Trucking companies often hire drivers not knowing what to expect. But, if they know the driver’s record and if they have a bad PSP score, they can better prepare for what comes next. Employees and employers can help each other by participating in the fed’s Pre-employment Screening Program.
Even though it’s commonly called a PSP score, this report doesn’t actually give a rating. Rather, the PSP shows whether a driver’s record is clean. Think of it as your business-wide reference check. A driver’s score actually comes from a carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) report. Regardless, the last thing a carrier wants is a driver with a history of violations that result in a bad PSP score.
PSP’s allow carriers to make more informed hiring decisions. Additionally, carriers can help themselves by joining a CDL trucking solution company who can protect them and their drivers. With ORDP’s over-the-road driver’s plan, you have a CDL attorney along with a solid CDL business plan. Our resources offer CDL driver protection and we have benefitted truckers nationwide.
PSP vs CSA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains the PSP and CSA programs. By creating these programs, the FMCSA provides employers a way to screen for safe drivers and make more informed decisions. It also gives control to the drivers to maintain their records.
Among the differences between the CDL trucker score reports, drivers must give permission for others to view their PSP report. Additionally, the PSP only reports shows 3 years of roadside inspection information, and 5 years of crash history.
A crash report will include information on the:
- Motor carrier
- The location
- Injuries and/or fatalities
- Tow aways
It may even report on who was at fault and if the driver was guilty of something else.A violation of an inspection will include information on:
- Pre-trip inspections and any violations
- Logbook details
- Speeding reports and penalties
Whereas, a truck driver’s CSA report uses a Safety Management System (SMS) to report 2 years of history. This reflects on both the carrier’s and the driver’s record. The SMS system is clear: Basically, the higher the points, the more violations have occurred.
Drivers can prevent a lot of of issues by following safety management practices. The SMS covers:
Unsafe Driving— Points will accrue for CDL speeding tickets, reckless or inattentive driving, and not wearing seatbelts.
Crash Indicator—This section reveals the history and severity of crashes.
Hours of Service Compliance—Maintaining compliance, not driving more hours than allowed, and not driving while tired.
Vehicle Maintenance—Among other things, make sure your lights are working, your tires are safe, and that your truck load is safe.
Controlled Substances or Alcohol—Obviously, driving while impaired because of alcohol or drugs is against the law.
Hazardous Materials Compliance—Securely package hazardous materials and properly mark or label loads.
Driver Fitness—Equally important is driver safety. Drivers can fail safety tests due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualifications.
These violations are in the PSP and CSA reports. However, the CSA report shows the allocation of points for each infraction.
For example, a PSP report will show a CDL speeding ticket regardless of how far over the limit it was. However, the CSA report will show the infraction and show more points if the CDL speeding ticket is 15 mph over.
Solving CDL Problems
Protecting your CDL trucker score should be one of your top priorities. You are responsible for your license and you never want to put it in jeopardy. In other words, if your employer asks you to do a job that goes against the rules, don’t do it. You will be the one facing the consequences.
By protecting your PSP score, your opportunities and truck driver CDL benefits can be much better. For example, drivers with good scores can receive special insurance rates, increased wages, bonuses, and better driving routes.
To help protect yourself, take the time to do the following:
- Ensure your loads are properly secure
- Check that your license is legal for the load
- Request a copy of your PSP and CSA
- Check items on the reports for accuracy
- Keep your logbooks carefully up to date
If there is an issue in your report, work to resolve it immediately. By having an Open Road Driver’s Plan you increase your chances of having a CDL ticket dismissal and points reduced.
At ORDP, we have a proven track record of resolution and negotiation. With our help, tickets get reversed, fees are lower, and licenses are renewed. We have the programs and legal expertise to resolve any situation and keep you from having a bad PSP score. Our mission is to get you back on the road.