The 3 reporting techniques that can improve your CSA scores
Safety and maintenance teams across the trucking industry spend a lot of time and energy to maintain/attain that perfect CSA Score.
That’s because CSA scores are a powerful ally for everyday business - be it for customers who choose carriers based on fleet ranking, for drivers who want to work for a safe fleet or for insurers who set premiums based on these scores.
What is a CSA score?
CSA signifies Compliance, Safety, and Accountability. It is a safety program initiated and enforced by FMCSA for motor carriers and truck drivers, to improve safety compliance of CMVs. CSA score is an overall determinant of truck driver safety compliance on roads which is calculated by the data collected from inspections, crash reports, investigations and registration details.
The key to getting a good BASIC percentile (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories) lies in successfully rolling-out, implementing and documenting related safety programs.
We share how you can achieve that by improving on two aspects of the BASIC model: Truck Maintenance and Hazmat compliance.
1. Vehicle Inspection Reporting:
Given that 31% of roadside inspections are triggered by observable vehicle defects such as lights and tires - regular vehicle reporting is critical for your CSA scores.
When drivers religiously do pre-trip and post-trip inspections, it helps your company in three ways.
You can proactively manage the maintenance issues
It makes roadside inspections much less painful for drivers
Renders vehicles much safer for trips
Additionally, it helps you identify repairs to avoid dangerous and costly breakdowns and delays.
On the flip side, unless your team monitors these reports every day and puts problematic vehicles off-the-road, the reporting only helps the FMCSA and not your company.
If you go paperless and make technology do the follow-up, it will help save your staff’s time and energy on a everyday basis. The technology platform will keep everyone on the same page and share information on status of defect repairs, and prevent any unpleasant surprises on any given day.
You can expect better compliance at a driver level as well as at a company level.
2. Incident reporting:
Arranging logistical support for drivers in the event of a breakdown is not a simplistic affair.
Even if the cause is as straightforward as faulty seal in fuel system, or an air brake that needs replacement, the logistics around it are not.
While a simple phone call to the driver manager, or the maintenance team may suffice for a one-time event - this becomes difficult to manage for a sizeable fleet. An increase in fleet size directly translates to more manpower, and more paperwork to keep up with the breakdowns.
Not to mention the adverse impact on your business – due to shipment delays.
A streamlined communication platform that does not require multiple people on standby, does not need paperwork, and does not contribute to delays for business - is a straightforward way to reduce the costs associated with incidents.
If there’s an auditable log of breakdowns and incidents, it bubbles up accident-prone vehicles and risky drivers, and ensures help is dispatched quickly.
3. Hazmat reporting:
Did you know - The DOT intervention threshold for Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance is 80%. This means, if your HM Compliance score is higher than 80% of carriers similar to yours, the FMCSA will prioritize you for intervention. Avoiding a hazmat-related intervention from FMCSA is the goal here.
Hazmat deliveries puts an additional onus on carriers as well. They become responsible for protecting their employees and brand from fines, litigation, accidents, violations and DOT scrutiny.
They have to ensure that drivers don’t make the common mistakes - be it improper placards, improper markings (UN numbers on truck), expired permits, not securing load properly, or having shipping paper violations.
To instil this sense of responsibility and habit – companies should have an internal hazmat checklist in place that the team can monitor. The electronic checklist will prompt any scenarios that might make the inspection painful and eventually hurt your company’s and driver’s CSA scores
And so there you have it - three aspects of reporting that - if made electronic and centralized will save you more money, time and energy for your safety/maintenance team.