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July 3, 2014

FMCSA Aims To Continue Improving Safety Records

There are many reasons why carriers across the country, including in the New England region, are paying attention to truck drivers with the skills and safety record to get the job done in a safe manner. The most recent instance being increased safety regulations being imposed on the trucking sector, along with deeper accountability required of truck carriers.

An example of the increased focus on safety can be found in the website enhancements the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is making.

“The Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s carrier rankings site – the Safety Measurement System – is getting a makeover in August, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finalized the redesign of the site first announced last November,” reports Overdrive Magazine. “One of the key goals of the redesign is to better highlight elements of the SMS that actually correlate with crash risk, FMCSA says. The site should also be easier for motor carriers to understand how they can improve their scores and easier for third-parties or members of the public who work with trucking companies to interpret the scores, the agency says.”

By offering improved resources and tracking systems to drivers, the FMCSA hopes to continue the industry’s trend of improving safety records. This also means truck carriers across the country are paying extra close attention to the safe driving habits of their drivers.

“FMCSA says the changes also ‘clarify the SMS’s role as a prioritization tool’ for carrier interventions, rather than a carrier scoring system,” Overdrive added. “The changes will take place Aug. 2, FMCSA says in its Federal Register notice.”

Evolution of the industry means truck carriers will have to adapt to new procedures in an effort to remain competitive.

“Adaptation by carriers will be key to enjoying the boom, says ATA, as regional growth patterns, technological changes and the evolution of manufacturing and distribution will make the industry more complex,” Overdrive adds. “Carriers that become ‘True logistics experts’ will be the ones that come out on top, ATA’s report says.

This includes not only keeping pace with logistical opportunities but also maintaining the right fleet of trucks.

“Moderate freight growth and a stable economy, combined with our ability to offer unique solutions and company-wide efforts to ‘integrate and execute’ resulted in record-setting performance this quarter,” said W. M. “Rusty” Rush, chairman, CEO and President of Rush Enterprises. “We significantly outpaced the U. S. market in both heavy- and medium-duty new truck sales, achieving record market share in both segments.”

In its story, TruckingInfo.com also reported that “in the second quarter Rush’s Class 8 retail sales, which accounted for 6.5 percent of the U.S. market, increased by 74 percent over the same time period in 2013. Rush’s Class 4-7 medium-duty sales, which accounted for 5.7 percent of the total U.S. market, increased 49 percent over the second quarter of 2013.”

“During March we began to see the positive impact of a steady economy and improvements in freight movement in our Class 8 truck sales, and this trend continued throughout the second quarter,” said Rush. “In particular, sales of our new Class 8 stock trucks significantly increased as independent operators and smaller vocational fleets required work-ready equipment to take advantage of increased activity in energy, construction and refuse segments. Some larger fleets also replaced aged vehicles to reduce maintenance expenses”