A comprehensive FMCSA guide for fleet managers

Feet management

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a Department of Transportation (DOT) agency responsible for regulating the commercial motor vehicle industry. Since FMCSA handles vast responsibilities, we understand the hype it gets. Enter a fleet management organization with a significant record of FMCSA compliance. 

What is FMCSA?

The federal government has a massive say in fleet management organizations, and the primary concern they have is safety. With millions of commercial drivers doing their job, their safety stays one of the major concerns. 

FMCSA is an agency within the DOT that manages the (CMV) commercial motor vehicle industry. The primary motive of FMCSA is to keep the roadways safe and reduce road crashes, injuries, fatalities involving buses, trucks and other commercial vehicles. So, the rules that are to be followed on-road are issued by the agency. Since these regulations are concerned with the federal, state and local enforcements, it becomes highly imperative to comply with them for fleet managers. 

Parties who need to comply with the FMCSA regulations?

FMCSA rules and regulations are applied to all commercial motor vehicles, including small businesses and large fleets. The rulebook is not limited to trucking companies but also includes construction companies, bus companies and other businesses that hire commercial drivers. 

Since the rules are applied to so many types of vehicles and businesses, FMCSA segments the rules according to different factors. All the CMV operators are supposed to follow different rulebooks depending on some factors like the type of vehicle, the distance you drive, and what you transport. 
Here are some standard ground rules for all CMVs that falls under these points:

  • The vehicles weigh 10.001 pounds and more.
  • The vehicles transport hazardous materials in a specific quantity that requires hazardous material placards.
  • The vehicles that transport 16 or more passengers. The number includes the driver, without any compensation. 
  • The vehicles that transport nine or more passengers. The number includes the driver for compensation. 

Although the FMCSA rules also describe Hours of Service per driver. The HOS rules and regulations highly depend on multiple factors, including the area of operations and the load you are transporting.

FMCSA regulations for fleet managers

The FMCSA rulebook applies to a considerable number of commercial motor vehicles. Being involved in different types of businesses and transporting different load types, the rules tend to incline. 

Have a look at the three standard FMCSA rules that all fleet managers should note. 

  • Hours Of Service (HOS): Since FMCSA is primarily concerned about the safety of the drivers and the concerned workers, their first regulation applies to the hours of service they provide. December 2011 was marked for the HOS rule that allows the FMCSA to monitor the working hours of people operating as a commercial motor vehicle with CDL. 
  • CSA Scores: The CSA (Compliance, Safety and Accountability) program is introduced to identify the high-risk carriers having safety issues and prioritize those cases for interventions. The fleet managers should understand the working of CSA scores. 

Drug and Alcohol Testing: We are pretty familiar with alcohol testing while generally driving too. However, the commercial vehicles are rougher on the road and have safety norms to follow that mandate the need for drug testing. This fulfils the safety concern of FMCSA on legal grounds.

FMCSA is responsible for setting rules and regulations for the fleet. Be it the assets or the drivers and passengers, the rules prescribed by FMCSA prioritize efficiency, safety and public welfare. 

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