
2       W-4 and wages and wage assignment. It looks like it's
3       combined.
4              Q. Is that file kept in the ordinary course of
5       business at Skyways Delivery?
6              A. Yes.
7              Q. Who is the person charged with maintaining that
8       file at that business?
9              A. Currently, it's Stephanie Molly.
10             Q. And who was responsible for keeping that file in
11      the year 2000?
12             A. Jean Hicks.
13             Q. And is that a true and correct copy of both the
14      personnel file and the driver qualification file for Mr.
15      Bennington that was kept at Sky Ways Transportation?
16             A. Yes.
17             Q. And is that a copy of the entire file?
18             A. Yes.
19             Q. Now, who was it that hired Mr. Bennington?
20              A. Mike Robinson.
21              Q. And that's your father?
22              A. Uncle.
23              Q. Your uncle. And what was his job there then?
24              A. Owner/vice president.
25              Q. Who are the other owners?
Page 8
1            A. Mike  Robinson, Larry Robinson, Joe Robinson; and at the time,
2      that was it.
3             Q. Do your records indicate whether you did any
4      background checks on Mr. Bennington at the time you hired him?
5            A. Yes.
6             Q. Okay. What background check did you do on him?
7             A. Motor vehicle, his driving record, and we pulled
8      his motor vehicle report. We have a statement of his
9      violations within the previous year.
10            Q. Is there any information in that driver's
11     qualification file from previous employers?
12            A. There is a list of previous employers.
13            Q. And did you make any inquiry with them as to Mr.
14     Bennington's character or qualifications as a driver?
15            A. I do not see a written record of that.
16            Q. Do you know if that's one of the requirements of
17     the federal motor carrier safety regulations?
118 A. Three years prior is required.
19            Q. And can you tell me from that file what efforts
20      were made to inquire for the three years prior regarding Mr.
21      Bennington at the time you hired him?
22            A. I don't see any written documentation.
23            Q. When did you first learn that Mr. Bennington was a
24      convicted methamphetamine dealer?
25            A. Yesterday.

Part 3 is coming soon.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lawsuit Against a Trucking Company. A First Hand Account. Part 1

I was a manager at a trucking company when a lawsuit landed on my desk. 2 years prior, a group of college kids, traveling between rival schools hit the back of our trailer. The driver was putting on snow chains. The lawsuit, and subsequent deposition, taught me a lot about following procedures and record keeping; specifically the Driver Qualification File.

The lawsuit against the trucking company was 15 years ago.
I have continued my management career in the trucking industry. I have shared the deposition with every new safety manager that I hire. No matter how much experience they have: they always come back wide-eyed.  I want to share the transcripts from the deposition.

Reading these posts will bring the Driver Qualification File to life. You get to see it in action. It is not merely a checklist or a file sitting in a cabinet.

I have disguised the names of companies and individuals. I hope that you learn something. The deposition is long. I will split the submissions into several posts.

Page 1
1.WHEREUPON, the following proceedings were taken
2.pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure.
3. *****
5.having been first duly sworn to state the whole truth,
6.testified as follows:
9.Q:Would you tell us your name and address, please,
11.A: Lawrence— excuse me — Robinson, 12985 Baker Dr.
12.Kansas City, MO
13.Q: Mr. Robinson, I understand you've been elected to serve as a 30(b)(6) witness or a witness 14.that's familiar with and able to testify about certain matters that we have identified that we want to to you about.
16.A: Correct.
18.Q:Have you read or reviewed anything in preparation for today's deposition?
19.A:I've reviewed with Katherine.
20.Q:Well, okay. Tell me what materials you've reviewed.
21.A:The list of questions.
22.Q: Okay. Did you look at any documents or files?
23.A:I looked at the driver qualification file.
24.Q:Is that the same as a personnel file?
25.A:The DOT -- there's two separate files you have to maintain. One's driving — driver qualification 26.and personnel file. They're two separate things. personnel file.
27.Q: Okay. And we asked you to prepare yourself to come here to talk about Mr. Bennington's 28.personnel file. First of all, do you know Mr. Bennington?
29.A:Yes, I do.
30.Q:And how do you know Mr. Bennington?
31.A:He was employed with Sky Ways Transportation, and 11.I was operations manager at the time.
32.Q Is that a company that your family owns?
33.A: Yes.
35.Q:When you say you're operations manager, were you
36..then Mr. Bennington's immediate supervisor?
37.A: Yes.
38.Q: So did you dispatch the vehicles, then?
40.Q: And did you maintain two files with respect to Mr.
41.Bennington, then, that you just talked about, a driver
42..qualification file and a personnel file?
44.Q: And have you provided both of those files to us in
46.A:I don't know which files you have. Personnel file
47.was just payroll records and maintenance, and the driver
48.qualification file is laid out by the federal motor carrier, and it's with respect to his qualifications.
50.Q: By "his," you mean Mr. Bennington's?
51.A: Correct. .
52.Q: Okay. And so as we sit here today, do you know if've provided us with both the driver's qualification file
54.and Mr. Bennington's personnel file?
55.A:I don't know what we're --I looked at the driver
56.qualification file.
57.MS. HARVEY: If I could interject, we have
58.provided both those files, or he gave them to us to give to
60.Q:(BY MR. CHAPMAN) Okay. Well, let's - in my
61.request for production No. 10,I asked you to produce the
62.entire personnel file of Defendant Bennington and — including
63.but not limited to a certain list of things, and what you
64.provided us was identified as being Bates-stamp Nos. CD 20
65.through CD 237, and I'm going to have that marked by the
66.reporter now.
67.(Deposition Exhibit 1 was marked.)
68.Q:Sir, I’m going to hand you what's been marked as
69.Defendants' — excuse me, Plaintiffs Exhibit 1, and can you
70.tell me if that is the personnel file or the driver
71.qualification file?

This is the end of today's deposition. Check out part 2 to continue.

Friday, November 22, 2013

FMCSA Compliance Now Requires a CDLIS MVR

FMCSA Compliance Now Requires a CDLIS MVR

FMCSA will now be looking for MVR (Motor Vehicle Reports) from the CDLIS (Commercial Driver License Data Base)in the driver qualification file. The CDLIS is the complete driving record from all states where the driver was previously licensed in the past 10 years. In the past, we only had to have an MVR from the driver's home state.

The CDLIS MVR contains the DOT Medical Card information for the driver.

To Order a report from the State of Colorado call 303-205-5823.

Online orders coming soon. Please ask about online ordering with each phone call.


Important dates: May 21, 2014; all medical certificates issued on or after this date must be issued by examiners on the National Registry.

Important websites: - where doctors need to go to get registered.

DOT Medical Frequently Asked Questions

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LCV Trainer or Instructor Requirements

The first thing to consider is the type of LCV instructor.


 There are two types of LCV instructors; classroom and skills.

 1. A classroom instructor may administer only instruction that does not involve the operation of an LCV or one of its components. Our training courses at will assist you with the classroom portion.

 2. A skills instructor may administer behind-the-wheel training but they must meet the specific requirements. To qualify as an LCV skills instructor, a person shall:

 (1) Provide evidence of successful completion of an LCV Driver-Training Program requirements. The Driver-Training Program must be for the operation of CMVs representative of the subject matter that he/she will teach. CDL College can help you with this portion.
(2) Possess a valid Class A CDL with all endorsements necessary to operate an LCV Doubles and/or LCV Triples.
(3) Have at least 2 years' driving experience, in the same type of vehicle, that you will be teaching.
(4) If the driver has less than 2 years operating a representative vehicle: Has taught the operation of an LCV within the previous 2 years.

Edit: More Clarification is Here.

The driving requirements are easy enough to fulfill. The trouble comes with the teaching requirements in number 4.

FMCSA does not define what that teaching experience means. The teaching requirement is over a two year period. You can make the determination, as to, what constitutes teaching. The train-trainer course at CDL College  will afford you some training, by default, to other people.

And the last requirements have to do with your motor vehicle record. An individual must certify that, during the 2-year period immediately preceding the date of application for a Certificate of Grandfathering, he/she had:

(1) A valid Class A CDL with a “double/triple trailers” endorsement;
(2) No more than one driver's license;
(3) No suspension, revocation, or cancellation of his/her CDL;
(4) No convictions for a major offense while operating a CMV as defined in §383.51(b) of this subchapter; (5) No convictions for a railroad-highway grade crossing offense while operating a CMV as defined in §383.51(d) of this subchapter;
(6) No convictions for violating an out-of-service order as defined in §383.51(e) of this subchapter;
(7) No more than one conviction for a serious traffic violation, as defined in §383.5 of this subchapter, while operating a CMV; and
(8) No convictions for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with any traffic crash while operating a CMV.
(9) An individual must certify and provide evidence that he/she:
   (a) Is regularly employed in a job requiring the operation of a CMV that requires a CDL with a double/triple trailers endorsement; and
  (b) Has operated, during the 2 years immediately preceding the date of application for a Certificate of Grandfathering, vehicles representative of the type of LCV that he/she seeks to continue operating.

Monday, October 14, 2013

D.O.T and FMCSA Compliance Course

Small carriers, owner-operators, and even the big guys, need to follow FMCSA and D.O.T. compliance rules. Small carrier’s struggle to piece together the information required to stay compliant.

This Free on line course will guide you through the Steps to Safety and FMCSA compliance.

The below video will give you a nice overview of the course.

This course has 5 sections and is an interactive guide to kick-start your safety efforts.

  • Driver Qualification File
  • Hours of Service
  • Drug and Alcohol Compliance
  • Maintenance, Accidents, and Financial Responsibilities
  • Glossary of Terms

You need every piece of this puzzle to stay compliant. Work on one section at a time. Leave this guide on your computer until you have mastered the system.

  • Click on Driver Qualification……… Read about the general rules…
  • Now, click on number 2…………… The rules regarding the Employment Application will appear……
  • Click on the number 391.21. It will link you to the FMCSA rule which has additional information.
  • Follow through the numbers, complete the tasks, and you will have one complete Driver Qualification File.
  • Repeat the same procedure for the other categories.

In addition to online training courses, has all the tools needed to make D.O.T and FMCSA Compliance easier.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Let your next job find you!

To all CDL Drivers

CDL Companies is proud to announce our new recruiting service. The driver shortage is coming back and you are in demand. Several of our customers have requested that we start looking for qualified drivers. We have created a one stop resource for the driver and for our customers. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Let Your Next Driver Find You

Let Your Next Driver Find You

Safety as a Service is proud to announce a new feature that is being offered through your existing subscription.
Our sister companies and websites have done a great job of creating a database of CDL Drivers; the database has grown to 5000 drivers and seems to be increasing in leaps and bounds everyday.
This growing database and the number of carriers looking for drivers made us wonder: How could we help both sets of our customers?

Our Decision
  1. Get all of the drivers that we know to fill out a Driver Profile.
  2. Get all of the carriers that we know to send us a Job Profile when they are looking for drivers.
The response from drivers has been overwhelming.

Here is what you need to do:
  1. Send us a Job Profile and we will cross examine your requirements against the Driver Profile.
  2. We will send the driver an email with your details when we find a match.
  3. We will then let the driver know if you are interested by filling out an employment application on
  4. The driver's full application will be delivered to your portal.
  5. The two of you meet and decide on the outcome from there.
The Cost
Two pre-approved, scrutinized applications per month are included in your subscription. We will charge a fee for each application after the first two.

The Disclaimer
We will do our best to present applications that meet your qualifications. You will still need to use your vetting skills, as you would with any driver; however, we think this service will help you cut through the junk applications that you receive from the newspaper or Craigslist.

Imagine the Possibilities.
You will only receive applications from a driver that:
  1. Knows how much you pay.
  2. Meets the basic requirements.
  3. Came looking for you.
The only thing left to do is to contact the driver, do your background check, and close the deal.
Contact us for more information. Your portal will have more information for you.
We hope the service proves beneficial to both parties. I sent this email to our customers. Unsubscribe below if our offers do not interest you (I hate junk mail too.)

Let Your Next Job Find You

We are asking your permission.

You gave us your trust once, now we are asking for your permission again. You were either a student of CDL College, took our online courses, or filled out a driver profile from one of our web sites.

We are creating a new service for our corporate customers, who are currently having a hard time finding and hiring drivers.

We thought, how can we help carriers AND our drivers?

We know thousands of CDL drivers. Let's create a system to connect the two!

Our Decision

  1. Invite all of the drivers whom we know to fill out a Driver Profile.
  2. Invite all of the carriers whom we know to send us a Job Profile when they are looking for drivers.

We already contacted all the carriers we know and the response has been overwhelming. We did not want to breach your trust or overwhelm you with a stream of calls. So, this is what we put together. With that in mind, we decided that the process should be:

  1. The carriers will send us a Job Profile and we will cross examine their requirements against your Driver Profile.
  2. We'll send you an email with the details when we find a match.
  3. You can let us know if you are interested by filling out the carriers employment application.
  4. Finally, the two of you will meet and decide on the outcome from there.

What you need to do

  1. Fill out the Driver Profile at
  2. Wait for us to send you job leads.

It will be beneficial to fill out the Driver Profile whether or not you are looking for a job. We will earmark your profile as either: "actively looking," "passively looking," or "I need a job NOW". Let us know when your situation changes so we can put you into the correct category.

Our Hope

We hope the service proves beneficial to both parties.

But I hate junk mail too; please unsubscribe below if our offers do not interest you.


Fill out the Driver Profile at The profile is the only way for us to connect you with our employer list.

Colorado's D.O.T. Medical Card Rules for CDL drivers are Changing.

CDL Drivers are starting to notice Colorado's new medical rules. We were supposed to update our medical cards, at least, every two years. But we only needed to renew our Commercial Driver's License (CDL) every four years.
Some of us let our medical cards lapse for a few months before going to a doctor. No big deal, as long we didn't drive a commercial vehicle or cross a port of entry, it worked out. Just get a physical before renewing your license.
The DMV figured out our system. If you have recently been to a DMV, you saw them enter the expiration date of your medical card into the computer. This is new. In the past, they just visually inspected the card in the past and never noted the expiration date.
If you do not notify the DMV about the next time you get a physical, they will cancel your driver's license, not just your CDL. They will send a warning letter first, stating that you are in violation. It is serious. Make sure you follow up.
Everyone must comply by January 31, 2014. It is easy if you renewed your CDL before that date  (They have already noted your information).
The State must have everyone caught up by then. They know 20,000 people will miss this deadline because they did not need to renew their CDL by the end of January. If you have not renewed your CDL recently, you must send the State of Colorado a copy of your physical.
Don't worry too much. They made it pretty easy for you to comply with the regulation. You just need to do it. We've outlined the steps for you below, complete with links to the forms, and important phone and fax numbers.
Submitting your Medical DOT to Colorado
  1. Print the following document: DR2904 CDL Self Certification and Attach the DOT Medical Card (do not attach the long form. Just a copy of your card)and fax it to: 303-205-5709 Attn: CDL Unit
The form has some confusing government language.
Please mark the applicable box: A. Non-excepted Interstate - A person must certify that he or she operates or expects to operate in interstate commerce, is both subject to and meets the qualification requirements under 49 CFR part 391 and is required to obtain a medical examiners certificate B. Excepted Interstate - A person must certify that he or she operates or expects to operate in interstate commerce, but engages exclusively in transportation or operations excepted under 49 CFR 390.3(f), 391.2, 391.68 or 398.3. C. Non Excepted Intrastate – A person must certify that he or she operates only in intrastate commerce and therefore is subject to State driver qualification requirements. D. Excepted Intrastate – A person must certify that he or she operates in intrastate commerce but engages exclusively in transportation or operations excepted from all or parts of the State Driver qualification requirements
Everyone should check box A stating that you want to be qualified for Non-excepted Interstate. The only reason to bother with B,C or D is if you are under 21 or have a medical waiver from the Colorado State Patrol.
Check Box A. I can't say it enough. Even if you will never cross state lines. The term "expects to operate in interstate commerce" does not mean crossing state lines in a truck. It means participates in interstate commerce. If you transport any goods that EVER come across state lines: you are participating in interstate commerce. Check Box A.
  1. Verify they have received your forms by calling: 303-205-5843. After you fax your form, they expect to have your information entered within 48 hours. This phone number connects you directly to the people entering the information.
  2. If you need any administrative help, please call this number: 303-205-5646.
If you are a CDL driver and need any additional help, please call CDL College at 303-367-1030.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

CDL College's New Sign

Our new sign went up yesterday on Vazquez Blvd, in Commerce City, CO.

I like it. We're moving up.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Extreme Trucking - The New "Hours of Service" Rule

Extreme Trucking - The New "Hours of Service" Rule
The new "Hours of Service" rules went into effect on July 1, 2013. Why? It is an attempt by the FMCSA to make the roads safer by regulating a driver's time off.

Drivers can no longer work 82 hours per week. Is that such a bad thing? What other industry asks a worker to put in 82 hours? Or even 70 hours, our new limit. We can debate the issue at a later date.
Let's simplify the rule. What exactly do they mean by:

" A driver may not take an off-duty period allowed by paragraph (c) of this section to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days, until 168 or more consecutive hours have passed since the beginning of the last such off-duty period. When a driver takes more than one off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours within a period of 168 consecutive hours, he or she must indicate in the Remarks section of the record of duty status which such off-duty period is being used to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days."

Do you remember the last rule change? The most difficult thing to understand was the limit of 14 hours in a day. That meant working 14 consecutive hours. If we started work at 7 a.m. we were not allowed to work past 9 p.m. Once we started our day, we could no longer make changes to our log book that would allow us to work later than 9 p.m. That was a big change. Previous to the change, we had plenty of ways to adjust the book. The "14 hour limit" put a stop to that.

The new 34 hour restart is similar. One week is 168 hours. This Monday to next Monday equals exactly 168 hours. You are not allowed to work more than 70 hours during that time, and you cannot work again until you have taken 34 hours off.

You may take two-34 hour breaks per week, but if you do it will not help you to exceed 70 hours for that week.

There is no more fiddling with the log book and giving yourself as many restarts as you wish. Get used to it. Drivers need to start thinking of their work like everyone else does. Work 5, or even 6 days per week, but take some time for yourself at the end of it. Recharge before you start again, everybody else does.

Trucking companies are worried that the FMCSA will upset their routines, but I have a sneaking feeling that the new rules will lead to better driver retention. We can address that at another time.