Judging from the calls I get and the large number of drivers who have stopped by my office, more folks are taking the time to educate themselves about CSA 2010 and adjust their driving habits to effectively operate within this new reality. Those who don’t, or won’t, will be out of the industry.  I think everyone is starting to figure that out.  Here are a few more thoughts to share:

First, CSA 2010 will have absolutely no effect on 42% of Mercer drivers. These ladies and gentlemen go about their business every day without tickets, accidents or DOT violation writeups. Talk about low profile, these drivers have it figured out and are already dealing with it effectively.  They are going to be fine.

For everybody else, there are some common sense things that can be done to minimize the likelihood of having a bad encounter with CSA 2010 on the roadside. First, don’t speed. The majority of our inspections come from a driver being pulled over for speeding. Under CSA 2010, 55mph doesn’t mean 59mph, or 62mph. It means 55mph. The same with 65mph. It is not 68mph, or 73mph. It means 65mph. You don’t “get” 5mph anymore, or 7mph, or 1mph. The speed limit means what it says as far as commercial drivers are concerned. Going “with the flow of traffic” no longer cuts it. If you just can’t keep your foot out of it, I strongly suggest you go by your dealer and have it speed-governed at 65mph. That’s how important not getting a “speeding” writeup is going to be. Remember, it’s the writeup, not whether or not you get a ticket.

Wear your seatbelt. Cops look for that. Under CSA 2010, it also counts. If the officer can’t see that it is being worn properly, the unit has just become an inspection target. I’d stick an orange piece of reflective tape on it so there wouldn’t be any doubt. Seriously.  Get the dark tint off your windows. That  counts on CSA 2010 scores. Trucks with dark window tint aren’t cool, they are targets for law enforcement. We don’t need targets at Mercer. That’s a hint. Keep your log current to the last duty change. That means start your day. Don’t count on getting a green on PrePass. They shut them off to keep drivers honest. If you can’t resist the temptation to gamble with it, I suggest you turn in your PrePass.

On a sunny day, the dirty truck always gets looked at first. Especially the wheels. Dirty engines get more attention than clean engines.  Dirty straps get added attention. Clean straps don’t. Dunnage across the landing gear always gets a special look, as does the first pallet or bundle on the load. No matter how legal you think you got it, my advice is to put one more on the front. Always. No matter what.  At night, a burnt out or non-functioning light is screaming, “Please inspect me!” Straps with cuts are junk. Missing retroreflective tape is a cop magnet.

The three most frequent writeups at Mercer are speeding, defective or missing load securement, and logs not current. Law enforcement knows this about our fleet because they have access to it just like we do.  When they see a Mercer unit, they know that statistically there is a good chance that they can write one of those violations. Avoid those three, don’t draw attention with window tint, no seatbelt use or defective lighting, and the odds of having a good day increase significantly.  Remember, 42% of our drivers have already figured that out.  It is not impossible. We have folks that do it every day.