How can a carrier improve in the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC?

Improve in the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC.

Hazardous Materials is one of seven categories that inspectors from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) measure as part of its Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). It’s like the other six BASICs in that the FMCSA compares drivers with a similar number of safety events to come up with a percentile ranking. The higher the percentage, the greater the likelihood the FMCSA will initiate intervention efforts with the driver. However, this category is unique from the others because it only applies to drivers who transport materials the FMCSA considers hazardous.

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Can a Motor Carrier broker loads?

Motor carriers cannot broker loads without the proper authority.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently does not allow motor carriers to broker loads unless they first apply for and receive a license as a property broker. If you are a new broker, that means you must complete an application for broker authority using the Unified Registration System (URS) of the FMCSA. You will need to locate proof of insurance coverage to do so. The FMCSA also requires new applicants to submit Form BMC-84, also known as Surety Bond, and Form BMC-85, also known as the Trust Fund Agreement.

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What is the SMS Insurance/Other Indicator?

It's important to know the Insurance/Other Indicator.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prepared a program designed to enhance safety and to ensure that oversized commercial vehicles are as safe as possible on the roads. The SMS Insurance/Other Indicator is part of a wider initiative and designed to check for licensing, registration, reporting, and insurance issues.

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How can I change from one type of truck operating authority to another?

It's important to make sure you have the right truck operating authority.

If you find that you need to choose a truck operating authority after being exempt in the past, or you need to change from one type of operating authority to another, you can do so using the process outlined below. A thorough understanding of how operating authorities work and what they require can help you save time and money during the process. Since your truck operating authority could impact the insurance you are required to carry, choosing the right model for your business is essential if you want to ensure you are getting the best possible rates on your insurance.

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What do I do if I get a warning letter from the FMCSA?

Here's what to do if you get an FMCSA warning letter.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for making sure that commercial trucks and drivers are safe enough to be on America’s highways. To protect the public, the FMCSA completes regular inspections of equipment, driver log books, records of violations, and more. If your business is found to have a violation, the FMCSA will then notify the motor carrier of violations by mail in the form of a warning letter.

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What does the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC cover?

It's important to review your insurance coverages as you grow your fleet.

Regular maintenance for your trucks and fleet vehicles does more than just prevent you from experiencing emergency repair work costs and downtime; it enhances your safety on the roadways, too. As a trucker or an organization that owns trucks, if you perform deliveries or shipping services, you are also required to comply with key maintenance and safety regulations from the FMCSA. One way to track how well you are doing is the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC program; learning more about this safety program will help keep your drivers and others safe on the roads and ensure you remain in compliance.

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Until I get my own operating authority, can I lease my services to a for-hire carrier with operating rights?

If you don't have an operating authority, you could work for a for-hire carrier.

One common question from truckers who have not yet obtained their operating authority (MC number) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is whether they can still lease their services to a for-hire carrier that has operating rights. According to Section 376.11, the answer is yes as long as the trucker meets all FMCSA requirements.

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What hazardous materials require a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces a program known as Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP). The purpose is to increase safety for the driving public and commercial truck drivers. The FMCSA maintains a database outlining the types of materials that require truckers to obtain a permit before they can transport them. We include this information below.

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What is a trucking company’s CSP (Company Safety Profile)?

A CSP contains crash information about a motor carrier.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), retains safety information for every commercial carrier that drives on public roads. It also keeps a safety record for every trucking company or independent owner-operator. Although it stores several types of documents, the Company Safety Profile (CSP) is by far the most comprehensive.

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What is the difference between interstate and intrastate commerce?

There's a difference between interstate and intrastate commerce.

Interstate commerce and intrastate commerce refer to two different ways of transporting cargo or people. The term interstate means that the commercial truck driver moves cargo or people across state lines. Specifically, it includes the following definitions:

  • Between a place inside of a state and a place outside of a state, including outside of the country
  • Between two destinations inside of a state going through another state or outside of the country
  • Between two places within a state as part of transportation, traffic, or trade that originates or terminates outside of the state or outside of the United States

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