The New Year will bring some much needed changes to the way fleet safety scores are measured, reforms to the HOS rules, and the end of the use of AOBRDs. SuperVision can help you meet these trucking industry changes and stay in compliance.

As a regulated truck fleet, you know that new rules and regulations are part of the operational landscape.

2018 brought with it the ELD Rule, one of the biggest changes truck fleets have had to navigate. 2019 promises to be another year when there will be plenty of trucking industry changes that will affect your operation.

Trucking Industry Changes and Reforms

Perhaps one of the biggest changes on the horizon is congressionally-mandated reforms to the CSA Program, particularly the way the safety scores are weighted. According to a report by Heavy-Duty Trucking (HDT) magazine , the changes are designed to better identify carriers that need a compliance review.

The new system will include the use of Item Response Theory (IRT), which is described in the HDT article as a “more statistically principled approach” and is already widely used in the education field. In essence, it will move beyond the current BASICs system, which looks at seven safety violations, and to a safety culture score, that will look at 66 so-called violation groups that exist in CSA.

The IRT-backed scoring system will look for patterns and assign weights and priorities — weighting them according to patterns across the industry. Using IRT will also help to reform the severity of the scoring. For example, violations in on one or two areas with otherwise excellence marks in all other areas will mean that the fleet’s overall score won’t be too severe. However, a fleet with poor scores across the board will point to endemic safety issues, and likely trigger a compliance review.

This will shift the focus from trying to predict future crashes and toward creating a single safety culture score — identifying risky carriers and, as a consequence, likely preventing crashes.

The FMCSA expects to roll out the new IRT-based scoring system by September 2019.

The changes to CSA scoring aren’t the only reforms that fleets can expect. The FMCSA is looking at changing the hours of service (HOS) rules, recently publishing an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would address the current HOS rules, including:

  • The short-haul HOS limit
  • The HOS exception for adverse driving conditions
  • The 30-minute rest break provision
  • The sleeper berth rule, which would allow drivers to split their required time in the sleeper berth

While these reforms will add some much needed flexibility to the current HOS rules, there is no guarantee that they will, indeed, go into effect. In March, HR 5417 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which addressed many of these same issues, but has seen no legislative movement — as of this writing — since then.

ELD Part 2

When the ELD Rule went into effect last December, not every fleet had to start using the newly-mandated technology.

Fleets that were already using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) were given a two-year window to make the transition to ELDs. That window is starting to close.

Fleets using AOBRDs now have until December 18, 2019, to make the transition to ELDs to remain compliant. There is no indication that the deadline will be extended in any way. It’s recommended that fleets begin taking steps now to meet the upcoming deadline — one of the lessons learned during the ELD transition was that it took far longer to implement ELDs than many fleets expected.

In addition to choosing a compliant device, fleets also need to guarantee that both their drivers and back-office staff are well versed in the operation of the devices. Failure to demonstrate the ability to operate the technology could result in a violation.

Don’t Lose Sleep

While these pending — and likely — trucking industry changes may bring sleepless nights to some fleet managers, they shouldn’t. Fleets have numerous resources available to them, including SuperVision, to navigate these changes and keep their drivers in compliance with these ever-changing rules and regulations.

For example, SuperVision’s CSA Performer monitors drivers’ CSA scores in real-time, alerting fleet managers about inspections, crashes, and violations; providing customizable workflow and scoring; delivering monthly reports; and giving fleets predictive modeling about potential violation risks — along with an analysis of the root causes of the safety violations.

Help your fleet stay in compliance with CSA Performer