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Avoiding CSA citations

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Avoiding CSA citations

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Fewer Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) violations means less time and money wasted. Fleets that have good CSA scores are less likely to have their trucks stopped for additional inspections. Additionally, trucks that break down less often make delivery schedules easier to manage and eliminate added costs for rentals and spare vehicles or for rerouting other vehicles to fill in for a down truck.

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Despite all of this attention on the safety aspects of CSA scores, data indicates that as much as 82% of violations are in Maintenance BASIC, notes Michael Riemer, vice president of products and channel marketing at Decisiv. “It’s obvious that good CSA scores start with properly inspected vehicles,” he says. “Vehicles that are subjected to an effective, comprehensive inspection program keep scores low and avoid CSA violations and fines.”

Streamlining inspections

“While vehicle inspections are a necessary part of every fleet’s operation,” Riemer continues, “paper inspection forms are ineffective in delivering timely, quality follow up. Vehicles that are maintained with an automated, closed loop, electronic system—inspection to operation to technician—are less likely to accrue CSA violations during a roadside inspection.”

He goes on to detail how streamlining and automating the inspection process drives better CSA scores. “With electronic inspections, line items and failures are VMRS-coded,” he relates, “and data is automatically captured in the background in real time as the inspections happen. Failures should then trigger the creation of pending operations while notifying the shop’s managers and technicians of the work to be completed—all without human intervention.”

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Electronic inspections are easy to create and update and can be tied to any specific asset. Having electronic forms also available on mobile devices can improve driver and technician productivity, Riemer points out, and ensure timely inspection completion whether at a pre- or post-trip inspection, customer site, a roadside breakdown or even a remote location.

“While automating the inspection process has value in its own right,” Riemer says, “tying inspections into service and repair processes is where real benefits can be realized. Doing so makes sure that issues found during inspections automatically make it into the repair order or pending operations and become part of the permanent service history for that asset.

“By automating the process, the data from inspections is also immediately available for reporting so that you can quickly identify trends before they become bigger issues,” Riemer continues. “Plus, when your inspection data automatically feeds into your repair process it ensures timely resolution whenever and wherever the asset is next serviced, and that helps avoid CSA fines.”
CSA violations cost in more ways than one, Riemer is quick to point out. For example, shippers have access to CSA data and can see how a fleet stacks up compared to other carriers, meaning a high CSA score could cost business. Drivers also are looking at CSA scores before signing on with a carrier as they have a vested interest in working for a company with a demonstrated commitment to providing efficient and safe vehicles.

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