Thursday, September 30, 2010

CSA 2010 - Dispelling Myths

In this week's blog post, we look at the CSA 2010 information titled CSA 2010: Just the Facts. We have picked out 5 that we find to be interesting and informative, and they are listed below:

1. All inspections and crashes that a commercial motor vehicle driver receives while under the authority of a carrier will remain part of the carrier's Safety Measurement System data for two years unless overturned through the DataQs system, even if the carrier terminates the driver.

2. Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) has not changed any of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. There is one rule that FMCSA is trying to change as part of CSA 2010. The carrier safety rating process that determine whether FMCSA will deem a carrier Unfit is currently in rule making to potentially change to a new process call Safety Fitness Determination.

3. The data kept by a State (for example, tickets, written warnings, convictions) and the data that is kept in the Safety Measurement System (SMS) (for example, violations from roadside inspection and crash reports) are separate. This data must be assessed and, if necessary, corrected under separate processes. All data in the SMS can be verified in the DataQs system.

4. Carriers who are considering hiring drivers can review "Driver Profiles" if the drivers have authorized the release of their information. These profiles are compiled from the FMCSA's Driver Information Resource (DIR) and will be available to carriers through FMCSA's new Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). Drivers can view their own profiles. PSP is only available as a pre-screening tool and not for use in evaluating current drivers. PSP was mandated by Congress and is not a part of CSA 2010.

5. Similar to today's SafeStat, tickets or warnings that commercial vehicle drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the new Safety Measurement System.

Stay tuned for more facts, or visit the CSA 2010 site directly to view them all!!

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the CSA 2010 and carrier/driver preparedness, feel free to share!!!!


CSA 2010: Just the Facts. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. HTTP://CSA2010.FMCSA.DOT.GOV. July 2010.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!!

The United States is currently celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! The event is an annual occurrence, and will end this year on September 25th.

The American Trucking Association reports that there are more than 3.4 million professional truck drivers throughout the United States, who drive more than 431 billion miles per year!

UWC recognizes that the dedication and success of our drivers is directly related to our company's success, and we want to take this time to honor all our drivers (Canadian, American, and Mexican!!) for their hard work and commitment in taking on what is undoubtedly one of North America's most demanding and important jobs.

UWC would like to take this time to thank our drivers for their continued commitment that allows us to provide safe, secure, and on time deliveries of the goods we transport!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CSA Spotlight - BASICS: Driver Fatigue, Driver Fitness & Vehicle Maintenance

CSA 2010 implementation is fast approaching!

CSA 2010 is the FMCSA’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis System; its purpose is to achieve a greater reduction in large truck and bus crashes, injuries, and fatalities in the United States by identifying individual drivers and motor carrier companies that pose safety problems and intervening to address those problems as soon as they become apparent.

Within the CSA model, the Safety Measurement System (SMS) quantifies the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers. The SMS replaces the FMCSA SafeStat in the new operational model. Every month, SMS will measure the previous two years of roadside violation and crash data and calculate a score in 7 safety behavior areas, called the BASICs (Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories). In this issue of The Road Ahead, we focus on 3 that we believe to be the most crucial aspects of the system that both Carriers and Customers should be aware of:

1. Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service): This component of the BASICs measures the operation of CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicle) by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in non-compliance with the Hours-of-Service regulations. It includes violations of regulations pertaining to complete and accurate recording of logbooks as they relate to HOS requirements and the management of CMV driver fatigue. Examples of violations under this component are: HOS non-compliance, logbook violations, and operating a CMV while ill or fatigued.

2. Driver Fitness: This component of the BASICs evaluates the operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to a lack of training, experience or medical qualifications. Examples of violations under this component are: failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver’s license and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV.

3. Vehicle Maintenance: This component of the BASICs measures the failure to properly maintain a CMV. Example violations under this component are: faulty brakes and lights, other mechanical defects, and failure to make required repairs and scheduled maintenance.

In the case where measurement of the BASICs leads to determination of unfit operations, drivers and carrier companies will face suspension.

It will become more and more important for UWC’s Carrier Partners to strictly adhere to all of the BASICs, especially the 3 listed above, as the implications for non-compliance are severe.
For more information, please visit the CSA website at:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CVSA Brake Safety Week is September 12-18th, 2010!!

Alert: The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) annual Brake Safety Week begins this Sunday, September 12th, 2010. The program will run until Saturday, September 18th, 2010. Any drivers who haven't checked their brakes in a while might want to do so this week in preparation for the kick-off of this program. Below is a run down of the program and answers to some commonly asked questions.

What is the purpose of the program?

CVSA's annual Brake Safety Week is a part of the Operation Air Brake campaign. The campaign started because out of adjustment air brakes and brake system defects on commercial vehicles constitute a major defect that results in vehicles being placed out of service. The program runs throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It's primary objective, like CSA 2010, is to reduce the number of highway crashes; the Brake Safety week program focuses on reducing the number of highway crashes caused by faulty brake systems.

How will the program work for the week of Sept 12-18, 2010?

Roadside inspections will be conducted by CVSA-certified inspectors, with a special emphasis being placed on the inspection of air brakes and braking systems. CVSA-certified inspectors will also increase their presence at truck stops and other locations where drivers and mechanics congregate. Their primary goal at these locations is to educate drivers and instruct them on the inspection procedure and the operation of braking systems. All Operation Air Brake Inspections are to be identified as a Level IV Inspection under CVSA.

What can drivers do to prepare for this program?

In just a few moments, drivers can easily adjust air brakes that are equipped with manual slack adjusters and check for other defects related to brakes. It is the opinion of many professionals in the industry that the primary reasons for drivers not adjusting their brakes is a lack of education, training, and not having the commitment to safety.

Drivers are strongly encouraged to take the few minutes it does take to adjust their braking systems, and also be open and welcoming to the training that is being offered during this week. Commitment to safety results in safer highways for all, and less commercial vehicles out of service.

For more information of the Operation Air Brake/Brake Safety Week, visit the CVSA website at:

So, mark you calendars for next week and ask yourself, Have You Checked Your Brakes Today?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Carrier Loading Tip - Load Lock Review

Load locks play one of the most important roles in ensuring the safe and secure transportation of goods. Did you know that all roadways are engineered with a center crown for water run-off? This causes all vehicles on the road to lean slightly to the right. Because of this, reefer and other truck/trailer units must ensure that whenever possible:

  • The rear four pallets of every load should be stacked to the right side of the trailer;

  • The rear four pallets should be side by side tight against each other and tight against the passenger side wall to reduce shifting and tipping of pallets;

  • Two load locks should be placed between the floor and the ceiling on the left side of the rear pallets;

  • Two load locks should also be placed on the back of the rear pallets between the trailer's walls.

  • Remember that whenever possible, a minimum of 6 inches of space between the load and the doors must be maintained in order to allow adequate air flow between the load and the doors.

Improperly positioned freight or freight that is not locked into position to avoid shifting during transit can result in:

  • Cases and/or pallets being tipped and/or crushed. This can result in damages that have the potential to cause a significant loss of value to the load and therefore may have the potential for additional costs.

  • Improper air flow which will most likely reduce a reefer unit's ability to maintain proper running temperature. This has the potential to cause claims against the carrier due to temperature issues.

Prevention, as always, is the best way for carriers to protect themselves from potential claims/additional charges related to shifted/improperly positioned loads!! 3-6 load locks must be used for all UWC loads, and all must be in good working order!!!

It's hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is upon us!! UWC wishes everyone a happy and safe long weekend!!!