New Federal Regulations Create Opportunities for Shops


New government regulations in effect are changing the way the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) calculates fleets’ safety scores. Under the new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010), minor violations that didn’t accrue points under the old system will count. That will likely boost over-the-road repairs, providing more opportunities to serve professional drivers and additional revenue for shops. Highway Business Matters talked with industry experts to learn more about CSA 2010 and the opportunities that exist.

“I think it is one of the best opportunities we’ve seen in a long time to increase the work that is done out on the road,” said Michael Gay, vice president of Professional Transportation Partners’ shops. “Fleets will tell you in a heartbeat that they can do it cheaper in their own shops than they can do it on the road, but now they may not have the same flexibility to wait.” 

Under CSA 2010, the FMCSA has assigned weighted values for violations, and carriers will receive a monthly safety score. The score is comprised of seven behavior analysis and safety improvement categories, also called BASIC. They are: unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, alcohol and drugs, vehicle maintenance, cargo securement and crash history.

Carriers are already able to review their rankings, and full-scale enforcement will begin in November.

Fleets as well as drivers will be held responsible for safety violations at roadside, giving drivers more of a vested interest in the maintenance and condition of their vehicle.

Tommy Davis, vice president of service centers for AMBEST, said, “I was at a TMC meeting and most of them have a consensus that drivers are going to be in control of their vehicles more than they ever have in the past. If they say, "I’m not driving it because of this,' they’re going to fix it.”

Davis said he expects repairs on the road to increase on everything from tires and brakes to electrical work and mud flap replacement. “Everything is going to scale upward in some fashion,” he believes, adding that maintenance needs will increase for both owner operators and fleets.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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