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November 14, 2014

Updating Your Conditional Safety Rating

Updating your conditional safety rating
You can request a safety upgrade at any time if you’ve taken the appropriate action to fix what caused your rating of “Conditional” or “Unsatisfactory.” To request a safety rating upgrade, the DOT requires a specific format. Here’s what you should do to update a “Conditional” safety rating.

1. Submit a Safety Management Improvement Plan (SMIP)

If you were given a “Conditional” safety rating, you’ll need to create a plan to fix the safety violations. This must include a description of why the violations occurred, what actions will be taken to correct the issue, and how those actions will accomplish long-term compliance. Some of these changes might be the type of training that has been provided to employees, an increase in staff, or any management changes. Your report must also include an analysis of these changes and how the changes you’ve made will meet the “Satisfactory” compliance level.

2. Document Your Corrective Actions

Document what corrective actions you’ve taken, as well as provide proof that the reported action was done. Depending on the extent of the violation, you may have to go into more detail about actions you’ve taken to meet the “Satisfactory” rating.

3. Send all documented actions to the FMCSA for review.

Everything you document must be sent to the FMCSA in writing. The FMCSA will then decide if your company has made the proper safety changes to update your “Conditional” or “Unsatisfactory” rating to “Satisfactory.” It’s crucial that you did the first two steps right, or else your company could still be put out of service, depending on your safety rating.

The documentation process for the safety upgrade request can be long and complicated. Progressive Reporting will not only help you develop the plan, but can also help you implement it so that you can successfully update your “Conditional” rating to “Satisfactory.” Call us today at (866) 736-6507 so we can get you started on your Safety Management Improvement Plan.

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What is a Safety Rating?

A safety rating is a qualification set by the FMCSA as part of the New Entrant Safety Audit. During this audit, the FMCSA makes sure that your new trucking company follows proper safety standards set by the FMCSA. You can expect your company to be checked on:

  • Drivers’ Hours of Service
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection
  • Drivers’ Qualifications
  • Commercial Driver License Requirements
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Accidents
  • Hazardous Materials (Depending on Your Company)
  • Safety Management Controls
  • Operational Performance
  • Other Safety and Transportation Records

What Are the Results of a Safety Audit?

Depending on how well your trucking company did during the safety audit, your company could be placed under one these categories:

Satisfactory

This is the best rating for your trucking company. If you get a “Satisfactory” rating, then your trucking company adequately follows federal requirements and safety protocols. You can continue to run your company, and you’ll have less of a hard time finding loads to haul.

Unsatisfactory

This is one of the worst ratings for your trucking company. If your company is given an “Unsatisfactory” rating, you’ll need to take the appropriate actions to upgrade your safety rating or else your company could risk being put out of service. If your “Unsatisfactory” rating becomes valid, your company is not allowed to operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).

Conditional

This rating is not the best, but it’s not the worst, either. A “Conditional” rating means that your company violated a few safety regulations, but it’s not enough to put your company in danger. While your company won’t be put out of service, there are other negative consequences of having a “Conditional” rating.

How Does a Conditional Rating Affect Your Company?

Although you can still haul loads with a “Conditional” safety rating, it could be impacting your business. Some brokers and shippers may not load you, whereas some will load you, but pay you less because they know the struggle you’ll have getting loads. Having a “Conditional” rating can also cause your premiums to go up by at least 25%, making you pay more for insurance.

How Can Progressive Reporting Help?

Our coaches at Progressive Reporting know all the tricky laws that new trucking companies have to sort through. If you find your company was given an “Unsatisfactory” or “Conditional” safety rating, give Progressive Reporting a call. We can help you create and implement a plan to get your trucking company back on the road as soon as possible.

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