Sam Tucker is the founder and CEO of Carrier Risk Solutions, Inc., an Atlanta, Georgia based transportation risk management startup. Prior to this venture, Sam spent 13 years underwriting trucking and logistics accounts at some of the most well known insurance companies. He holds degrees in Business Economics and Finance/Risk Management as well as multiple professional insurance designations. Carrier Risk Solutions' innovative safety management platform can be found online at www.MySafetyManager.com. Reach Sam by email at STucker@CarrierRiskSolutions.com.
Compliance reviews conducted by the FMCSA and their state DOT partners have spiked 27% through the first 4 months of 2017, according to our research!
After reviewing the FMCSA A&I online thoroughly (because I’m a huge geek), we’ve found that our suspicions were true.
I have felt, through business growth and from others in the industry, that the FMCSA and State DOT partners have been ramping up the number of compliance reviews in the recent months.
Trends in Compliance Reviews
In digging through the numbers, we have discovered the following trends:
- The number of compliance reviews conducted has increased year over year from 1,784 to 2,272. That is a 27% increase.
- The total amount of fines collected from compliance reviews has also increased dramatically (33%), from $14,070,867 last year to $18,794,129 this year.
- The average fine received grew 4.9%, from $7,887 to $8,272.
- The median fine received spiked 9.2% as well. (That’s for those fellow stat nerds who would like to claim that the numbers may be skewed by an “outlier”, or an unreasonably large fine).
In fact, there was an outlier to be had this year. One company was fined $388,500 for non-compliance in April. Don’t get too excited over that one, as the fine resulted from a compliance review of a cargo tank facility.
The largest fine received by a motor carrier so far this year was only $193,520! That only equated to about $2,058 for each of the company’s 94 reported power units.
Growth in Compliance Reviews
This follows a 2015-2016 year over year increase in the total number of compliance reviews spike of 33%.
If you also feel that the FMCSA and State DOT inspectors are ramping up their efforts to catch and stop motor carriers from violating the FMCSA regulations, you would be right!
A compliance review doesn’t come about overnight. These are well planned after a motor carrier has multiple opportunities to avoid them.
In fact, it is about step 3 or 4 in the FMCSA “safety intervention” toolbelt.
If you get that dreaded letter in the mail, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you.
As I’ve mentioned before, you can have your choice of prevention or cure when it comes to dealing with FMCSA regulatory compliance.
Carrier Risk Solutions exists to help small trucking companies with both.
But, trust me, prevention is a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than cure!
You don’t want your back against the wall with the future of your business on the line over compliance issues. Plus, once you’ve hit the FMCSA’s radar it is very hard to get off of it.
The system is designed to put increasing pressure on those who aren’t complying with the FMCSA regulations. It is NOT a balanced scorecard as so many in the trucking industry would like.
Is it fair that non-compliance is punished while good compliance goes essentially unnoticed by the FMCSA? Perhaps, but their job isn’t to make you feel better about doing the right thing. It is to help save lives and prevent crashes involving large trucks and buses. Love them or hate them, that is their mission and one that they take very seriously.