Do You Have Questions About FMCSA?
Disclaimer: Most of this information comes directly from the FMCSA’s website.
If you’re looking for free resources that provide questions you have about FMCSA, this is the list for you! I came across the FMCSA Safety Planner last week and I thought it would be perfect to share with people like you who are looking for quick answers. This resource is perfect for anyone who may just be starting out, but if you have questions beyond what the FMCSA provides, please feel free to contact me!
One thing I wish they would have done was to add video training with each section. But because they didn’t do that, we have. Yes, the Safety Planner is free and it does have a ton of resources. Our online training isn’t free, but we break everything down in clear terms, give you “Best Practice” topics and resources and for most of our online courses, we include all of the necessary forms, documents and checklists you will need. They all include Video Training and ability to print out the slides that are covered. Check out our collection of Online DOT Compliance Courses!
Who Is FMCSA?
If you’re looking for an introduction, Chapter 1 is a great place to start! This chapter covers:
- Who is FMCSA?
- What are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and Where are They Published?
- Who Must Comply with the FMCSRs and HMRs?
- Who Monitors Motor Carrier Safety?
Chapter 2 outlines procedures motor carriers must use to register and update information biennially as well as obtain operating authority registration.
This chapter covers the following topics:
- Getting Started As A Motor Carrier
- Registering—Obtaining a U.S. DOT Number
- Obtaining Operating Authority
- Updating Registration Information Biennially
How FMCSA Monitors Motor Carrier Safety
I wish I would have had something like this when I first started out. Chapter 3 covers the things you need to know about safety and why the FMCSA must follow these procedures.
Covered topics include:
- New Entrant Safety Assurance Program (385.307)
- Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program
- Identifying Carriers that Pose a Safety Hazard
- Addressing Carriers that Pose a Safety Hazard
- Correcting a Motor Carrier’s Safety Data (DataQs)
- Safety Ratings (385, Appendix B)
Chapter 4 covers safety requirements that pertain to the carrier’s operation as a whole and includes definitions, as well as information about financial responsibility (insurance) requirements and reporting, crashes, and records retention. Topics include:
- General FMCSRs (Part 390)
- Insurance: Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility (Part 387)
- Financial Reporting Requirements (Part 369)
Chapter 5 covers vehicle safety requirements, including components, maintenance, and inspections. Here are the links:
- Parts and Accessories Needed for Safe Operation (393)
- Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance (Part 396)
Chapter 6 covers regulations and tips to help drivers operate safely and in compliance. Driver violations found during inspections affect the motor carrier’s safety record.
- Hiring Qualified Drivers (Part 391)
- CDL Driver Training and Standards (Parts 380 and 383)
- Requirements While Driving CMVs (Part 392)
- Hours of Service (Part 395)
- Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing (Part 382)
Yet another resource I wish I had when starting out: Chapter 7 explains passenger carrier operational requirements and outlines available resources. Topics covered:
- Do I Need A U.S. DOT Number?
- For-hire Motor Carriers of Passengers
- Private Motor Carrier of Passengers (PMCP)
- Applicability of Safety Regulations
- Applicability of Regulations to School Bus Transportation
- Small Passenger Carrier Vehicles
- Minimum Insurance Levels on Passenger Carrier Operations
- Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for Over-the-Road Bus Companies (OTRB)
Hazardous Materials Transformation
In addition to regulations that apply to passenger and freight motor carriers, there are distinct regulations for transporting hazardous materials. Chapter 8 covers hazmat regulations, topics include:
- Am I Hauling Hazmat?
- Cargo Tank Regulations
- Hazmat Registration
- General Requirements
- Route Registry
- Safety Permits
- Special Permits
- Cargo Tank Rollover
- Common Violations
If You Are Looking For More…
If you have any additional questions, book some time with me! I would love to answer your FMCSA questions, or tell you about the services that we offer to make the beginning easier for you.