Paperless ticketing and eTicketing have been a growing concern for the construction industry over the past few years. However, in the past 12 months, COVID-19 has forced the conversation to the forefront for many state Departments of Transportation. State DOTs oversee the planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance for projects across all travel modes in their given state - including construction projects.
There are already many DOT regulations for dump trucks that you are likely familiar with. Things like DOT regulations for truck drivers, bidding rules for DOT jobs, or even jobsite safety requirements. However, as states scramble to establish DOT regulations for eTicketing, it can be difficult to navigate the changing environment.
The DOT definition of eTicketing is still evolving. You may see it referenced as eTicketing, e-ticketing, digital tickets, or contactless ticketing. This article will take a closer look at the states that set out some pretty clear guidelines, where you can look to find the status of your own state, and how technology and logistics platforms can help material producers, construction companies, brokers, and fleet owners adhere to evolving DOT regulations for dump trucks.
eTicketing Regulations: States on the Leading Edge
Many construction professionals are asking, “What is the department of transportation requirement for eTicketing?” and “How do I comply?”. The list of states requiring eTicketing is still limited but there are states accepting eTickets. The DOT meaning of eTicketing is still evolving but some states are further along with solid definitions and guidelines. Let’s look at a few of the states that are leading the way when it comes to eTicketing.
By State Look at eTicketing Regulations: States with a Plan
Tennessee: TDOT has issued their DOT regulations for dump truck eTicketing providing an outline of requirements for construction. Certified e-tickets and shift summary sheets are required by TDOT. Submitted documents must include information like: mixture type, TDOT mix design number, project number, date, ticket number, gross/tare/net weight information, etc. For a full list, check out the TDOT website.
Alabama: ALDOT has a robust list of requirements for eTicketing. They also have three acceptable options listed for paperless tickets. eTicketing is one option. However, they also offer two contactless options for those without a digital platform that supports eTicketing.
Florida: In April of 2020, Florida DOT regulations for dump trucks, specifically on eTickets were issued. They use the term contactless ticketing. “Paper delivery tickets for construction materials may no longer be exchanged by hand at the project site.” Florida DOT outlines four methods that will be allowed including a direct electronic submission, an electronic image of paper documents, e-Ticketing for asphalt only, or remote review. The remote review option requires the use of a long reach grabber tool to retrieve paper tickets.
Kentucky: Kentucky stopped allowing paper tickets at the jobsite with their April 2020 memorandum. They offer three methods in lieu of paper tickets: electronic ticketing, picture/email, or a PDF daily summary. With the final method, an inspector will be required to document each truck as it arrives on site. Tickets for the first two options do not need to be collected by an inspector.
Indiana: INDOT has, until further notice, removed the requirement to provide paper tickets at the time of delivery. Opting instead for an eTicketing option, or two contactless options. However, an INDOT Load Tracking Log must be kept and signed by the inspector.
Iowa: Iowa DOT has been using electronic tickets since before COVID-19 began. You can see the documents they issued in 2016 about eTicketing here.
Georgia: GDOT has run a number of pilot programs, even prior to the start of COVID-19. However, they have not issued specific DOT regulations for dump trucks as of the date of this publication. For the most up-to-date details, be sure to visit GDOT’s website.
Pennsylvania: Department of Transportation PA (PennDOT) has been very forward-thinking when it comes to technology across the board. They have even developed their own apps. However, at the time of writing this article, they had not issued specific DOT regulations for dump trucks. They do seem to be working with industry leaders, including NAPA, to develop an eTicketing solution.
While this list is not comprehensive, it does demonstrate that State DOTs across the country are taking safety seriously and believe that technology provides a way forward.
The changes states are making now are likely to continue in years to come. There are also a number of states that may not have issued full regulations yet but are continually working to develop the best program for their state.
Know What To Expect For Your State
If your state is not on the list above, there are still resources available to you to find out the latest information on eTicketing. Checking your State DOT website is a great first step. However, if you don’t find information readily available, you can also reach out to local or national associations. They are often in direct communication with the DOT and do their best to stay up to date on the latest information and news. Some are even offering webinars and Q&A sessions to help educate contractors.
eTicketing DOT Regulations for Dump Trucks: eTicketing Plans in the Works
COVID-19 started impacting the way jobsites operate in 2020. States began looking into ways to keep construction workers and DOT inspectors safe. There are a number of pilots taking place across the country to assess the best way to leverage eTicketing. The needs of each state are different and if DOTs were not proactively looking into eTicketing before COVID began, they have their work cut out for them to catch up.
Many State DOTs are also working jointly with contractors and material producers to build requirements that meet the safety needs AND are practical for workers to comply with. Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Utah have all said they are working on pilots with contractors or material producers.
Whether your state requires eTicketing for public projects or is currently piloting options, there are benefits to adopting a digital ticketing system.
Digital tickets and load slips reduce contact on the jobsite and cut down on paper. They also help the back office achieve more accuracy and efficiency. Most office managers agree that collecting and tracking down load slips makes up a significant portion of their day. Digital records stored in a central location, like an app, help ensure accuracy.
How Can You Prepare Your Company For eTicketing?
In states like Tennessee, which are now requiring eTicketing, aligning with a dump truck logistics platform may be the best way to go. Logistics platforms that have been involved in DOT pilots should be well versed in the requirements. Working with a proven solution ensures compliance and may offer resources to train your team in the new procedures.
Do Your Research
- Investigate your state’s requirements before talking to any platform or app that claims to have a solution.
- Know what will be required by your state, so you can have an appropriate conversation that sets you up for success.
- Reach out to local associations to see how others are complying with new regulations.
- Make sure that the foremen and field leaders are involved in the decision-making process. In order for your solution to work, they will need to understand and be able to implement the changes.
- Don’t forget about the back office. They will need to understand how to access and download eTickets and ensure they are properly submitted if your state requires that.
- Make sure your team has the opportunity to ask questions.
Streamline with a Technology Partner
- Not every state will mandate that you work with a technology provider. However, it may be worth investigating, even if they don’t.
- Technology providers that offer eTicketing solutions should be able to streamline the process for you - not make it more complicated.
- Make sure you work with a provider that understands the specific requirements you must meet.
- Be sure to ask whether or not they offer support beyond the initial setup.
- Leveraging a technology partner can also unlock other opportunities for efficiency in your organization. Take a look at the 5 key ways dump truck logistics software is helping streamline operations.
Monitor for Continuous Improvements
- eTicketing will evolve over time. It’s important to stay up to date on the latest information from State DOTs and technology providers.
- Regular meetings with your team ensures the process is working.
- Track the changes over time.
- Evaluate whether eTicketing is making other positive changes in your organization. Is your team more connected? Are you improving overall efficiency?
It’s stressful to adopt new processes quickly. Getting ready for eTicketing takes time, research, and planning. Finding a technology provider that you can partner with makes it easier. They can act as an extension of your team, ensuring you are complying with local DOT regulations for dump trucks and eTicketing.
State DOTs have taken years to build rules and regulations for the construction industry. Everything from DOT regulations for drivers, to DOT weight regulations, DOT regulations for trailers, DOT regulations for CDL drivers, and even DOT regulations drug testing is monitored and has clear guidelines.
Each of these initiatives took time to develop. With the significant amount of investment that DOTs have put into developing eTicketing, it is unlikely that it will simply disappear after COVID-19. Getting on board now can help you stay ahead of the curve. There may even be opportunities to help shape how your state thinks about eTicketing.
With many companies seeing significant efficiency gains after bringing on an eTicketing solution, it’s likely worth exploring even if your state isn’t prioritizing eTicketing. If you are interested in connecting with a dump truck logistics platform that provides a hands-on approach and has a solid understanding of eTicketing, you can schedule a call with our team today.
*DOT regulations for dump trucks in this post were taken, in part, from NAPA’s State eTicketing information. For the latest, you should always refer to your state DOT.
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