Daren Hansen, Sr. Editor - Transportation Safety
August 17, 2021
Independent owner-operators who operate under their own authority are required to keep a variety of records for DOT compliance. But when those same owner-operators sign on to work for another motor carrier — even temporarily — the picture changes.
As an owner-operator, if you lease on to another motor carrier and drive under their direction and authority, that motor carrier is responsible for your DOT compliance, the same as if you were one of their employees. The motor carrier cannot shift that responsibility back to you.
Your vehicle, their records
When it comes to DOT recordkeeping, this means the motor carrier must be able to produce your records during an audit, including:
In addition, the lease agreement may make the motor carrier responsible for other documentation requirements, like tracking fuel purchases and filing quarterly fuel-tax returns.
Managing all these documents and making sure the motor carrier has what they need can be a complicated task. The right recordkeeping system can simplify compliance, ensuring you get all required documents into the right hands at the right time.
If DOT compliance and recordkeeping is keeping you up at night, seek help so you can focus on what you do best: safe driving.