Monday, October 17, 2011

Social Media in Transportation / Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

Like many other industries, transportation is changing with the introduction of social media.  While some maybe have not checked in, many are  on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Facebook more for friendship and family connections has still been a method for the industry and associations to connect to people of interest.  LinkedIn which is like Facebook but for your professional contacts has been a great way to stay in touch with  your business contacts so you can reconnect when you need to.  LinkedIn has been a great way  to maximize networking particularly through the use of groups where you can find transportation, fleet, fuel, and maintenance groups along with just about any other interest you have.  You can instantly ask thousands of people for advise on a particular topic without leaving the office.  And how about Twitter?  Instant feeds of information from just about any source willing to post it.  Tweeting up to date information makes us more informed and let us know what is on people's mind right away.

So some of you know this all already, but some of you don't.  But the important thing is to know when to pick up a phone or set up a face to face meeting to make real connections.  Social media has been great, but some use it as a replacement, instead of an addition to current communication methods.

How has social media been a positive or negative influence in your business or personal life?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) & SMS (Safety Measurement System)

CSA which stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability, previously named CSA 2010 rates carriers on 7 different criteria (called Basics) relating to their operation in the SMS (Safety Management System).  5 of the 7 basic scores are public information.  The five public Basic categories are Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours of Service), Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances and Alcohol, and Vehicle Maintenance. The 2 non public categories can only be accessed by carriers with their personalized pin number.

This system, which replaced Safestat is meant to be a more proactive approach by flagging deficiencies so that intervention can occur sooner rather than later.   Your carrier violations are rated by severity of the violation and weighted by time.  The more recently you received the violation, the higher the score for that violation.  The violations remain part of your score for 24 months.

My experience with the system is although not perfect, it does bring out deficiencies that carriers must address about their operation.  Some carriers might be reluctant to admit that since for years there was no issue or little awareness of their operation and now they are being told it needs to be fixed.  But the truth is, when you review scores, most deficiencies that are high, show trends of something that should be addressed.  For example, sure we may miss a bulb that is out here or there and may not seem like a big deal, but excessive violations of this type may be a good indication that pre trips and post trips are not being completed on a regular basis.  So when looking at scores, besides the details, we must look at the big picture and see what is driving those numbers.  It is makes our roadways safer, I am all for it.

What is your experience with CSA?  What do you think of CSA?  Friend or foe?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Welcome To My Transportation Blog

Welcome to Transportation Info!  What's on your mind?  CSA? Economy? Hours of Service Proposals and EOBRs?  Have a question?  Not sure where to find something?  Contribute, Ask and Answer.