The REAL COST of Preventative Maintenance & Your CSA Score

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How much does preventative maintenance really cost?

As a Fleet Manager it’s so important to understand the truth behind the answer to that question.


Understanding the CSA Compliance Program

Ever since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rolled out its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) compliance program, it has become more important than ever for ALL fleet owners/managers to have an effective preventative maintenance strategy. 

Not doing so, well, it can impact the carrier and the driver in such a negative way.  If you fail to have well trained technicians  inspecting your fleet of trucks on a regular, scheduled basis – it can inflict some real pain on you and your drivers.  CSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores both carriers and drivers on their safety performance and that determines whether or not an FMCSA intervention is warranted for a fleet and whether or not a driver will ultimately continue to be employed behind the wheel.

One thing to point out is that while the FMCSA can start investigating a poor-scoring driver’s situation—up to and including fining the driver—the agency cannot at this time pull the driver’s CDL.  However, this information goes on the driver and the carrier’s record; remaining there even if a driver should switch jobs. 

Preventative Maintenance Violations

Since CSA was first implemented in 2010, violations scored under the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC have made up the majority of all violations cited.  According to research by service provider Vigillo, 70 to 75% of points assigned can be attributed to maintenance or unsafe driving violations.  As you might gather, nearly all of these basic violations are preventable. 

Due to CSA, it is absolutely imperative that Fleet Managers not delay maintenance and/or needed truck repairs.  As it turns out, early signs tend to point to most drivers being aware of the violations dinging their CSA scores and potentially taking away their ability to earn a living as a trucker.  This means the problem is either in the driver not communicating this to the Fleet Managers; or the carrier not being proactive about it. 

Further, it’s tough to fault a driver who leaves a carrier he or she feels is putting their CSA standing at risk by not having a thorough preventive maintenance (PM) program that ensures the truck will be found compliant out on the road.

The Facts About CSA

CSA basically means being real and honest with the health of your fleet.  It’s about the company understanding that safe, properly operating trucks for every driver should absolutely be a number one priority.  And it’s about the drivers understanding that if there are issues that pop up during a pre-trip inspection or other times – it’s up to them to notify the carrier ASAP.  As long as these 2 things happen, CSA isn’t really as scary as it might seem to some. 

Your Maintenance Program

So now we ask you – are you happy with your current truck repair and maintenance program?  Can Dickinson Fleet help?

CSA scores aren’t something to take lightly.  Let us help you get a scheduled, preventative maintenance program going for your fleet today.  Contact us online or call 855-DFS-4111 today!