Smoot Brothers Transportation: Conquering CSA citations

Smoot Brothers Transportation: Conquering CSA citations

Smoot Brothers Transportation (SBT) was founded in 1988—with one truck—by Mike and Matt Smoot. In 1991, Kenny Smoot, who is now the vice president, joined his brothers in the company. SBT has since grown to more than 50 trucks and can be seen on highways across the entire continental United States and Canada. The fleet currently has approximately twenty owner/operators and leasers on staff. In addition, SBT has created a sister company, Triple S Transportation, with trucks specially outfitted for HAZMAT transport.

Anticipating CSA

Bob Laumann
In May 2008, prior to the Federal Motor Carry Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) rollout of the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, the company hired Bob Laumann to head up a new Compliance Safety Accountability “citation avoidance” program.

According to Laumann, “I was ready to retire from 28 years with the Idaho State Police, where I was assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Safety program, involving all types of roadside inspections as well as Safety Audits, Compliance Reviews, etc. A mutual friend, who knew I was looking for work and an opportunity to move from law enforcement into the trucking industry to promote safety, referred me to Smoot Brothers Transportation. At that time, Smoot Brothers Transportation was having some safety compliance issues, which were adversely affecting business. I was hired by Smoot Brothers and given the assignment to fix the safety issues.”

Laumann, pictured right, knows from his past experiences that every company is different; each has its own unique personality, as well as its own strengths and weaknesses. With that in mind, he notes, “I try to use information learned from my experience in enforcement, and lessons learned from each company and situation to gain understanding to help other companies. My focus from the beginning was identifying issues within the company and with drivers to develop a program that addressed those issues. As is common, the effort required a change in the safety culture of the company management, which then filtered down throughout the company.”

Smoot Brothers currently operates about 60 trucks, 14 of which are owner-operators operating under Smoot Brothers authority. There is one office/yard, located near Brigham City, Utah, and one shop where the majority of maintenance and service work is completed. Laumann discovered that the main areas of concerns that needed to be addressed were equipment maintenance and hours of service compliance.

Focus on inspections

As Laumann started to address some of the maintenance issues, related to fleet trucks and trailers, he emphasized completing and documenting annual inspections every time the units are serviced.

“Technicians were provided additional training, and I personally inspected equipment in the yard. These simple improvements made a dramatic effect on our maintenance, drastically improving safety performance. With the introduction of the CSA program by FMCSA, maintenance needed even more attention,” Laumann says. “We have emphasized driver inspections of equipment, hired technicians to focus especially on trailers, and provided training to those mechanics to help them better identify safety issues.”

To address hours of service issues, the fleet focused on—and placed more emphasis on—log monitoring and compliance. “With paper logs, this can be very time consuming and difficult,” Laumann admits. “We used a computer-assisted program to scan and monitor compliance. We established an incentive program to encourage driver compliance. The incentive program included rewards for violation-free DOT inspections, and for driver’s daily logs that are found to be violation-free as indicated both during DOT inspections and after our own internal audits.”

Click “Next Page” to continue reading.

You May Also Like

Volvo, Westport joint venture to reduce long haul CO2 emissions

The companies anticipate that the joint venture will become operational in Q2 of 2024.


The Volvo Group and Westport Fuel Systems have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture to speed up commercialization and global adoption of Westport's High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) fuel system technology for long-haul and off-road applications.

High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) is a fuel system technology which can be applied in ICE vehicles to replace greenhouse gas-emitting fuels, like diesel, with carbon-neutral or zero-carbon fuels like biogas or hydrogen, according to Volvo.

Freightliner M2, SD Plus Series launch updates its medium-duty truck offering

Freightliner introduced the new Plus Series–enhanced versions of its M2 and SD models, including the M2 106 Plus, M2 112 Plus, 108SD Plus, and 114SD Plus. The enhanced models provide a major update to the interior and electrical systems of the M2 and SD models. The OEM noted that the Plus Series is designed to

Truck cruise control technology that looks at the road ahead

If you’ve ever visited the Northeast region of the country, you’ve most likely encountered intimidating terrain. The winding roads. The steep hills. The intricate routes that challenge any seasoned driver, and, most recently, advanced cruise control systems that aim to improve fuel efficiency and driver comfort.   Related Articles – Four ways A.I. can help cut

Four ways A.I. can help cut diesel fuel costs

The fluctuation of fuel prices has made it more challenging to operate day-to-day. Drivers get paid by the mile, and, when fuel costs go up, margins shrink, impacting how fleets profit and pay their employees. Intelligent technology can lessen the impact of high prices by improving overall fuel efficiency. Related Articles – New ways to

Peterbilt GM Jason Skoog charts today’s truck support, tomorrow’s truck solutions

Peterbilt made headlines recently when it became the first major North American OEM to open orders for an electric truck, the Peterbilt 220EV. In this exclusive interview, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President Jason Skoog details the technology investments that are keeping fleets productive during this year’s trying pandemic and laying the groundwork for

Peterbilt General Manager PACCAR Technology Electric Truck

Other Posts

EPA finalizes Phase 3, slows stringency before MY 2032

The new emissions standards are expected to improve public health and air quality, while giving companies enough lead time to meet the goals.

Kodiak and Martin Brower partner for autonomous delivery

Martin Brower and Kodiak are making 8 autonomous food deliveries per week to quick service restaurants between Dallas and Oklahoma City.

CARB’s Clean Truck Check testing pushed back to 2025

This delay is only for required inspections, meaning fleets and owner/operators are still expected to register and pay fees.

XL Specialized names Canadian sales manager

Richard Minotti is going to step into the role, through which the company aims to broaden its reach into the Canadian market.