The DAC report is an important document for every American truck driver.
This is especially true during job interviews when potential employers are looking very closely at the information contained within it.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, this report can make or break a trucking career.
For good truck drivers, the use of the DAC report should be a good thing.
But unfortunately, the system isn’t well-patrolled, making it subject to abuse by slimy companies. This can result in false or misleading information on these reports that can destroy a driver’s career.
For example, carriers have been known to enter negative information on a DAC report as a means of revenge against a former driver.
There is no one policing this information to make sure it’s correct. It is simply an opinion of the person entering it, whether it’s true or not.
For this reason, the DAC report is surrounded by a lot of controversy in the industry.
But because it’s still used as part of the hiring process for most agencies, it’s important to know how to correctly manage your DAC report.
What Is a DAC Report?
The DAC (Drive-a-Check) is essentially a comprehensive document with a great deal of detail about the truck driver. It is a record of the commercial driver and his/her history, loaded with personal information and data relating to their track record of driving commercial vehicles since first being licensed with a CDL.
What Information is on a DAC Report?
Sensitive Identification – Social security ID #, driver’s license #, birth date, etc.
2 Main Sections on the DAC Report
1. Driving Record (from the driver’s home state) – Shows any incidents, accidents, tickets, violations. Anything reported in this section usually stays there. Not much hope for removal due to expensive legal costs.
2. Trucker’s Work History – Shows preventable and non-preventable accidents and incidents, and anything else pertaining to the operation of a commercial vehicle.
Kind of trucking: flatbed, temperature-control, van, drop-deck, tanker
Training and certification
Detail about work habits, promptness and a lot more!
Company Orientation History – The report can show if a driver attended a pre-hire program for training and then quit, for whatever reason. A few of these on a DAC could indicate to an employer that they too would be wasting training money on the driver.
Leaving a Job – Employers usually note load abandonment and any other details pertaining to leaving the company.
Criminal Record Data – Charges, convictions and history.
Drug and Alcohol Testing History – Lists test results as well as refusal to be tested.
The Importance of the DAC Report
Your DAC report is your life line to your trucking job. It’s important to be vigilant in monitoring any information that’s put on it.
The best thing you can do is to always do the right thing even when faced with awkward and frustrating situations. This might mean swallowing your pride on occasion, but don’t give a trucking company a reason to submit a negative claim.
Even if you do everything right, however, there’s no guarantee that a company won’t lie about you. But chances are, if you treat them right, they’ll do the same for you. You only have control over your own actions.
Not every trucking company uses the DAC report, but the ones that do place a fair amount of significance on the information it contains.
And even though there is some controversy over it, the DAC report is still considered the “gold standard” of the U.S. trucking industry.
9 Ways to Keep Your DAC Report Squeaky Clean
1. Guard your DAC.
It’s important to know what is on your record. If there’s anything negative, deal with it immediately. After all, your trucking career depends on it!
2. Don’t wait to file a dispute.
If false information appears on your record, take the steps needed to have it removed NOW. It’s usually easier to have incorrect data removed if you deal with it right away.
When you do request a removal of data, the carrier has 30 days to verify the claim or delete it from your record.
3. Be mindful of your actions at all times.
Don’t fly off the handle and give an employer a reason to file negative information about you. If you’re fed up with a company and want to quit, do it, but keep your head on straight and leave on good terms.
4. Keep your driving record clean.
This is so important for truckers. Drive defensively and safely 100% of the time. Careless incidents and moving violation fines can appear on your report and can ruin your chances of being hired.
If you do get a moving violation, you may be wise to fight it, as it will mar your record and stay there for years.
Carriers don’t like to hire drivers with violations as it not only shows bad driving habits.
But the main reason for their hesitance is that their insurance company will charge them more to hire a driver with a questionable record, or will just outright refuse to insure the driver.
5. Be professional when quitting a job.
When you leave a company, give a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice and prepare a simple letter of resignation. This can help avoid big headaches and heartaches later if the company decides to submit false data.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s also not a bad idea to have the letter notarized.
6. Avoid training sessions if you’re unsure.
Don’t go to an orientation or training session for a job unless you’re damned sure you want to work there. A trucking company has the right to note this on your DAC report.
7. Don’t quit if you’re required to do a random drug test.
This can be bad news too. It can have the same consequences as a failed random.
8. Keep copies of documents.
Retain copies of any important documents relating to your CDL. This can include your annual free DAC reports, letters of reference, drug test results, resignation letters, etc.
If you have an accident or company equipment is damaged, get a copy of the accident report, whether it was not-at-fault or at-fault. You never know when this might save your butt.
9. Don’t EVER abandon a load.
This is a tricky one and THE most common false submission appearing on driver records.
Always drop off the equipment, load, keys, load documents, etc. at a properly designated yard or terminal, preferably with a witness.
If the employer requests another drop off spot, ask them for a signed request in writing to do so, and to have someone meet you there with the request.
KEEP A COPY OF THE LETTER.
How Do I Get a Copy of My DAC Report?
Now that you’ve seen the importance of what is on your DAC report, you’re probably wondering how you can get a copy of yours. After all, looking over your report often is the best way to handle any issues that may come up.
HireRight will provide you with a no-charge copy of your personal report on an annual basis.
Along with the report, you can also find out who has most recently received copies of your personal data.
Or if you’d rather make your request by phone, or have any further specific questions, call 1-800-381-0645.
HireRight is a private business. They actually pay carriers for information on their drivers.
Some believe that this practice is highly unfair and needs serious revamping due to the large amount of false data submitted to them.
Remember: HireRight pays the carrier for the information, so their obligation is to the carrier, not the truck driver. Just something to keep in mind.
HOW TO HANDLE INCORRECT INFORMATION ON YOUR DAC REPORT: DISPUTES
Inaccurate or completely false information can appear on a driver’s record, conveying the wrong message to a potential employer.
It’s then up to the trucker to dispute the incorrect data and have it removed from the report. This is not an easy task, but it can be done.
And it’s especially important to fight it if the information reported is false.
And most importantly…
WHEN YOU SEE INCORRECT DATA ON YOUR DAC, FILE YOUR CLAIM NOW. DO NOT DELAY.
Steps to File a Claim for False/Wrong Information on Your DAC Report
- Click on the link above to file a dispute claim.
- Then click on the gray link on the landing page to file a dispute.
- Read through the steps and click “I agree and wish to continue”.
- On the next screen, complete the personal information.
- Then you’ll go on to complete the details of your claim. Follow the prompts to give HireRight all the information needed to process the disputed data.
WILL I EVER GET ANOTHER JOB WITH A BAD DAC REPORT?
I’m not going to lie to you. If your DAC file is scarred, you may have trouble finding a job.
But my best advice is not to give up!
Go to local trucking companies in your area, as well as smaller companies, and be up front with them. There’s no point in trying to beat around the bush or lie to them when they can clearly see the information in front of them.
Explain your situation in a professional manner and ask to complete an application. Tell them you’d be willing to start at the ‘bottom’ (because basically, this will be like starting all over again as a new driver) and you’d like a second chance.
Sometimes with smaller carriers, the owner has a hands-on policy. This means he interviews drivers himself. And if he likes them, he may decide to hire them for some local work or shunt work. That can sometimes progress into something more to your liking.
Send out as many applications as you’re able to. Companies won’t be pounding at YOUR door to hire you with a bad DAC report.
You’ll need to chase them down. Be prepared to knock on a lot of doors.
Don’t take your FREE DAC REPORT for granted.
This is something every American trucker should make a priority. Stay on top of it.
Neglecting it could cost you your professional driving career.