April 17, 2014 by Minuteman Trucks
Strong safety scores rest with a strong maintenance program
Shop talk—the best kind, anyway—has always revolved as much around safe operations as vehicle uptime and cost control. But since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rolled out its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, fleet owners have had to absolutely ensure that their maintenance personnel are walking the walk and not just talking the talk.
That’s because sharp eyes at work in the shop are crucial to limiting the impact that negative roadside inspections of trucks can inflict on a motor carrier—and its drivers. CSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores both carriers and drivers on their safety performance and that determines whether or not an FMCSA intervention is warranted for a fleet and whether or not a driver will ultimately continue to be employed behind the wheel.
It should be noted that while FMCSA can initiate interventions against a poor-scoring driver—up to and including fining the driver—the agency cannot at this time pull the driver’s CDL. What especially worries drivers about all this is that those violations found to be ones the driver was responsible for or could have prevented will be assigned to the driver’s record as well as the carrier’s. This information then stays on the driver’s record, even if he or she changes jobs.