Channel 19

Todd Dills

Have you seen your CSA scorecard?

| February 18, 2011

Back just before the new CSA Safety Measurement System went live in December, I reported on a driver-focused CSA scoring service upcoming from the folks at CSA data mining firm Vigillo, which has been working with carriers for a long time now to develop in-house systems for tracking the progress of their efforts at improving and managing their SMS percentile rankings, in the run-up to and since the release of publicly available data on carriers. One component of the Vigillo methodology, as you may well know if your carrier uses the service, is the driver scorecards. Many carriers using the system are up-front with drivers about what their scores are.

Safety Director Gary Falldin, with Transport America, based in the CSA pilot state of Minnesota, described for me last year their 2009 scoring of every driver in the fleet, a process they involved drivers in toward making compliance improvements. And more recently, Albertville, Minn.-based Mark Theis, the safety director for Long Haul Trucking Inc. I quoted in my piece from yesterday, noted much the same, saying the company used Vigillo’s scoring system, based on FMCSA’s published methodology for their internal Driver Safety Measurement System, to “place our drivers where they rank in their fleet and in a peer group — ours is 200-300 trucks. We want to know where they sit in that peer group and where they sit in our company,” in the latter case compared to other drivers for the company.

However, sharing the information with drivers toward a collaboration on improving carrier safety scores is not always the route taken, to say nothing of the drivers for carriers who do not use a driver CSA scoring system. As notes Vigillo Founder and CEO Steven Bryan in his “Case for the roadside resume” piece, published as Vigillo’s new service for drivers went live in late January:

Since December 12, 2010, all regulated motor carriers have had access to a government web site where they can publicly view five of the seven CSA scores, and a private login to view the two private scores. There is no current system, website, product or service, whether government or business, public or private, where a regulated driver can go to access the score that the FMCSA maintains on their roadside performance under CSA. The agencies position is that these driver scores are only available for enforcement and will not be made available either to motor carriers or to drivers until such time as an intervention is called for. Since the driver scores are only intended for enforcement, no need to reveal them to anyone but enforcement officials according to the FMCSA.

Clearly, as enforcement of CSA begins to be the new norm, Vigillo believes that carriers will face pressure not only from enforcement, but from the shippers, brokers, and insurance community to address those issues causing high CSA scores. It is very clear that carriers will look to the drivers with the highest scores as the low hanging fruit in their efforts to improve their percentile rankings. There should be no misunderstanding CSA, it is designed and built to focus on Driver Behaviors, and yet no outlet exists to communicate those scores to drivers. Vigillo believes that it is a fundamental flaw in CSA to keep the very “drivers” of CSA in the dark. Roadside Resume will cure this defect.

Vigillo’s Roadside Resume service provides a driver in their system with a CSA score, in essence, that is available to the driver free of charge. (Compare that to FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program, which provides 3 and 5 years of information on driver inspection and crash activity, respectively, for a $10 fee but provides no scoring.

The score can be used in any number of ways — to satisfy idle curiosity, to prove safety to a carrier looking into hiring you, as another point of reference in making a lease application, or as Bryan suggest as a statistical window into how the powers that be view score your safety performance, if you really needed such. … One big caveat to it all is that, unlike FMCSA PSP reports based on DOT law enforcement encounters, Vigillo’s driver data will be limited to what a carrier working with them has provided; if you haven’t driven for or been leased to such a carrier, you won’t be in the system. Bryan, when we last spoke late last year, claimed to have at least some data on more than 600,000 drivers. Not exactly complete coverage.

In some senses, the service can be viewed similarly to the DAC report employment histories, participation in which by employers is not anywhere near universal either. And it’s unclear at this point whether the Roadside Resume will be as fraught with problems as DAC has been for so many drivers. Best to get ahead of those and check your resume out.

Bryan told me last year that Vigillo, by offering the Roadside Resume, was coming under the auspices of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which oversees consumer information providers — in this case, a “specialty credit-reporting agency,” as Bryan called his company’s new status with the resume service in place. A dispute procedure for erroneous information should well be in place by now.

Visit www.roadsideresume.com to get started on requesting your report (if you do, I’d love to hear from you about what you find: tdills@rrpub.com).

And for more information, visit www.vigillo.com/drivers.html.

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