What is a Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Score?

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Road safety and driver accountability is a major concern for road users, fleet owners, and traffic authorities like the FMCSA. To ensure that drivers and fleet owners are held accountable for their driving conduct, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the CSA safety compliance and enforcement program. This program is meant to ensure drivers play a significant role in road safety. 

Within this program, the FMCSA groups carriers with others who have a similar amount of safety events, then assigns each carrier a percentile rank, which is the technical term for a CSA score. Drivers don’t have their own CSA scores; however, if a driver has violations, those are assigned to the carrier. 

How the CSA Score is calculated 

Any company that owns a large fleet of vehicles should beware that CSA score affects its reputation. 

Traffic authorities will collect a company's safety data from crash reports, registration details, roadside inspection, and investigation results. The FMCSA publishes results on its SMS website, which they update every month. 

All road violations are kept on the Safety Management System (SMS) website for two years. The most recent violations are given a higher weight. For instance, if a driver was involved in a road accident this month, he is likely to have a higher CSA score than someone involved in a crash a year before.

Also, vehicle crashes are given different weights depending on the severity. For example, a crash that required a tow has a lower score weight than one involving injury or fatality.

CSA score data is broken into seven categories called Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Here is what goes into your CSA score:

  • Unsafe Driving: Characterized by dangerous commercial vehicle driving habits, such as overspeeding, changing your lanes improperly, and not wearing your seatbelt when driving.
  • Crash Indicator: A history of involvement in state-based crashes. The public does not have access to state-reported crash data. 
  • Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance: If a driver operates a commercial vehicle when fatigued or sick and fails to keep an updated record of duty for at least six months, CSA scores in this category are impacted. 
  • Vehicle Maintenance: A commercial vehicle has mechanical defects, and the owner fails to make the required repairs on time and conduct proper load securing.
  • Controlled substances/ Alcohol: Operating or driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol and other illegal drugs. 
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance: Loading, storing, or handling hazardous materials in an unsafe manner. For instance, transporting dangerous chemicals and failing to label it for road safety.
  • Driver Fitness: Hiring an unfit driver to operate a commercial vehicle. The driver lacks a valid CDL, and the fleet management fails to record driver qualification. 

The SMS website keeps an updated record of carriers based on these seven categories. It ranks each carrier and assigns them a percentile score from 0-100. The highest percentile is the worst score; carriers with such a score may be prohibited from operating.

Drivers need to observe the highest standard of safety while on the road because it can help improve their CSA score.

To improve their CSA score, the carrier must wait for the next round of inspection and record violation-free results. Although the public does not have access to the Hazardous Materials Compliance and Crash Indicator BASICs, the CSA score is made publicly available for drivers and fleet managers. 

Tips to Improve Your CSA Score 

If you run a large fleet in your company, you must give fleet safety a top priority to boost your carrier CSA score. Here is what you should do to improve your carrier CSA score.

1. Vet drivers before hiring 

The only way to keep a good CSA score is by hiring the right drivers. Recent research shows that you can lower your crash rate by 8% and driver-out-of-service rates by 17% when you use PSP records to hire a driver to join your team.

2. Invest in a training program

You can invest in a training program for your team if you want to improve your CSA score. If you want to guarantee your staff and team's overall safety, everyone assigned a company vehicle should be held accountable for safety and trained on basic road safety protocols.

It is also important that you have a clear safety program and policy in your company that every driver is required to observe. Use Azuga fleet tracking systems to monitor your driver's behavior and correct bad driving habits.

3. Set for scheduled vehicle maintenance 

Substandard road vehicles are a risk to your company and staff. As a company, you should have a dedicated fleet management system that ensures all your vehicles are in good condition.

At least 11% of road violations are connected to tires, and 30% to lights. You can avoid some violations that harm your CSA score by following regular vehicle maintenance schedules.

Final Thoughts 

CSA score is an important indicator and your fleet’s ability to operate can depend on the behavior of your drivers. Azuga offers you a quality GPS fleet tracking application you can install on your vehicles to ensure your drivers are using company vehicles appropriately. This way, you can limit violations that hurt your CSA score.

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Fleet Dispatching

Dispatch software is a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your dispatch process and keeping operations streamlined. It offers a variety of features that make daily procedures so much easier, from fleet tracking to reports that help businesses make decisions. What features does dispatch software offer, and how do these features benefit fleets? We will break this down for you. 

Assign and Monitor Jobs

It is easy to assign and monitor jobs with dispatch software because it uses fleet tracking. Fleet tracking allows you to assign jobs to crews in the field. If you need a lead technician for a job, it’s simple to attach that lead tech to any job you need. You can even sort jobs based on their status, whether they’re one-time, recurring, or multi-day, or based on urgency. 

When workers finish jobs, they can mark the job as complete on their end. This way, you can know when each job concludes and when your technician moves on to their next task. 

Easier Communication

Back and forth calls between technicians and managers are no longer a problem. With dispatch software, you simply input the job you want your technicians to address. Your technicians access it from their phones and know what to do from there. When they’re done, they can mark it complete and view their next job right away. They can track their time, update their schedules, and input notes all while on the go. Everything you need to know will be on your screen when you need to know it, no need to track the information down. 

Improve Customer Service

Dispatch software can improve your business’s customer service reputation in a variety of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking allows for route optimization software, which gets your technicians to their destinations quickly and efficiently. No more late technicians making your customers wait. Furthermore, dispatch software allows you to assign technicians to customers they already know, building an improved relationship with your business. And with all of your customer information in one place, it’s easy to respond to disputes and issues in a timely and personal manner. 

All of your client and order information is available in a field service CRM that details everything you need to know about your customers and the jobs you’ve done for them. 

How to Get Dispatch Software

Azuga offers state-of-the-art dispatch software that your business is sure to benefit from every single day. These benefits will improve your fleet’s daily operations, boost customer service, and maximize productivity among your workers. These features and more bring your fleet to its maximum potential, allowing you to focus on making important decisions to help the business grow and thrive. Find out everything you can do with dispatch software by trying out a free demo today. You’re certain to be impressed with the improvements.

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Multi-Drop Route Planning

A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety. 

How Does Multi-Drop Route Planning Work? 

The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption. 

Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information. 

Benefits of Multi-Drop Route Planning

There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel. 

Where to Get Multi-Drop Route Planning Software

If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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