The next step in the rollout of CSA 2010 is underway. Carriers can now see how they are being scored in the pending Safety Measurement System. Also as planned, CSA 2010 will stick to its schedule to implement the program state-by-state throughout 2011. Once all the states are up to speed on implementating CSA 2010, the new method for determining safety fitness will be put into effect. All of this is part of CSA 2010’s mission to increase truck driving safety and decrease trucking accidents and trucking-related fatalities. This next phase will hopefully be a major step to ultimately completing these goals.
“This early look gives motor carriers an opportunity to understand and address their safety compliance issues right away," the FMCSA said in an official announcement. The early warnings give carriers an opportunity to assess concerns before they get penalized under the new system. Not everyone is familiar yet with the new standards so this sort of “dry run” is great for carriers who may be committing violations without knowing it. Those who are not yet familiar with the new standards are urged by the FMCSA to visit their website to learn more about how they will be scored according to the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs. Additional information on CSA 2010 can be found here on the ADS Logistics Blog.
“Taking heed of industry concerns about its approach to measuring exposure in two of the BASICs, Unsafe Driving and the Crash Indicator, the FMCSA is changing from a calculation based just on the number of power units to one based on a combination of power units and vehicle miles traveled,” said by Oliver B. Patton, Washington Editor for Trucking Info. His complete article on the new phase of CSA 2010 can be found here. This small change in these 2 categories will make it easier for larger carriers because they are no longer going to be scored based solely on how many power units they have, which has hurt some larger carriers in the past. In the old system larger carriers were view as more dangerous because they had more accidents. This is only because they have more trucks and therefore more chances for an accident. With CSA 2010, that miles traveled are taken into account, their score in those two categories will come down and the scores of smaller carriers go up.
In its announcement yesterday, the agency took note of a preliminary report that researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute have found that while most of the BASICs are good indicators of future crash risk, two of them are not. UMTRI is analyzing the data from the agency's 30-month field test of CSA 2010. Its final report is due by the end of December. The field test is working with small test groups within certain states to see if any improvements will need to be made to CSA 2010 or the BASIC categories. As of Mid-June, over 11,000 carriers have visited the CSA 2010 website to see their preliminary score. This is good news however, the several hundred thousand that haven’t may be in for a surprise come December, when the system goes live. Be prepared, and get your preliminary score today! Also subscribe to the ADS blog to stay on top of all the important CSA 2010 changes that will be happening in the future.
The FREIGHT Act is short for the Focusing Resources, Economic Investment and Guidance to Help Transportation Act. It is an act presented by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that aims to create a voice for freight interests within the U.S. government. As it currently stands there is no real place in the Department of Transportation (DOT) for freight planning. This bill is set to address these problems and give the freight industry some recognition within our nation’s government. Freight advocates said, “The bill as the most far-reaching attempt Congress had made to give freight a place at the infrastructure table.” The FREIGHT Act is within Bill S.3629 (the progress of the Bill can be tracked at this site) and is set to accomplish three main objectives: develop a National Freight Strategic Plan, create a Freight office within the DOT, and initiate the National Freight Infrastructure Grants program.
What the FREIGHT Act Will Accomplish
To put the bill in a broad sense, it will create, “a national freight transportation program for identifying and funding federal, state, and metropolitan efforts to ensure adequate capacity, reduce congestion, and increase throughput.” said Janet L. Kavinoky, head of the transportation infrastructure programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Kavinoky believes the bill meets what was asked for by the Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business trade group. She went on to say that, "the key to the grant portion's success is in finding additional dedicated revenues so that other federal transportation priorities aren't diluted." Basically the Bill will seek additional funding so that other DOT programs are not compromised.
The Goals of the FREIGHT Act
There are six main goals highlighted in the bill:
1. Target investment in freight transportation projects
2. Improve energy conservation and the environmental sustainability of freight movements
3. Assist and enhance the health and safety of the public
4. Provide efficient and balanced investment to improve the overall performance of the national transportation system.
5. Promote partnerships between Federal, State, and local governments, the private sector, and other stake holders.
6. Encourage adoption of operational policies
How The FREIGHT Act Will Get Approved
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The committee has twenty-five ranking members and is currently considering about one hundred different bills. However, they are usually only one of many committees that are reporting on the same bill. The bill is currently assigned to several committees but so far none have issued a report on it. Once the bill goes through the Senate committees it will go through House committees. If both Houses decide that bill should be voted on then it will go to the Senate first and then to the House. If the bill passes then it will be signed by the President and it will be enacted.
This bill has a long way to go before it makes it to the President’s desk; however it seems to already have major support behind it. An article by Mark B. Solomon on DC Velocity.com concludes, “Advocates of the Lautenberg Bill said today the senator's staff has been in contact with key lawmakers in both chambers to discuss the legislation. The bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both Democrats from the state of Washington.”
A report came out late last month about the delayed implementation of the CSA 2010
. The new safety ranking system that began to be implemented in April 2010 and was scheduled to be fully installed by this July is now being delayed until the spring or possibly summer of 2011
. The announcement was presented by Anne Ferro, Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
to the House of Representatives as well as two other committees specializing in highway transportation. The six-part report explains the CSA 2010, its goals, how it will improve off of SafeStat, how it will be tested, and how it will be implemented.
Before the CSA 2010 could be implemented, it had to be tested. The test came in the form of a nine-state field test
in which the CSA and SafeStat
, the system the CSA would replace, will be compared side by side. The test started in only four states: Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey. Each state was divided into two groups; one group was assessed by the CSA 2010 and the other by SafeStat. In the spring and fall of 2009, the Agency added five more States to the test – Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and Montana. However, for these five states the CSA 2010 interventions were applied to all motor carriers instead of just half. Ferro states that:
“Since the test began, the Agency has sent out more than 5,500 warning letters to motor carriers in the test, and the letter has proven effective. Approximately fifty percent of all carriers receiving a warning letter have logged onto the FMCSA website to review information on their deficient BASIC. In addition, FMCSA has received letters of response from some of these carriers in which they thank the Agency for bringing to their attention information on the deficient BASIC, and describe their corrective action to address the safety problem.”
CSA 2010 is effective according to other investigations as well. Off-site investigations proved to be 25 percent more efficient, while on-site focused investigations were 45 percent more efficient, and on-site comprehensive investigations were 30 percent more efficient.
The nine-state field test is the main reason why the full implementation of the CSA 2010 will be delayed. FMCSA is using feedback from its partners, stakeholders, the public, the nine-state field test, and written letters to the CSA 2010 public docket, to fully optimize the new policy for all parties. “FMCSA will roll out CSA 2010 in the fall of 2010 instead of the summer of 2010 as earlier reported. This relatively minor movement in our rollout timeline will enable the Agency to be more responsive to the feedback, as well as the lessons learned from our field test.” In the fall and winter of 2010, the FMCSA will be taking 3 major steps towards the complete installation of CSA 2010. First, SafeStat will be replaced with the Safety Measurement System (SMS)
. Second, warning letters will be sent to carriers nationwide. Third, a revised nationwide Inspection Selection System for roadside inspectors that is based on SMS rather than SafeStat will be implemented. An Operational Model test concluded in June and consequently the nine test states will soon complete all CSA 2010 interventions. CSA implementation will then continue into 2011 for the remaining 41 states.
Safety and compliance are becoming increasingly more important to carriers and drivers every day for a multitude of reasons.
For instance, carriers have long-known that good safety and compliance numbers (insurance losses and SafeStat for example) translate into better insurance rates, a better competitive position and increased profits.
Drivers know that a bad safety record can cost them their job and make finding another more difficult.
With the onset of CSA 2010 the stakes are even greater.
Carriers can now find themselves the subject of targeted enforcement both on the road (increased inspections) and on-site (Compliance Review) if their scores in any of the seven (7) CSA 2010 BASICS exceed FMCSA-designated thresholds.
Drivers will now have three (3) years of their compliance history with the DOT available to current and prospective carriers. Non-compliant drivers will find their continued employment with their current carrier in jeopardy and prospective carriers reluctant to bring them and their points on board. Future incarnations of CSA 2010 are reported to include direct intervention with drivers whose safety performance scores exceed as yet undetermined thresholds.
The true reward for safe and compliant operations however is even more important and much more personal. Carriers need to ensure their #1 customer, their internal customer, the driver, completes his/her duties every day without being injured or worse, killed. We all owe this basic right to our employees.
Likewise, everyone with whom we share the roads, even those drivers who unknowingly and even intentionally put themselves in harm's way by cutting in front of a truck or riding in a “No Zone”- everyone, has a basic right to return to their families without being injured or killed.
Safety and compliance, in the final analysis, are personal. We can’t put profits (or pay checks) above human suffering and lives.
Safety… is no accident.
Posted by Kevin Mullen- Director: Safety, ADS Logistics Co, LLCY8GM79SE3GXS
Here are 10 simple but important principals for any truck driver who desires to have a successful career:
1. Comply with all Company Policies and procedures and all Federal, State and local laws, regulations and ordinances. A Professional Driver knows the regulations and complies with them.
2. Watch your speed. Speed is the most often cited contributing factor in accidents. A Professional Driver obeys speed limits and reduces speed when road, weather and traffic conditions dictate. Speeding decreases time to react to unforeseen events and increases the distance necessary to safely stop. Speed is not the answer to customer service. A Professional Driver knows that exit ramp speed limits are maximums for cars and his speed should be slower.
3. Drive defensively. A Professional Driver anticipates the errors other drivers commit and positions himself to avoid collisions.
4. Be aware. A Professional Driver recognizes the need for focusing all his attention on his driving. He does not carry on conversations (on the CB or cell phone) and he does not text or operate his Qualcomm while driving. The Professional Driver understands a hands-free device does not eliminate the distraction caused by the conversation.
5. Drive safe equipment. A Professional Driver conducts a thorough pre-trip daily to ensure his vehicle is safe to operate and does not pose a threat of equipment failure and possible injury to himself, his cargo, and the people with whom he shares the roads. A Professional Driver takes care of his equipment so that it can provide him with a steady income.
6. No job is complete. A Professional Driver understands that paperwork, however burdensome, is a necessary and unavoidable part of the job. His logs and delivery paperwork are completed accurately and neatly and submitted timely.
7. Look the part. A Professional Driver dresses appropriately. His clothes are clean, neat and comply with Company and customer guidelines. He recognizes that he represents the Company, not just himself.
8. Know when to go. A Professional Driver knows when to go and recognizes when it's time to shut down, whether it is due to fatigue or road and weather conditions. A Professional Driver knows no load is so hot that it won’t cool off in a ditch or the median and no load is worth endangering his life or the lives of the people with whom he shares the road.
9. Protect your freight, protect your job. A Professional Driver knows that all we provide is service. If he doesn’t take care of the customer, someone else will. He protects his freight thereby protecting our customer and his job.
10. Work safely. A Professional Driver works safely. He recognizes hazards and avoids them. He reports hazards that can be corrected to management. He works at being safe so that he, his co-workers and the public can return safely to their families every day.
If you try to follow these 10 tips you will contribute to the success of the Company, be recognized as a valuable team player, and position yourself for continued professional growth.
Posted by Kevin Mullen- Director: Safety
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Monday released preliminary CSA 2010 data to motor carriers. (Carrier data is confidential at this time and a PIN issued by the FMCSA is required to access it.) The raw inspection data does not include CSA 2010 scoring. Scores are expected to be available in August.
A quick review of this carriers’ data revealed two striking numbers:
- 65% of “Unsafe Driving” inspections were precipitated by a traffic stop for speeding. (If you include traffic stops for following too closely the number rises to 76%)
- 45% of our “Vehicle Maintenance” inspections were precipitated by something as simple as an inoperative light.
Clearly, just focusing on these two areas would have a dramatic impact on a carriers' CSA 2010 scores. Good safety management policies and procedures (and driver education programs) with monitoring and follow-up can drive down these and all CSA 2010 BASICS.
Full implementation of CSA 2010 has been delayed until 2011, which provides carriers with a little additional time to educate drivers and tweak policies, procedures, and programs. However it is a brief respite because today’s inspections will be reflected in CSA 2010 scores whenever full implementation occurs. (The FMCSA signaled their intention to begin using CSA 2010 scores to prioritize carriers for “interventions” as early as November.)
Full implementation will begin in the 9 test states (Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana and New Jersey) in July.
Carriers would be well served by reviewing their preliminary data now and acting immediately to shore up deficiencies in their safety management systems.
Posted by Kevin Mullen, Director- Safety
As more and more drivers (and carriers) become aware of the looming implementation of CSA 2010 and its potential impact on the industry, more and more misinformation and confusion seems to be ensuing (not from our blog of course).
As previously mentioned, Driver Fitness is one of seven (7) BASIC’s in CSA 2010 that replace the four SEA’s in SafeStat. Driver Fitness does not refer to physical fitness. Contrary to rumor, it has nothing to do with separate proposed rules regarding Body Mass Index (BMI), neck size and other predictors of Sleep Apnea and the need for a sleep study before being qualified or re-qualified medically.
Driver Fitness has everything to do with the pre-employment actions of the carrier. The Driver Fitness BASIC focuses on Parts 383 and 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Carriers must be certain to comply with:
1) the single license provisions by checking for multiple licenses
2) driver conviction and suspension notification provisions by ensuring drivers are notifying the carrier and state of licensing
3) previous employment verification provisions
4) driver skills provisions by determining drivers possess the necessary skills to do the job
5) driver licensing provisions by ensuring drivers are properly licensed (including endorsements) and carry their license with them
Other provisions include:
6) evidence of medical and physical qualifications to drive
7) ability to speak and read English
8) evidence of an annual certification of violations
9) evidence of a road test or other determination of driving ability
10) a complete application
11) a valid medical certificate
Carriers must be careful to review all physicals to ensure a doctor hasn’t overlooked a disqualifying condition (i.e. insulin-dependent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, eyesight, etc.). It is for this reason alone that carriers would be well-served by permitting physicals by only company-approved doctors or clinics knowledgeable in the regulations. Carriers, not doctors, are accountable to the FMCSA for unqualified drivers.
None of these provisions are new. They have all been in the regulations for years. Under CSA 2010 however, these items (if noted on a roadside inspection) are some of the most serious violations and weighted accordingly. While they may not have impacted a carriers’ SafeStat score (if they were not an out-of-service violation) they will impact your CSA 2010 score since all violations detected result in points.
Driver fitness is a high priority under CSA 2010 due to documented correlations between these fitness criteria and driver crash involvement.
Posted by Kevin Mullen: Director- Safety, ADS Logistics Co, LLC.
It’s hard to believe that a year ago we were practically begging for shipments and moving freight at a rate that barely covered our costs. We were not alone, as evidenced by the lack of trucks available for freight right now. As rates and freight decreased more and more truck owners found they could not make a decent living so had to give up their life on the road. Now, just one year later (albeit a very long year) we have seen an increase in freight, but not in available trucks to haul the freight. The laws of supply and demand will tell you this type of market will see rising prices.
How does a customer hold down costs? If that customer has ongoing business and volume either inbound or outbound they can contract with a carrier. At Area Transportation, our contract customers can count on our services all the time, regardless of the market and at a set price. When using a carrier that has their own tractor and trailers, a contracted customer can have peace of mind knowing that their loads will be covered regardless of rates or truck shortages. As a carrier, this is the benefit to having company-owned trucks. As a customer, this is the benefit of using a carrier that owns their own equipment!
Pricing for customers that need one truck for one move can be a bit more difficult and the rate will be reflective of the current market conditions. Whenever possible any buyer of a transportation services should look into contract transportation purchasing and select a carrier with company-owned equipment. This will ensure their loads will be covered and their costs will always be the same no matter what the market.
Article submitted by Marie Studniarz.
What could adding Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) equipment to your trucks do for your company?
First of all, it could increase your fuel mileage up to 9% or 1.8 mpg. In today's economy that can make a huge difference. And what about breathing cleaner air? The EPA now requires all medium and heavy duty vehicles to burn cleaner by 83% over 2007 figures. Having the SCR placed in all trucks may also increase the productivity of most trucking companies, which will then increase their bottom dollar.
With the ever-fluctuating prices of diesel fuel, adding equipment that can increase mileage seems like a no-brainer. However, adding this equipment does come at a price. On average, the SCR equipment will cost $3,000 for light duty trucks and up to $10,000 for heavy duty trucks. This may be a minimal price to pay depending on the size of the fleet and the amount of product that is hauled. No matter how one looks at it, everything positive comes at a price.
Having so many rule changes for truckers coming during 2010, it should be no surprise that the EPA wouldn't be left out. They anticipate that SCR will reduce NOx output to near zero. SCR is one of the only emissions reduction technologies that is as good for business as it is for the environment, and the reach of SCR is broad.
The goal of most any business is to make a profit. According to EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, "American drivers are increasingly looking for cars/trucks that burn cleaner, burn less gas and won't burn a hole in their wallets."
So far the biggest problem has been finding the proper space required to accommodate the equipment, as it will require several cubic feet. This is a big issue for some upfitters who want open areas behind the truck cabs and along the frames as not to interfere with mounting the bodies.
When it comes to making the decision on whether or not to add the SCR equipment to the current truck models that are already out on the road, it's all a matter of opinion. If I were to have that choice, at all costs not detrimental to the company, my option would be to add the fuel saving, production increasing, money making SCR equipment.
Article written by Janet Starcevic 83W5AQ7PHDCR
- Control your speed. The #1 reason for getting stopped and inspected is speeding. (Not surprisingly the #1 cause of accidents is also speeding- thus the focus.) Lane violations, tailgating, and other aggressive behaviors are also guaranteed to get the attention of law enforcement. CMV enforcement personnel don’t need a reason (probable cause) to stop and inspect a truck, but you don’t need to give them one. Simply put, drive safely and professionally and you’ll virtually eliminate your odds of being targeted for inspection. [By the way, there is no law requiring law enforcement to “give 10 MPH” or even 1 MPH over a posted speed limit. Even driving the speed limit when road, weather, or traffic conditions dictate a slower speed is a violation (speed too fast for conditions) in many jurisdictions.]
- Inspect and maintain your equipment. A light out, tire with cord/belt exposed, or other easily-spotted equipment defect will get you pulled over (or pulled behind a scale) every time. Do your pre-trip inspection. Report defects and/or get them repaired before hitting the road. A truck with a headlight out pulling into a scale is almost certain to get a red light. Don’t make yourself an easy target.
- Work for a reputable company. Who you drive for will greatly affect how often you get selected for random inspections. All motor carriers in the United States have an ISS-2 score. The score is based on previous inspections of that motor carrier's trucks. Companies with a history of poor performance on previous inspections will be rated “Inspect” or “Optional,” which increases the likelihood that more of its trucks will be selected for inspection. You’re only as good as the last driver or truck from your company who was inspected. Work for a reputable trucking company like Area Transportation and you’ll get more respect from law enforcement. It’s not a free pass but it will make your life easier. Additionally, most trucking companies travel the same routes or lanes and become known to law enforcement in the areas they run. Companies known for maintaining their equipment and running compliant operations receive far less scrutiny from law enforcement. CMV enforcement personnel concentrate their efforts on those carriers who don’t comply. After all, that’s the purpose of enforcement… to get the “bad guys” to comply.
- If you’re hauling a permit load… stay on the permit route. CMV enforcement personnel are very familiar with permit routes. A multi-axle truck running off a permit route is just asking to be stopped and inspected.