CSA 2010: Understanding New Safety Regulations

Drivers all over America are worried about the new CSA 2010 program that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is instituting. Changes are not always easy to accept but they are inevitable. Understanding the changes and why they are needed may help many lease purchase owner operators to understand why the changes are needed.

Every day there are accidents on our highways that could have been prevented. Some accidents occur because the class A cdl drivers have pushed too hard for too long and are tired. These drivers may be tired because they are running outside the rules and driving too many hours or miles without the proper rest. Others may be victims of the trucking industry just trying to make a living doing what the company has dispatched them to do even if the dispatch is outside the rules.

Anyone that has been involved in the trucking industry knows that the system doesn’t work in favor of the driver. Greedy companies and brokers will push a driver trying to take care of a family into a schedule where the driver and his rest are a low priority. This sets up an accident waiting to happen. A lease purchase owner operator is trying to take care of his home needs while trying to purchase his/her own truck.

FMCSA is looking not just at the drivers this time, pointing the blame at them for not running legal. It is also looking at the safety profiles of the companies, realizing that a company with a poor safety rating is probably operating outside the guidelines and pushing the drivers and their equipment beyond safe limits. FMCSA is not looking to put a lot of drivers out of work. They are trying to make the trucking industry safer to work in and the highways safer to drive on.

In trying to understand CSA 2010, you must understand that it is a multi-faceted program. It is not specifically targeting all truck drivers. The goal of the program is to remove the habitual offenders, the drivers that either cannot or will not work within the safety guidelines of their companies, states, or federal highways. Yes… they will start assigning points against a driver when violations are found but the main question is this. If you know you’re doing something wrong that is going to cost you points… Are you going to keep repeating it? If you answered yes, then you will become one of the habitual offenders that will eventually have so many points against them that companies won’t want to hire you and the possibility of holding a truck driving job will disappear. If you answered no, then why are you worried?

Companies have a much bigger headache than the driver since the audits of their paperwork can put them on ‘probation’ and could lead to a shut-down of their operation if they won’t correct the safety violations they have. Logs need to be filled out correctly and legally. If you are running your business properly as a lease purchase owner operator, there is no need to worry about the Log Department calling you in or any worries about getting a violation for falsification of logs. If you’re not filling them out correctly, learn how or in order to lower the companies number of violations, the company may terminate you.

The FMCSA wants to stop companies running their drivers beyond their hours. Companies that are still dispatching ‘old school’ and expecting the drivers to figure out how to draw in their funny books and make it look pretty are going to get caught but it will take time. It has been said that stuff rolls downhill, but in this case, if the driver cleans up their act and runs legal then the companies will have to start doing business a different way. We’ve known it needed to change for years but no one has tried. Now it’s time for a change.

Bottom line of this new regulation is …. RUN LEGAL. If you maintain your equipment which by law you are required to do and held accountable for and you run your paperwork legal, you have nothing to worry about CSA 2010. It is not designed to terminate jobs, just the habitual offenders and the ones that make our highways dangerous to drive on. FMCSA is trying to make your world a little safer. Get with the program and help make it a better world to work and live in by becoming a successful lease purchase owner operator.