NEW LOCATION 83 Irons Street Suite 4, Toms River, New Jersey 08753-6535
The FMCSA’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis guarantees almost every motor carrier will be scrutinized for safety compliance on a monthly basis. Now, you have been audited in a compliance review, likely received a Conditional or Unsatisfactory rating and face:
- A degraded CSA score
- Expensive violation fines
- Required to develop and track a corrective action plan (CAP Plan) as part of the Safety Management Plan (SMP)
- Being denied loads
- Insurance rates increased
- Possibly denied an upgrade request
We can help you through your audits, respond to audit requests, create Safety Management Plans for Safety Fitness Determination Upgrades, and help with the Safety Rating Upgrade requests.
DOT/FMCSA Safety Management Plan (SMP) and Correspondence Assistance
DOT/FMCSA safety interventions with your company can be random or targeted based on your violation history. An intervention can consist of a full Compliance Review of all the record-keeping requirements noted in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR’s) or focus on a specific class of safety violation such as Hours of Service or Maintenance.
The results of a full Compliance Review can assign a Safety Rating to your company of Satisfactory; Conditional; or Unsatisfactory. Along with the assigned rating my come fines depending upon the seriousness and quantity of violations found.
Additionally, your company will be asked to create and respond, in writing, with a Safety Management Plan (SMP) of actions being taken to address corrective action in the key areas of violation. The first order of business is to understand the deficiencies and what controls were missing. Then, you need to convince FMCSA that you now deserve a rating upgrade to Satisfactory. A motor carrier must base their request on evidence that they have taken the corrective action identified in their safety management controls, as well as developed and implemented this plan to bring the company into compliance. The FMCSA offers a 17 page tutorial on how to construct an acceptable SMP.
For carriers receiving an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating, you are given just 60 days to respond to have your SMP reviewed and approved or face being placed Out of Service on the 61st day until such time your SMP is approved. It should be noted that the FMCSA reserves 45 of those 60 days to review your plan in order to guarantee it will be addressed within the 60 days. This review period really only gives you, the carrier, 15 days to construct and respond with an acceptable SMP. You do not want the FMCSA to delay your rating upgrade because your request was not complete or not completed in a timely manner.
We have assisted scores of carriers to construct Safety Management Plans. Our experts understand the SMP process and will work with you to respond timely and get it right the first time to avoid costly delays and further actions that could be taken against your company.
SMP process includes:
- A review of your audit results
- Correspondence with the auditor to clarify actions required
- Assist the carrier in accomplishing any immediate actions required which can include:
- Driver Qualification file construction
- Hours of Service training and monitoring
- Maintenance file construction
- And more!
- Construct the written Safety Management Plan and review its short and long term requirements with the carrier
- Submit the SMP and work with the auditor for approval
- Work with the carrier on a plan to maintain the SMP requirements.
Safety Rating Upgrade
A carrier assigned a Conditional Safety Rating by the FMCSA as a result of a Compliance Review is allowed to continue to operate but is often placed under additional inspection scrutiny. Additionally, the Conditional rated carrier is often subject to increased insurance rates and denied load opportunities because of the less than Satisfactory rating.
The FMCSA offers a process for upgrading a Safety Rating. The process to upgrade is daunting and time-consuming, often taking months and hours of work by the carrier. The FMCSA goal is to process upgrade submissions within 45 days of receipt however because the carrier is able to continue to operate with a Conditional safety rating, the FMCSA places Unsatisfactory/Out of Service upgrade requests as first priority which can delay processing.
We have successfully helped many clients through the upgrade process and have the expertise to make it as quick and as painless as possible.