If the new federal safety-scoring rule CSA 2010 were in effect today, 20% of carriers would be at risk of some sort of “intervention” on the part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), according to a recent analysis done by auditing service Rair. The company did an in-depth analysis of more than 60,000 fleets to better understand the issues posed by CSA 2010.
Using basically the same methodology as the federal government is currently using, RAIR uncovered some surprising results, according to JJ Singh, Rair CEO. Not only are one in five carriers overall at risk of an intervention, but 72% of larger carriers (those with 501+ vehicles) are at risk of an intervention, while only 10% of the smallest carriers (1-5 vehicles) are at risk.
The CSA Basics that are particular problems for carriers also vary by fleet size, according to Singh. The smallest carriers are most likely to be deficient in Fatigued Driving. Carriers with 5-15 vehicles are most likely to be deficient in Maintenance, while fleets with 16-20 vehicles are most likely to be deficient in the Unsafe Driving Basic. Fatigued Driving is the biggest problem area overall for fleets, regardless of size.
Singh noted that it stands to reason that larger carriers are more at risk of interventions because they have many more trucks on the highway and are much more likely to be inspected often. “Big carriers have lots of trucks out there on heavily traveled lanes,” Singh told Fleet Owner. “The inspectors have a chance to see them often, to get to know them and to know what their issues are. A company with only a very few trucks traveling highly variable routes is simply less likely to be inspected.
“An intervention does not necessarily mean that a fleet would be instantly shut down and put out of business,” he added. “It might just be a warning letter first, but fleets had better start looking at their data now instead of waiting until December.”
“We have the data and the means to establish Basic scores very close to those FMCSA would assign today,” Singh continued. “We’ve taken a lot of pains to make sure our numbers are good. Sure we have an auditing service to sell, which could be said to give us a vested interest, but the numbers don’t lie.”
Rair’s analysis was done using the current government methodology, which will be revised somewhat in mid-August according to FMCSA, before the new procedures actually take effect.
“I think fleets that are proactive about safety will do just fine under CSA 2010 [as revised or as it is now],” Singh said. “They will manage through.”