New Entrant Safety Audit: What to Know

Trucking companies have to follow many rules and regulations to ensure everyone on the road stays safe. Therefore, a new trucking company will need to go through a major safety audit within its first 12 months. This is required by the FMCSA to make sure new fleets follow set safety standards.

So to prepare for the new entrant safety audit, here’s everything you need to know.

What’s Included in the New Entrant Safety Audit?

The audit inspects the various aspects of a trucking business. Such as how well they implement and promote safety in their culture.

The main violations that they will be focusing on include:

  • Repairs and inspections
  • Insurance and driving logs
  • Driver qualifications
  • Alcohol and drugs

Repairs and Inspections Violations

They will examine your trucks and equipment to make sure it’s well maintained and regularly serviced. Equipment that’s not in good shape needs to repaired or replaced in a timely manner. And if certain aspects of your trucks are not up to standards, you need to address it before it’s time for your audit.

If your drivers come across a problem with their truck or equipment before the audit, they should tell you immediately.

You should also keep a record of all inspections and repairs done to your trucks. This is because you need to show documentation to the DOT as proof that you’re complying with safety protocols.

Operations Violations

These violations can be especially troublesome, as they surround insurance coverage and the company’s driving logs. All of this information should up to date, allowing your business to pass through this audit with flying colors.

You’ll need to verify that you carry the minimum insurance required by law. Trucks are expensive pieces of equipment and cause extensive damage if you aren’t careful. That’s why insurance is so important in the trucking industry.

Furthermore, if you’ve implemented ELDs into your business then you need to make sure you’re using one that’s approved by the FMCSA.

Driver Violations

The auditor will be checking into your drivers, such as their qualifications files, training, medical certificates, and CDLs. Their CDLs are especially important, as revoked or expired ones can get you into some serious trouble.

Also, verify that all your drivers have their medical certificate meaning they passed their DOT physical exam. This information should be kept on your driver qualification files and updated regularly.

Alcohol Violations

As a trucking company, you need to be following all of the rules and regulations for alcohol and drug use. Make sure that you have a proper, DOT-approved system in place that tests your drivers drug and alcohol levels regularly.

Do you have take part in random drug testing or have a driver that refuses to participate? These are things the DOT will want to know.


The new entrant safety audit can be nerve-wracking, but it’s generally a very good thing for both your company and the industry in general. If you follow the rules and instill safety into your company’s culture you’ll have less costs in the long run.



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