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Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator Part 9: Staying Safe and Compliant

TORONTO, Ont. -- Even if an owner/operator has taken all the proper steps in establishing his or her business, one poor decision or stroke of bad luck can have disastrous consequences if it results in an accident.


TORONTO, Ont. — Even if an owner/operator has taken all the proper steps in establishing his or her business, one poor decision or stroke of bad luck can have disastrous consequences if it results in an accident.

And repeated bad decisions that mar an owner/operators’ abstract or CSA profile, can ultimately make that O/O unattractive to the best run carriers.

Ray Haight, former owner/operator, fleet owner and now CEO of ATBS Canada, discussed safety and compliance in Part 9 of Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator, a 10-part video series produced by Trucknews.com and sponsored by Michelin.

Haight said running safe and compliant starts with being diligent about pre-trip inspections, keeping accurate logbooks and minding your speed and other rules of the road.

“It’s the mundane, regular things that people can get lazy with and they are the things that can bite you,” he said.

With the new Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) safety system now in full force in the US, owner/operators must be aware that any violations they receive stateside will remain on their own individual record and ultimately affect the record of the carrier to which they are contracted. That individual score will have a major impact on an O/O’s ability to partner with a well-run carrier, Haight added.

“Carriers are looking much more closely at the drivers crossing the border these days, because they can affect (the carrier’s) overall record,” he explained. “You don’t want a lot of nasty marks on that record…you could find yourself with no one offering you a contract as an owner/operator because it’s going to hurt their overall record.”

With CSA in effect, Haight also noted its more important than ever to regularly check your abstract and CSA score to ensure it’s accurate.

“Make sure something doesn’t sneak onto your record that shouldn’t be there,” he advised.

Haight said the increased emphasis on safety and compliance may ultimately benefit owner/operators that can maintain a pristine record.

“I think a few years from now, we’re going to have a situation where the really clean owner/operators with good equipment that know what they’re doing are going to get a premium (rate),” Haight said. “The market is really going to be looking for those types of people and there’s going to be competition to get them.”

You can watch Part 9 here. For past episodes, visit the Videos section of Trucknews.com.


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