Optima Associates, Inc., an operations, risk and asset management consulting firm based in De Pere, Wis., has come up with a new way to assist motor carriers with DOT compliance. The company will provide a simulated DOT motor carrier safety audit and waive its consulting fees for any motor carrier that can score a satisfactory rating in each of six audit factors.
Optima will conduct a full DOT compliance review using the motor carrier safety fitness criteria from Part 385 of the federal regulations, as well as the latest audit procedures published in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Field Operations Training Manual.
For motor carriers that accept Optima’s challenge and score a satisfactory motor carrier safety rating in all six audit factors, the company will waive its usual consulting fees. In these instances, motor carriers will only be charged for expenses incurred by Optima in the course of conducting a DOT compliance audit.
If a motor carrier scores an overall satisfactory rating but has a conditional rating in two or fewer factors, the carrier will pay 60% of Optima’s consulting fee in addition to expenses.
Jeff Simon, a senior compliance consultant at Optima, says the company’s DOT Compliance Challenge is a way to reward companies that are in compliance with DOT regulations.
“The companies that consistently do things right and that play by the rules can really benefit from this program. This is a way for them to get, at a nominal, expenses-only cost, an objective, outside review from a qualified DOT consultant to ensure that they’re in full compliance,” he says.
Simon explains that the program is designed to assist both for-hire motor carriers and private fleets. “This program is intended for motor carriers and fleets that are new toOptima and that are interested in receiving a systematic, professional review of theirDOT compliance efforts from an outside consultant.”
Simon notes that Optima’s transportation consultants have conducted simulated DOT compliance audits for hundreds of clients. “Our five DOT consultants each have at least 30 years of experience working in all aspects of the transportation business.”
According to Simon, the launching of this program is especially timely considering the ongoing trend in aggressive enforcement taken by the DOT. “In recent years there has been a shift from education to enforcement. The DOT’s stance is that motor carriers are responsible for knowing the regulations. Ignorance is no excuse. Carriers who are found in violation of the regulations will be fined, and the fines can quickly run into the thousands of dollars.”
Simon maintains that full DOT compliance is absolutely essential. “In the long run, it saves many times more than it costs, especially when considering the possibility of a lawsuit over an accident or incident caused by being out of compliance.”
Simon adds that the DOT’s database publicizes motor carrier safety ratings and evaluations, and these scores are available to customers, insurance carriers, financial institutions, lawyers and the general public. “This is one more reason why full compliance is critical and why regular DOT compliance audits are especially important.”
About Optima Associates, Inc.
Located in De Pere, Wis., Optima Associates is a personalized consulting firm that provides operations, risk and asset management consulting services. Optima helps clients accelerate performance leading to improved business results. To learn more aboutOptima Associates, visit www.optimatcp.com