Use Background Checks to Prevent Driver Thefts


Trusting an expensive piece of company equipment and the valuable cargo inside is an act that should not be taken lightly. Motor carriers that do not give driver screening and selection due diligence are at an increased risk of having a newly hired driver abandon the truck and cargo or aid in their theft. For this reason, motor carriers should consider conducting background checks to verify an applicant’s history and identify red flags. Below is a list of background checks that give employers much-needed information to make an informed hiring decision. Read each description and consider how it can aid your loss prevention efforts.

You should also consult with your attorney prior to conducting any of the following checks. State law may require you to obtain express permission from the prospective employee in addition to meeting other requirements.


Verifying that an applicant has a criminal past may not eliminate the candidate from consideration, but it certainly raises a red flag. Running a criminal background check and comparing it to the application or resume is a good way to see how forthright and honest the applicant is being with you.

Past employment

An applicant’s history of job hopping is another red flag to watch out for. If he or she has demonstrated a pattern of quitting jobs every few months, chances are the applicant will do the same with you.

safety performance

Running the applicant’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) report provides an employer with five years of the driver’s crash history and three years of roadside inspection data. PSP is a valuable tool to learn if the driver tends to exhibit unsafe driving behaviors, even if those behaviors have not led to a crash.

drug and alcohol

Motor carriers must verify a current or prospective employee’s drug and alcohol violations before permitting him or her to operate commercial motor vehicles on public roads. Carriers are required to use the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to conduct queries.

civic history

Similar to past employment, verifying an applicant’s previous addresses and looking for gaps can raise red flags. For instance, if a gap of more than one month exists, ask why. Perhaps the applicant was incarcerated or has another reason.

credit history

An applicant’s credit history can shed light on any debt or collections issues. If the applicant has money problems, this should raise a red flag.


• Conduct criminal background checks on all applicants.

Register for the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

Subscribe to the FMCSA’s PSP program.





The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.

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© Great West Casualty Company 2021. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2020. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.