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Glostone News

September 2015 Newsletter

posted in Alerts, Blog, Newsletter by

QUIZ: What’s Your Compliance Competency?

Test your regulatory compliance knowledge with our new Compliance Quiz. It is a quick 30 question quiz that may open your eyes to the details of trucking regulations. Some of our compliance specialist colleagues have scored an average 70%. Are you staying compliant?

Kentucky Technology Changes May Pose Problem For Carriers

We just received information that Kentucky is planning improvements to the software it uses to manage its mileage tax system.  Part of the upgrade will require current truck data on file to be migrated into the new system.  As the data is moved from the old system to the new, any truck information that is deemed incorrect will cause the truck to be dropped from its vehicle inventory listing.Kentucky is placing the burden on all carriers with a Kentucky tax account (KYU) to verify their truck information within the current Kentucky system prior to October 1, 2015.  Errors that may cause a truck to be dropped are Vin numbers not consisting of 17 characters, incorrect numbers within a VIN number, missing unit number, gross weight, make or year of vehicle.

Carriers will not be notified of inventory that is dropped from the Kentucky system.  Should a carrier have a unit dropped due to an error, they will only find out when the vehicle is stopped at a Kentucky weight station.  If you need help verifying your truck information with Kentucky, contact Heather at 503-607-1088.

The High Cost Of NonCompliance

A look at noncompliance from 2007 – 2014

As most of you know, the trucking industry is highly regulated. This includes driver logs, safety equipment, fuel taxes, inspections and more covering all aspects of operating a truck. Most of you also know the costs associated with being in regulatory compliance. But what is the cost for DOT Non-Compliance?
There are many variables that can enter into calculating the cost of non-compliance. This includes fleet size, types of trucks, truckload vs. less than truckload, regional and long haul, etc. Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can calculate cost of non-compliance.

Fines for Non-Compliance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lists the Closed Enforcement Cases nationwide and includes the USDOT number, name of carrier, carrier city and state, FMCSR violation(s) resulting in an enforcement action, and the total amount settled in the reports. So what are the total fines settled by the FMCSA from 2007 – 2014 nationwide for safety violations? Take a look at the table below:

Source: FMCSA, data updated quarterly*

You are reading this correctly. On average, DOT regulated trucks, buses and motorcoach companies have paid over $27 Million in fines for driver non-compliance annually across the nation. If we break the data down further, the average fines per case for non-compliance is $5,074! In 2011, another costly violation was the transportation of hazardous materials (HazMat) without the appropriate paperwork.  HazMat fines averaged $8,578.

The Secret To Keeping Your CSA Score Low!

We are often asked “how do I lower my CSA scores?” This question usually comes after Carriers have been refused a load or lost a contract because their scores were too high. The answer, of course, is that there are no quick fixes or shortcuts.Lowering CSA scores and keeping them low takes commitment to safety by the entire organization. Other necessary elements include knowledge about what is being measured, adequate and frequent training of personnel, creating and following procedures and constant follow up. Lowering scores takes time and not repeating the same mistakes. Setting up, implementing and maintaining the proper safety procedures, known as “Best Practices,” will keep CSA scores low over the long term.

Implementing Safety Best Practices is not an easy task and when done correctly, touches every person involved in your organization, including owners, drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, supervisors, fork lift operators and administrative staff. Even adopting procedures that involve your customers, insurance company and vendors can help.

When looking for a place to start implementing Best Practices, consider that 25% of all roadside inspections are initiated because the enforcement official visually observes a defect on the truck. These roadside inspections result in 75% of all written violations. Using these statistics it’s easy to see that reducing visual defects could reduce the number of inspections received by one‐fourth. If you are not being inspected, you are not receiving violations!

It stands to reason that if an enforcement official can see a defect, why can’t the driver? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations outline a mandatory visual inspection process by drivers that include
pre‐trip, post‐trip and Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR). Building Best Practice procedures around these visual inspection processes makes sense to not only comply with the regulations but will get the driver to fix the defect before the enforcement official sees it!

Hidden Costs Of Using GPS For Regulatory Compliance

Investment in a GPS system, commonly referred to as an electronic on board recorder, should be seen as a long-term strategy that can generate benefits beyond just mapping routes.   However, the added benefits do not come without some hidden costs and commitment to operational changes using these systems will require.As an example, there are cost benefits to using GPS mapping data to save the time and money involved with Drivers having to manually keep track of miles by state for the regulatory record keeping involved for the International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).  The hidden cost is that you must now have the staff to manage electronic data vs hand written entries.  You need trained staff to edit any mistakes in the data, regenerate missing data from malfunctioning GPS units and have the ability to combine data from trucks not using GPS or perhaps a different GPS system with the data collected from your main units.  You need to make sure the data collected captures the detail for the record keeping requirements of these agencies and make sure you are able to retrieve and explain that data in an audit.

Jennifer Kyniston, Fuel Tax Manager for Glostone Trucking Solutions, says “Companies can easily get themselves in trouble using GPS data for IFTA or IRP record keeping purposes.   For example, we have a client using the popular Rand McNally GPS system for its distance tracking and IFTA tax reporting.  The Rand McNally system will collect the data IFTA requires but they only store the data for 6 months.  IFTA requires the data be kept for 4 years.  A carrier being audited by IFTA for a typical 3 year time period will not have any of the required record keeping available for the audit unless they managed and saved the data themselves. Without these records, the fine assessment will be pretty steep. In our client’s case, we manage the data for them and provide the backup needed in case of an audit.”

GPS tracking technology is an investment into streamlining operations and simplifying regulatory compliance paperwork.  Your investment can easily be wasted without the people to ensure the data is accomplishing your goals.   Glostone has the trained staff to manage the data from most any tracking system.  We can verify if your system is meeting the minimum record keeping requirements for IFTA, IRP or Electronic Logging.   We can recommend equipment and help insure your investment provides the return that it should.  Call Ryan at 503-908-7295.

15 Sep, 15

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