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Truck Driver PSP Becoming Second DAC Report

Aug
23,
2011
11

In years past, trucking companies pushed drivers to run over the HOS rules and many other violations, showing complete disregard for their safety and health.

Now, with the recent implementation of the CSA, this practice is coming back to bite them.  Drivers, loyal to their motor carrier for years, are now being terminated due to a high severity weight score on their pre-employment screening program (PSP).

The most recent email received states:

“I was recently let go by my company because of my csa points.  All the points were do to problems with the equipment, which I would report to the company, but was told to “get moving” anyway.  Now, after 16 years of driving, I’m out of work.”

As drivers are now discovering, this is a big problem with the CSA.  Even though the violations were due to the carrier’s equipment (this falls under the 7 BASICS, specifically the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC), the driver will be found to be in violation, as well as the carrier, raising the motor carrier’s “unsafe” safety score.

There are two measurement systems under the CSA:

  1. DSMS – Driver Safety Measurement Systems
  2. CSMS – Carrier Safety Measurement Systems

The two go hand in hand, meaning that points received by a driver, also will go against the carrier.  This is the FMCSA’s idea of making both parties, the driver and the motor carrier, equally responsible for safety.  As we are seeing already, this is proving to be another injustice to the professional truck driver.  Drivers are reporting in that due to their PSP points, their jobs are being lost and other carriers refuse to re-hire.

This email correlates the truck driver PSP with the HireRight DAC report . . . a prediction I made several months before the implementation of this program:

“After six years with my carrier, I was terminated because of my PSP score showing a “little too high” for their “standards.”  Forget the fact that they tried to run me in the ground, violating every rule out there, but now, because of them and trying to be a good employee and getting the job done, they fire me because of my PSP record!  Applying with other carriers, they all want to pull my PSP first.  I know that they can not pull my PSP without my consent, but this is a farce of the FMCSA as well.  If I give them my permission, they’ll see the points and most likely, not hire me.  If I refuse my consent, what do you think will happen?  They won’t hire me either.  This PSP is nothing more than another DAC report which will be used to destroy good drivers’ careers.”

Every driver should be aware of the points that can accumulate from violations and effect their PSP score:

How to get a copy of your PSP records

This is the new standard for hiring drivers.  As the FMCSA website clearly points out:

“The program helps motor carriers make more informed hiring decisions by providing electronic access to a driver’s crash and inspection history from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).”

Sound a lot like DAC . . . doesn’t it?

The severity weight system can be found on pages 78 through 118 of the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) Methodology.  Another driver recently advised us that he had stopped for the day and after setting the brakes, the truck began to roll.  Marking this brake issue on his post-trip inspection, he was then fired by the carrier.  The FMCSA has created another demon for the professional truck driver.

There is no set maximum points that a driver can reach before being deemed unsafe and terminated.  This figure is at the sole discretion of the individual motor carrier.  Points attained will not show up on the PSP report. The PSP will only show the violations and you must then cross-check them with the points shown on the SMS.  There are 3rd party companies such as Vigillo, LLC which provide comprehensive data analytics, providing drivers with a CSA scorecard.   Another example of a money-maker business created from the CSA.

Data collected for the two measurement systems basically come from four sources:

  • Roadside inspections
  • Violations that have already been recorded
  • State reported commercial vehicle crash data
  • Motor carrier census data

Violations that DOT and law enforcement have ignored in the past, such as driving with a flat tire or having a marker light out, are now being enforced and citations given out.  As an example, operating a CMV on a flat tire will add eight points to your PSP . . . having a marker light out will give you two points.  If you’re caught texting while driving, you will be hit with ten points, the highest amount given, which by the way, is the same given for reckless driving.

Remember, it’s not only points you’ll receive, but you will still have the fine to pay as well.  The CSA has given law enforcement the key to a huge money-making program to help bring in much needed revenue for states.

The number for a “maximum points” level that is being thrown around is sixty, but again, there is no set maximum points that a driver can reach before facing possible termination.  The carrier can determine if it’s sixty or six . . . it’s at their discretion.  Although motor carriers created the atmosphere which resulted in drivers obtaining violations in the past, they are ignoring this fact and now using the PSP as the reason for the termination of drivers.

Furthermore, the entire CSA issue, I believe, falls right in line with setting the stage for the recent cross border trucking agreement.  Before an employer in the U. S. can hire a foreign worker, they must first apply for a Foreign Labor Certification.  However, before they can receive the certification, they must first show that there are insufficient qualified U. S. workers available and willing to perform the work at the present wage.  This is to ensure that admitting foreign workers will not affect job opportunities, wages and working conditions for the American people, in this case . . . the American trucker.

As the PSP is being used by motor carriers to terminate drivers for violations that the carrier pushed for and allowed to occur in the past, it now gives the trucking industry a reason to allow foreign workers into the United States:  there is now a shortage of qualified, American truck drivers.  Get it?

As a California law firm establishes the first DAC Report Class Action Registry, attorneys should take notice of the truck driver PSP program.  The truck driver PSP is quickly shaping up to be another DAC report to be used by the carriers against the professional truck driver.

© 2011 – 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 34 year veteran ( started at an early age in family moving business) of the trucking industry, many of those years spent over the road. He has been an owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and has owned and operated a moving company, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. One thing though that most will say is that the reason and motivation behind the author, Allen Smith, is the fact he is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. As you read many of the blog posts you’ll discover that he is opinionated and speaks openly about the ongoing issues of the trucking industry. He supports other fellow advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who are in need of honesty, guidance and direction. The list of supporters and like minded people grows daily and their ability to network together and share their thoughts and ideas for the betterment of others within trucking, has allowed the forward movement of... "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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11 Responses to Truck Driver PSP Becoming Second DAC Report. - Post a Comment

  1. Dave

    Now why would I continue my driving career This is Bull Crap my government is trying everything within its power to destroy the American truck driver….

  2. TaxiDriver

    This year, they are about to do the same thing to truckers that they did to the engineers in 2000. After a 14 year career in software engineering, I have been driving a taxi for the last 8 years. There were about 3 million people in my field, but the employers shouted “worker shortage!!!,” so the Fed gave the employers over a million visas. After they brought in 1.3 million foreign guest-workers, there were STILL only 3 million people working in the field. What happened to the 1.3 million Americans who USED to have those jobs? But nobody cared, those software engineers deserved what they got for wanting too much money, right?

    American jobs belong EXCLUSIVELY to Americans. That’s been the law since 1882, but little by little they have been chipping away at that law. They target one industry at a time so that the majority won’t care. We ALL have to care! Otherwise, the salami tactics will destroy the country.

    Globalization is a really bad idea. It happened to England 100 years ago, and now it’s happening to us. Why? Because it’s only when you have something valuable that people try to steal it. We made something valuable, and they are now stealing it — the American labor market.

    TD

  3. TaxiDriver

    It’s not just the truckers, they’re doing it to everybody, just picking one field at a time. If you’re making more than $8.00 per hour, you’re in the crosshairs.

  4. mark

    ive been a truck driver now for 24 years.now because of this money making psp report bullm crap…im out of work just like most amercan’s and my children and wife and family is suffering because of it..

    where is the united states of america gone…
    and why doest the american men and women who work to keep america going have to suffer because of our incompitant goverment…..
    24 years of safe driving…..now unemployed ..

  5. ken

    I am in the same boat as the other posters have stated.

    17 years,no crashes,and only one citation in 3yrs,I am being accused of being a unsafe driver!!!!

    I hauled fuel for 8 yrs,trained others to do the same thing and now according to psp,i am unsafe!!

    I’ll keep trying,but this is going to affect a-lot of unknowing drivers.

  6. jay moody

    i have drove a truck for 30 years.went to work for alocal company work there for around 3 years.they were breaking all of hos rules.they had their drivers driving raged out equipment trucks ND TRAILERS GETIN PULLED OVER BY THE DOT ALL THE TIME CAUSING ME TO HAVE A MESSED UP PSP REPORT HIGH SCORE I CANT GET A JOB NOWHERE BECAUSE OF IT.I HAVE HIRED SOMEONE TO FIX IT FOR ME.BEE DEALIN WITH THEM SINCE OCT 5 2012 THEY JUST GOT A COPY OF PSP FROM THE GOVERNMENT.SO HOPEFULLY THEY CAN GET IT CLEANED UP. WHEN IM GET BACK DRIVING AGain i will not drive any thing if it has something wrong with it that includes truck r trailer.everything on that psp was that companies fault they would not fix nothin they told me u drive it r go home.wall timber products is a dirty company 2 work 4.

  7. Kevin Chevalier

    I think personal profiling has crossed the line, if you report defective equiptment you face possible termination, the only recourse is a civil suite against the company that terminated you, they know you don’nt have the resources or time to implicate these procedings, there is no protection from this miscarridge of justice, no one is there to support you, so cover you’r ass, document everything.

  8. Tony S

    To my fellow trucker brothers and sisters, if u don’t mind me suggesting a word from the old and wise, we have all heard that same old song and dance from drivers all over the USA and I quote lets shut the trucks down well with the way people r now adays it s not going to happen so the next thing is our lovely greedy government. What I suggest is give them what they want. Yes I said give them what they want because one wise old man once said its greed that killed the cat who had 9 lives so with that said we the people better start looking at who we elect into office from the president to all of the other elected greedy cats in Washington!! And yes I’m in the same situation driveing trucks 30 plus years never put a scratch in anyone’s bumper and I’m being thrown to the curb as well !!!

  9. Tom Elliott

    My recent work search has been an eye opener I work out of Detroit and there are a lot of Laredo turns, automotive stuff. I was ready to go to work for a place then the recruiter told me the stuff was hot and I would have to run over, he said he could not tell me how but I had to figure that out. I left.

    The next one was all but pushing me in the truck I asked him what the Laredo turns paid and he said “I will take care of you trust me” then the application had a W9 instead of W2 I said I don’t want no withholding he said I will pay W2 as I was walking out the door.

    I’m not a xenophobe but both of these guys spoke with East European accents, what is going on with immigrant business people in this country? If they want to operate like the old country they should stay in the old country.

    I have a blemish on the DAC I need to rectify the company that reported it called me not less than 4 times after my initial application. I did not think I really wanted the job but I would get a call from them about once a week after declining their offer. Then I said yes went through a week long orientation then trained on their equipment CO2 and Hydrogen Tanks. Then another job rang my phone that I wanted and I took it. I will accept my shortcoming on that one but on the other hand had they not kept calling me after I declined it would have never happened.

    • Allen Smith

      We all have choices in life that we’re confronted with. I wouldn’t blame the company though for the fact that they kept calling to offer you the job, you made the choice to take the job and then made the choice to leave it.

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