TORONTO, Ont. - By now, most Canadian carriers operating in the US know CSA 2010 is coming, and with it some major changes to how a carrier's safety rating is calculated. They probably also know that ...
TORONTO, Ont. –By now, most Canadian carriers operating in the US know CSA 2010 is coming, and with it some major changes to how a carrier’s safety rating is calculated. They probably also know that drivers, for the first time, will also be rated with their scores applied to their carrier’s profile.
They may even know that it doesn’t take a violation to result in points being assigned to their CSA 2010 profile. But do carriers know how they’ll rank when the CSA 2010 switch is flipped later this year?
Technology providers have been rolling out CSA 2010 Scorecards and/ or Dashboards for carriers and drivers, which tap into the complicated reams of data hosted by the FMCSA on its Compass portal and then present it in a digestible format that safety managers can easily interpret. The FMCSA has promised it will allow carriers to view their own status as well as industry- wide percentiles in the coming weeks, but until that happens, carriers may be well advised to call on a service provider to help them get a handle on where they stand under the new Safety Measurement System (SMS) criteria.
Vigillo, a data mining company that was among the first to introduce CSA 2010 scorecards, suggests fleets act now, if they haven’t already, to figure out how they rank under CSA 2010. The company points out of its 1,500- plus fleet customers, 68% are over the intervention threshold in at least one BASIC category (Unsafe Driving; Fatigued Driving; Driver Fitness; Drugs and Alcohol; Vehicle Maintenance; Cargo Securement; and Crash Experience). Under SafeStat, only 1.3% of its subscriber fleets were at risk of facing an FMCSA intervention.
“Under this system, the bright lights are coming on,” says Vigillo founder and CEO Steve Bryan. “There’s no place for any driver or carrier to hide anymore and it’s really going to be a rude awakening for a lot of people. If CSA 2010 has done anything, it has thrown on the stadium lights.”
Unfortunately, carriers themselves may have trouble determining where they stand under CSA 2010 if left to their own devices. The raw data available from the FMCSA Compass portal (https:// portal.fmcsa.dot.gov) is of little use since it doesn’t yet provide the industry-wide benchmarking required to determine one’s percentile ranking among its peers.
“It’s virtually impossible for an individual carrier to calculate its own score from just their data set,” Bryan says. “A carrier could take its violations and attach the severity points, but there’s a time weighting also, so you have to calculate the time frame in which it happened -that all has to be taken into account. And the last thing you do is the percentile ranking, you have to know where you stand against everyone else in your peer group and there’s no way you could know that, so it’s not possible for a carrier to calculate its own score.”
Vigillo is able to provide a carrier’s peer ranking because of the vast driver pool it’s already measuring. The company says it is currently tracking 600,000 drivers working for 1,800 motor carriers operating in the US.
“We have developed technology that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week doing nothing but harvesting data out of the FMCSA database,” Bryan explains. The Vigillo CSA 2010 Scorecard service is available as a standalone offering and is priced at 50 cents per driver per month with no long-term commitment. All customers have to do is provide Vigillo with their DOT number, Bryan adds. For more info, visit www.vigillo.com.
EBE ( www.ebeships.com), another software solutions provider for the trucking industry, has also come to market with a CSA 2010 Dashboard with a slightly different focus. Also available as a standalone product, EBE’s vice-president of marketing and business development Cindy Nelson, describes the company’s solution as a “Web-based application designed to help you manage your drivers as opposed to managing numbers and scores.”
She says the system allows a carrier to identify drivers at risk of crossing a BASIC threshold and then input them into a workflow queue that allows the fleet to follow up with corrective measures, whether they be disciplinary-or training-focused.
“It gives you the opportunity to take the data you’re getting and apply the corrective measure in a real-time fashion and ensure drivers are in compliance,” Nelson says.
The data can be hosted online or behind a carrier’s own firewalls. Initially, CSA 2010 Dashboard was envisioned as a “tab” on the company’s existing driver management platform, but Nelson says “it created a life of its own” and there’s now a “complete development team” working on the product.
Another feature of EBE’s CSA 2010 Dashboard is that it pulls all violations and crash reports associated with a carrier’s DOT number on a daily basis.
“We go out every day and pull the data as opposed to providing monthly updates,” says Nelson.
The system allows a fleet or safety manager to sort its drivers by various categories and identify those who are nearing or have surpassed an FMCSA intervention threshold. Customers can also track and monitor clean inspections and reward drivers for keeping their logbooks and equipment in order.
Essentially, says Nelson, the CSA 2010 Dashboard gives fleet managers the tools they need to properly manage their drivers with CSA 2010-specific data. The solution can also be integrated into existing driver management solutions a fleet may already be using, she adds.
Even before CSA 2010 was in every fleet manager’s vocabulary, some technology providers already offered driver scorecards. Those scorecards are still relevant in a post-CSA 2010 world, as they have a predictive element to them that’s useful in identifying drivers who may bring problems when CSA 2010 is fully deployed.
Christian Schenk, XATA Corporation’s new vice-president of product marketing, says both Xata ( www.xata.com)
and its subsidiary Turnpike Global Technologies offer driver scorecards that can be used to identify problem drivers before they hurt a fleet’s CSA 2010 standing.
“Our scorecarding is based on being preventive,” says Schenk, “getting in front of issues before they become issues. We can give you enough information so you can proactively make adjustments to your fleet or drivers.”
Xata’s scorecards are ideal for large and private fleets, Schenk says, while the made-in-Canada Turnpike solution is geared more towards smaller trucking firms.
Charlie Mohn, product marketing manager with Xata Corporation, says its scorecards reveal risky driving behaviour such as speeding, hard braking and rapid accelerations. That is all tracked using Xata’s system and displayed in an easy-to-understand format so a safety manager can identify risky drivers and take necessary action before they commit infractions that will drag down a carrier’s CSA 2010 score.
“We’re not directly measuring performance data to a BASIC score, we don’t have that algorithm down perfectly,” says Mohn. “Our focus is on being able to rank drivers so you can focus on the ones that are the problem children and let the other ones go about their business.”
Even though it’s not a CSA 2010-specific solution, Mohn says Xata’s driver scorecards are receiving extra interest these days. Schenk agrees, noting CSA 2010 has displaced the driver shortage and fuel efficiency as the primary driver of technology investments.
“There’s a lot of interest out there in the market,” Schenk says of CSA 2010. “The number one reason people are buying this is for compliance (with CSA 2010).”
According to Vigillo, 81% of more than a million CSA 2010-related violations were driver-controllable, so it’s little wonder carriers are interested in tracking their drivers’ behaviour like never before.