That’s a question I get from five or six drivers every day. The majority of our folks “get it” about CSA and have adjusted their driving habits accordingly. Unfortunately, we still have a few that think CSA applies to everyone but them. The fact is, CSA is real, it is not going away, and unless you can consistantly get clean inspections you will not survive as a driver. Those who have mastered CSA know that they cannot drive above the posted speed limit (ever), must log legal and current at all times, must secure cargo properly, and must keep up on vehicle maintenance items. Particularly important are brake adjustment, tires, lights and air lines. Bad scores hurt everyone and subject Mercer drivers to more roadside inspections. We have discussed each of the seven BASICs previously. No excuses.

So what happens if you’ve had a bad inspection, or a ticket, or an accident and you’ve run some points up on our system? You can get a handle on your score, there are ways to lower it, but it does require immediate effort and complete commitment to change on your part. Here’s how:

1) Clean inspections. That is key and that is what CSA requires. Whatever is keeping you from getting clean inspections must change. The change must be permanent. Our system gives drivers credit points for clean inspections. Our system is designed to eliminate drivers who can’t get this right;

2) Clean road surveys. I have a service of retired and off-duty police officers who observe and report on our units each month. We look at three shots of speed, three shots of following distance, seat belt use and hands free phone use. Clean road surveys earn drivers credit points. Bad road surveys run up the score. The DOD also road surveys military shipments and they are also scored. Drivers can improve their score here by just doing what they should be doing, driving safely. About forty drivers a month find this out;

3) Additional training/seminars. This year, on Wednesday, March 21, I will conduct three one-hour seminars here at Mercertown. These will start at 1:30 and end in time for everyone to eat at our annual pre-truckshow cookout. All drivers attending these seminars will receive credit points for each;

4) Field Safety Briefings. Every year, beginning in June, I do field LKY inspections at various locations throughout the country. Drivers I inspect also receive various safety material and receive credit points on their scores. Although the exact dates are not yet set, the months and locations are. These are as follows: June, Wichita, KS; July, Stockton, CA; September, Sunbury,PA and Greensburg, PA; October, Arkadelphia, AR and Newberry,SC; November, Tampa, FL. I generally announce the dates of each about one month before the trip;

5) Computerized logs. Although not an EBOR, we have found that drivers who run either Eclipse Logs or Drivers Daily Log on their laptop computers are not having log violations. That is the key to having good CSA scores and this is huge. Because we believe that this is the way drivers should be going, we give credit points to those who run computerized logs. It gets better: Mercer will PAY for the program for any driver who goes to computerized logs by March 31. Yep, we’ll PAY for it. Do it by March 31. For help with this, call Jason, Eric or Gerald in Contractor Relations. Already bought one? Call them about getting reimbursed for that, too. It is important to understand that in the near future I will be requiring repeat log offenders to go to computerized logs to stay at Mercer. That will be at their expense. CSA requires everyone to log legal and current. That is what we will do. Bad habits must change. Drivers who do not share this commitment will not stay at Mercer.

Compliance, Safety, Accountability….CSA. Pay attention to your score. Manage it. Constantly work towards improving it. It can be done. Be safe.