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Live Instructor Led On-Line Training

We have all experienced a dynamic speaker who delivers his/her presentation with passion, who knew the topic better than anyone we have met, who makes an effort to get to know and make personal eye contact with every attendee, who uses a variety of delivery techniques to keep our attention and utilizes modern adult learning principles and even entertain us at times, and who ensures that we all meet the objective for the class.  Over the years many of us had the opportunity to travel to a public seminar where we made life long friends with other professionals and could call the instructor anytime for follow-up questions.

Times have changed.  The pressure to increase our shrinking profit margins has forced much of the transportation industry to  tighten our budgets and restrict travel.  Increased day to day responsibilities make it almost impossible to take a day off.

Technology now has come to the point where much of the experience described above can be recreated via your own computer.  Our “Go-to-Meeting” format allows our instructors to open the mikes and encourage interaction with each other and the instructor.  Cams even allow some of the same personal touch. Hopefully, attendees of our programs will find new professional contacts they can network with for life and certainly our instructors will welcome direct contact after the class.  Our training phylosophy is that a canned recorded on-line program is only appropriate for general information sharing.  Retentive practical learning is severely limited unless interactively applied to the attendee’s individual needs, emotions, and experiences.

All of us at DOT Safety Plus are focused on our client’s needs by providing customization of in-house training.  Possibly, managers can meet us for a lunch meeting in the conference room.  New driver orientation can take on a new dimension with a guest speaker from DOT Safety Plus at every driver training  session.  All that is needed is a computer with a WIFI connection and ideally a projector and screen or wall to throw our presentation up in front of the class.

We are excited about this new approach to meeting all of you in our classes in the future. Check out our seminar schedule below.  It has been designed to cover all the topics one would expect to receive in a 2 day seminar over a period of 4-5 sessions.  We would love to have you join us–register in our product shopping cart.


On-Line Seminars

DOT Safety Plus

Seminars will be 2 hours each and include interaction and handouts for each registered attendee.  Upon registration, the attendee will receive a confirmation, an invitation to the seminar, and all of the handouts for the seminars.  Classes will be limited to 20 attendees per session but additional sessions will be scheduled as required to accommodate all who have registered.


The individual price per session is $65 unless the attendee checks the entire 12 session series rate at $540 for a saving of $240.  The price per session for multiple attendees from the same company will be $55 per session and $500 for the annual registration provided at least two purchase the annual series.


“Driver Qualifications”

Driver error is the primary cause of 87% of all accidents.  Thorough driver screening is essential to verify that the new driver candidate is qualified and has the proper experience and skill set for the driving that you are hiring him for.  Studies have shown what most of us know intuitively: Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior.  For most accident categories, the same accident will happen again unless the driver has specifically been retrained to improve his/her deficient skill or poor habit.  Driver hiring is an intentional process to investigate everything we can learn about the new driver before we commit to hiring them.  DOT has mandated a very intense driver file containing at least eight DOT forms to verify that you conducted a good faith effort to screen to an established set of standards.  We will learn the screening process by reviewing the required driver file components.  Incidentally, during an audit, it is likely that these files will receive a large percentage of the auditor’s time.


Hours of service records and limits have always been the DOT’s primary focus during both the roadside inspection and the compliance review.  Some studies in the past have estimated that as many as 50% of all accidents could be fatigue related.  Fatigue is a serious risk to every driver and the associated training and records can be essential to the driver’s survival.  Hours of service rules have so many considerations and requirements, we will offer three (2 hour) sessions on rules and records associated with managing your driver’s fatigue.  Note that this aspect of our transportation responsibilities for both drivers and managers will have substantial changes during the next 2 years.  These changes will be addressed in the second session. 


Session #1 – “Hours of Service Applicability, Definitions, and Exceptions”

This session will set the foundations for managing your hours of service challenges by providing an understanding of the definitions and exceptions used throughout Part 395 of the FMCSR.  We will ensure that the attendees know exactly who is subject to these rules and how to utilize exceptions designed for your operation.  Generally, we would not want to do logs if we are not required to; but we have to know exactly what conditions have to be met before we stop preparing them.


Session #2 – “Record of Duty (Log), Form and Manner and Records”

During this session, we will spend the entire two hour session learning how to do logs if we need to.  When we study 49 CFR §395.8, we will discover that if we do logs they must be done “perfectly”.  Very few drivers will be accused of preparing their logs too well.  It is management’s responsibility to audit and motivate poor performance to improve.  In order to do that, it is essential that all managers and administrative assistants as well as even dispatchers understand how to do logs themselves.  In this session we will teach how to prepare a log and then practice by creating a log of a trip as if the attendee was the driver.  There are 11 mandatory entries on a log page and if not completed properly, the entire log could be in violation and charged up to $1000 per day.  This session will focus entirely on the log page.


Bonus:  Electronic On-Board recorders has been mandated on all commercial motor vehicles by 12/18/17 with a few exceptions.  We will look at the requirements and explore features of a few already on the market.


Session #3 – “Hours of Service Limitations”

We will look at the physiological needs that we all have for sleep.  This is where we see the common practice of “sleeping at the wheel”.  Many of us have dosed while driving our cars—driver’s bodies are no different than ours.  Without adequate rest, every driver has the propensity to sleep while driving.  This is the most dangerous situation in the trucking industry.  There is a high probability that a driver will not wake up in time to save their lives or those involved with him in the accident.  We will cover the daily and weekly hours limits that all commercial drivers nationwide are subject to.  We will also talk about how we can reset these hours or monitor their recap of the last 8 days.


“Maintenance Records Requirements” may be the most complicated of all of the files we talk about in the FMCSR. Part 396 mandates four separate files for maintenance related records and retention periods can vary as well.  Further complicating this for the motor carrier is the requirement that these records be maintained where the vehicle is either housed or maintained which can easily be an outside vendor shop. Good luck getting ready for an audit if these records are scattered and unorganized.  Again, as with logs above, the maintenance requirements can be extensive and the records quite involved.  We will present the DOT’s maintenance requirements in three separate sessions.


Session #1 – “Maintenance Review & Preventative Maintenance”

The focus during this session will be on the individual vehicle file and its contents.  Section 396.3 specifically mandates “systematic maintenance” on all commercial motor vehicles.  Push out windows, emergency doors and emergency lights must be inspected every 90 days for buses.  Though the DOT does not say what service intervals look like nor what they include, managers must be able to describe the process and these records must prove that they were done on time.  The frequency and content of these inspections will dictate the success of roadside inspections and subsequent CSA scores.


Session #2 – “Post and Pre trip Inspections and Records”

In this session we will cover the requirements for a thorough pre-trip inspection and the subsequent post trips’ Daily Vehicle Inspection Report.  This is possibly the most dangerous report from a liability perspective and historically the least understood.  The written record DVIR is done after the post trip inspection at the end of the driver’s shift, not after the pre-trip.   If a defect has been identified but has been driven before the repair of all “safety defects”, it could result in a large out of court settlement and the DOT classifies it as an acute violation.  Your entire maintenance function could fail the audit if these DVIRs are not prepared, monitored every day, and repaired as necessary.  The flow of the paperwork can be essential to its proper functionality.  Professional drivers will always start their day with a thorough pre-trip inspection of their vehicle/s prior to driving on the road.  They should have a guilty conscience if they short cut this process and ask themselves “what critical safety component did I miss which could result in an accident today”.  This session will portray the entire process as defined in 396.11 and 396.13.


Session #3 – “Annual Inspections and Appendix G to FMCSR”

DOT Safety Plus is honored to have two consultants who are recognized nationwide specialists on the roadside inspection and associated Appendix G requirements.  They are the best in the business and will host this session.  It is targeted at the annual inspection requirement for every commercial vehicle but will include the roadside inspection process which uses the CVSA’s North American Out-of-Service (OOS) criteria.  The annual inspection standards are defined in Appendix G to FMCSR and correspond very closely to the above OOS.  We will cover the major component areas and discuss the inspector’s certification process.


“Mandatory Hazardous Materials Training”

Mandatory hazardous materials training is required for anyone who has anything to do with preparing, packaging, loading/unloading or transporting any amount of hazardous material (HM) in any size vehicle in commerce.  49 CFR §172.704 requires four topics to be included in all of this training.

  1. General awareness training which basically is to prepare the HM employees to recognize when a HM is unsafe or illegal in order to minimize the risk.
  2. Function specific training in two hours may be a challenge. During the registration process for this course, attendees will be asked what job function they have and the type of HM and packaging they work with.  For select HM or job titles, registrants may be encouraged to expand the coverage beyond this two hour session. The presentation will also encourage attendee interaction to generate function specific feedback.
  3. Safety training will be accommodated through introduction of the Emergency Response Guidebook. MSDSs will be mentioned but for this session, the ERG book will be our source for safety training procedures.
  4. Security Awareness training will be provided to all attendees but when applicable, “In-depth Security awareness training will be deferred for their own corporate supplemental training to accommodate the extra In-depth training objectives.

A quiz will be completed and sent back to DOT Safety Plus for grading before a certificate of training will be granted.


“DOT basics”

This seminar is a review of the DOT requirements and changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).  The objective is to introduce the attendee to the DOT’s basic requirements for all Motor Carriers who operate vehicles with a GVWR or GCWR of over 10000 lbs, are placarded for HM or have a passenger carrying capacity of 9 or more.  We focus on the six files that are required to prove that the carrier has control over:

1) Adequate insurance,

2) Accident control,

3) DOT alcohol and drug testing process,

4) Driver qualifications verification and screening,

5) Hours of service and logs, and

6) Maintenance and repairs

This is an excellent introductory class for those who may be new to the industry or transportation responsibilities.  It’s also great refresher to keep up with all of the changes.

“Lower your CSA scores (Compliance, Safety, Accountability)”

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) is the hottest topic in the trucking industry since its implementation in 2010.  There were no regulations changes as part of this initiative; it is the primary method used by the DOT to identify motor carriers who appear to have inadequate compliance performance.  There are not enough DOT auditors to keep up with the 700,000+ carriers nationwide.  CSA scores roadside inspection results and crash data are used to rank the motor carrier against their peers in the industry.  It is critical to everyone’s success that their scores remain at a low percentage.  Come and learn definite procedures that can be implemented to keep these scores low.

“Accident Control and Tracking”

Stopping accidents is the most important function any of us in the industry can have.  No amount of profit can pay for one fatality or even injury.  A small accident is just a large one that didn’t quite happen.   Our responsibility in management is to create an environment where accidents don’t happen and if they do, they will never be repeated.  This seminar will concentrate on

  • What we can do to prevent accidents,
  • What do we all do when an accident occurs,
  • What records must be collected and filed,
  • How to investigate and an accident, and
  • How to redesign procedures to reduce the likelihood of an accident being repeated.


“DOT Alcohol and Drug Testing”

Since 1992, all CDL drivers must be subject to a company DOT alcohol and drug testing program.  There are very specific procedures for the service providers as well of the motor carriers.  Unfortunately, the motor carrier is responsible for all of the errors the service providers make.  It is essential that all managers and administrative assistants in safety, HR, and operations understand enough about the proper procedures to ensure that all DOT requirements are followed and that the correct records are collected.  This seminar will provide a strong regulatory foundation for implementing a compliant DOT alcohol and drug program and what to look for in a third party provider.

Mandatory supervisory training on Reasonable Suspicion Testing is a mandatory 2 hour class for everyone “designated to supervise drivers”.  It is a once in a life time minimum requirement and will be scheduled as often as requested.  This session will not satisfy that specific requirement.  Call Jeff Simon to schedule a separate on-line session.


If you wish to have a customized training session, please call and we will accommodate your needs.

Obviously, DOT Safety Plus will travel to your locations and present live training can be scheduled.  There still is no substitute for live instructor led training.  Please call and schedule your on-site visit.