This blog post was updated on May 26, 2021.
Driver Qualification Files are a necessary part of life for transportation companies. The consequences of expired or missing paperwork can result in anything from a several thousand dollar fine to multi-million dollar litigations after a fatal accident. These consequences are too high to let something simple fall through the cracks. That’s why DOT compliance is key, whether it’s with paper driver qualification files or compliance software. However, these two options were not created equal.
Paper DQ Files may be “tried and true,” but it doesn’t mean there isn’t an easier solution. Software can automate building and maintaining the DQ files so you can lay your head on your pillow at night knowing you didn’t miss something. You’ll save yourself time and money while avoiding the costly mistakes that arise from manually keeping paper DQ files.
Believe it or not, 90% of professional drivers in 2018 completed their DOT applications on their mobile device. That number is only going up.
By the nature of their job, professional drivers are on the road. They need the convenience of an electronic DOT application they can fill out anytime, anywhere. Meet those drivers where they are. Give them an application they can do at a rest stop or between loads without having to worry about printing paperwork or delivering them to your terminal in person. Then, use texting to capture images of a driver’s CDL and Med Card.
Quality safety personnel are detail oriented people who can manage a process. But nobody’s perfect. When you’re managing a manual process, you open yourself up for human error. For example, a driver trainer wants to look at the MVR but then forgets to put it back in the DQ File. Or, the trainer mistakenly puts it back in the Personnel folder.
This stuff happens if you’re shoving folders into filing cabinets or boxes. Electronic files are much harder to misplace and much easier to keep in a specific order due to automation.
Time is money, and more of either is always good. Electronic records allow a safety person to spend more time on other important responsibilities like calling drivers or overseeing training. Our clients are enjoying getting 20 hours per admin in their work week back if they don’t have to worry about shaking down drivers to make copies, getting distracted halfway through a photocopy, or wondering where on your desk you put that driver’s MVR. That time adds up and allows for a more efficient and painless process.
These are just some of the many ways that moving away from paper DQ files makes sense in trucking today. Electronic record-keeping streamlines the whole process of hiring and maintaining a driver file, especially when it’s combined with an applicant tracking system.
Why put drivers or safety personnel through the time-consuming paper mill of filling out a hundred documents by hand? Make it easier on everyone by investing in a digital compliance system.
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