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44 year trucking industry veteran makes his case to Congress regarding unfair CSA scores

  • Tom Byerley- 40+ year Owner Operator trucking veteran- Owner of

    Tom Byerley- 40+ year Owner Operator trucking veteran- Owner of

    Recently 44 year trucking veteran and 4 million safe miles owner operator “Tom” Byerley, had enough regarding the “unfair and faulty” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

    After decades of driving, Tom elected to become a broker, helping other owner operators receive fair and honest rates, and offering the option of small and personalized service (rather than mega brokers)

    Tom has experienced and empathized greatly with many small carriers as they struggle with misleading and publicly shared CSA scores.
    Tom then felt compelled to write to members of Congress expressing his concerns regarding the controversial methodology and data collection of the FMCSA’s (CSA) program carrier ratings.

    CSA’s goal was suppose to increase highway safety by determining a carrier safety score in attempt to identify unsafe ones. CSA’s ultimate goal for safety was based on their method to target, identify, and then make public these scores. These scores could then be used by insurers, brokers, freight-forwarders and others interested in reviewing registration and safety performance information of motor carriers.”
    The outcome however is far different than that of CSA’s original goals as determined by the GAO report of Feb 2014.

    Their method, ( Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program) has been in high question ( and scrutiny) as to the accuracy of it’s methodology.

    In Feb of 2014  the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the scoring system used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability system is flawed and is made up of an incomplete data set. The GAO also concluded the program is particularly unfair for small carriers. It also stated that it would “raise questions about whether the Safety Measurement System (SMS) is effectively identifying carriers at highest risk for crashing in the future,”

    Recently in March,  The House introduced a bill targeting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountabilityprogram and would, if it becomes law, force FMCSA to remove its carrier rankings from public view and restructure the program. The Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015, is similar to a bill introduced in the previous Congress, again introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.).

     LETTER to CONGRESS by Tom Byerley

    “My name is Carl (Tom) Byerley. By way of back ground, I operate a transportation business called I am also a member of the broker trade group Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents’ (AIPBA) Board of Directors and a serve on the broader industry trade group Small Business in Transportation Coalition’s (SBTC) Advisory Council.

    The APBA & SBTC has been gathering data from trucking companies on their use of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program ratings and we are examining how CSA has affected their driver hiring and termination practices. I believe that this information might be helpful to you in your bill to remove CSA data from public view and we offer it in furtherance thereof. I would also suggest that you please consider incorporating into your bill an additional, specific restriction in the language of your bill that prohibits FMCSA’s from making CSA information available to motor carriers’ insurance companies.

    We are looking at supporting a bill and/or commencing litigation that would cause the FMCSA to change the current appeal process used (DataQ). The way the system currently works in reality, a driver receives points against the company’s CSA — SMS statistics in addition to the points he gets with respect to any violations found in relation to the original reason for the vehicle stop (i.e. if the officer states he stopped the driver for speeding in a construction zone and decides not to issue a citation for speeding, the driver still gets CSA-related points that could ultimately put him out of a job and/or prevent him from getting another job. In essence, the driver gets convicted without due process and gets no opportunity to defend himself against what should be a mere allegation of a violation. We believe this is a violation of drivers’ Constitutional rights.

    We would be very interested in your views on this and other issues concerning the FMCSA’s CSA program.

    As a courtesy, I offer the enclosed copy of my individual company’s Carrier CSA report as a further example for your review.

    Thank you for your consideration.


    C. Tom Byerley,

    AIPBA Board Member SBTC Advisory Council


    Tom asks those who are reading this to feel free in writing him to discuss how FMCSA’s CSA and SMS has affected them and to share your thoughts and ideas.

    email Tom Byerley at

    Tom will also be calling in on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’  during one of our OPEN FORUM shows. ”
    Show Link: Open Trucking Forum- Addressing FMCSA shortcomings

    Saturday April 11 2015 6PM ET 
    Join in the conversation!  347-826-9170
    Listen from your computer OR dial in to listen
    To be a part of the show- press “1” on your keypad after dialing in







© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.



By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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2 Responses to 44 year trucking industry veteran makes his case to Congress regarding unfair CSA scores. - Post a Comment

  1. I don't know future trucker

    I passed truck driving school, got my CDL but have not started yet because of my current job close of to 30 years.

    Reading this article has made me RE-think driving in this over-regulated, political b.s industry that seems to have taken or rather stolen any fun it would be to deliver the USA economy and to see the country at the same time.

    I would rather stay at my current job than drive with political bureaucrats calling the shots.

    Is there any way to remove all political bullcrap, over-kill regulation from this industry and allow drivers to have fun delivering the economy?

    Gee whiz!

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