What can fleet managers do to encourage positive driver behavior?
Since most interstate trucking companies were required to add electronic logging devices (ELDs) to their trucks, back-office management has been given an opportunity to better manage their vehicles and drivers when it comes to violations, driving habits, audits, maintenance, and more.
ELD or telematic data management for trucking, construction, distribution industries, or corporate fleets should be formatted to highlight both efficiencies and deficiencies in simple customizable reports.
The best-practice telematics data management plan will measure the data over time to show trends and measure results. This is as simple as a Driver Scorecard for your fleet.
Create a Driver Scorecard from ELD data
ELDs gather millions of data points that include dates, time, longitude, latitude, engine power status, odometer, engine faults, critical events data, harsh braking, hard turning, hard acceleration, HOS violations, idling, speeding, and more.
Many ELD providers, including our partner Pedigree Technologies, have created driver and safety scorecards that are easy to set-up, manage, and pull reports.
For example, Pedigree driver and safety scorecards include stats, such as:
- # of HOS violations
- Idling > 20min
- Idling %
- Hard Braking event
- Speeding > 5mph
- Fuel Efficiency
- Heavy Acceleration event
These scorecards are point-based starting at 100 points and any selected stat can remove a certain amount of points based on the severity of the stat you are including in the scorecard. They can be customized further by adding a timeframe duration of the stat or distance traveled.
For example, a driver can lose 15 points for every time a hard-braking event happens every 100 miles, or a driver can lose 5 points for any Hours of Service Util. % is under 75% per day.
Scorecard reporting can be customized by timeframe (the previous 7 days or month), selected vehicle or vehicle types (semi/long-haul trucks, medium-sized trucks, construction vehicles, etc), and more.
The Pedigree ELD reporting tool also shows if the driver has performed better or worse over the previous week or month.
Does your ELD provider offer similar reporting tools? If not, learn more about Pedigree Technologies.
Use telematics data for customized video training
Using the telematics reports or driver scorecards can highlight which drivers are struggling in a given area.
For example, the driver scorecard can highlight a habit of hard acceleration and hard braking for one driver, while another driver has a habit of various HOS violations.
These red flags can immediately give the driver a defensive driving, fuel efficiency, HOS regulations, or driver ELD training in their video training schedule.
Customized training should also be measurable using quiz assessments to track driver performance and the ELD driver scorecard can be monitored for improvement after the training was completed. If their training assessment score is low or the habit continues, then the training needs to be retaken or a driver performance review could be scheduled.
Using telematics for driver incentive programs
Implementing ELD data management offers a range of cost-savings to your fleet, including decreased HOS violations and fines, decreased time spent by management monitoring driver behavior, decreased driver turnover or improved driver retention, and decreased risk of crashes and possible lower insurance premiums.
These savings can be given back to drivers through a driver incentive program.
Creating an incentive program around positive behavior has been shown to work for many fleets. Have your team discuss the various behaviors you want to reward and be creative on different ways to reward the good behavior.
For example, if a driver consistently has a great driver scorecard, or has shown improvement over time, the driver can receive a $50 gift card or add an hour of vacation time. The ideas here are endless.
Even a small investment to the driver’s benefit can go a long way.
If your fleet has a disciplinary policy, you can use the driver scorecard to measure clear expectations while drivers are on the road and what steps will be taken should a driver diverge from the policy.
Need help managing your ELD data?
Managing ELD data yourself can be confusing and stressful, and requires a much different back-office skill set than managing paper processes.
However, it does not have to be.
Whatever ELD system you have, we can manage it for you so you can start taking advantage of your ELD data.
What are CSA scores?
CSA stands for compliance, safety and accountability. CSA scores are a system used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to identify high-risk motor carriers.
How are my CSA scores calculated?
Your CSA scores are based on multiple factors called Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories or “BASIC” categories. Roadside inspection violations, as well as investigation results, fall under 1 of 7 categories, including:
- Unsafe driving – moving and parking violations, such as speeding, improper lane changes, no seatbelt, cell phone/handheld device use, improper parking, etc.
- Crash indicator – DOT reportable crashes (injury, towaway or fatality)
- Hours of Service (HOS) compliance – falsifying your record-of-duty status, inadequate paperwork for ELD, driving, on-duty and rest break violations
- Vehicle maintenance – mechanical issues and not making required repairs
- Controlled substance/alcohol – driving under the influence
- Hazardous materials compliance – unsafe or incorrect handling and/or documentation of hazardous materials, including improper or inadequate placards
- Driver fitness – Unfit to drive due to physical health or lack of training (sickness, no medical card, driving a vehicle you are not qualified to drive (i.e.- tanker with no ‘N’ endorsement, etc.)
Each time you get a violation, depending on the category and severity of the violation, points are added to your CSA scores, and range from 1 to 10 (less to more severe).
The “safety scale percentages” (CSA scores) in each category are compared to other motor carriers with similar registration information and range from 0 to 100 percent. You want your percentage or CSA score to be as low as possible. For example, a 5% score in “vehicle maintenance” means that your company is safer than 95% of motor carriers on the road.
The chart below lists some of the top unsafe driving violations that will affect your CSA scores.
|Driving a CMV while texting||10|
|Speeding: 15+ mph over limit or in construction zone||10|
|Speeding: 11-14 mph over limit||7|
|Driving a CMV without a wearing a seatbelt||7|
|Failing to obey a traffic control device||5|
|Following too close||5|
|Improper lane changes, turns, or passing||5|
|Failing to yield right of way||5|
|Having or using a radar detector||5|
|Speeding: 6-10 mph over limit||4|
|Having unauthorized passengers||1|
Insurance premiums are a major contributor to trucking companies having to close their doors. As premiums increase, they will eventually get to the point of being unaffordable, causing many trucking companies to go out of business.
For this reason, it is important to note that receiving a warning for one of the above violations can still affect your insurance premiums. Just because you did not receive a ticket does not necessarily mean you are in the clear. In other words, a driver vehicle examination report, which is what an officer uses to report CSA violations, can be issued without a citation.
What do my CSA scores mean?
Your CSA scores are used to identify you as a safe driver or a high-risk driver, which can help or hurt you and your carrier in several ways.
- Insurance rates – The higher your CSA scores, the higher your insurance premiums, and the lower your CSA scores, the lower your insurance premiums.
- DOT audits and roadside inspections – The lower your CSA scores, the fewer compliance checks you will have, including DOT audits and roadside inspections.
- Clients – CSA scores are public and can be seen by current or potential clients. If you want to maintain or grow your client base, keep low CSA scores.
- Drivers – Having good CSA scores can help you retain current drivers and recruit new drivers. Good drivers want to work for a company that is safe.
How to check my CSA scores?
The FMCSA’s Safety Management System (SMS) website makes all data available and is updated on a monthly basis. To check the full details of your CSA scores, you will need your DOT number and your DOT pin number. This allows you to see “ALERTS,” which are a determining factor of FMCSA audit selections and are issued when a percentage score is over the limit for what the FMCSA considers safe.
Without your DOT PIN number, you cannot see percentage scores or ALERTS, as this information is not public, only the “raw data” is public. Your PIN is on the top left of your “New Entrant Audit” letter from the FMCSA. If you have this letter, it is important that you write down the DOT PIN.
If you do not know your DOT PIN number, contact us and we can retrieve it for you from the FMCSA for a very small fee.
If you drive under your carrier’s DOT number, your CSA score and any violations would be under their DOT.
How can I lower my CSA scores?
You can improve on your CSA scores by putting a system in place to check the BASICs regularly. Determine what categories you need improvement in and put training in place to improve in those particular areas.
Roadside inspections with no violations also cause your scores to lower faster. Violations will reduce in “severity” after 6 months, 13 months, and then are removed from your CSA record completely after 2 years.
If your CSA score is low, you can maintain it by hiring drivers with good PSP scores (the FMCSA pre-employment screening program, includes MVR information and all CSA violations a driver has had for 3 years), providing adequate on-board and recurring training, internal inspections, regular preventative vehicle maintenance, using an ELD solution to avoid maintenance violation, and consequences to drivers who receive violations.