What data does the Safety Measurement System use?

The Safety Measurement System uses certain data as part of the methodology.

The Safety Measurement System (SMS), a branch of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), identifies and intervenes with drivers who have demonstrated unsafe driving behavior. It uses seven distinct categories, known as BASICs, to identify, categorize, and rank drivers to prioritize for intervention. BASIC stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories and includes the following categories:

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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’s the difference: Actual cash value vs. stated limit for trucks

There's a difference between actual cash value insurance and stated limit insurance.

You’ve done everything right – your drivers are experienced, careful and well-trained, your trucks are well-maintained and up-to-date and everyone is complying with regulatory laws – but you still had an accident. It happens to everyone eventually, and it’s why you have commercial coverage for your fleet of trucks and vans anyway. Learning more about the insurance process can help you get through the aftermath of an accident and move forward.

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What insurance coverage do I need to get my truck tags?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in every state requires both personal and commercial vehicles to obtain truck tags for license plates on an annual basis. The amount that drivers must pay for these truck tags depends on several factors, including age and type of the vehicle. Just as drivers of personal vehicles must prove they have minimum liability insurance, the same is true of commercial truckers. You will need to demonstrate that you have primary liability coverage to drive a commercial truck as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

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Why do I need physical damage insurance if I don’t have a lienholder?

Even if you don't have a lienholder, physical damage insurance is still something you should consider.

Physical damage insurance provides coverage to repair damage to your truck or trailer caused by fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism, and falling objects. It is common for lienholders on truck loans to require physical damage coverage to protect their financial interests if the truck requires costly repairs or cannot be fixed.

The price that you pay for physical damage truck insurance depends on the assessed value of your equipment. Insurance agents typically write policies that charge the trucker a percentage of the value to maintain coverage. Be sure to ask your agent to insure the truck for its current market value as that is what you will receive if you need to make a claim.

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Important things to know about drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers

As a truck driver, it's important to be aware of drug and alcohol testing requirements.

There are many protocols and procedures in place that can help to assure the safety of commercial drivers and all other people on the road. One of those categories of procedures involves drug and alcohol testing. Here is what you need to know about that type of testing for commercial drivers.

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What is a truck inspection like?

It's important to know how a truck inspection works.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all commercial vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds to undergo an annual truck inspection. This is to ensure that all equipment on the commercial vehicle works as it should to help improve public safety. The DOT conducts inspections at six different levels. An inspection can take place anywhere a qualified DOT official or a police officer from the same state are present. While the inspections might feel nerve-wracking, the good news is that you can do several things to prepare and increase the likelihood of passing.

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