— Staff reports
FMCSA says CSA helps compliance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced an independent evaluation of its Compliance Safety Accountability test program confirms that it substantially improves enforcement and compliance.
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s findings confirm the CSA test model enables the agency and its state partners to contact more carriers earlier to correct safety problems and ensure compliance with regulations to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. However, FMCSA says the evaluator also identified areas that require improvement.
Launched in 2008, the CSA test program divided carriers from four test states between test and control groups. FMCSA later added states to the test.
FMCSA reported these results:
• SMS is an improvement over the SafeStat system in identifying unsafe carriers.
• Crash rates were higher for motor carriers identified with safety problems in the SMS’ seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories than for motor carriers that were not identified with safety problems in the BASICs.
• The crash rate for motor carriers that were identified with safety problems by the SMS in the Unsafe Driving BASIC was more than three times greater than the crash rate for motor carriers not identified with any safety problems by SMS.
— Staff reports
Study: Satisfaction with engine quality improves
Owners of new heavy-duty truck engines are more satisfied this year than last year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Study.
The study finds that 42 percent of owners of one model-year-old, heavy-duty truck engines report experiencing some type of engine-related problem, down from 46 percent last year. This compares with the historically low average in 2004, when 26 percent of owners of truck engines that were two model-years old reported experiencing a problem. This low problem incidence level occurred prior to two rounds of major technology changes to comply with emissions standards that took effect in 2007 and 2010.
The most-commonly reported engine problems concern the exhaust gas recirculation valve (cited by 23 percent of owners) and electronic control module calibration (21 percent).
Also in 2011, engine problems have decreased to an average of 66 problems per 100 vehicles from 72 in 2010.