|Kelly Anderson Phone Interview - 11-10-09
I caught up with Kelly Anderson of Impact Transportation Solutions for a few minutes today to discuss the impact of FMCSA’s new safety initiative CSA.
Kelly has worked in the transportation industry for 23 years and is one of the industries most sought after speaker, consultant, and trainers. I posed three questions to Kelly regarding CSA.
What impact will CSA have on truck driver recruiting and retention?
What advice would you give Trucking Companies regarding CSA?
What advice would you give truck drivers regarding CSA?
1. Kelly, what impact will CSA have on truck driver recruiting and retention?
Kelly said, “The driver shortage will increase, for three reasons”
• “One is the aging demographic of truck drivers. Many drivers will be retiring in the next 10 or 15 years”.
• “Two is the current recession. Many drivers have been laid off during this recession and will never return to driving, further reducing the pool of available drivers” and
• “Three is; CSA will cause a significant number of drivers to be determined to be unsafe drivers that have a detrimental effect on the carrier’s safety rating and therefore those drivers will be terminated and many will become unemployable in the industry. Kelly said, “I talk with a lot of trucking companies large and small and I have asked them what percentage of their drivers they feel are at risk under the CSA guidelines. Over and over I get the same answer, about 5% to 10%. If those numbers are true across all trucking companies than CSA will have a significant impact on driver recruitment and the driver shortage.” Kelly made it a point to say that “there are some drivers the industry doesn’t need and CSA will identify who those drivers are.” Kelly also referenced a recent CSA report that stated that the transportation industry will need approximately 1 million drivers in the next 15 years!
2. What advice would you give trucking companies regarding CSA? “
Companies must be pro-active with their training and they must start today! Since CSA evaluates 24 months of a carrier’s safety record, the bed is already made. Carriers must put training in place now! Kelly strongly emphasized that “warning letters and suspensions are NOT training. Utilizing online training components are also key. A proper training program will allow specific training to be provided to specific drivers with special needs. Online training also allows for documentation of training provided. If the training is undocumented – it didn’t happen” Kelly also stressed that proper inspections both pre-trip and post trip are a necessity since CSA is driven by roadside inspection data. Kelly recommends that companies set up an “inspection bay” so when trucks come into the terminal they are inspected by a mechanic. Another caution from Kelly is all of those trailers that are out there in “trailer pools”. Some of these trailers have been setting idle for months and it is risky to hook up to a trailer that may not have been inspected recently and hit the road. Kelly indicated that perhaps trailers should be assigned for pick up to ensure that proper inspections have been done.
3. What advice would you give drivers regarding CSA?
Kelly said, “My best advice for drivers would be to have them ask themselves, why do you drive a truck? The bottom line answer is to provide for themselves, their families and their future. Drivers need to take ownership of their ability to provide for their families, by investing in themselves. Education is the key; drivers should seek out companies that provide pro-active training and don’t resent companies that want or require you to take training. They are only looking after the driver’s best interest and helping them to maintain their ability to make a living as a professional truck driver”.