Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

DOTSafetytrucking companies

CSA 2010- Motor Carriers and Drivers Both Need to be Compliant


Allen Smith

While doing my daily Google news searches I came across an interesting article and video regarding CSA 2010.  The video was made during a Driving for Profit Seminar directed to carriers, telling them about the importance of CSA 2010 and what they will need to focus on if they do not want to receive an unfit SFD ( Safety Fitness Determination Rating)

What surprised me, was that the speaker emphasized that the carriers main focus should be on the driver, not so they can work together in order to avoid violations, but rather to “get them under control”. He went on to tell them that it will be the driver who will ultimately determine the carriers SFD.

Not once does it mention the accountability of the carriers to be compliant.  Rather than me explaining the video, watch it for yourself and see what you think he’s saying and what tactics he’s employing. Again, Drivers will not be rated

I made a comment, but as of yet I have not seen it posted. This is the comment I left on their blog

COMMENT-Allen Smith

I have listened to this video and there are aspects I’d like to address. First I’d like to say that Drivers will NOT BE RATED ( stated in the video), only Carriers. SFD ( Safety Fitness Determination) clearly defines this. It is true that drivers will have scores within the BASIC areas that can be observed, but even those will be limited to who can observe them.
For example, at the weigh stations : the inspector can ONLY see the carriers BASIC safety scores, but not the drivers. The driver data is based on the last 3 and 5 years of road side inspections and crash data. And only that can be seen for them.
The only DRIVER data available to roadside inspectors and future employers ( through a PSP form submitted with permission of the applicant driver) is the 3 and 5 year look back of roadside inspections and DOT recordable accidents.
What this means is that if your company has a high score based on poor past performance, then you have ( and the driver) a greater chance for a roadside inspection.

1) A Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) Rating is only for carriers; The present rating is satisfactory, conditional, and unsatisfactory. The future safety rating will be Continue Operation, Marginal, and Unfit. Again, no such rating for drivers, which means the FMSCA does not “pull a drivers CDL” or “Shut a driver down” as with carriers. The driver can be called in for a government intervention if HIS/HER scores are too high in the BASIC areas which are mostly evident as the Drivers Responsibility. However, even these intervention are most likely going to occur because the Carrier was flagged first.

Next, I would like to say that the statement in this video proclaiming that a carrier’s safety rating is developed by the drivers roadside inspections is misleading. Yes, it is the driver who will be pulled over for an inspection, but violations will not be accounted for by HIS/HER performance only. It is the violations that the company is responsible for ALSO within the 7 BASIC categories
Example: Speeding , reckless driving, improper lane change etc…Is the drivers responsibility. However, there are portions of the scoring violation system that clearly shows aspects of CSA 2010 scoring that THE DRIVER will NOT be held accountable for. Note: The Carrier on the other hand will be responsible for ALL violations, theirs and the driver.

In conclusion I would say it that the carriers need to
Keep their equipment in top condition and to make the appropriate repairs when needed. Also, if they do not want to have an Hours of Service violation which is categorized under “Fatigued Driving” then they should notify dispatch that forcing a driver to run illegally in order to make a pick up or delivery will no longer be acceptable. Another note to carriers: When a driver says he does not want to operate the vehicle or trailer because there are mechanical defects, this can no longer be taken lightly. In the past a driver could even be threatened about their job if he/she refused to use equipment that he/she felt would result in a violation if pulled over by DOT. Now the carrier needs to be aware that this behavior is not acceptable. Over weight loads will also be detected and noted and when the drivers advises that the load is overweight, the carrier can no longer dismiss this and force them to run with it anyway.
To say that “the driver is responsible for the development of the carriers score” is actually not creating a true picture of what CSA 2010 is all about. It is actually making carriers accountable for issues in the past that they were not. Carriers will need to LISTEN to the drivers and drivers will need to tell the carriers when things aren’t right and there is a chance for a violation during a roadside inspection. In turn drivers will also need to pay attention to the aspects of CSA 2010 that they are to be held responsible and accountable for.

© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,



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"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to CSA 2010- Motor Carriers and Drivers Both Need to be Compliant. - Post a Comment

  1. Allen Smith

    And one more thing about this ridiculous video:

    What a bunch of grand standing this is! You safety people are going to have to spoon-feed drivers? You’re going to have to make certain drivers are operating under the FMCSA safety rules? Isn’t this something you should have already been doing?

    Putting it all on the drivers, aren’t you? CSA 2010 is going to put it on the carriers as well! Again, as of right now, there will be NO DRIVER SCORE…this is all over the FMCSA website.

    I’m sure eventually there will be, but RIGHT NOW…there is not a score for drivers.

    Carriers better get their act together!! That should be your message and not this grand-standing placing everything on the driver. This guy deserves an Academy Award! — Allen Smith

  2. Jason Haggard

    Hey Allen,

    Jason Haggard here, I read this one and figured I had better throw my two cents in as well. Many carriers are going to find out that they are not going to be able to pin their shortcomings on the drivers when it comes to CSA2010. I do see one big problem coming though and it’s one that drivers have been fighting for years. It’s going to be more important than ever for drivers to have an avenue to take, if and when a carrier is still forcing them to run illegal. I personally see the realtionship between DAC services and carriers becoming tighter than ever, as carriers are under the impression that they can pass the buck. This is yet another reason why drivers need to stand together now more than ever. If driver A sees it happen and so does driver B, then they both need to do something instead of just one guy putting his neck on the line alone by saying something. Carriers are going to be less likely to show multiple drivers the door at the same time because they know it will be harder to replace them with pending legislation for health restrictions. Well there’s my 2 cents, or maybe a quarter’s worth by now, see ya next time.

  3. Allen Smith

    Hey Jason, I totally agree. Eventually the PSP program will become another DAC type of service that carriers will find a way to share among themselves. Carriers and trucking Associations will always find a way to manipulate anything that comes along that might give truck drivers an edge over them.

    This guy was giving a classic performance in scare tactics to the safety managers in the room … placing everything on the driver, which is what I say has always been the case.

    I believe drivers will still be hesitant to speak out in fear of losing their jobs, since retaliation against drivers is so rampant in the OTR industry.

    I hope the FMCSA really does place more focus on motor carriers … they are 90% of the problem …

    You can try to leave comments on this guy’s video page, but as of yet, they do not have the guts to approve any comments we’ve left so far …

    Thanks for your post ….

  4. Alex Rose

    Great posting, I teach webinars about CSA2010 (and other compliance issues) and this is the NUMBER ONE misconception I have to clear up.

  5. Allen Smith

    Thank you Alex, appreciate the support and for teaching people correctly about the new regulations

  6. David Jeffers

    Great job getting that video. That speaker pretty much carries that attitude of many if not most carriers. Mainly: “It’s the driver’s fault”. He didn’t say anything about those carriers who do not take proper care of their equipment, which now the driver gets penalized for. That being said, It is the DRIVER’s responsibility to ensure the equipment is safe to drive. It is the driver’s responsibility to do a complete inspection daily, and to report any problems to his company. It is the driver’s responsibility to REFUSE to drive an unsafe truck. The driver is in possession of the equipment while on the road and some driver’s do not report problems that may delay his/her trip and shorten the paycheck.
    Unfortunately there are far to many needless accidents due to faulty brakes etc. that have contributed to the creation of CSA2010. Those accidents cause a media frenzy, they splash it all over the national news. Those type of accidents ARE the driver’s fault. I may drive a truck with a dead light, but NEVER will I drive a truck that may not stop.

  7. Kevin

    In order for us drivers to make certin that EVERTHING on that truck meets FMCSA standers for a passing roadside inspection , we would have to be trained to inspect that truck exactly like a DOT officer would do . That includes having the tools to measure brakes , tires and so forth .
    We would have to do a full DOT pre and post trip inspection . Our pre and post only allows us to look and check for a few things . all the rest is out of our control .If we pick up a nail while rolling down the road , I ask you , how is gods name are we supposed to know this unless that tire goes completly flat . We get pulled in , inspected , DOT takes a tire PSI reading , and hits you with a violation . This entire thing stinks to high hell . And as mentioned before , it is all going to be put on the driver . It is now May 2011 , CSA 2010 is up and running . I have for the last 5 years been fighting a loosing battle with DAC and now that I am out of the woods with False DAC entries, I was up for a very very good paying lease driver job , Last month I was pulled into the scale and DOT discoverd that my company had signed off on a PM and a Federal Inspection and had not fixed several obvious leaks . What got me pulled in was in NJ we have to have a emitions test done every year , I had been informed by my company that there was only one terminal that could give that test . I dont get near that terminal much at all . When I did go to have the test done , I was told . Sorry Cant do it , ” the guy who does the test is not here ” I have also been told another occasion we can only do the test between 7am and 5pm , So what are my choices . I have none . As a result of this last Inspection , My COMPANY was written 3 tickets . When I contacted my prespective employer . I was informed that I was not able to be hired because I the driver had been hit with something like 60 points on my PSP . This is where the problem lies and it has been this way for ever , These companies DO NOT WANT TO MANTAIN THE EQUIPMENT … WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO ???? WHY ARE WE BEING HURT FOR THINGS THAT ARE NOT OUR FAULT .What makes this so bad for me is , my family ,wife and daughter do not live here in the USA. I make very very little money and the new job would have allowed me to make enough to build our house over seas and move there . Now , I will never be able to see my family ever again . I work for a multi millionare who starves his drivers . CSA2010 is not needed and only serves to usher in cheap labor and force good drivers out of the business . CSA is dumping everything on the driver and that has to STOP but it wont .

  8. Kevin


What do you have to say about this?

To the top