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How To Keep Your Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Scores Low

Keeping your scores low ultimately saves on truck insurance and reduces other costs.  It’s time well invested. The Vehicle Maintenance Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative. This BASIC includes violations relating to properly maintaining a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and to prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo and overloading of a CMV.

The Vehicle Maintenance Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative. This BASIC includes violations relating to properly maintaining a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and to prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo and overloading of a CMV.

Proper maintenance includes, among other things, ensuring that lamps and reflectors are working and tires are not worn. Examples of roadside safety violations that may cause a motor carrier to rank poorly in this BASIC include operating an out-of-service (OOS) vehicle or operating a vehicle with inoperative brakes, lights and/or other mechanical defects and failure to make required repairs. Improper load securement and cargo retention violations are also examples of roadside violations included in this BASIC.

The Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Basics

A carrier’s measurement for each BASIC depends on the following:
• The number of adverse safety events—violations related to that BASIC or crashes
• The severity of violations or crashes
• When the adverse safety events occurred—more recent events are weighted more heavily
All roadside inspection violations that pertain to a BASIC are assigned a severity weight that reflects its association with crash occurrence and crash consequences. The violation severity weights are assigned on a 1 to 10 scale, where 1 represents the lowest crash risk and 10 represents the highest crash risk relative to the other violations in the BASIC. For example, in the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC, failure to conduct a pre-trip inspection is assigned a weight of 4, failing to secure cargo is assigned a weight of 1 and operating an OOS vehicle is assigned a weight of 10.

Keeping Scores Low

There are major benefits to keeping your Vehicle Maintenance BASIC scores low. Not only does it help keep your fleet on the road as much as possible, lower scores mean fewer accidents and safer drivers, as well as lower insurance costs. Here are some tips to keep those scores as low as possible:
• Address the importance of thorough daily inspections. Encourage truck drivers to spend off-duty time inspecting their rigs’ safety features, such as mirrors, headlights and taillights, turn signals and brake lights. Maintenance is also key—tell your drivers to work as quickly as possible to fix any problems with the safety features.

• Develop a system of preventive maintenance for compliant, safe and efficient fleet operations; this include a schedule for periodic maintenance, inspection and recordkeeping. This system should be attuned to manufacturer recommendations, your own experience and regulatory requirements.
• Develop procedures to ensure that management is notified of vehicle defects by using Driver Vehicle Inspection Records (DVIRs) and other communication channels, such as driver call-in and email from mechanics.
• Ensure drivers are qualified to complete thorough and timely DVIRs by the end of the day of the trip and prior to their next assignment. Drivers should submit copies of all roadside inspections to carrier management within 24 hours.
• Develop a written and progressive disciplinary policy focused on taking corrective action to ensure drivers comply with regulations and policies. A progressive disciplinary policy could include, among other things, written warnings, suspensions or work restrictions, monetary penalties, and termination. This policy should also specify consequences for any carrier official who knowingly and willfully allows vehicle maintenance violations.
• Do not tolerate drivers who don’t take vehicle inspections seriously. There are a lot of moving parts on a truck and every driver needs to do his or her part to ensure they all work properly.
• Offer incentives for clean DVIRs; for example, offer gift cards or cash bonuses to drivers for a clean Level 1 inspection report.
• If there is an erroneous violation on a driver’s record, appeal it. If you have a good basis for the appeal—such as GPS records of the driver’s speed at the time of a speeding ticket—there is a good chance it can be expunged from the record.

How Do You Measure Up?

FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) determines an overall BASIC status for each motor carrier based upon roadside inspection results that are reflected as a percentile rank and/or prior investigation violations. You and your drivers can check scores by visiting the SMS website at https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/.
For more information on how CSA affects your bottom line, contact Truck Insurance MN Specialists Team today.


Nearly 80 Percent of Drivers Experience Road Rage

Truck Insurance MN – Truck Insurance Insights from Truck Insurance MN

A study released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 78 percent of drivers experienced significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. The study—based on a survey of 2,705 licensed drivers—estimated that a large portion of motorists engaged in a variety of angry and aggressive behaviors:

• Purposefully tailgating: 51 percent (104 million drivers)
• Yelling at another driver: 47 percent (95 million drivers)
• Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45 percent (91 million drivers)
• Making angry gestures: 33 percent (67 million drivers)
• Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24 percent (49 million drivers)
• Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12 percent (24 million drivers)
• Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver: 4 percent (7.6 million drivers)
• Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose: 3 percent (5.7 million drivers)

Additionally, the study notes some significant demographic differences, finding that younger male drivers were much more likely to have engaged in angry or aggressive driving behaviors.

To combat road rage, AAA offers the following tips:

• Don’t offend. Make sure your driving doesn’t cause others to brake, swerve or change lanes unnecessarily.
• Be tolerant and forgiving. Assume the best in other drivers and don’t take their behavior personally.
• Do not respond. Refrain from making gestures, making eye contact or doing anything to escalate the situation. Call 911 if needed.


Do you need rental truck insurance?

If you live long enough you’ll likely move around 12 times during your lifetime.

 

Clampetts

Clampett’s Rental Truck

Do you need truck insurance if you rent a truck?

Most people don’t move far. In fact, around 70% of people don’t leave their county. U-haul, the moving truck rental company, roughly estimates that three-quarters of all moves are done “Clampett” – (see Beverly Hillbillies) style by move it yourself with things loaded and strapped.

If you move a lot or don’t have much to move, moving yourself could save you some money

However, there are some pitfalls, like having to ask friends and family – then having to return the favor. Someone or you could get hurt. Your stuff could get broken and things damaged. Worse, your in an accident that your insurance policy doesn’t cover. Here is what you need to know.

Summertime is the busiest time to move.

According to U-Haul its North American trucks, trailers and tow dollies roll up enough mileage from renters daily to move a family to the moon and back about 10 times.

Summer is moving and recreational season and that puts a lot of trucks and trailers on the road.

It puts a lot of drivers on the road with little experience driving big vehicles.  People take their boats and trailers out for the first time – sometimes for first time in a few seasons.  It makes the roads kind of hazardous.

That is bound to lead to incidents and mayhem.

While U-Haul and the rest of the major moving truck renters won’t talk about specific accident rates, they are willing to talk about the kinds of accidents their customers usually have.

Hitting overhead objects, losing a mirror and damaging tires is common.

Your personal auto insurance doesn’t cover you for moving trucks and RV’s.  Your credit card won’t cover it either.

Tim Peddycoart, Truck Insurance specialist for truckinsurancemn.com, mentions that your insured personal vehicle would be covered if it were damaged on a rented trailer during transport — if you have collision coverage and liability extends.  However, you’d still be on the hook for the cost of the trailer.

What are your options?

You may want to consider hiring professional movers.  It may be more cost effective and efficient once all the time, possible injuries,trips back and forth, broken stuff and damaged premises are considered – not to mention the cost of renting the vehicle.

Your moving truck rental agreement or contract normally will include state minimum liability coverage , which is usually quite low, and that’s it. The rental company doesn’t require you to show proof of any other insurance to drive the truck away.

You are responsible for damages and many companies will charge for loss of use or rental opportunity – regardless of fault or reason.

Rental Truck Insurance

Rental companies generally offer insurance.

The policy details can vary, but they all offer the same basic types of coverages, which usually will include:

  • Damage waiver – Covers accidental damage to the rental equipment.
  • Cargo coverage – Covers the goods you’re transporting for damages resulting from situations such as collision, fire, windstorm and overturning of the rental truck.
  • Personal accident insurance – Gives you medical coverage for injuries from an accident as well as loss of life coverage.
  • Supplemental liability coverage – Protects you against claims made by a third party for property damage or liability damage sustained as a result of an accident with your rental truck. Limits vary (maximum usually $1,000,000).
  • Towing insurance – Damage waiver can include coverage for accidental collision damage to rental auto transport, tow dolly or rental trailer.
  • Also, the towed property coverage portion will typically cover any car, truck, van, motorcycle, ATV golf cart or lawnmower that is being towed with the rental equipment – up to the chosen limits.

Should you buy?

Do the math. The cost of the coverage varies and deductibles can apply.

All plans with all carriers have exclusions, so read carefully.

For instance, U-Haul’s Safemove coverage has an exclusion for a collision with an overhead object and cut, blown, or damaged tires — which coincidentally are two of the most common types of accidents reported by U-Haul.

Don’t make the move more costly. Contact your agent if you have any other questions.

For more insurance tips

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25 Most Commonly Stolen Passwords

How clever is your password? If it’s on the list below, your password is just as easily stolen as it is remembered. Protect yourself by making sure you’re not using one of the top 25 most commonly stolen passwords of 2015, as determined by IT security firm SplashData.

To create a more secure password, make sure you are not relying only on numbers, and try to avoid simple keyboard patterns. You may also want to avoid easy-to-find information such as birthdays, favorite sports teams and addresses. Attempt to create a password that is eight or more letters long, and avoid using the same password for multiple access points.

 25  What is your password?

1 123456
2 password
3 12345678
4 qwerty
5 12345
6 123456789
7 football
8 1234
9 1234567
10 baseball
11 welcome
12 1234567890
13 abc123
14 111111
15 1qaz2wsx
16 dragon
17 master
18 monkey
19 letmein
20 login
21 princess
22 qwertyuiop
23 solo
24 passw
25 starwars


Controlled Substances Testing

FMCSA Updates Testing Percentage

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the minimum percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will drop to 25 percent, down from 50 percent.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the change was due to a positive result rate of less than 1.0 percent for three consecutive years, from 2011 to 2013. Should the positive result rate climb above 1.0 percent again, the FMCSA says that it will increase the annual minimum testing rate back to 50 percent.

For more information, ask your Truck Insurance Specialist at Truck Insurance Specialists Team MN for a document titled, “News Brief: FMCSA Lowers Random Drug-testing Rate.”

If you’d like to receive our monthly newsletter contact us and we’ll make sure you do.


Will Young Drivers Help The Trucker Shortage?

A highway bill recently passed by Congress had provisions that would allow drivers under the age of 21 to drive trucks across state lines. Some oppose the movement worrying that lowering the younger age limit could result in trucking companies lowering safety standards, but supporters see it as one possible solution to the looming driver shortage.

The trucking workforce is rapidly approaching retirement, and the average truck driver is nearly 50— making recruiting replacements essential. That could be made difficult if trucking companies aren’t able to recruit recent high school graduates. Lowering the age may give employers the chance to recruit and train young drivers before they’ve settled into a different career path.

According to Truck insurance specialist Tim Peddycoart at Truck Insurance MN young Drivers increase rates and make it difficult to hire younger drivers.

Critics, however, are quick to point out safety concerns, citing that drivers under the age of 21 have a markedly higher rate of motor vehicle accidents. While those statistics wouldn’t necessarily apply to truck drivers, there is worry about the danger of recruiting an accident prone higher truck insurance demographic to drive larger, heavier vehicles.

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Did You Know? Truck Insurance MN Insights and News

Risk management tips brought to you by: The Truck Insurance Specialists Team

 

DID YOU KNOW?
Cyber attacks are a growing concern in all commercial sectors, but the trucking industry faces a particularly costly cyber threat: telematics jamming.
Telematics jamming is a fairly straightforward threat—criminals hijack a truck, then disrupt or “jam” the communications between a truck’s GPS system and its satellite, making it more difficult for the authorities to track the stolen truck down. Though jamming is still rare in the United States, it’s common in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

FMCSA Delays Publication of Electronic Logging and Other Rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that its final rule on electronic logging devices (ELD) is going to be published on Oct. 30, 2015—a month later than the agency had initially expected.

The FMCSA had been planning on a publication date of Sept. 30, 2015, but, according to a report from the Department of Transportation (DOT) last month, the rule had to be pushed back due to the need for “additional coordination.” The rule is expected to affect more than 3 million truck drivers who will have to convert from paper to electronic logs within two years of the final rule going into effect.

That same report offered updated estimates on the progress of several other proposed rules, including the following:
• The “anti-coercion” rule, delayed until Oct. 29, 2015
• A proposed rule for standards for new truck drivers, delayed until Nov. 16, 2015
• A final rule for creating a database of commercial driver’s license holders who have failed a drug test, delayed until March 2016

Female Commercial Drivers on the Rise

Truck Insurance for Females

 

 

 

 

 

 

The number of female truck drivers in the United States has increased recently, according to the American Trucking Associations, and that could be a good thing for trucking companies, as women are outperforming men in a number of categories.
Women now account for 5.8 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million truckers, up from 4.6 percent in 2010. Industry experts cite a number of factors that may have contributed to the increase. A labor shortage made some companies actively recruit women, and industry improvements—better terminals, safer truck stops and schedules that allowed for more time at home—also likely played a part.

For Truck insurance quotes 763-452-2145 Truck Insurance in MN, ND, WI


Debunking Commercial Truck Insurance Myths

In the world of Commercial truck insurance, there are a few myths that are heard pretty often. Below is a list of myths debunked by Progressive, a leading commercial auto insurer, in an effort to help you make the best decisions when shopping for coverage.

Myth: If you have a seasonal business, you can save money by canceling in the offseason.

Not necessarily. If you cancel your insurance policy, your stored vehicles won’t be protected. While you might not need liability insurance during the offseason, Comprehensive coverage provides protection against incidents, such as vandalism, theft and weather. Additionally, a Comprehensive-only policy provides continuous insurance, which may save you money in the long-run. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to purchase a new policy when your peak season rolls around because most insurance companies ask for proof of continuous coverage to get you the best rate. So consider dropping to Comprehensive-only in the offseason, rather than dropping coverage completely.

Myth: Your employees are covered when they drive your business vehicles.

This isn’t always true. Some insurers will only extend coverage to drivers who are named on the policy. Check and see if your insurer has something called “permissive use,” which means that all of your drivers are covered as long as they have your permission to operate the vehicle.

Myth: It’s cheaper to buy all of your business insurance products from the same company.

Chances are you’re going to need a wide range of coverages to protect your business. Depending on what kind of work you do, you might need everything from commercial vehicle insurance and general liability to workers’ compensation. While it might be easier to buy all of these products from the same company, you could save big bucks by buying your policies from separate providers. Ask your local agent for quotes from multiple companies. It’s best to deal with one good agency. It saves you time and eliminates the possibility of gaps as to what is covered the other agents may or may not know, etc.

Myth: All insurance companies offer 24/7 service.

This one may come as a shock to many people, but a lot of insurance companies are only available during regular office hours. That can make filing a claim, adding a vehicle to your policy and paying bills inconvenient. The more available an insurance company is, the faster they can get you back on the road. This carries importance in a business where time is money. Before you buy, check with your insurance company to make sure they’re available when you need them.

Myth or Fact

Wonder if one of your perceptions about commercial truck insurance is myth or fact? Talk to your local agent. Just like your customers trust you as an expert, your independent agent is an expert at finding you the right coverage for your business.


Berkshire Hathaway Work Comp.

Truck Insurance MN and the Insurance Specialists Team represents Berkshire Hathaway for work comp as well as truck insurance.

Selecting a Workers Compensation Insurance company and an agent who knows not only knows and understands your truck business and the insurance needs of truckers – one who is also a certified master work comp advisor is rare and a real asset. We feel you deserve to know how not all agents and insurers are equal. Most businesses shop for the lowest quote. They should shop for the best agent represent top companies like Berkshire Hathaway. Generally, this will not only provide the lowest cost – it will eliminate a ton of headaches and lost time.

A BHHC and the insurance specialists team are workers compensation specialists with expertise in creating a better quality experience for our policyholders. This circles everything from emphatic care for injured workers to an improved financial strength through state-of-the-art accident prevention techniques, return-to-work programs, and effective fraud mitigation.

It’s estimated that over 55% of trucking business overpay for their work comp. This is due mainly to mis-classification and other errors. It’s not only possible to get this corrected. You may be able to get a refund for overpayments.

If you think you’re paying too much for work comp…you probably and if are really frustrated then please call us today. We can help.

https://www.bhhc.com/workers-compensation.aspx


Ideas for Return to Work to help Recovering Workers and Work Comp

Ideas for Return to Work Duties

Transportation, Trucking and Warehousing

Use this chart to find possible transitional job duties for recovering workers. The ideas presented here should be adapted to your own situation to help the returning employee be as productive as possible. Always evaluate the unique conditions of an employee’s injury when assigning transitional duties.

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Type of Injury
Alternative Duty Options Back Lower Extremity Upper Extremity

Warehouse/Loading Dock Workers
Comparison shopper (Are suppliers providing best product/prices, competitors’ prices/services) Yes Yes Yes
Conduct customer opinion surveys (via telephone) Yes Yes Yes
Driver’s assistant Possible No Possible
Forklift pre-shift inspector Yes Yes Yes
Housekeeping Possible Possible Yes
SDS book updater/organizer Yes Yes Possible
Outside maintenance (dragging gravel lot, planting, watering) Yes Yes Yes
Pallet and high stack rack inspector Yes Yes Yes
Performing customer site safety evaluation/recommendations Possible Possible Yes
Power tool inspector/inventory taker/minor maintenance Yes Yes Possible
Pre-shift prep (all tools and equipment out prior to shift) Possible Possible Possible
Production assistant Yes Yes Yes
Quality control inspector (pick accuracy, safe practices) Yes Yes Yes
Safety striper/painter (pedestrian aisles, loading docks) Possible Possible Possible
Small-sign painter Yes Yes Possible
Specialty event representative Yes Yes Yes
Superintendent/manager assistant Possible Possible Possible
Tool sharpener or tool and property engraver Possible Yes No
Trade show booth person Possible Possible Possible
Vehicle/equipment washer Possible Possible Possible
Attend vendor-provided specialty or recurring training Yes Yes Yes
Conduct ergonomic assessments Possible Yes Yes
Cross trainer/mentor Yes Yes Yes
Develop safety training schedule, identify and schedule topics/trainers Yes Yes Yes
Foreign language translator (translate policies/practices) Yes Yes No
Label pipes/conduit/breaker boxes Yes Yes Yes
Mail/fax delivery for small packages Possible Possible Yes
Research laws/regulations pertaining to industry Yes Yes Yes
Review and evaluate safety training videos, recommend those to use for training Yes Yes Yes
Review and update safety programs (accident prevention, evacuation maps, etc.) Yes Yes Yes
Rotate/replace/update/clean warning signs or posters Yes Yes Yes
Safety inspector on fire extinguishers, extension cords, first aid kits, emergency exit routes, etc. Yes Yes Yes
Safety program trainer Yes Yes Yes
Special research projects (industry trends) Yes Yes Yes
Take company vehicles to shop for service (oil change, tire rotation, etc.) Possible Possible Yes
Vehicle inspector Yes Yes Yes
Videotape operator for record of property or process Yes Yes Yes

Drivers
Attend specialty or recurring training (DOT, Motor Carrier, etc.) Yes Yes Yes
Audit driver logs Yes Yes Yes
Dispatch Yes Yes Yes
Driver supervisor Possible Possible Possible
Driver training Yes Possible Possible
Light maintenance (dragging gravel lot, planting, watering) No Possible Possible
LOCAL driver Possible Possible Yes
Mechanic’s assistant Possible Possible Yes
SDS book updater/organizer Yes Yes Yes
Research laws/regulations pertaining to industry Yes Yes Yes
Special research projects (industry trends) Yes Yes Yes
Vehicle inspector Yes Yes Yes
Vehicle/equipment washer Possible Possible Possible
Warehouse duties Yes Yes Yes
Develop safety training schedule, identify and schedule topics/trainers Yes Yes Yes
Foreign language translator (translate policies/practices/posters to other common languages) Yes Yes Yes
Label pipes/conduit/breaker boxes Yes Yes Yes
Review and update safety programs (accident prevention program, evacuation maps, etc.) Yes Yes Yes
Review, evaluate and recommend safety training videos for staff training Possible Possible Yes
Rotate/replace/update/clean warning signs or posters Yes Yes Yes
Safety inspector on fire extinguishers, extension cords, first aid kits, emergency exit routes, etc. Yes Yes Yes
Safety program trainer Yes Yes Yes
Site housekeeping (pick up debris, organize equipment) Yes Yes Yes
Videotape record of property or process Yes Yes Yes

For more ideas call and speak to a truck insurance specialists

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