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FMCSA Says "One Strike And You're OUT"

Scott Millen

New member
This is an email I got today, and it is a sales pitch, but it does raise some interesting points from a regulatory point of view. This is the sort of thing that can jump up out of the short grass to bite your business in the tenderest part...the wallet.

There is as much mis-information out there concerning DOT compliance as there is involving any other regulations, and the consequences of mistakes can be severe.

Anybody used these people, or seriously thinking of it?

The FMCSA has just published a list of 16 One Strike and You're Out violations. This final rule requires new entrants to comply with this regulation effective Feb.17, 2009 with a compliance deadline of Dec. 16, 2009. A violation found during the safety audit would result in automatic failure of the audit. What this means is any motor carrier will lose its authority if they cannot prove the violation was corrected within 60 days after the notification of failure, 45 days if they carry passengers or hazmat. Once the authority is revoked and an out-of-service order is issued and the new entrant will have to wait 30 days before re-applying for a new authority, starting the process over completely from the start.
The violations are as follows
- Failing to implement an alcohol andor controlled substances testing program.
- Using a driver known to have an alcohol content of 0.04 or greater to perform a safety-sensitive function.
- Using a driver who has refused to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test required under part 382.
- Using a driver known to have tested positive for a controlled substance.
- Failing to implement a random controlled substances andor alcohol testing program.
- Knowingly using a driver who does not possess a valid CDL.
- Knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing an employee with a cdl which is suspended, revoked, or canceled by a state or who is disqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
- Knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing a driver to drive who is disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
- Operating a motor vehicle without having in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage.
- Operating a passenger carrying vehicle without having in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility.
- Knowingly using a disqualified driver.
- Knowingly using a physically unqualified driver.
- Failing to require a driver to make a record of duty status.
- Requiring or permitting the operation of a commercial motor vehicle declared ??out-of-service?? before repairs are made.
- Failing to correct out-of-service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again.
- Using a commercial motor vehicle not periodically inspected.
There is too much at stake to leave this to chance. No one can afford to lose their authority or even have vehicles placed out of service for a short while. Learn what you need to know to avoid these violations by attending Online Trucker's two-day workshop. We will show you everything you need to know to comply with every federal regulation pertaining to operating commercial vehicles.
Speak to an associate about enrolling by dialing 1-877-595-4856 or direct 1-972-412-3453 from Canada or Mexico.
We will be hosting classes in these cities in 2009.

Feb 26-27 Los Angeles CA Aug 27-28 Los Angeles CA
March 26-27 Chicago IL Sept 24-25 Chicago IL
April 2-24 Dallas TX Oct 29-30 Dallas TX
May 28-29 Philadelphia PA Nov 12-13 Portland OR
June 25-26 Nashville TN Dec 10-11 Nashville TN
July 30-31 Jacksonville FL

Tim Fields

New member

Thanks for the heads up.

The title of the new law is "New Entrant Safety Assurance Process". It is a program by the Federal Government to make sure that new entrants understand the requirements and the consequences of not complying. The bill does not require any additional requirements to be met, only provides a mechanism to clearly outline what happens if new carriers don't have their paperwork together.

You are correct that there is a lot of misinformation about DOT requirements. In Maryland, you are required to have a DOT number if the combination gross weight is over 10,000 pounds. This is a Federal requirement, enforced at the State level. That means that even a start up guy with a half ton pick up and single axle trailer would be required to register if the total combined gross vehicle weight (as labeled by the manufacturer) exceeds 10,000 pounds.

Registration and compliance is fairly simple with vehicles 26,000 pounds and under. But, it is a bit like the pressure washing industry. It's easy enough to getted started in, but maybe not so easy to stay in or succeed if you don't watch your p's and q's.

Most of the sixteen bullet points will not apply unless you have a truck, or a trailer labeled at over 10k. The requirements for log books, drug testing, formal vehicle inspection, and cdl license come to mind as examples.

The process was simple when I got my first DOT number. Then they sent me a form to fill out and schedule a safety audit. I meant to do it, I really did. Then they sent me a form saying that my DOT number was cancelled. I reapplied a year later and all is fine.

If someone were going to start a large trucking company then this class may be beneficial. I doubt that you would see many owner/operator types at these meetings.

I would be happy to answer any specific questions regarding FMCSA rules and DOT numbers.


Scott Millen

New member
Thanks Tim!

I think this thread would be a good place to discuss this topic. I have spent a huge portion of my adult life in the transportation industry, but have been feeling out of touch with the current regulations.

The state-level support in NE for number holders is just atrocious, full of bad information and questionable interpretations, all written in nearly impenetrable legalese. Not to mention the lack of interest in helping with interpretation on the part of the authorities.

My combination is right at 20 thousand pounds, and there have been disputes with local enforcement already. As we all know, sometimes the best is to find out the local interpretation and abide by that, and have a lawyer's number ready for when things change.

Does anybody have a good online or published resource for smaller haulers involved in the trades? That would be of real value!


New member
Nothing "new" here as Tim stated they are just re-empasizing the rules that are there. If you are insuring CMV and have a CDL your carrier is required to make sure you have that in effect.
CDL drivers know the automatic disqualifiers and I have never seen a disqualified CDL get a licence back after a refusal to submit to a BAC/drug test as a result of a serious or fatal accident.
Last year one went to the state supreme court and was defended by attourneys from the ATA and the case motion to dismiss was denied by them unanimously.
Bottom line is CDL drivers and companies have far too much to loose by messing with the laws as they are now so just play by them and be well.