Trucking Companies & Owner Operators!
It is all about your SAFER scores. What is a SAFER score? This is an indicator to insurance carriers on how your company has historically performed. They can see all the little things that happen that make a huge difference; things like log book violations, vehicle maintenance issues, driver issues, unscheduled vehicles, and other things as small as if a trucks tire wasn’t fully inflated on a certain date in a certain location. Although you CAN’T see this information the insurance carriers CAN! Be mindful of your DOT inspections because they matter big time; Enough to make insurance costs double and sometimes even triple.
For example, 1 truck with a great SAFER score and DOT operating history could be paying $10,500/year while 1 other truck in the same area is paying $29,500/year because that operators SAFER score and DOT operating history was poorly maintained.
Keeping your SAFER score up to par is critical for making insurance carriers look at your company in a positive way. Even if you are actually operating better and safer than other trucking companies, your DOT# is a paper trail and it often doesn’t lie – it’s like your financial credit score… IT WILL FOLLOW YOU so take care of it.
Check out how your company looks here: safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot
**Keep in mind it often appears like nothing is out of ordinary, but there is another side of the system where insurance carriers can see all the little details of your inspections that you can’t.**
Some other things to keep in mind…
- We continually remind trucking companies not to have any fender benders, accidents, moving violations like speeding, using a mobile telephone while operating a commercial vehicle, failing to obey a traffic signal, etc. These are the obvious things, but some people continue to do this and think it doesn’t have any effect on them.
- There is nothing you can really do about accidents and some of these violations because it is a part of the business. The more documentation and proactive procedures you do to acknowledge and prevent these types of incidents makes you look like a credible partner insurance carriers want to partner with, and someone that they want to give credit to on insurance premiums.
- When the DOT inspects your vehicle make sure it is all shined up and looking good because it’s going to make a big difference at the end of the year.
Lastly, the biggest secret of all…
If you have a brand new truck or know that the truck has absolutely nothing wrong with it, make the effort for a quick stop into a DOT inspection and ask to have your truck inspected. Also make sure that you have all documentation ready and lined up perfect. The more perfect inspections you have the less they will inspect you and in return, the better your company looks to insurance carriers.