Our MATS contractor session at Mercer was well-attended and a bunch of you asked some great questions. I think nearly everyone walked out with a better understanding of what this CSA 2010 animal is and how to deal with it. A special thanks goes out to Jerry Kiefer of the Federal DOT for making himself available for questions during the session and later during the Wednesday evening festivities. CSA 2010 is industry-changing and the future of every driver depends on how sucessfully he or she can adapt to it. Remember, the bar is high. The same is true for motor carriers.

Hopefully, a number of you were able to attend the CSA 2010 seminars at MATS which were put on by the FMCSA. The seminar leader, Steve Piwowarski, is the point man on CSA 2010 and was very informative. I have heard him over the years at other meetings and know that he is committed to getting this thing right. I was fortunate to be able to spend a little time with him prior to the first session to voice some of our concerns about the program. They are listening to motor carriers, drivers, and other interested parties as they continue to develop the finished product. It is important to understand, however, that CSA 2010 demands absolute compliance with FMCSA regs and that won’t change. I expect to see perhaps some point value adjustments, but I don’t expect to see any gray area whatsoever on compliance with speed limits, cargo securement or hours of service.  People who can’t figure that out, or refuse to, will no longer be a part of trucking, at Mercer or anyplace else.

Many of you have dropped by my office (some by “special invitation”) to see the CSA 2010 format and to see where you stack up. It’s funny how those folks that have the least problems with this are the ones that worry about it the most. That’s probably why they have the least problems (as well as no accidents and clean MVR’s). Go figure.

Motor carriers are beginning to apply CSA 2010 to their respective safety policies. Some are pretty harsh. We are seeing several who are terminating drivers for anything but a clean inspection. Hopefully it won’t come to that at Mercer, but I can’t guarantee it at this point.  I am in the draft phase of the CSA 2010 changes to Mercer’s safety policy and we are currently looking at what effect these proposed changes will have on the size of our fleet.  Write ups will cost drivers and motor carriers CSA 2010 points. The reality is that it won’t take very many before there is a problem.  Particularly if the write up is for speeding, load securement or a log violation. 

Remember, the time to get clean inspections is now. Speed limits mean what they say, there is no allowance for a couple of mph over. It is not about not getting a ticket, you cannot get a write up. They count. Warnings count. Everything counts.  The bar is high.