Safety Rating Upgrade

Why do Conditional or Unsatisfactory Ratings need to be reversed?

A Conditional rating impacts your business’ bottom line in many ways:

  • If you have a Conditional rating, some brokers and shippers may not allow you to access loads.
  • Even if loads are attained, brokers may pay you less because they can take advantage of your conditional status, knowing the struggle you have getting loads.
  • A Conditional Rating can cause insurance premiums to increase by at least 20% at the time of renewal.

A Unsatisfactory rating impacts your business’ in a big way:

  • If you have a Unsatisfactory rating, you have 60 days to complete a corrective action plan and have approved by the FMCSA. If the FMCSA does not approve your corrective action plan within 60 days your company will be put Out Of Service until you provide a corrective action plan that meets their requirements.
  • Insurance Carriers can cancel insurance policies for unsatisfactory carriers.

How did I get this rating?

Safety ratings are determined by a DOT inspection that is done on-site with an Inspecting Agent. Following the inspection items that are reviewed with respect to the rating process include:

  • Hours of service (log violations, logs not kept, logs falsified)
  • Former inspections (were improvements made?, etc)
  • Driver Qualifications (Including Driver Qualification Files- were they kept properly? Up to date?)
  • CDL Requirements (Drug and Alcohol testing up to date? Medical cards? Physical exams up to date?)
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Accidents*
  • Hazardous Materials Violations
  • Other Safety Records (maintenance records)
  • Accidents (This would happen if you have had too many accidents per miles driven using the formula below)

To demonstrate how easily this can happen, let’s take the following example:

ABC Trucking has had 3 DOT recordable accidents in the past 12 months. They have 15 units and ran 1,750,000 miles in the past 12 months.

3 X 1,000,000/ 1,750,000 = 1.714

If there were no other patterns of violations found, ABC would still receive a CONDITIONAL safety rating.

However, upon further review, if there were other patterns of violations found (log violations, drug/alcohol testing, maintenance, etc.), then ABC would most likely be downgraded further to an UNSATISFACTORY safety rating.

How can CNS help?

CNS will request an upgrade from FMCSA (on-site inspection/review conditional ratings only).

This requires a specific format.

  • First, we will report to the FMCSA what corrective action the company has taken, as well as provide proper and thorough documentation to prove that the reported action was accomplished.
  • Depending upon the extent of the violation, we may have to go into more detail on the request about actions taken. To properly convey actions and steps taken towards safety and compliance, we must include the type of training that has been provided to their employees, increase in staff, staff responsibilities, any management changes, and consulting companies (such as Compliance Navigation Specialists) hired.
  • Most plans also include the types of analysis and reporting you’ve implemented that shows the actions are accomplishing a level of compliance which will meet the satisfactory compliance level for the rating factor. All actions must be documented with copies sent to the FMCSA.

CNS is very well-versed in safety and compliance laws and our experienced representatives know what information is crucial and imperative to accomplish a safety rating increase.  We work directly with the client on implementing and training staff to meet the requirements necessary.  These increases are complicated and take a lot of work to be completed, however, the reward of a healthier & more compliant company directly lead to an increase in profitability!

How long does it take?

There are two factors that determine the speed of the process.

How long will it take you to implement policies and procedures and send us the documentation that these actions have been completed?

CNS has to show proof and will need help and efficient communication from the company or driver to provide documentation throughout the process.

How long will it take the FMCSA to review the rating?

30-90 days. It is all based on the FMCSA work load and staff. CNS will diligently follow up with FMCSA to see how long until a response.

What is the investment?

We will need to see the actual DOT inspection report before we can provide an estimate. CNS will send a proposal, including a quote, to you within one business day.

The cost is based on:

  • Number of violations we have to address and investigate
  • Systems and processes we need to implement to prove effective change to the FMCSA
  • Number of documents we need to create from information provided from company or driver

Payment Terms

We require the full fee before we start on the upgrade. In the event of FMCSA rejection, CNS will finish the documentation, make changes as requested, and resubmit for approval. We will not stop working for you until the rating is upgraded.

Interested in a Safety Rating Upgrade from CNS?

Use the form to get in touch with us