While operating as a motor carrier, it’s important to maintain a good CSA score with the US DOT. This score can make or break your business as it can determine if you will continue to have operating authority from the US DOT.


Keeping our equipment clean and professional has always been a priority .


There are many things you can do to either improve or keep a good CSA score. It’s important to keep your equipment clean and well maintained as to not give DOT officers a reason to conduct an unnecessary inspection. There are seven basics that determine your CSA score. These are: unsafe driving, crash indicator, hours of service compliance, vehicle maintenance, controlled substances/alcohol, hazardous materials compliance, and driver fitness.

Today, shippers can review a company’s CSA score to decide if they want to use your services as a motor carrier. Insurance companies will also base their rates on a carrier’s CSA score.

The main reason for the DOT regulations for CSA is to monitor carrier’s scores in order to improve highway safety. Even if there wasn’t a score for the industry, I don’t know of any driver or company who wants to have a crash. At the bare minimum, this leaves equipment side lined with damage, injuries and high costs to follow. What does an independent owner operator do to maintain an ongoing safety program?

Establishing a safety program for your company is very important. Should you happen to be involved in an accident which occurs and is then followed by a court case, you will want to represent your company/driver to the best of your ability. This can be done if you have a proven record of an on-going safety program. You will want to demonstrate to the court and those involved that you cared about safety within your company. Driver files should contain the necessary signed and dated articles, publications, and certificates for training completion, meeting notes, or any other forms/items showing valid proof that safety prevention was a top priority.





Keeping a clean safety record minimizes delays at the scale house .

Today, we have many options in regards to education and training resources. In creating your own safety program, you might decide to review safety materials weekly, monthly or quarterly. There are many online classes/courses to fit your working schedule. You could attend a safety training seminar or read about safety prevention articles in various trucking industry publications. Maybe you could coordinate a driver startup safety group who could gather together to meet in person or by phone to discuss and refresh on skills, defensive driving techniques and safe maneuvering practices.

Safety prevention should be important to each of us. As professionals in the trucking industry, we can take the necessary steps to create a safety program for our company so that we’re knowledgeable and prepared to handle safety issues should they arise.











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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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