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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Three reasons to keep an eye on your CSA Score

It's important to keep an eye on your CSA score.

Your CSA score is a measure of how well your business is complying with safety requirements mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This program is designed to review a carrier’s safety events and records and compare how well they align with industry standards and best practices. Each event or type is given a different numeric score based on the potential risk and impact to roadway safety; the resulting figure is a CSA score that provides a snapshot of how well a business is doing.

Careful attention to the details and events that impact your CSA and tracking how well your drivers are doing individually and your business is doing as a team is essential since this figure can impact your ability to retain top talent, your big rig insurance rates, and even customer perception of your brand.

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4 common reasons for truck accidents

These are four common reasons for truck accidents.

Truck drivers go through extensive training in order to do their jobs. Getting a CDL and operating a big rig isn’t easy. Of course, truck drivers get paid to, well, drive, so they put a lot of time and effort into getting trained to drive such a large vehicle. But even the most experienced, well-trained truck driver can be involved in an accident. When truck accidents happen, it’s important to look at the cause. According to the FMCSA, the major pre-crash event that led to 73% of fatal large truck accidents was another vehicle, person, object, or animal either in the truck driver’s lane or drifting into it.

So, clearly, not all accidents involving trucks are the fault of the truck driver, and accidents are caused by many more factors than just those listed below. And some accidents can be caused by factors completely out of the control of the truck driver, such as the actions of the driver of the other vehicle. However, understanding these four causes of truck accidents can help you train your team and ensure you take steps to protect the public, your organization, and your financial standing.

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How the government shutdown is affecting the transportation industry

government shutdown trucking DOT FMCSA

The news has been going wild with reports of the government shutdown, which began in December. Many people have been affected by the partial shutdown, and it still seems unclear how long the shutdown will last. The DOT, like many government agencies, has been affected by the partial shutdown, although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have not been greatly impacted. We’ll explain how the government shutdown has affected the DOT, the FMCSA, and the FHWA.

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What is the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)?

The FMCSA has a Pre-Employment Screening Program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps driver safety records contained within a program it calls the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The data contains the safety record of each individual commercial driver, industry service provider, and carrier. Anyone with the proper credentials can access the MCMIS website 24 hours a day. This federal program is separate from driver data kept by individual states. Most state governments refer to driver data as a motor vehicle record (MVR). We’re going to explain a bit about the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program.

Read moreWhat is the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)?

What is a DOT Number and Who Needs One?

Do you need a DOT Number to operate your truck?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a Department of Transportation (DOT) number for trucks and other carrier vehicles that meet certain criteria. These typically pertain to weight, whether the vehicle carries paying customers, and whether the carrier vehicle routinely crosses state lines. In addition to the federal regulations, 37 of the 50 states require a DOT number. (The FMCSA has a list of the states that require a DOT Number.)

It can be confusing, especially as a new operator, to understand if the regulation pertains to you and whether you need to obtain a DOT number. We hope that the FMCSA regulations below will bring more clarity to this issue for you.

Read moreWhat is a DOT Number and Who Needs One?

7 Safe Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Winter trucking presents extra challenges.

According to the Department of Transportation, bad weather causes 21% of vehicle accidents. A DOT study shows that heavy snow can slow freeway traffic down by 5-40%, and even light snow can decrease speeds by as much as 13%, increasing your drivers’ risks of having an accident. Taking steps to prepare your drivers for the increased challenges of winter will help keep your drivers safe and deliveries reaching their destinations on schedule.

So, check out these 7 winter truck driving tips not to overlook.

Read more7 Safe Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

3 surefire ways to know if you have the right commercial truck insurance

Check out these tips for getting the right commercial truck insurance.

Commercial truck insurance provides coverage for injuries or property damage sustained in a truck accident. Commercial truck insurance is different than a personal auto policy because it usually offers different coverages than a regular auto policy.

Read more3 surefire ways to know if you have the right commercial truck insurance

Looking ahead: Trucking trends coming your way in 2019

Check out these trucking trends that will be coming your way in 2019.

From concerns about the shortage of qualified drivers (which will continue to grow as Baby Boomers retire) to the continued development of autonomous vehicle technology, 2019 is all about technology and people. What can you expect to hear about in the year to come – and which trucking trends will directly impact your business? A few of the most prevalent are outlined below.

Read moreLooking ahead: Trucking trends coming your way in 2019

What do autonomous trucks mean for the trucking industry?

Autonomous trucks could affect the trucking industry.

Tesla, Uber, Volvo, and GM have all either rolled out an autonomous truck or have one in the works – and they are not alone. Most automotive brands are including some form of autonomous vehicle for deliveries in their coming lineup. What does this shift towards self-driving capabilities mean for the industry and for drivers? A few key points to consider about autonomous trucks are detailed below.

Read moreWhat do autonomous trucks mean for the trucking industry?