Article

Lifelines: The Tools You Need to Prepare For CSA 2010

February 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

by Diana Britton, Managing Editor

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In July, fleets across the country will be hit with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, or CSA 2010, which will completely redefine the way motor carriers must comply with regulations.
Is your safety program ready for CSA 2010? (Photo courtesy of Fleetmaster Express)
Is your safety program ready for CSA 2010? (Photo courtesy of Fleetmaster Express)


For Fleetmaster Express out of Roanoke, Va., unsafe and fatigued driving will be an issue, as these things will now be a focus of roadside inspections. For specialized hauler Pedowitz Machinery Movers in Branchburg, N.J., the concern will be cargo securement, another area that will be weighted according to its relationship to risk.

But the safety directors at these companies are not just sitting around waiting for doomsday to get here. They have taken it upon themselves to find helpful tools to prepare for CSA 2010.

Under the FMCSA's new system, six is the magic number, as a motor carrier's last six months of data will be rated the heaviest. That means fleets have the opportunity to get good data into the system in order to get a leg up before CSA 2010 kicks in. What happens now will affect your score come July.

Fleets that typically have not had to focus much on safety in the past are all of a sudden experiencing shellshock, as things that didn't hurt before, under SafeStat, will hurt them now. For example, 70 to 80 percent of the points accrued under CSA 2010 are tied to non-out-of-service violations, which were never included in SafeStat.

"There's a lot of unpleasant surprises for fleets in terms of the scoring system," says Sloan Morris, director of client services at Vigillo, which provides fleet risk management solutions. "You have to learn a whole new set of rules."

"When they turn the switch, it's going to be an instant change from the old world to the new world," says Tom Bray, a transportation management specialist at Wisconsin-based J.J. Keller & Associates, which provides safety and compliance solutions.

The good news is that there are technology and compliance solutions out there that are designed to help fleets analyze their safety data, identify problem areas and improve their hiring practices in preparation for CSA 2010.

Here are a few suggestions:

Vigillo

Fleetmaster Express has been using Vigillo's CSA 2010 Preview Scorecard to get ready for the upcoming change. The Scorecard gives trucking companies an advance look at their fleet data that will be included in the FMCSA's new system.

"By using the same algorithms and methodologies as FMCSA, we've created a solution that allows carriers to use data available today to get ahead of the curve and to see what their fleet will look like under CSA 2010," says Steven Bryan, CEO of Vigillo.

The technology works by scouring SafeStat and the COMPASS portal, running the data through analytics and providing the same visibility to fleets as those in the pilot states, Bryan says. Included are summary and detail reports for each BASIC, overall reports by BASIC, violations and drivers, and individual driver preview reports.

The thing fleets seem to like about Vigillo's tool is that it presents the data in a way that's easy for them to understand.

"I like seeing the figures," says Gary Kasza, director of safety and risk management at Fleetmaster Express. The system presents the information visually, an aspect that makes it easier for him to show his management team.

"I can talk a good show, but if I can show them, it's more meaningful," he says. "Everything's time nowadays."

Using Vigillo, Kasza has been able to make the carrier's staff aware of the problems they need to work on, including speeding and fatigue management.

He's also used the tool to make drivers more aware of CSA 2010. The driver reports are handed out to the company's drivers, like a report card, so to speak. "Your children get report cards; the feds are now going to give you monthly report cards," he tells drivers. "These report cards follow you from job to job."

FleetMentor

Another tool offering a snapshot of how your safety operations will be evaluated under CSA 2010 is the new Roadside Inspection Tracking by FleetMentor, the online fleet management advisor by J.J. Keller & Associates.

The new solution allows carriers to track their roadside inspections to help manage their overall carrier safety rating. Within each inspection record, the carrier can track the progress from inspection to completion of the corrections and upload supporting documents such as inspection reports and receipts.

Because the tool provides the opportunity to look at past inspection records and analyze them, it can help fleets make improvements to their safety score before CSA 2010 comes into play. The tool groups inspection data by CSA 2010 BASICs and includes violation groupings and severity weights. Carriers are able to generate reports by driver, status, and regulatory citation.

According to J.J. Keller's Bray, the solution gets fleets familiar with the new scoring system, as they can visually see their performance and see themselves getting better or worse.

Tracey Perrigan, safety director at Pedowitz Machinery Movers, says she spends at least 17 hours a day on safety, but FleetMentor makes that job a lot easier. "This right here tracks everything for me," she says of the system. The system tracks such things as driver violations and driver qualifications. If anything is up for renewal, FleetMentor sends an alert, so the company will never have disqualified drivers on the road.

Aside from Roadside Inspection Tracking, FleetMentor provides a CSA 2010 Resource Center, which includes information from best practices and quick studies to frequently asked questions and the policy and procedure handbook. In addition, FleetMentor provides fleets with a training program for getting drivers up to speed on CSA 2010. The training module provides training objectives, outlines, structure, Powerpoint presentations and exercises.

"Drivers need to be that much better at their job," says Bray.

"One of the most common misunderstandings surrounding CSA 2010 is that carriers don't think it applies to them, when, in fact, it applies to any interstate carrier with a U.S. DOT number," Brays says. "It does not matter what type of carrier they are, what size carrier they are, or what type of vehicles they operate. Carriers need to be preparing now for CSA 2010 by looking at past roadside inspection data and crash reports from the past 24 months, since that is the data that the new system will look at when CSA 2010 is implemented."

Tenstreet

There's a lot of data out there when it comes to CSA 2010, so the more communication and training you have with drivers, the safer your fleet's going to be. That's where Tenstreet's Communication Engine comes in. Tenstreet, a supplier of software solutions for recruiting, hiring and retaining drivers, recently launched a new service that automates and streamlines the driver management process.

According to Tenstreet President Tim Crawford, the company wanted to develop a solution to help fleets track communication with drivers, so carriers could show responsiveness to issues related to the new safety system. "CSA 2010 is really raising the stakes," he says, particularly because under the new system, there's going to be more data that's discoverable and admissible.

The new solution includes an Accident Response capability, which assists with the necessary actions following an accident. This feature automatically enrolls drivers in specific online safety courses, schedules the training courses, notifies the driver of training dates, displays the courses online, tracks the drivers' progress, tests the driver upon completion, stores the driver's test in the drivers online document file, and notifies the safety director that the driver has completed the course. It also produces a DOT-compliant Accident Registry.

A Monthly Safety Training tool provides a system for automatically track

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