Wednesday, December 30, 2015

‘Beyond compliance’ is like being a ‘little pregnant’

In life, there really are some all or nothing situations. Truly black and white.

That’s a fundamental truth that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Congress need to get their heads around. When it comes to complying with the regulations, it really is like being pregnant. Either you are or you aren’t. There is no “sort of” or gray area.

Mega fleets have concocted this grand scheme to improve their Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety measurement scores – and Congress has directed FMCSA to pursue the idea.

The whole premise of the plan is that motor carriers might not be able to have the best scores in CSA based on their compliance. But if they add a bunch of gadgetry and wizardry to their trucks, they are now going above and beyond what’s mandated so that magically makes them safer and apparently deserving of a better score.

Throw on the blinkers and back up the truck.

Rather than fix the compliance problems within their fleets, these motor carrier execs would rather just throw more (expensive) bells and whistles on their trucks. They are accepting noncompliance within their own fleets. And now they are asking FMCSA to accept that same noncompliance with a lick and a promise that technology is somehow overcoming that.

I’m mystified here.

It’s this kind of cockeyed logic that has brought you an electronic log mandate (currently being challenged in court by OOIDA) and maybe even speed limiters. You know, the same electronic logs and speed limiters that have done nothing to improve compliance of the large motor carriers using them.

An OOIDA Foundation white paper revealed that several large motor carriers using electronic logs and speed limiters actually had more speeding violations and crashes – yes speeding and crashes – than motor carriers that do not use the technology.

This whole “beyond compliance” proposal is a ploy to make people feel better about the fact that mega fleets are not compliant or safer, as they want you to believe. They just want to look that way on paper.

1 comment:

  1. Very well put ! I am a single owner/operator who has one truck and one RGN trailer. I mostly haul heavy equipment and military vehicles. I am currently only running about a 600 mile radius of my home. Make more money, have more home time and proud to say that I have the cheapest Ins rate with my agent. Why? I don't take chances, I don't run out of hours and have had DOT inspectors who have told me I have one of the best older trucks they have inspected in Tx. If you keep your equipment up, run as legal as you can, you don't have any issues. I'm not saying I don't screw up, once in awhile, we all do. Some of the worst drivers I come across are ones from the bigger companies. They don't have any money invested in their truck and trailer they are driving. The are pushed to the max to keep running when tired. I have a couple friends who only time off is their 34 hour restart. No wonder the drivers are tired and don't care. It's not about safety out here for these bigger companies. It's about making revenue at any expense. Police officers, medical personnel, firemen, airline people all work with no restricted hours or government breathing down their backs and trying to change their work ethics. In the 20 years I have been in this industry, I have seen a lot of changes. Not many for the good either. Our government can't even balance a budget without arguing. Most of us smaller companies are more successful without the help of our governmental input for the reason that we know how to think rationally and know what it takes to run our business. If you are a larger company and your scores are bad, maybe you need to look at what is going on with your equipment, drivers and dispatchers instead of trying to skirt around the issue that you have poor management running your company, and you think you are too big to fail. Look at all the bigger companies who thought that and are no longer around. All for the simple reason of mismanagement !!!


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