Using DataQs to help reduce costs

If you or your company is still getting used to the term “DataQ,” don’t worry. You’re not alone.

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new DataQ system has been in place for a while now, it’s still a mystery to many trucking professionals, and has the distinct odor of just more government paperwork to fill out.

But if you’re not using the DataQ system, or if you’re not using it to its fullest extent, you are selling your company short.

What are DataQs?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, DataQs is a web-based system to collect and maintain records on all users who submit requests to review federal and state data released. The system allows users to request and track a review of federal and state data issued by FMCSA believed to be incomplete or incorrect.

 DataQs are collected for reviews of:

  • Crashes
  • Inspections
  • Compliance reviews
  • Safety audits
  • Enforcement actions
  • Vehicle registrations
  • Operating authorities
  • Insurance policies
  • Consumer complaints

The system also accepts the Crash Preventability Determination Program requests and the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse petitions. 

What do DataQs do?

The DataQ system enables all users – motor carriers, drivers and their representatives, as well as FMCSA and its state partners – to improve the accuracy of FMCSA’s data-driven safety systems that help prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities related to commercial motor vehicles, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The system is in place to more accurately categorize and record driving statistics with the intent of making the country’s roads a safer place for everyone.

And for trucking companies, the system is a way to do something very important – save money.

Why should you use the DataQ system?

While the DataQ system is primarily used by the government for the ultimate goal of making the roads safer, a trucking company can reduce potential penalties as well as reduce compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) points.

DataQ is an appeals system when a trucking company believes the federal government has information wrong in the data it collects. Having incorrect data could result in government fines, a reduction of safety ratings and, ultimately, higher insurance premiums, hurting trucking companies in the one place they can ill-afford to be hurt – their budgets.

Filing DataQ appeals isn’t always easy and does require manpower to do the actual filing. Saxton & Stump’s Trucking and Commercial Transportation Group has helped trucking companies not just file the DataQ forms, but make sure they include the most pertinent information to give a company its best shot at winning its appeal to change incorrect information.

If you have any questions about how to file a DataQ or what should be included in a report, please contact me or anyone in the Saxton & Stump Trucking and Commercial Transportation Group.