ARA webinar answers questions on the new federal CSA initiative
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently unveiled its new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement and compliance model as a way to improve safety and reduce crashes. Under this new system, all violations in seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) — not just out-of-service violations — and crashes will be counted and scored.
As a way to gain insight into how these changes will impact rental companies with Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers and their drivers, nearly 250 rental companies participated in “CSA: What you need to know,” a webinar offered last month by the American Rental Association (ARA).
Featured presenters — FMCSA’s Gary Shoemaker, deputy program manager with the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program office, and David Mancl, lead transportation specialist with the enforcement and compliance division — reviewed this new initiative and answered questions posed by participants.
“It was eye-opening,” says David Manning, general manager, Pioneer Equipment Rental, Ponca City, Okla. “It answered many of my questions and prompted me to ask more. It was very helpful and well-presented. I think it got everyone thinking and raised awareness. Too many times we’re reactive. This webinar showed how you could save yourself a lot of money by being proactive.”
Mark Hafterson, service manager with Bunce Rental in Tacoma, Wash., agrees. “Our state requires a DOT [Department of Transportation] number even though we deliver within the state. We also deliver propane, which is considered a hazardous material. We rent flatbed trucks, which could skew our scores. This webinar clarified a few things and prompted me to check what the state is requiring and how much it is modeling the federal level to see to what point CSA will be a factor for our operation,” he says.
“Relief” was what John Lyons, general manager of Quality Equipment Rentals in Inglewood, Calif., says he felt after attending the seminar. “We don’t have a DOT number as we do not deliver out of state and our state doesn’t require one,” he says. “We’re doing everything we’re supposed to be doing, which is good.”
Lyons says he is keeping his drivers in the know by having them take the ARA Professional Driver Education Program, which was demonstrated at the end of the webinar. “This is a fantastic program. It offers so much good information that is so rental-specific. It covers binding [load securement] regulations — something you cannot find in any other driving course. Right now we’re having all of our class A drivers take this program. We’ll probably have our class C drivers take it down the road, too,” he says.
Manning agrees. “This training program is a perfect tool to help drivers increase and reinforce their knowledge and stay in compliance,” he says. “ARA’s program covers loading and securing equipment and DOT regulations. No one wants to incur fines or sit on the side of the road getting inspected. The best way to avoid that is to gain as much knowledge as possible. I’m a driver. I’ve had my CDL [commercial driver’s license] for 30 years. You forget things. This course, which has a module that ties to each of the seven BASIC areas of the CSA, is a good refresher and brings to the forefront so many things that have changed over the years.”
“I feel this program will help our drivers stay in compliance,” Hafterson says. “It reinforces knowledge, clarifies items and answers questions such as tie-down requirements. It also helps our drivers understand how they are a big part of customer service. The program will help them be more professional.”
Couldn’t attend the webinar? Catch the archived edition
Rental operators who weren’t able to attend the live webinar still can receive the information that was shared last month by representatives of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The archived edition of “CSA: What you need to know” is available from the American Rental Association (ARA) until Thursday, March 31.
To access this 90-minute archived edition, rental operators need Internet capability. Cost is $25 per ARA member computer login and $100 per nonmember.
To take advantage of this offer, go to ARA’s website, www.ARArental.org. Under the “Shop ARA” section of the site, select “ARA Education and Training” and then choose this webinar. — Connie Lannan