If you’re a new truck driver or in the process of getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL), it’s crucial to understand what a Drive-A-Check (DAC) report is and how it works. Doing so will make it easier to get hired, earn a higher salary, and improve your employment prospects. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a DAC Report?
In most industries, the hiring process includes a consumer credit check. In trucking, the DAC report plays a similar role. This document contains information, such as:
- Employment history (including on-the-job performance)
- Legal transgressions
- Driving accidents
- Drug and alcohol records
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Driver termination records
- License number and endorsements
- Reason for leaving a company
- Types of trailers hauled
- Name, date of birth, and social security number
- Criminal background record
- Insurance claims
- Employment eligibility
- Physical information from the DOT
How Can a DAC Report Affect You?
A DAC report is a way for companies to verify that you’ve been honest throughout the hiring process. If you leave out pertinent details regarding your employment history or driving record, that could be a red flag. You can expect the company to find out if you’ve lied on your application or during interviews.
However, you shouldn’t necessarily worry about negative items on your report—as long as you’re honest. They may not work against you, especially if you can explain them during the interview process. Some companies may not even ask you about them. Honesty and relaying accurate information to potential employers are crucial to getting hired, so be proactive about open communication.
Who Creates DAC Reports?
DAC reports are provided to employers and drivers by HireRight®, a for-profit business that creates and manages background checks for a variety of industries. The company is bound by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a set of U.S. government regulations that are related to credit reporting and background checks. These rules are meant to protect drivers and ensure that the information on each report is accurate. You’re entitled to get a free report once a year, so it’s worthwhile to go over it annually, checking for mistakes.
What Should You Review When Checking a DAC Report?
Part of driving a truck in the modern world is examining your report regularly. Ideally, you should do so once a year. This will help prevent your report from negatively impacting your job prospects. Here are a few areas to review carefully.
Refusing or failing a test can be a red flag for employers. If you’re asked to take a random drug test, do so before giving notice. Also, request a copy of any paperwork associated with the test so you have documentation and proof. Make sure to store the forms in case you need them later on.
When you start an orientation with a carrier, it could end up in your DAC report, even if you don’t move forward with the job. Avoid going to an orientation unless you’re sure you want to work for the company. Otherwise, you could seem unstable or undependable to potential employers.
If you have multiple incidents or accidents on your report, it could be a red flag to your insurance carrier, making it harder to get hired. If you don’t want a poor safety record, avoid reporting minor incidents where you pay for the damage out-of-pocket. Additionally, always practice defensive truck driving, including taking breaks when you’re tired, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, and paying close attention to your surroundings.
If you get a moving violation, it’ll end up on your record, which can hurt your employment prospects. As a result, it’s worth fighting it in court. In some cases, it’ll make sense to hire an attorney who works with truck drivers.
When you give two weeks’ notice, provide a handwritten, notarized letter. This will prevent common problems on your DAC report, such as load abandonment or quitting under dispatch. These issues are red flags to employers, so you don’t want them on your record.
Can You Correct the Report?
Say you work at a trucking company but decide to leave the organization and drive for a different one. You give the employer notice and return your equipment professionally. Then a few years later, you apply for a position at a new company only to find out that your DAC report has a problem. The original company reported that you abandoned their equipment, making the potential employer nervous about hiring you.
Fortunately, you’re not stuck, and there are options. First, get a copy of the report to check if the information is accurate or needs to be changed. If you requested one within the last year, you’ll need to pay a minor fee. Keep in mind that it takes around 15 days to get the report once you’ve requested one from HireRight.
If any information is inaccurate, file a claim with HireRight via the web, phone, mail, or fax. They’ll investigate the matter. Most of the time, the process takes around a month, but the time frame will depend on the scope and nature of the issue. In some cases, it’s worth hiring an attorney to remedy the situation. For example, if there’s an outright lie about your employment history, conduct, or criminal record, they can help. However, most of the time, you won’t need to work with a lawyer to fix the problem.
Once it’s clear that information is incorrect, it can take a while to amend the report. Expect a lot of paperwork, forms, and verifications, which can be frustrating. However, don’t let the process take away from your earning potential and employment prospects. Get recommendations from managers you’ve worked with in the past to demonstrate that you’re hardworking and have good character. This will help employers worry less about what’s on the DAC report. Their main concern is hiring someone who’s trustworthy.
How Do You Keep Your Report Clean?
Keep Records of Any Documents
Keep copies of documents related to your driving record, employment history, and CDL. For example, store letters of reference, DAC reports, and resignation letters. If you damage any equipment or crash your truck, keep the accident report so you have an exact record of what happened.
Never Abandon a Load
When you get to the designated terminal or yard, drop off all the relevant items, including the keys, equipment, load documents, and the load itself. Make sure there’s a witness around. Sometimes, the employer may request a drop-off location change. Ask the company to have someone bring a signed request to the new spot.
As a general rule, be mindful of your actions when working for a company. You don’t want to give a carrier any reason to file a complaint against you. Even if you’re upset with the employer and feel mistreated, be professional when leaving the company. Avoid telling your boss off or bad-mouthing the management team to co-workers.
Deal With DAC Report Problems Immediately
Keep track of what’s on your record, and fix inaccuracies or negative issues right away. It can take a while to get incorrect information removed, so the sooner you take the necessary steps, the better. Once you ask HireRight to remove information, the carrier will have 30 days to delete or verify the data.
If you’re looking to get your CDL and begin a lucrative career in trucking, contact Hamrick School. Serving Akron and Cleveland, OH, they will help you manage your DAC report, make industry connections, and get your first job as a truck driver. They also offer financial aid to ensure that their programs are affordable for eligible individuals. Call (330) 239-2229 to speak to an admissions officer, or visit their website to learn more about their training options and courses.
- OH Reg. #2057
- ODPS License #1439-2369