Where Does Your COMPANY CSA Score Stand?

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Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Okay, a moment of truth. Where does YOUR company's CSA score stand?

Erlbacher Brothers

https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/Carrier/220174/Overview.aspx

Dave

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar

Dave D. - I began checking out a prospective employer's CSA info as part of my diligent search. Been especially useful in determining condition of their equipment with the inspection reports.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I'm going to offer a different take on this. A company's CSA scores are almost completely irrelevant when choosing a company. In fact, the reason that system was designed was to hold trucking companies accountable for the quality of the driver they employ. So in effect that score is a reflection upon the quality of a company's drivers, not the quality of the company itself.

For instance, look at the factors they're measuring:

  • Unsafe Driving
  • Crash Indicator
  • Hours Of Service Compliance - are drivers getting caught violating logbook rules?
  • Vehicle Maintenance - if a vehicle gets inspected and has violations, shouldn't the driver have caught that in the pre-trip inspection?
  • Controlled Substances And Alcohol
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance - does the driver have the proper Hazmat endorsement?
  • Driver Fitness - does the driver have the proper endorsements, medical certification, a valid CDL , etc?

So don't think a company's CSA score is a reflection upon the company itself. It's a reflection upon the quality of their drivers which should be of little or no interest to a driver looking for a company to work for.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Part driver and part company. If a driver reports a vehicle defect on his pre-trip, how soon does it get fixed. We really wouldn't know the answer, but this is how the REALLY BAD ACTOR companies get eliminated.

Example:?FMSCA says, your maintenance record is so bad, it has to be more than just the driver.

Dave

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar

I don't look at the score, I look at the data particularly to see if there are violations that to me show a "pattern." For example, one company in a twelve-month period received a violation for a driver hauling hazmat without endorsement, operating a CMV without a CDL (not revoked or suspended but without)-2 of these, driving a tanker without endorsement. This kind of makes me think, hmm will this company have me perform a duty that I am not qualified to do?

I agree Brett that some of the items on the report should be regarded strictly as a driver's fault, but if there is a historical pattern of certain violations then the company need to re-evaluate what they are or are not doing

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I use the SMS website to look at the ratings. I think being a brand new driver will be stressful enough without being specifically targeted for additional inspections, simply because of who my employer is. Luckily, the companies I'm most considering, have excellent records.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Prime is pretty darn good. With 6,000 drivers, there are some real zingers in there, but most of the drivers I meet are very safety conscious, and the scores reflect that.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

If you want to get pulled into every scale house and spread your cheeks while they put on the white rubber gloves, go to work for a company with a horrible CSA score.

If, on the other hand, you want to be given the green light on your prepass and skip the vast majority of scales, go to work for a company with a great CSA score.

In 5 months of driving, I've gotten the green light at least 95% of the time, and I have never had an officer even look at my logs, let alone inspect my rig.

Not that they would find anything wrong anyway, it's just nice not having to deal with the hassle.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Part driver and part company. If a driver reports a vehicle defect on his pre-trip, how soon does it get fixed.

If a driver detects a safety problem with the truck, does the driver continue to drive the truck or does he get it fixed? He gets it fixed. The CSA score can not possibly tell you how long it takes for a company to fix a truck. It's the driver's responsibility to know if the truck is safe to drive. Equipment breaks. There's no getting around that. The driver is the last line of defense, responsible for making sure unsafe equipment stays off the highway.

For example, one company in a twelve-month period received a violation for a driver hauling hazmat without endorsement, operating a CMV without a CDL (not revoked or suspended but without)-2 of these, driving a tanker without endorsement. This kind of makes me think, hmm will this company have me perform a duty that I am not qualified to do?

Well it makes me think there's a bunch of drivers out there hauling freight they're not qualified to haul. Who is responsible for making sure a driver has the proper license and endorsements? Who is responsible for deciding whether or not it's safe to drive that truck down the highway or keep it parked? The driver.

I found a new list this time which describes exactly how each item is measuring the driver's performance and not the company's performance. It seems to me that it should be self-explanatory that phrases like "Crash Indicator" and "Driver Fitness" are measuring driver performance but so far everyone seems convinced it's measuring the company's performance. I've never known a company that crashed, only drivers, and the word "Driver" itself is in the term "Driver Fitness" but I guess that's still not clear enough.

So let me try again with another list. This is from the Safety Measurement System page of the FMCSA :

  • Unsafe Driving — Operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by drivers in a dangerous or careless manner. Example violations: Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 397)
  • Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance — Operation of CMVs by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in non-compliance with the HOS regulations. This BASIC includes violations of regulations pertaining to records of duty status (RODS) as they relate to HOS requirements and the management of CMV driver fatigue Example violations: HOS RODS, and operating a CMV while ill or fatigued. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 395)
  • Driver Fitness — Operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualifications. Example violations: Failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV. (FMCSR Parts 383 and 391)
  • Controlled Substances/Alcohol — Operation of CMVs by drivers who are impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications. Example violations: Use or possession of controlled substances/alcohol. (FMCSR Parts 382 and 392)
  • Vehicle Maintenance — Failure to properly maintain a CMV and/or properly prevent shifting loads. Example violations: Brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, failure to make required repairs, and improper load securement. (FMCSR Parts 392, 393 and 396)
  • Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance — Unsafe handling of HM on a CMV. Example violations: Release of HM from package, no shipping papers (carrier), and no placards/markings when required. (FMCSR Part 397 and Hazardous Materials Regulations Parts 171, 172, 173, 177, 178, 179, and 180)
  • Crash Indicator — Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. It is based on information from State-reported crashes

I don't know how to explain any of that any more clearly and neither does the Government. So hopefully that helped.

If you want to get pulled into every scale house and spread your cheeks while they put on the white rubber gloves, go to work for a company with a horrible CSA score

Yes indeed a company with very poor scores will get pulled in and inspected more often than companies with solid scores. But don't let that lull you to sleep. They're going to inspect everyone at some point. Nobody gets a free ride.

if there is a historical pattern of certain violations then the company need to re-evaluate what they are or are not doing

That's exactly right. And what do you think the very first thing is that they would change? If you said, "The quality of the drivers they hire" then you're the big winner today! Because if their drivers are getting in wrecks and failing inspections and getting caught without the proper credentials then they have the wrong drivers.

Finally, on the Why was CSA Needed? page the 4th reason states:

The FMCSA Large Truck Crash Causation Study indicated that increased attention should be given to drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

Boom!.....Brett drops the mic and walks off stage.....

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • CSA:

    Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

    The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

    FMCSA:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

    What Does The FMCSA Do?

    • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
    • Data and Analysis
    • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
    • Research and Technology
    • Safety Assistance
    • Support and Information Sharing

    DOT:

    Department Of Transportation

    A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

    State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

    CMV:

    Commercial Motor Vehicle

    A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

    • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
    • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
    • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
    • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

    Fm:

    Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

    The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

    HOS:

    Hours Of Service

    HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Boom!.....Brett drops the mic and walks off stage.....

Who was it that I got that from? Persian, was that you? I like that.

smile.gif

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