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Federal registration for truck carriers: new process, part 1

One of the rules of thumb in any type of endeavor is that 80 percent of the problems are caused by 20 percent of the people. To be sure, the breakdown in a particular field may not be 80 / 20. The point, however, is that a small number of bad actors are often responsible for a disproportionate share of incidents.

In the field of truck safety, this is why federal safety regulators are seeking more effective ways to review applications by trucking carriers for required federal registration. 

The relevant agency is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In this post, let's look at FMCSA's efforts to create a better screening process for truck companies. 

FMCSA wants to identity high-risk operators earlier on in the registration process. This makes sense because high-risk operators cause a disproportionate share of truck accidents. This is the case both in Texas and across the nation.

In July, FMCSA began testing out a new pre-screening process for trucking carriers. The premise of the process is that some applicants for trucking registration need more scrutiny than others. The new process is supposed to better differentiate between low-risk and high-risk applicants.

Applicants who are considered low-risk will be allowed to file information through electronic means under the new process. But high-risk applicants may be required to go through an on-site review to address safety concerns.

The new pre-screening process is being handled in five American states and five Canadian provinces.

Texas is not one of those states. But if FMCSA is satisfied with the results of the pre-screening test, it could very well be rolled out across the country before long.

In part two of this post, we will look at factors that safety regulators look at in auditing new applications from trucking companies.

Source: Truckinginfo, "FMCSA Testing New Way to Screen Carrier Applicants," September 4, 2013

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