On March 29, 2019, the secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) scores of commercial truck drivers would undergo a significant change starting in August 2019. According to Secretary Elaine Chao, points from a crash in which commercial drivers are not at fault will no longer count against them for CSA scoring purposes. Instead, the organization will classify the accident as non-preventable.
Proper vehicle maintenance is one of seven factors that inspectors from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) program evaluate to assign scores for the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative. The goal of the program is to prevent accidents, spillage, and other events that endanger public safety. We’ll go over how you can improve your Vehicle Maintenance BASIC.
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.
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.
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
The term private motor carrier refers to a commercial trucking company that transports the cargo it produces rather than outsourcing the job to another company or independent owner-operator. Businesses that operate as a private motor carrier typically produce, sell, or use the cargo it produces and transports. The main thing that distinguishes a private motor carrier from other types of motor carriers is that they do not deliver anyone else’s goods, and they do not make deliveries for financial compensation.
While all motor carriers must carry a limited amount of liability insurance, this is only the basic requirement and it offers no protection for the goods you carry. You need to carry cargo insurance to guard against financial loss from damage to your cargo while in transit or storage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truckers who transport household goods and freight forwarders of household goods to carry at least a minimum amount of cargo insurance in case the load becomes damaged or destroyed due to situations beyond the trucker’s control.
Surplus lines and admitted carriers both do the same thing – they provide insurance coverage for fleets and commercial vehicles. The differences between the two have to do with licensing, rates, and coverage options. Surplus lines coverage is designed for those users who can’t access traditional coverage (via admitted carriers) and features higher fees and more complex application and claims processes. We’ll explain the difference between the two.
Primary liability insurance is the only coverage for commercial truckers mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is basic coverage and proof of financial responsibility that you must have before you can drive. The purpose of primary liability insurance is to cover claims for bodily injury and property damage that you cause to others while operating your vehicle. It does not cover any losses that you suffer, regardless of who was at fault for causing them.
Adding a new truck, van, or even a company car to your fleet can solve many problems, save you time, and allow you to scale up your operations, provided you are truly ready to make the switch. Before you upgrade, consider the following questions to be sure you are ready and that you will be able to get the best possible return on your truck investment.