The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

Penske Truck Rental is ahead of schedule with its planned retrofitting of 5,000 commercial semi-tractors with cutting edge custom LED headlights from Truck-Lite, an initiative it announced in late November of 2012. Penske Truck Rental is the first company to offer these LED headlights.“Retrofitting has gone exceedingly well and by month’s end we will have approximately 3,000 units completed available to rent within our fleet,” said Penske’s Don Mikes, Senior Vice President of Truck Rental. “The response to these new lights has been good and truck drivers really like the added visibility.”

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it is continuing to work toward an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) rule, which was mandated in the most recent highway authorization bill, and expects to issue its initial rule in March.

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Penske Truck Leasing is retrofitting 5,000 of its 2012 and 2013 semi-tractors currently within its commercial truck rental fleet with new, cutting-edge LED headlights from Truck-Lite. Penske is the first and only commercial truck rental operation to currently offer thisinnovative headlamp option within its fleet.

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The safety protocol Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) has been undergoing several changes since it was launched in 2010, and now carriers are getting a sneak peek of substantial changes to the Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS) of CSA that are slated to be publicly available in July.

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It has been almost two years since the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched the new safety protocol Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), but motor carriers and the third-party companies that hire those carriers are still working to better understand the program and decipher how it applies to them.

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Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) program that calculates fleets’ safety scores and determines which fleets warrant intervention, was introduced nationwide earlier this year, and carriers are continuing to review their safety data and determine what inspectors are focusing on at roadside inspections.

Since February, FMCSA has sent more than 40,000 warning letters to carriers. The warning letters alert carriers to safety compliance problems in one of the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS) that CSA tracks.

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Over the last few years, the combined forces of rising energy, equipment and commodity prices have created a strain on transportation budgets. Simply put, the costs of acquiring, fueling and operating a fleet continues to rise. Logistics managers face competing pressures to reduce internal costs, without sacrificing service levels required by value-conscious customers.

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The availability of qualified truck drivers is always a long-term industry concern, but rebounding freight volumes in 2010 have brought the driver shortage issue back to the forefront and numbers continue to rise.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported that the turnover rate for over-the-road truck drivers rose to 79 percent in the second quarter of 2011, the latest period for which figures are available. That figure marks a four-point increase over the first quarter and a three-year high. It is also the third consecutive quarter of increased churn in the driver market.

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While much has been written about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program there is still a great deal of information that fleet owners, fleet managers and commercial drivers need to know and understand. Fortunately, the CSA website provides some very robust information that can help you.

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Industry experts continue to predict that truck capacity will tighten. This is due in large part to economic growth combined with industry-specific regulations like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) newCompliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, new hours-of-service (HOS) rules, and escalating fuel costs.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) new truck safety program, Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) is in full effect. Understanding the entire program can be difficult, but there are many informational tools to grasp the overall goal of the program and what is now expected from carriers.

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Penske Ready for CSA

Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics are ready for the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program a new way to measure and address commercial motor vehicle safety. The CSA initiative aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of FMCSA’s enforcement and compliance program to reduce commercial motor vehicle crashes, fatalities and injuries by:

  • Identifying unsafe carrier and driver behaviors that lead to crashes
  • Using all roadside inspections results and crash reports to identify safety deficiencies
  • Enabling more carriers to be contacted earlier and more frequently
  • Improving efficiency of investigations by focusing on unsafe behaviors, identifying root causes, and defining and requiring corrective actions
  • Employing a variety of interventions tailored to problems
  • Requiring sustained accountability of carriers

CSA replaces SafeStat, the FMCSA’s former safety operational program that limits its analysis of data to violations that result in out-of-service orders. But with CSA, all safety violations are included in the metrics. The stringent safety program comprises three new core components: a Safety Measurement System (SMS), an intervention process and tools that address violations and their causes, and an evaluation of safety performance.

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The Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) is a U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. Various phases of this program have already been implemented throughout this year, but full implementation will not be completed until 2011, according to the FMCSA. Data from the program's Safety Measurement System (SMS) has now gone live.

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