Fleets have a lot to consider when improving their safety rating. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) considers seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) to determine a fleet’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score. These scores help FMCSA pinpoint unsafe fleets, which they then target for interventions. These interventions can culminate in out-of-service orders, so it behooves fleets to drive safe and stay off FMCSA’s radar.

Understanding the BASICs and HOS

FMCSA outlines the seven BASICs as:

  • Unsafe driving
  • Hours of service (HOS) compliance
  • Driver fitness
  • Controlled substances and alcohol
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • HAZMAT compliance
  • Crash indicator

Of the seven, HOS compliance has received significant attention due to the recent electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. While the mandate didn’t change any of the existing HOS laws, it did make it near-impossible to skirt HOS rules. That’s why it’s better for fleets to work with their ELDs rather than grudgingly installing them. The following are several suggestions for fleets to use their ELD to improve their HOS BASIC score.

  1. Have a compliant ELD installed. So far, officers and inspectors are reporting high compliance rates. Only 1% of inspected trucks lacked an ELD. This suggestion is common sense and can help fleets keep their trucks on the road.
  2. Keep full ELD records. Commercial drivers have to keep an ELD information manual with them that details how to use the ELD, how to transfer data to safety officials, how to resolve malfunctions, and an 8 day supply of records of duty status (RODS) graph-grids.
  3. Train drivers on ELDs. This seems like a basic practice; however, in their rush to comply with the mandate, some fleets installed their ELDs without providing proper training. At minimum, drivers should know how to use the ELD and transfer data to compliance officers.
  4. Learn common mistakes and avoid them. ELDs aren’t like paper logs. Drivers can’t go back to make edits with ease. For example, drivers need to remember to log themselves as off-duty when they finish their route for the day. Otherwise, any maintenance they do after driving will count against their HOS. The same is true for personal conveyance movements.

Many fleets are still adjusting to their ELD solution. Non-compliant ELDs, shifting exemption and exceptions, and confusing devices have muddled the process for many fleets. If your ELD isn’t working for your fleet, DriverCheck can help. Contact us today to learn more about our ELD solution.