November 14, 2014


Although you can still get work with a Conditional rating, it can be impacting your business. If you have a Conditional rating, 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.

To upgrade from a Conditional rating to a Satisfactory rating, you will have to go through the DOT safety ratings again. The safety ratings are determined by a compliance review that is done on-site with an Inspecting Agent. They will be looking at:

  • Drivers’ hours of service

  • Maintenance and inspection

  • Driver qualification

  • Commercial drivers’ license requirements

  • Financial responsibility

  • Accidents

  • Hazardous materials

  • Other safety and transportation records

To request a safety rating upgrade, the DOT requires a specific format. First, you must tell the FMCSA what corrective action you’ve taken, as well as provide documentation to prove that the reported action was accomplished. Depending on the extent of the violation, you may have to go into more detail on the request about actions taken.

Most FMCSA Division Administrators will require carriers to submit a Safety Management Improvement Plan(SMIP) which must include a description of why the violations occurred, what action will be taken to correct the issue and how that action will accomplish long-term compliance.

With these new actions, you must include the type of training that has been provided to their employees, increase in staff, staff responsibilities, any management changes, etc. Most plans also include the types of analysis and reporting you’ve implemented that shows the actions are accomplishing a level of compliance which will meet the satisfactory compliance level for the rating factor. All actions must be documented with copies sent to the FMCSA.

The documentation process for the Safety Upgrade Request is long and complicated. Progressive Reporting will not only help you develop the plan, but will also help you implement it so that you don’t continue to have problems. Call us today at (866) 736-6507 so we can get you started on your Safety Upgrade Request.

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