The Basics tips

1. How long has the company been in business? The longer it has offered transportation service the better.

2. Request the company’s DOT number that’s required for legal operation. Use the number to check the company’s current safety rating.

3. What is the company’s USDOT Safety Rating? The highest possible rating is satisfactory. (Note: DOT safety ratings do not apply to Trailways European Tour Operators)

4. Ask the company to supply a Certificate of Insurance, showing its levels of insurance and effective policy dates. Accepted levels call for $5 million combined, single-limit liability coverage.

5. Ask for references. Never charter from a company not willing to provide references.

6. What is the size of the company’s fleet? Fleet size provides a gauge to the operator’s ability to supply alternate vehicles if needed and insight into the company’s success.

7. Personally inspect the company’s office, garage facilities and transportation equipment. You can tell a lot about a company just by looking!

8. How old is the equipment? The newer the equipment (not more than 10 years old), generally means fewer problems.

9. Is the company a full service company? Does it have its own maintenance facilities? Can they arrange tours or other special travel services? Your Needs…

10. For an accurate quote on your trip, provide the company with a detailed itinerary.

11. Does your group have special needs, i.e., a video system, beverage galley, disabled access or other equipment?

12. Ask if video-equipped equipment is available. You can view educational video, movies, or sports videos while traveling.

13. Is the company legally licensed to show motion pictures en route? Only companies licensed by the Motion Picture Association of America may legally show copyrighted movies. Films rented from a video store are not licensed for public viewing.

14. Be a smart shopper! Make sure careful consideration of these consumer tips is balanced against cost. A decision based solely on price may not be the best value.

15. Ask who pays for the driver’s overnight accommodations. Is it included in the charter cost? Also specify if the driver must stay in the same hotel as your group.

16. Determine the company’s policy for extra mileage costs above the contracted amount. Find out the company’s policy concerning “overage miles” before you select a company – not when you get an inflated bill after you return! Safety Issues…

17. Ask if the limits the number of hours a driver can work. A driver is limited to 10 hours of actual driving time. If your itinerary exceeds this limit, how will the company handle your group’s needs?

18. What procedures are followed for on-the-road emergencies? The company should have access to a nationwide reciprocal maintenance agreement, assuring you of prompt servicing of equipment in all regions of the USA.

19. Ask if the company has a formal Drug and Alcohol Program. Specify that the company must supply a copy of their written drug and alcohol policy statement. Never charter transportation from a company that does not strongly enforce a drug and alcohol-free workplace.

20. Request a list of current of qualified drivers who have a commercial driver’s license, a driver’s file, a current physical examination, and an approved Medical Examiner’s Card. Permission to reproduce

Tips is hereby granted in the public interest, provided contribution is given to Trailways® Transportation System.