CSA change will help flatbeds

Updated Mar 23, 2012

Flatbed carriers will get some relief on their safety rating under a change in how securement is weighted in the CSA program.

Bryan Price, CSA program manager for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, spoke about the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program March 22 during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Price said that by Tuesday or Wednesday, carriers will be able to get a preview of the next round of proposed improvements for CSA and how they will affect their BASIC assessments. The revised Safety Management System is expected to take effect in July, and FMCSA will accept comments on the change until then. Carriers with an ID number can go online and “get an advance peak under the hood” as to how the changes would affect their rating in CSA’s seven BASIC (behavior analysis and safety improvement) categories.

Perhaps the biggest change is moving load securement violations from the cargo BASIC into the vehicle BASIC, Price said. That leaves only hazmat standards under cargo, so that BASIC will be renamed hazmat.

Flatbedders have considered the current system’s treatment of securement unfair because their load securement violations are much more obvious than those pulling dry vans or reefers, and the cargo BASIC disproportionately affects their CSA ratings. FMCSA agrees, he said, and the securement violations in the new framework will have much less effect on carrier scores.

Another change will be to more accurately assign violations involving intermodal equipment. For example, violations that a driver should have addressed in a pre-trip inspection should be assigned to the carrier, not the intermodal equipment provider, Price said.

The changes that can be previewed next week will be published in the Federal Register. No rulemaking is required, so there will be no notice of a proposed rule, Price said. After evaluating comments, the revision to the Safety Management System should be complete by July or August.

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