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A DOT Safety Rating is how the FMCSA gauges the safety fitness of every trucking company or motor carrier with a DOT Number.
During a DOT Audit or DOT Compliance Review (see an example), trucking companies are given a safety rating based on a number of factors and categorized as Satisfactory/Non-Rated, Conditional, or Unsatisfactory.
Take this Quick DOT Safety Rating Survey!
Learn what type of help you need!
What are the types of DOT Safety Ratings?
An Unsatisfactory safety rating is the worst rating you can receive and can completely stop your company’s operations. Unsatisfactory means that your trucking company has not implemented proper safety protocols that are DOT compliant according to the FMCSA.
A Conditional safety rating can negatively impact your business. If you receive a conditional rating, it means that the safety standards for your trucking company are not up to the FMCSA safety standards and a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) will be necessary to be upgraded back to a rating of satisfactory.
A Satisfactory or Non-Rated safety rating is the best rating your company can receive and what your company should be aiming for. Basically, this means that the safety management for your company is acceptable and under control.
Gather a quick understanding of where your trucking company stands in comparison to your competitors. As public information, Conditional and Unsatisfactory Safety Ratings can affect your insurance and even the loads you get.
If you went through your DOT Audit or DOT Compliance Review (see an example DOT compliance review) you may have received a Notice of Claim (see an example notice of claim) and received a DOT Conditional Safety Rating or DOT Unsatisfactory Safety Rating, you will need a Safety Rating Upgrade.
A Safety Rating Upgrade is the process of correcting your Conditional or Unsatisfactory Safety Rating by literally upgrading your rating back to Satisfactory.
This is Critical! You only have 60 days until you are put OUT OF SERVICE and can no longer operate under your authority. In that time, you need to remedy all the violations from your recent DOT Compliance Review and show proof that you have corrected acute or critical violations.
Needs to be addressed ASAP! You can technically still operate, but the FMCSA does want to see the violations corrected. If you fail to correct these, you could receive an unsatisfactory in your next compliance review.
Stay Proactive! Don’t wait until you are downgraded to a Conditional or Unsatisfactory Rating. Keep your company in good standing. Ask about Free Compliance Review or Mock DOT Audit or DOT Compliance Programs.
Conditional Carriers receive higher insurance rates, are paid less, get restricted loads from brokers, and good drivers do not apply for work with conditional carriers.
Can you still get loads with a Conditional Rating?
We work with all types of brokers to provide ongoing documentation to keep you running loads until you are officially upgraded. For example, we work with some of the largest brokers and freight forwarders, such as Coyote, JB Hunt, CH Robinson to name a few.
Our DOT Safety Rating Specialists can help if your DOT Safety Rating was downgraded from Satisfactory/Non-Rated to Unsatisfactory or Conditional. We will do everything we can to get you upgraded, but also suggest our DOT Compliance Programs to stay in good standing with the FMCSA.
Over the past 5 years CNS has upgraded more carriers and submitted more corrective action plans than any other DOT service-based consultant.
First, we look at the compliance review (see an example) from the audit to understand the violations and the documentation that will be required to submit for proof that violations have been corrected.
Your Safety Rating Upgrade specialist will lay out the steps sequentially to follow and work through a corrective action plan, all addressing the acute and critical violations. Documents and files relative to critical and acute violations will be audited and reviewed by a CNS specialist before submitting, ensuring that you will get upgraded on the first try.
Once, we are ready to submit, we will send the Safety Rating Upgrade request and Corrective Action Plan to your state and service center to be entered into their queue for review by an FMCSA analyst.
Following the submission, your specialist from CNS will correspond with the FMCSA analyst on final determination and provide guidance on any additional information requested by analyst.
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