Scoring high for the CSA: Getting back to BASICs

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Compliance, Safety, Accountability – these three concepts make up the core of the FMCSA’s latest safety initiative to promote quality driving and adherence to regulations to create the safest environment for truckers nationwide. What do you need to know to make sure your fleet will score high on the CSA scale? It’s all about the BASICs.

What are the BASICs?

CSA scores are compiled using seven different categories that can be summed up with the acronym BASIC, which stands for Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. The seven categories comprise a range of important safety-related groupings that are designed to give a detailed overview of a fleet’s compliance, safety, and accountability endeavors. The seven categories are:

  • Unsafe Driving
  • Crash Indicator
  • Hours of Service, or HOS, compliance
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Controlled Substance/Alcohol
  • Hazardous Material Compliance
  • Driver Fitness

This information is collected on a regular basis and then made available the FMCSA’s Safety Management System (SMS website each month. Each category is weighted by the severity of the violation and how recently the violations have taken place. Crashes are also weighted based on the seriousness of the damage, injury, or loss of life involved.

How can my fleet keep their score high?

If you want your fleet to be safe, you have to practice safety! This may seem like an obvious plan, but a lack of preparation is the cause of many safety and compliance issues on the road.

For instance, take a look at the Hours of Service category. Are you up to date on the requirements for how your driver needs to log their hours? More importantly, are your drivers aware of these requirements? Take the time to stay current on regulations like these, and then find an effective way to make sure your team understand them as well.

How can I find the requirements?

The FMCSA website has all the information you need, including more info on what exactly the BASICs cover when it comes to evaluating a CSA score. This is a great instance of information only being useful if you actually take the time to review it, and require your team to do the same. Consider having every member of your fleet look at this information on a regular basis, even those who are not drivers. Your technicians, for instance, will benefit greatly from a better understanding of the required vehicle maintenance needs and hazardous materials compliance.

Forewarned is forearmed, so take the time to do your research on what exactly your fleet needs to do to comply with these regulations. Once you know the rules, make the information easily accessible to the rest of your team, whether you email the link to the FMCSA website or post the BASIC categories in the breakroom. Be prepared, do the work, and your fleet will enjoy a high CSA rating – and, more important, increased safety.

More on Dickinson Fleet Services

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Dickinson Fleet Services (DFS) has grown to become one of the largest independent fleet maintenance and management companies in the country. DFS is the leading provider of on-site mobile maintenance and repair services nationwide, offering mobile on-site maintenance and repair services for light, medium and heavy-duty trucks and trailers with over 450 mobile units operating nationwide. DFS services fleet customers with 21 maintenance facilities each offering select services from accident repair, paint, refurbishment and dedicated technician services, combined with an in-house CARES CALL center providing 24/7 repair assistance. DFS has made significant investments in training and technology, including WebWrench® (maintenance tracking and scheduling through proprietary technology) and TRAIT® (real-time reporting and dynamic preventative maintenance inspections processed through a proprietary field service application) and is the only fleet services company in the nation to provide both fleet maintenance and management to its customers nationwide. www.dickinsonfleet.com