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ARI Blog: Article

Restoration Contractors: Driver Qualifications

One of the most expensive insurance coverages for restoration contractors is their commercial auto insurance policy. This is typically where the biggest risk lies and the highest chance of a large lawsuit/claim. With that in mind, we want to share some ideas on what your driver qualifications should be as you look to bring on new employees:

Commercial Driver Qualification Criteria

You should not consider anyone for employment as a commercial driver unless they meet the criteria below:

  • Be at least 21 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle (some insurance companies require a minimum age of 25)

  • Be able to read and speak English sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records

  • Possess a current and valid commercial driver’s license and proper endorsements for the type of commercial vehicle to be driven

  • Have at least two years of verifiable driving experience with like type vehicles

  • Have at least five years verifiable driving experience, if required to transport hazardous materials

  • Has not been convicted of any of the following violations within the previous five years:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

  • Reckless driving/speed contests

  • Hit and run accidents

  • Vehicular manslaughter/homicide

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

  • Failure to report an accident

  • Improper or erratic lane changing

  • Following too closely

  • Distracted driving (including cell phone use [texting or talking] while driving)

  • Flee/elude police officer

  • Passing a stopped school bus

  • Speeding 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit

  • Refusal to submit to a alcohol and/or drug test

  • Operating with a suspended or revoked license

  • Has not experienced any of the following within the previous three years:

  • Two “at fault” accidents

  • Three moving violations

  • Two moving violations and one “at fault” accident

  • Tested positive to drugs or alcohol

Hiring Process

Application. All commercial driver applicants should submit a completed, accurate, signed and dated application for employment. The hiring/screening process will not continue until all information on the application has been verified.

Previous Employment. The employment history will be collected and verified for every commercial driver applicant. All commercial driver applicants must provide the following employer information on all driving positions they have held for the previous ten years.

  • Names, addresses and phone numbers or other contact information of previous employers

  • Names, titles and phone numbers or other contact information of previous supervisors

Motor Vehicle Records. The driving record from the previous five years will be examined for all commercial driver applicants from the appropriate agency of every state in which the applicant held a motor vehicle license or permit. The driver qualification and hiring process will not continue until all driving record information has been verified and no disqualifying items have been found (See qualification requirements above).

Drug and Alcohol History. All applicants will be asked if he or she has tested positive, or refused to test, on any pre-employment drug and alcohol test administered by a previous employer. If the employee admits to any of the above, without documented successful completion of DOT return-to-duty requirements, he or she will not be considered for employment.

All applicants who indicate no drug or alcohol violations must provide written consent for a drug and alcohol history to be obtained for the preceding two years from all DOT-regulated employers. If the applicant fails to provide this consent, he or she will not be considered for employment. Any positive indication of drug or alcohol use at the following levels will immediately disqualify the applicant.

  • Alcohol test with a result of 0.04 or higher

  • Verified positive drug test

  • Verified adulterated or substituted drug test results

  • Violations of DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations

Individuals who have successfully completed DOT return-to-duty requirements after a drug or alcohol regulation violation will continue through the hiring process.

If you would like to find out more about how hiring the right drivers can help you decrease your commercial auto insurance premiums, please reach out to our office.

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