Like most U.S. workers right now, federal and state ‘DOT’ auditors—those who conduct compliance audits of trucking companies—are working from home. How does a DOT auditor do their job while working from home? Easy, they use their recent training, new FMCSA software, and a new web portal, to conduct “off-site reviews” of motor carriers. As the name suggests, off-site reviews are remotely-conducted DOT compliance audits that can be done from a home office using nothing more than a computer and, at times, a phone.
As STC communicated to its clients last year, throughout 2019 FMCSA trained their own auditors across the U.S., along with many state DOT auditors, on how to conduct off-site reviews, and when this new auditing approach should be used. They did so because a pilot program demonstrated their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. And, that’s why in FY 2019 the number of off-site reviews increased by more than 400% year over year. In the current COVID-19 driven work-from-home environment, you can safely bet the number of remotely-conducted off-site reviews of trucking companies, large and small, will continue to climb, and the upward trend line will get even steeper. Carriers should keep in mind, though, that off-site reviews are typically initiated on higher risk carriers (i.e., when the company has elevated CSA scores in 1 or 2 BASICs). There are tens of thousands of carriers that fall into this category.