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Really? As a former project manager, I was a hiring rep. I never once sent out a letter verifying employment. I called the previous employer, wrote down the name and extension of the person I talked to and that was enough. And we were a Fed contractor requiring security clearance. So it's good enough for matters of national security but not for FMCSA? Again, I say "DOT silliness".Cetane+ Thanks this.
I think a lot of "DOT silliness" (and actually it is FMCSA that sets the regulations) is misunderstanding and misinformation.blacklabel Thanks this.
That's nonsense. I'm not saying it's YOUR nonsense OP, more probably an officer trained a long time ago, or going by what he/she hears.
We had an audit today at the place where I work and for the qualifications files I used their own applications/forms downloaded from the ETA handbook. The form itself has a place to mark how the review was done: mail, fax, telephone, or other. Since I know the owner/operator these guys were working for and actually talked to him, I put it down as a personal conversation. It comes from their own forms, so she would have been hard pressed to find a problem with it.
The main thing I have found they need, and what the officer herself highlighted was you need to document everything, but just writing down that you had this conversation with this specific person on this specific date at this specific time is documentation enough for them.
I got clarification yesterday on many items. I was at a convenience store and ran into a state trooper and pulled on his ear. Turns out, this particular trooper is one of the auditors for DOT. Mailing is not required for anything. My employment verification could be done by simply taking my verification sheets into my previous employers directly and having them sign them. Or I could call and verify. And for what its worth, he said the biggest thing people fail is preemployment drug screenings by not having the results on file PRIOR to driving. He said the negative results MUST be on file and dated at least 2 days prior to driving. Unless you have an email with the results showing a time and date received and it is before your log book shows any type of on duty status. The other big hit is not being enrolled in a drug consortium prior to on duty status.
Here are many of the other items that can result in an out of service:
Failure to have your vehicles DOT inspected prior to being put in service. The inspection MUST be done for your company. Existing inspection, no matter how recent or how new your equipment is, is NOT acceptable.
Log books WILL be scrutinized.
All files and how your organizational skills are used will be evaluated. If your files are all in one box and not organized in some sort of reasonable fashion, an out of service may be issued until you fix your poop.
Any failed road side inspection may result in an out of service order from the audit. Situation is examined and dependant on your circumstances.
A vehicle inspection WILL be conducted.
All your permits and authority will be examined.
Record keeping from IFTA to taxes WILL be examined.
Your general knowledge of the industry, your demeanor and attitude is also being evaluated. If your a douche, inspector will be a bigger douche. If your shaking and nervous, they will push harder to get you to curl up in a ball and cry. If your over confident, they will do everything to break that confidence. If you try to be friendly, they will be ##### hats. He said be calm, only speak when spoken to, don't get huffy, don't show nervousness or act timid, and above all, DON'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS UNTIL THE AUDIT IS DONE!!!
I will comment from my very recent experience (last week):
You WILL be nervous regardless, but I hope this post will make it easier.
One thing that got us points with her was she saw we were familiar with the ETA handbook and using some of the forms provided. If you have any specific questions that is a very good resource because you can search through it on the computer. It has the 16 points that could/would result in an automatic fail.
Oh! And one more thing: you won't necessarily get an OOS if you don't pass it, there are three outcomes, satisfactory, CONDITIONAL, and fail. If they find things that are bad enough that you won't pass but not bad enough to put you OOS, they will give you a conditional and ask you to submit some more records later.
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