Review a Commercial Trucking Company DOT Safety Record

What is their safety record?
What is their safety record?

What is their safety record?

If you are in business you want your products delivered intact and on-time direct to your customer's loading dock. You want a commercial trucking company that is reliable and safe. This article will describe the simple steps needed to check the Department of Transportation (DOT) SAFER website to determine the safety record of your prospective common carrier.

Log on to SAFER

Log on to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) SAFER website. The link is provided in the adjacent box. The link takes you to the SAFER Company Snapshot page. Click on "USDOT Number", then enter the number in the "Enter Value" box. This is the fastest way to bring up the company profile.

If you don't know the DOT number click on "Name" and enter the company name in the "Enter Value" box. Just be aware there are probably a dozen or more trucking companies that share a similar name. You will need to know the city and state where the trucking company headquarters is located to select the company you are trying to review. For example, if you type in "Smith Trucking" the SAFER system will bring up several dozen names. Do you want Paul Smith Trucking in Tatum, Texas, or A.D. Smith Trucking in Corinna, Maine? Click on the company name you want to review. The SAFER system will bring up the "snapshot" of the company you selected.

Safety Inspection Record

Scroll down and review the second screen for the trucking company's safety inspection record. This lists the number of roadside inspections conducted within the past two years on the company's trucks and drivers. These inspections are conducted at random, typically by the state highway patrol, and involve vehicle, driver, and hazmat inspections.

Driver inspections involve a review of the driver's logbook to ensure it is current and the driver is in compliance with DOT hours of operation regulations.

Vehicle inspections focus on truck maintenance and safety.

Hazmat inspections are conducted only if the trucking company hauls hazardous materials. Inspectors check to see that hazardous materials are being transported according to DOT regulations.

"Out of Service" Violations

The first line in this screen indicates the number of inspections conducted in each category. The second line indicates the number of "Out of Service" violations that were detected. Out of service means there was at least one item noted during the inspection that did not comply with DOT regulations. This could be a error in the driver's logbook, or an indication that he worked more hours than permitted in a specific time frame, which is a safety hazard. A vehicle "out of service" violation could be a broken taillight, worn tires, or some other item in need of repair that could affect the safety of the vehicle. The out of service status can reflect one or more violations found in a single inspection.

The next line indicates the percentage of Out of Service violations found compared with the total number of inspections conducted on the trucking company. Obviously, the lower the number the better; a low number indicates the company is probably serious about following DOT regulations. You can compare the individual trucking company's out of service percentages with the National Averages shown in the last line of this screen. Be wary of any company that has higher percentages than the national average.

Scroll down and review the next screen which indicates the number of crashes the company has been involved with in the past 24 months.

No driver violations is a good thing.
No driver violations is a good thing.

Carrier Safety Rating

Scroll down and review the last screen, which indicates the Carrier Safety Rating. This is a measure of the trucking company's compliance with FMC safety regulations based on a DOT review of the carrier's operations. There are two types of general reviews. A Safety Review investigates management's overall knowledge of FMC safety regulations. A Compliance Review (abbreviated as CR on this screen) involves a review of the carrier's records. There are also miscellaneous reviews, such as security contract reviews or hazardous material compliance reviews that may be performed. The box next to "Type" indicates the types of reviews that have been conducted.

Review the carrier's rating. "Satisfactory" indicates there was no evidence of substantial non-compliance with safety regulations. "Conditional" indicates the carrier was out of compliance with one or more safety regulations and is on notice to correct the problems. "Unsatisfactory" indicates substantial non-compliance with safety regulations.

Are They Insured?

Last, click on "FMCSA Licensing & Insurance site" at the bottom of the page. This will bring up a screen that lets you review the trucking company's current insurance coverage. Click on "Report" to do this. Scroll down to the "Active/Pending Insurance" box and check to see there is an initial effective date for insurance coverage. Next to the effective date is a line that says "Cancellation Date". This should be blank, meaning the insurance remains in effect. If there is a cancellation date you had better investigate. The trucking company may be operating without insurance.

Comments 25 comments

Commercial Debt Collection 5 years ago

Nice post, and a great way to keep truck drivers safer. This is a check and balance that should make drivers more attentive and aware.

todd case trucking 5 years ago

Clyde Barton 5 years ago

Outstanding info on trucking. The trucking industry is essential to our economy in so many ways, and often underapprecated.

NBN Trucking 5 years ago

Tatjana E profile image

Tatjana E 5 years ago

A bit out of date now that CSA has come online. The principles all remain the same but the website now differs.

that is the website to go to now for carrier details.

mymedassistant profile image

mymedassistant 5 years ago

Voted up, thank you!

anonymous 5 years ago

u are no help at all

dnc 5 years ago

shed unsafe truckers 4 years ago

hi everyone, CSA2010 will help get unsafe truckers and trucking companies off our nations highways

sam 4 years ago

i wish some one will teach cj trucking out of laurinburg,nc something about safety i got tha icc mc number 768241 us dot number 2251945 be aware of that blue freightliner its dangerous ran me off tha road he had to be going atleast 80mph totally unsafe with tha ragdy trailer alabama dot please get this guy off tha road trailer belongs in tha junk yard

sam iowa 4 years ago

unsafe trucking compaies such as cj trucking out of nc needs to be put out of bussiness

sam iowa 4 years ago

im glad dot is working hard in texas i got a dot inspection today in temple tx tha guy went thrw me with a fine tooth comb thankb god my company puts safety 1st and money last i work for anderson trucking out of st cloud,mn thanks dot someone give me information on tha cj trucking out of laurinburg,nc please he was totally unsafe in alabama bet they got a real junky safety score too

1mrj 4 years ago

sam that junky trucking company phone number is 910 217 5123 its on tha web adress is 20882 mcintosh road laurinburg nc i check that place out myself and its a dump too what do u expect sam i hope u turn him or her in for what they done to u 1mrj gone

1mrj 4 years ago

need to report that unsafe fckr to federal dot sam 1mrj be gone now

Ina 4 years ago

What's the safety rating scale? What's good & what's bad?

1mrj 4 years ago


1mrj 4 years ago

csa and dot inspections today yall get ready for tha 72 hour deal coming in a couple weeks

x employee 4 years ago

Roger henson trucking out of boliver tn.always. will b outlaws.

x employee 4 years ago

Roger henson trucking out of boliver tn.always. will b outlaws.

concerned american 4 years ago

they need to shut down ozark motor lines, inc, memphis, tn. the trucking company will force a driver to work over legal hours ,if the driver refuse, the company will harass the driver and threaten drivers job. maybe CSA2010 / EOBR's will put them old bastards out of business. outlaw company, got rich in violation of federal law! they have god and country logo's on the rear of the trailers, lord help us all!

christina 4 years ago

morrow trucking out of red bay,al needs put out of business for unsafe equipment and owner's illigal dispatching . and having drivers unload unsafe loads,on top of paying 1970's pay.

fmale 3 years ago

Both my lawyer and I have filed a lawsuit with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Averitt Express in Dallas, Texas for sex discrimination. We are urging others to come forward so that this does not happen to anyone else. Please contact us if you or anyone you know has been discriminated by Averitt Express in the workplace.

Law Office of Erick & Thomas in Dallas, TX. They may be contacted at 214-691-6200

1mrj 3 years ago

been awhile since i ben here but that lawsuit i hope u give them fckers what they deserve i wonder what tha lawsuit is realy based on other than desrmantion i recvd a letter today from a lawyer about crst they dated their shjt back ten years i n never drove for them but they have harrass me for tha last 4yrs they call every week i filed out that and sent it back im suppose to be getting money for telephone harrassment ive ben currently sick for a year thios big companies call and just harrass me everyday that's a dam shame ive ben driving for seventeen years why do i wont to drive for a big company well got to go yall be back l8tr to check on yur answer femle hit me up mrj mrj mrj mrj their for yall that miss me i drop that needle on tha record mwah ladies

Driver 2 years ago

Southside logistics out of lawerencville,Ga. Is an unsafe company to work for. The owner does everything he can illegal. Equipment is unsafe to drive. He cheats payroll.

crazy trucker 2 years ago

somebody should look into kritsack trucking out of both bound brook, n.j.& allentown, pa not good very bad

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    shed unsafe trucking companies 4 years ago

    i would like to let everyone know that i have had several seminars on CSA2010. its a great thing! most all shippers (if not all in the near future) have weighed in on the new CSA2010 rule. they are only allowing trucking companies with a good CSA2010 score (saftey rating) to move their freight. this will eliminate unsafe carriers, our highways will be safe again. no more speeding truckers! a tractor trailer speeding down the highway is nothing but a saftey hazard, endangers the lives of innocent people. there have been too many people killed on our nations highways due to unsafe trucking companies. any one trucking company that causes a fatality (just one) due to unsafe driving behavior should have their operating authority pulled. that carrier should never be allowed back on the highway.

    1mrj 4 years ago


    bergeystruck 4 years ago

    Bergey's Truck Centers provide a full range of truck services for commercial trucks.For information contact Bergey's at (877) 237-4393.

    ike 3 years ago

    what is consider a bad csa score for a driver

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