If you are the owner of a trucking company, there are a few things you ought to be aware of to ensure your company runs smooth operations. Two of them are CSA scores and the ELD mandate.
Introducing the ELD Mandate
The Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Mandate, also known as the ELD final rule is a regulation implemented by the U.S Government stating that the operators of commercial motorized vehicles need to install and use electronic logging devices.
The function of ELDs is to record driving time and the Hours of Service (HOS), data on the vehicle’s engine and movement, and the number of miles driven.
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Whom Does the ELD Mandate Cover?
In a nutshell, the ELD mandate applies to operators of commercial motor vehicles that keep HOS records. These include drivers and operators who would use paper logbooks to keep records. The ELD mandate covers the following:
- Vehicles, depending on the weight class that carry more than 8 or 15 passengers
- Vehicles that exceed a weight 10,0001 pounds
- Drivers of Interstate commercial vehicles who are required to keep a record of duty status.
- Vehicles that carry placarded loads of hazardous materials
However, the ELD mandate does not apply to some drivers and vehicle classes, including the following:
- Freight drivers with the Non-Commercial Driver License (CDL) who operate with a radius of 150 air-miles
- Drivers who can continue to use timecards and work within a range of 100 air-miles
- Drivers with vehicles manufactured before the 2000 model year
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Benefits of the ELD Mandate
A Reduction in Burdensome Paperwork
Truck drivers want very little to do with paperwork. They would much rather be out on the open road and do their job. Seeing how ELDs can automate the HOS process, they can drastically simplify a driver’s job. The driver would only have to log into the ELD and get to work without having to worry about recording driver logs and trip sheets at every state line crossing.
ELDs can help Polish a Driver’s Resume
Most truck drivers are compliant and competent. Now, these drivers can prove it by using ELDs to submit a documented history of their performance thus far and increase their chances of getting hired again.
ELDs record the HOS, speed of the truck, and delivery and provide this data as evidence of the driver’s commitment to efficient and safe driving.
Documentation of Driver Safety
ELDs can record critical events that include accidents. In controversial situations like these, which can potentially cause significant problems, the need for hard evidence is dire.
ELDs can accurately capture the driver’s behavior on the road, during the accident, as well as before and after. Having hard video evidence can protect drivers or hold them accountable.
Simple and Straightforward Communication with the Home Office
With the help of ELDs, dispatchers can find a driver’s location on the map and give customers accurate information on their current location and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Scores to high-risk motor carriers.
CSA scores are compiled after collecting data from all the results of investigations, roadside inspections, and crash reports.
This data is then uploaded onto the FMCSA’s Safety Management System (SMS) official website for trucking companies and the public to access.
What Does Your CSA Score Represent? And Why is it Important?
Your CSA scores are essential for a variety of reasons. Here’s why:
Keeping your Clients and getting more
CSA scores are accessible to the public, which means that clients keep track of your CSA score. Your CSA score determines where you stand when compared with your competitors.
In a nutshell, the lower your CSA score is, the lower your insurance premium is. If you have a CSA score that is on the higher end, you will be deemed a relatively greater risk, causing your premium rates to be higher.
Drivers tend to take your CSA score seriously. They want to work with companies that make safety a priority. If your fleet is unsafe, drivers are highly unlikely to join, considering their safety is at risk.
Reduction in the Number of Compliance Checks
If you have a high CSA score, you can expect to have frequent compliance checks. A lower CSA score can help you avoid the extra compliance checks. Examples of compliance checks are roadside inspects and DOT audits.
Factors that Affect your CSA Score
The following factors can affect your CSA scores:
Reckless driving includes dangerous driving practices such as speeding, not wearing your seat belt, sudden and unauthorized lane changes.
Your crash indicator is another prominent factor that is bound to affect your CSA score. You need to make sure you do not have many state-reported crashes.
Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance
This refers to having vehicles operated by drivers who are not at their best, i.e. if they are unwell or fatigued.
It is vital to have the right tools and equipment to maintain the vehicles and ensure they can secure loads.
Use of Alcohol or Drugs
This refers to having drivers drive the vehicles while being under the influence, which includes alcohol, under the counter drugs, and so forth.
Driver Training and Fitness
This refers to having vehicles driven by unfit drivers. This includes a lack of training, experience, or being rendered unfit due to medical reasons.
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