Transportation companies assume a lot of risk with every load that one of their drivers transports. A late delivery could result in a lower payment from a disappointed client. A violation of any of the numerous transportation laws could lead to fines against the business and possibly a driver becoming ineligible to haul loads for the immediate future.
Those operating transportation companies need to be proactive about ensuring the safety of their vehicles, the reliability of their drivers and the company’s compliance with all federal commercial transportation statutes. One of the ways that businesses can reduce the risks of collisions and reputation-damaging situations involves enforcing thoughtful employee performance standards.
Not only do companies need to have rules in place for how people behave on the road, but they may also need to have rules addressing their conduct during and after a shift. The three behaviors below are often among the issues addressed in employee handbooks and employment contracts drafted by successful transportation companies.
Alcohol and drug use
Technically, there is already a very strict standard that applies to those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). While they are in a commercial vehicle, they are subject to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit that is twice as strict as the limit imposed on the average driver. Anyone who tests at 0.04% or higher while in a commercial vehicle could face arrest and prosecution. Impairment caused by drugs could also trigger prosecution. Transportation companies often have rules prohibiting any alcohol consumption within a set amount of time before a driver arrives for a shift and while actively on duty, as well as rules against drug consumption.
Personal use of company vehicles
Employees sometimes misuse company vehicles for personal purposes. They might offer to haul someone’s furniture or even contribute to some kind of criminal scheme using it commercial truck. Transportation companies therefore often require that drivers turn in the cabs of the semi-trucks that they operate in between shifts to avoid any kind of misconduct utilizing a fleet vehicle.
Rules against companions and overnight guests
Distraction while driving is dangerous for everyone, especially those in semi-trucks. Companies may impose rules against having people ride as a passenger in the semi-truck with their employees. Those rules may even extend to after hours when a driver pulls off the road for mandated rest. Prohibiting overnight guests in a sleeper cab can diminish the likelihood of drug use and other kinds of criminal activity while in a commercial vehicle that belongs to an employer.
Ultimately, instituting and enforcing appropriate restrictions on employee behaviors can help mitigate the potential liability of a commercial trucking organization.