May 9th, 2024 | Sterling

Manage Driver Compliance with Sterling’s Integrated Driver Solution

When a driver is looking to become a part of your fleet, there are a number of things your business needs to do to remain compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). That includes:

  • Reviewing the driver qualification
  • Completing the background check
  • Doing an annual check on the driver’s license

You want to onboard your drivers in the shortest window possible, but these important steps often wait to be completed as separate, manual processes. With the driver turnover rate among many trucking companies being as high as 90%, companies need to onboard drivers faster than ever before.

Sterling recently released our new Integrated Driver Solution, a streamlined and automated workflow designed specifically for the trucking industry that simplifies the hiring, onboarding, and driver qualification compliance of DOT-regulated positions. In a recent Sterling Live episode, Sterling’s Head of Business Development Ken Schnee was joined by SambaSafety’s VP of Product Rich Lacey and BeaconInsight’s Head of Client Success Quinci Cubiburu as they shared how their Integrated Driver Solution is helping trucking fleets simplify the driver qualification process so drivers can get on the road faster.

Finding and Keeping Drivers with a Positive Candidate Experience

Not only is the driver turnover rate high, but driver shortages in the US is at an all time high too. The American Trucking Association has estimated that driver shortages have reached 80,000 drivers in 2021. If this continues, the industry could face more significant gaps in capacity. Finding and securing qualified drivers in a competitive landscape is top-of-mind for many transportation companies. And with the lack of drivers available in today’s market, every single candidate going through the hiring process becomes invaluable.

But in Sterling’s Hiring Reimagined Special Report: Industrials, 33% of transportation candidates who recently went through the hiring process actually dropped out of it. The reason? 41% said that the hiring process was too complicated.

Quinci with BeaconInsight’s shares her viewpoints on this finding: “Anything that you can do to streamline and improve the hiring process, you’ll increase the likelihood that you’re going to be able to land a driver. And by improving that experience upfront, that really sets the stage for everything that happens throughout the course of that driver’s employment with you.”

Smoothing the Speed Bumps of Managing DQF Compliance

DQF set-up and the ongoing management of DQF compliance has historically been a manual effort. Drivers often had to submit multiple candidate data entry, including the background check and the DOT application, which created a negative candidate experience and sometimes caused a driver to lose hiring momentum and drop off. Additionally, a lack of integration between background checks and the DQF set-up increased the chances of missing important documents and information.

To alleviate these static processes and roadblocks, Sterling introduced a new end-to-end Integrated Driver Solution that enables transportation companies to adhere with compliance throughout the hiring, onboarding, and driver qualification by streamlining and automating the entire candidate workflow. Ken reveals the simplicity of an expedited workflow:

“We’ve brought to market our Sterling Integrated Driver Solution, which allows you to track your candidates from the ATS to the background check, all the way to your DQF application and driver monitoring in one streamlined workflow. Candidate data flows through the entire process without ever asking to re-enter data, enabling compliance of that data throughout the process. All of your active driver rosters for random testing, motor vehicle record (MVR) monitoring, and DQF are now in one single file. This brings our clients optimization that they frankly weren’t even thinking about before we introduced this solution.”

Quinci continued on to her insights on how this solution removes the complexities involved in managing DQF compliance: “By leveraging technology and this integrated solution, not only are you increasing efficiencies, but you’re closing the cracks that drivers have historically fallen through. Drivers aren’t waiting for someone to send them an email with their DOT application or their paperwork. They are being ushered seamlessly between our respective platforms, and any information previously submitted is already auto-populated, so this speeds up the process for them and improves their experience significantly.”

Supporting the Entire Driver Lifecycle

Sterling’s Integrated Driver Solution does more than just support the onboarding and hiring of new drivers. When looking to hire a professional driver, one of the first things that’s done as part of the background check is looking at the driver’s license history to determine if they have the right classification, the right experience, and if their driving record is clean. This is generally sourced from the MVR, which is also a critical component to the driver qualification file.

Using Sterling’s Integrated Driver Solution, integrating both MVR and DQF and automatically inserting the pre-employment MVR into the DQF is critical because it drives a lot of the information companies need to maintain compliance.

Rich comments on how this integrated solution enables companies to continue maintaining compliance after the driver is onboarded: “Compliance and safety really go hand-in-hand. Compliance exists to improve or ensure safety, and when you monitor your driver post-onboarding, it generates a motor vehicle record. And only when there’s a change, we send that motor vehicle record back to the DQF. Essentially it’s a living document, and you always have the most current up-to-date driver status, endorsements, medical certificate, expirations, and everything you need to be confident that the driver can get behind the wheel and operate the vehicle in a compliant way.”

Paving the Way for Innovation

Rich shared some closing thoughts on the importance of embracing automation when it comes to handling manual processes: “Some organizations may see automation as a threat to all the work that they’ve put into these manual processes, and I would challenge that by saying, this is the opportunity to shift from being tactical to being strategic. If tackling the chasing down of documents is no longer on your plate and updating documents in a DQF, you can focus on more strategic things like engaging with your drivers, coaching them, mentoring them, and investing in them, because that’s the type of investment from an employer that creates loyalty with drivers.”

To learn more about Sterling’s Integrated Driver Solution, click here.

Watch the full Sterling Live recording here.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.