Owner Operators - The Dock: Tips for the Owner Operator
Preparing For FMCSA's CSA 2010
As we look back through the years, we realize that there have been many changes in all aspects of life. Along with that, laws are constantly changing and, if we plan to continue moving forward in life, we must adapt and adjust to the changes and the laws as well.
The year 2010 is quickly approaching with more changes and more laws yet to come. One of the laws that will affect the Commercial motor vehicle drivers, owner-operators, fleet owners, and trucking companies across our Nation is the FMCSA's Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010), which is currently being tested in six states. The program is set to launch in the summer of 2010.
What does CSA 2010 mean to you? CSA 2010 will replace SafeStat with a new Safety Measurement System, or SMS, that measures the previous two years of roadside violations and crash data. Under this new system, every inspection counts whether it's an out of service violation or not. With SMS, both driver and carrier performance are monitored.
There are seven categories of the Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASIC's, that are measured in the Safety Measurement System (SMS). The BASIC‘s represent behaviors that can lead to crashes such as unsafe driving, fatigue, hours of service, driver fitness, controlled substances and alcohol, vehicle maintenance, cargo related issues and crash history. The carrier SMS uses a motor carrier's data from roadside inspections, which will include all safety-based violations, State reported crashes and the Federal motor carrier census to score and rank carriers in each BASIC.
Remember that CSA 2010 will monitor both carrier and driver safety performances. A separate Driver Safety Measurement System (SMS) has been developed to identify individual drivers in the BASIC's across multiple employers. That being said, it is imperative that you maintain a clean, safe driving record and stable work history throughout the rest of your career!
Although it has always been vital to drivers to keep a good record, a driver could previously have been terminated with little effort for multiple safety violations, but he could find another job driving and start with a clean slate. With CSA 2010, that will no longer work. A carrier will be able to log into the system and see how many times you've been inspected and determine if you would be a liability or an asset to the company. In other words, your record will follow you wherever you go!
With all of the fear going into the "unknown" with CSA 2010, I feel that drivers can use this as a tool to eventually demand higher pay from companies who are having a difficult time finding drivers that would be an asset to the company and help keep their SMS up.
As we approach the upcoming CSA 2010, continue to prepare yourself for the changes and put yourself in a position that will make you an in-demand driver and valuable asset to motor carriers across the Nation.