Have you reported a trucking company to DOT or even other authorities? In this article, I am going to tell you how to report a trucking company to DOT.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were aware of a reckless driver who is driving unsafely or even an unsafe trucking company and didn’t know what to do at the time?
In many cases, trucking companies are often guilty of violating, breaking protocols, and cutting corners to save time or money.
Unfortunately, these could cause trucking accidents and consequences may be serious.
Before telling you how to report a trucking company to DOT, you need to take these two pieces of advice into consideration before:
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Gather Key Information
- 2 2. Document The Problems
- 3 How to Report a Trucking Company to DOT?
- 4 When Should You Report a Trucking Company to DOT?
- 5 How to Report a Trucking Company to FMCSA?
- 6 What are Other State and Federal Agencies to Report a Trucking Company to?
1. Gather Key Information
Don’t rush and make the call, you need to gather a few details about the incident before you make the first call to authorities.
You need to be ready for answering questions as the authority you call will ask some. Providing complete answers increases the chances of the trucking company facing consequences for its negligence or misconduct.
What is the Information You Need to Gather Before Calling Authorities?
- The name of the trucking company (focus on the driver’s uniform or on the truck itself).
- S. Department of Transportation number.
- Motor Carrier number.
- Description of the truck and its driver.
- Information related to the incident including date, time, and location.
Write down as much information as possible about the trucking company.
If you didn’t know some information about the company, you can use the internet for the full trucking company name and other necessary information.
The trucking company is the one responsible for transporting, so look at the cab of the truck for company information.
2. Document The Problems
If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen. So make sure to document the situation.
The most important step in reporting a company to DOT is documentation. You need to have some forms of documentation about the problems that you’re dealing with.
If you don’t document the problem, you’ll just be considered a ‘disgruntled employee’, that one who complains without having evidence of what he is complaining about.
You need to consider that documenting problems needs little extra work and organization. But when it comes to result, it is really worth it.
How to Report a Trucking Company to DOT?
For each state in the United States, a local department of transportation responsible for overseeing and regulating a variety of issues related to transportation, including commercial transit.
For example, in Washington State, there is the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
You can call the WSDOT hotline from 5 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday where you can file complaints against unsafe trucks and truck drivers.
To report any unsafe trucking practices in Washington you can call the number 360-705-7000.
The DOT advises that you immediately call 911 to report the incident in an emergency situation.
If the situation is not an emergency and it happened within the past 60 days then you can make the following:
1. Call 1-888-DOT-DAFT (368-7238):
You can call this hotline from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and report about your problem.
2. Make it Online:
If you would rather make a report about a trucking company online then follow the next steps:
- visit this webpage: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/
- According to your situation, choose “Public,” “Drivers,” or “Industry”.
- Select “Start.”
Another online way is to:
- Go to the website of the Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.gov/
- Choose “Trucking and Motor coaches” on the right side of the website page.
- Go with “File a Complaint”.
- According to your situation, select “Public,” “Drivers,” or “Industry”
- Select “Start.”
At the time you start the process you will choose your complaint type from a checklist of categories, and select “Continue.”
Afterward, you will be provided with contact information and any other options that could be applicable to the situation.
When Should You Report a Trucking Company to DOT?
There are many cases where you could report a trucking company to DOT. Here are the most common ones:
1. Maintenance Issues
Some companies are ready to run equipment for a long time as possible, without caring about that this may put people’s lives in danger.
For example, some companies take the whole ‘belt tightening’ to the extreme that not only puts the driver behind the wheel in danger but the public also.
So for your safety as a truck driver, you need to make sure to take look at some items before starting your trip including tires, broken wheels, and brakes…etc.
2. Driver or Employee Abuse
Many companies force their truckers to work longer hours than they’re supposed to under the rules.
In addition, they don’t pay them for the extra time; not only this but many employees never get paid at all in these situations.
So in these cases you can report such trucking companies to DOT.
How to Report a Trucking Company to FMCSA?
You asked me how to report a trucking company to DOT, but you may ask me whether there is another authority I can report to or not.
Besides reporting a trucking company to DOT, you can make a report to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the database of driving records of all the companies working in the trucking industry.
In addition, it keeps a permanent record of the complaints.
The process of filing a complaint about FMCSA could be done online or over the phone at 1-888-368-7238.
You can file the complaint any time from 5 a.m. – 5 p.m. and. Filed complaints are used for investigations into the safety practices of both individual drivers and trucking companies.
FMCSA monitors violations of rules and complaints from drivers themselves to find trucking companies who force their drivers into unsafe practices.
You Can Call 911
When you face an unsafe driver who has caused an accident or seems to be intoxicated while driving on the road, you should dial 911 immediately.
Besides, if you feel that what you saw would be considered a true emergency as well.
The emergency responders then can send the necessary resources to provide aid for those that have been injured.
You need to put in your consideration that you should use 911 in emergency situations only, and there may be other resources more appropriate for incidents that don’t involve immediate danger to human life.
What are Other State and Federal Agencies to Report a Trucking Company to?
In addition to USDOT, and FMCSA you may also want report to:
- OSHA: They deal with the safety of your workplace environment
- EPA: If you’re dealing with a company that’s unsafe with hazardous waste or hazardous materials, you may want to call them.
- Dept of Labor: You may also want to contact them if you have pay and other issues.
Finally, you know how to report a trucking company to DOT as well as other authorities and how important can your report be.
Make sure to have the previous information about the company before calling and making the report.
Besides make sure to have your documentation ready on demand.
And don’t forget that your report may stop unsafe companies from their unsafe procedures and operations, your report will save lives.