Everything a New Trucker Needs to Know About DAC Reports

When you’re first starting out in trucking school, you’re sure to encounter a barrage of new ideas, practices, and terminology. Some of it may not stick right away, and that’s okay, but there’s one thing new truckers need to take seriously right from the start. It’s called a DAC (Drive-A-Check) report, and it can make or break any trucker’s career. Below is a guide explaining the key concepts behind this report and its usage.

What Is a DAC Report? 

What It Shows

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Think of a DAC report as the trucking industry’s version of the consumer credit report. It’s a collection of data about you and your trucking history gathered from previous employers by an outside source and used by employers to evaluate and record performance in the industry. A good report generally indicates that employers have been satisfied with your performance and helps prove your reliability, while a bad report means that someone has claimed issues while working with you or that your driving record isn’t perfect. Not every trucking company uses the DAC report during the hiring process, but enough do that it’s worth safeguarding the report at all costs. 

The report includes sensitive information, like your name, date of birth, Social Security number, licensure and endorsements, and employment record. You’ll also find the addresses of previous employers, the types of freight you hauled for them, what kinds of trucks you have experience with, trucking school records, your reason for leaving past jobs, and eligibility for rehire. Finally, the DAC report often contains information regarding driving records and accident reports, DOT physicals, and any results from company-mandated drug tests.

Why It’s Important

With all this information at their disposal, employers know a lot about you before an interview. When perusing the report, they see an entire summary of your career from trucking school to what companies you’ve done orientation for and how long you tend to stay with one crew. This enables employers to filter out candidates who have less-than-perfect records, making the report one of the primary determining factors in how hirable you are. As long as you maintain a good DAC report, you shouldn’t have trouble finding work. But once there are too many marks against you, finding work will get harder, which is why it’s crucial to monitor the report and verify that all information on it is correct and that a previous employer hasn’t provided an inaccurate evaluation of your work. 

Where Can You Track the Report?

Drivers are entitled to access their DAC report for free once per year, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can request to view your report through HireRight, the company that administers the report. Follow these instructions to claim your report, and always look it over carefully and verify all information inside. If anything is incorrect, file a dispute by contacting HireRight’s customer support directly. They’ll walk you through the steps to correcting that information, but time is of the essence. It’s much easier to fix recent additions than it is to go back and fix a problem from years ago.

How Can You Keep a DAC Report Clean?

Drive Smart

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Being safe behind the wheel is one of the best ways to protect your reputation as a truck driver. From the day you start trucking school to the day you retire, any ticket, moving violation, and accident will be logged in a DAC report, so it’s best to avoid those situations at all costs. Always drive defensively and safely. Meticulously maintain proper following distances, avoid driving when tired, and don’t let other people on the road get you in trouble. Also make sure to always carry your license, insurance, and other important documentation in the truck. If you ever get pulled over or inspected, having everything squared away from the start will help avoid stress and a mark against you on the DAC. If you do end up with any moving violations, it may be worth it to fight them and get them removed from the record.

Keep Track & Challenge Bad Information

It’s crucial to take advantage of the free yearly report to monitor your standings and ensure that all information presented in the Drive-A-Check report is correct. Sometimes data will get recorded incorrectly, or a company will report false or misleading information; the sooner the matter is addressed, the easier it will be to correct the report. Because you may have to challenge information logged by an employer, and because the DAC report is a service for employers and not for employees, keep paper and digital records of anything that could potentially show up. 

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If you’re involved in any accidents and deemed not at fault, keep all paperwork and court records proving this. As soon as possible, verify that any accidents that show up on the report have the correct fault information. The records may show 50% fault or even full fault, in which case you will need to provide evidence of no fault to get that mark expunged.

When it’s time to leave a job, you must provide at least two weeks of advance notice to your employer along with your letter of resignation. Doing this allows you to retain eligibility for rehire, and failing to do so will come with a penalty. It’s best to provide the resignation in writing and back it up with an email to verify the time and date of your resignation. To be extra secure, you can also get the resignation notarized. These steps will allow you to prove that you did the right thing when resigning, which could save you from a bad mark on the DAC report. 

Be Intentional

When you’re under constant scrutiny, it’s crucial to always be careful and intentional about what actions to take. Any impulsive or unprofessional behavior may show up on the DAC report, so it’s necessary to think first and act second. Making good impressions with employers by being friendly, respectful, and diligent will help you earn positive ratings. If you make a good impression on the boss early on, you’re more likely to get the type of work you want and develop a good relationship during your tenure with the company. A good relationship now means parting on speaking terms if you need to move on later. 

Next, don’t accept a job without being certain you want it, and don’t quit unexpectedly. Once you start orientation at a trucking company, that goes on your DAC report, so don’t agree to orientation unless you are positive you want to keep the job long term. When searching for a new job, if an employer sees that you’ve done training at multiple companies but haven’t stayed very long in any one job, they may consider it a risk to invest in training. This decreases your chances of getting hired. If you do start training and decide you need to leave before it’s completed, stick to the two-week resignation notice.  

If you’re looking for a trucking school that will provide all the tools you need to understand the industry and have a long, successful career, enroll with Hamrick School in Medina, OH. These industry experts have instructed new truckers for over 40 years, offering career-specific CDL programs and a mix of day and evening classes to better match students’ schedules. They always prioritize professionalism, and they offer impressive financial aid packages to ensure that the profession is accessible to everyone. Learn more about their classes online, and call (330) 239-2229 to ask about enrollment options.

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