Attention truckers: Is your safety up to snuff?

Nancy Anderson
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According to a recent article in Logistics Management, trucking companies could be facing a talent crunch of their own in the very near future. Truck drivers who are currently employed should pay heed, for if their safe operating practices are not beyond reproach, they could become one of the reasons for the talent crunch.

The reason why has to do with a new Federal procedure for rating the operations of trucking companies and truck drivers called Comprehensive Safety Analysis, or CSA. According to LM, CSA is the toughest safety regime the Feds have ever implemented - so strict that it could reduce trucking capacity by 5% as the worst drivers are forced off the road by its requirements.

CSA will use roadside inspection data and crash records to rate vehicles and drivers on seven factors: unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, drug and alcohol use, vehicle maintenance, cargo-related safety, and a crash indicator that measures a carrier's history of accidents. Note that four of the seven factors concern drivers' condition and performance.

Carriers who score low on the CSA's safety ratings will face stepped-up inspections, warnings, and ultimately fines or even orders to cease operations if a carrier fails to correct its deficiencies.

What this means for tractor-trailer truck drivers is that the poor performers will likely be shown the door; estimates of how many truckers might lose their jobs or be banned from interstate truck driving range as high as 10 percent. For drivers now on the road, this should serve as a wake-up call to shape up if they have issues that could affect their driving; for those seeking a career as a truck driver, it could mean opportunity as companies act to replace lost capacity by hiring new drivers.

By Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith has been blogging for since 2010. In addition to launching award-winning newspapers and newsletters at the University of Pennsylvania and Widener University, Sandy is a veteran writer whose articles and essays have appeared in several local and regional media outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia CityPaper, and PGN, and on several Web sites. He is also an active participant on several discussion boards, including, where he posts as “MarketStEl.” He has been supporting himself through a combination of freelance and part-time work and unemployment compensation since early 2009 and is himself an active job-seeker. Read more of his posts on and follow him to Nexxt for more job opportunities.


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