Choosing A Driver Staffing Firm

The Department of Transportation holds you accountable for each driver you use, including those contracted through a driver staffing firm.  If your staffing supplier does not properly screen and qualify the drivers they dispatch, you suffer the consequences.  Here are a number of issues you should consider when selecting a driver staffing firm.

Beware of firms that:

What TransForce does instead:

Don’t guarantee access to driver records. If audited, you would be required to produce files for all drivers – including those from a staffing firm.
Our contract with our customers guarantees access to records within 48 hours – the DOT standard. In most cases, records can be forwarded instantly since our driver files are maintained electronically.
Are not contractually designated to qualify drivers on your behalf or do not hold themselves accountable for failing to do so.
We contractually commit that we are an agent designated to qualify drivers on your behalf and hold ourselves accountable in accordance with contract terms.
Take shortcuts on conducting past employer inquiries. It can be tempting to ignore large gaps in past employment or simply be satisfied with a failed attempt to contact a past employer – though were unsuccessful.
We require an explanation for any past employment gaps greater than 30 days. Further, we are not satisfied with failed attempts to contact past employers. In these instances, we require documentation (check stubs, tax records) to support the driver’s employment claims for nearly all of the prior three years.
Accept motor vehicle records (MVRs) provided by their drivers. Doing so increases the potential for fraud. Employers are required to obtain these documents from the state, not their drivers.
We obtain MVRs from each of the driver’s states of licensure in the prior three years. We obtain these documents directly from the state with the assistance of a national, reputable, third party administrator.
Don’t attempt to verify available hours before dispatching a driver. If a driver has accumulated too many hours on-duty working for multiple employers in the prior 7 days, you could be found in violation.
Prior to each dispatch we make a good faith effort to ensure that the driver has available hours to complete the assignment within the legal limits – by reviewing payroll records and other recent assignments.
Don’t operate a DOT-compliant drug and alcohol-testing program. Instead, they may use a non-qualifying program that employs invalid testing methods such as “instant” or “on-site” tests.
Our drug and alcohol-testing program meets the regulatory requirements (49 CFR, Parts 382 and 40). Our tests are conducted using DOT defined procedures at certified laboratories.
Don’t share contractual ownership of their drug and alcohol-testing program with you. DOT requires that every driver you use (including drivers from a staffing service) be in your testing program or that you have obtained contractual co-ownership of the staffing firm’s program, guaranteeing you access to records and notification of positive test results.
Our standard contract provides each client with contractual co-ownership of our testing program. The co-ownership agreement guarantees access to all testing records and notification of positive test results.
Don’t contractually establish the driver staffing company as the sole employer. As a result, you could be classified as a “co-employer” and accountable for providing benefits and meeting other employer obligations.
Our contract establishes TransForce as the driver’s sole employer and uniquely responsible for all matters including hiring, termination, discipline, wages, salaries, benefits, compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act, and the like.
Don’t carry workers’ compensation coverage. If one of their employees gets hurt, you would be on the hook for the claim.
Our contract guarantees that we provide workers’ compensation coverage for our employees and that we are solely responsible for workers’ compensation claims.
Consider their drivers independent contractors rather than company employees. If they don’t meet the IRS independent contractor tests, you could be accountable for withholding and other employer obligations.
Our drivers are at all times employees of TransForce – not independent contractors.
Who don’t guarantee contractual indemnity. Some won’t defend and hold you harmless from workers’ compensation claims or other claims which would impact your employer’s liability insurance coverage
Our contract guarantees that we will defend and hold you harmless from workers compensation claims or other claims covered by our employer’s liability insurance coverage.