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Avoiding CSA Points to Make Your Fleet More Profitable

undefinedThe thing to always keep in mind about Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) points is that they lead to more roadside inspections for you and your fleet. Keep CSA points to a minimum to make your fleet more profitable by applying these tips and suggestions.

The Daily Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR)

The DVIR is the driver’s daily inspection report, and it is a mandatory inspectable item at roadside inspection stops. The driver should conduct a systematic inspection of their vehicle before each trip or trip continuation after a rest period. 

Every inspection shortcoming noted during a weigh station vehicle inspection is subject to citations, warnings, and CSA points. Using the DVIR will minimize the number of issues. 

Although the inspection should include the entire vehicle, the primary areas to inspect are lights and reflectors, tires, brakes, and glass. Be sure to check all running lights, high and low beam, brake lights, and turn signals. Ensure that reflectors are clean and free of debris. 

Check tire air pressure (with a digital tire gauge) and tread depths. Make sure you know the minimum tread depth limits (change tires before they get close to the limits) and what the states you will travel through require for mudflaps and splash guards. Tires kept at the manufacturer’s suggested air pressure last longer and save you money.

Check the windshield and windows for cracks or “stars” that might widen.       

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a system of scheduled maintenance that ensures minor issues are caught before they become major “unexpected” repairs that are typically expensive. Whether you use hours of operation, miles driven, or a regular quarterly schedule, regularity of maintenance usually leads to longer-lasting trucks and drivers on the road in their vehicle, which will ensure completed shipping assignments and payment.

When tires are rotated and tune-ups completed during regular maintenance, it boosts fuel efficiency and saves you money.

Avoid Overweight Trucks & Out of Service (OOS) Orders

Overweight trucks will get you pulled into the weigh station, where inspectors will check for other safety shortcomings. Vehicles that are overweight will also get cited and may not continue the trip until some weight is transferred. Vehicles with significant deficiencies, especially brakes that are out of adjustment, will get an OOS order. The truck will not be able to leave until the shortcomings are corrected.

These delays cost the driver and the fleet money. A driver doesn’t earn if they are not putting miles on the speed-o-meter, and the fleet won’t earn if the goods aren’t delivered. 

Traffic Tickets & CSA Points 

Another serious problem for drivers and fleets alike is traffic ticket convictions and CSA severity points. These cost the driver and fleet because both affect the fleet’s SMS percentile. Fleets with a percentile above 50 are flagged for more roadside inspections. When your fleet’s DOT number is above 75, your trucks are identified for inspection at every opened weigh station.

Therefore, you should challenge every traffic ticket or roadside inspection violation that leads to more CSA severity points. If you use the DVIR, schedule regular preventive maintenance, avoid overweight trucks, and dispute traffic tickets and CSA points, you can make your fleet or owner-operated trucks more profitable.  

Traffic Attorneys Who Can Help with CSA Points in Fresno County, CA 

When you get a traffic ticket on I-5 or SR-99 in Fresno County, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We are Central Valley traffic attorneys who can assist you in resolving traffic tickets and represent you at a DMV NOTS Hearing. Give us a call.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf