Part of becoming a successful owner operator is staying safe and compliant with DOT regulations. A fine or violation can have a negative effect on your owner operator job or career, not only affects your record but it also has an impact on your employability. In this article, we will talk about what you can do as an owner operator truck driver to stay safe and avoid any violations.
Truck Maintenance Correlation To A Clean Record
There’s a number of things you can do to keep a clean record. First of all, you have to know the rules so make sure to stay up to date on your truck and trailer maintenance. There’s a famous quote by Mark Twain that says: “It’s not what you don’t know that get’s you in trouble, it’s what you do know and it’s not true” and this applies to those truck maintenance issues you know about and you keep telling yourself it’s all right. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your rig in top condition. A recent report by the CVSA on the 29th annual international roadcheck says that 45.7 percent of all vehicles placed out of service were due to brake adjustment and brake system violations. Most owner operator trucking companies have safety departments that keep owner operator truck drivers informed of any safety blitz or annual inspections going on, so pay close attention to those communications. The main goal for each one of those inspections programs is to ensure everyone has their t’s crossed and i’s dotted, and they always place special importance on logbooks, hours of service, brakes, and tires.
A safe owner operator job entails a lot more than just keeping an eye on your speed. As an owner operator truck driver, you have a responsibility towards other drivers sharing the road and you can do this by doing your pre or post trip inspections and filling out your log books properly. These are everyday tasks that truckers tend to neglect but those are the same ones that can come back to bite you. You have to be diligent and stay on top of your hours of service, log books, paperwork, and truck maintenance because if you get a fine or violation for some of these things is generally because you underestimated it.
Nowadays the best owner operator trucking companies are being more careful when they lease operator trucking jobs because their overall rating can be affected depending on the owner op they hire. The CSA reports and shares all information about every inspection, they register both the good and bad stuff so you don’t want to have anything negative on your record because it could affect your chances to get a contract as an owner operator.
Now if you do get a fine about something you don’t feel you were guilty of you have several options. You could find somebody local to fight that for you, or your motor carrier can also get involved if they think there is a case because whatever happens to you will also reflect back on them. So if you get a ticket that you did not deserve they are going to want to get involved because at the end your ranking it’s also their ranking.
In conclusion, good owner operators trying to do things right by staying compliant, following the rules and keeping up with truck preventative maintenance will be just fine.