Safety = Savings = Profit!
Safety has always been a huge factor when it comes to determining how an insurance carrier will rate a trucking company. With the new CSA criteria, not only will motor carrier rates be based on additional safety criteria, but now individual driver's ratings and scores will also be considered. As companies and drivers alike prepare to adopt the guidelines, our industry is also preparing for a driver shortage. What can you expect the combined impact of the CSA mandate and a driver shortage to have on your business? What, if anything, should you do to prepare your business for the inevitable during 2011?
We can expect the driver shortage to put increased pressure on the insurance premiums your company will be charged. Clearly there is a relationship between the caliber of driver you are able to hire and the premiums you are charged. Furthermore, the driver shortage will place pressure on the wages those top "desirable" drivers can command.
But there are steps you can take to protect your bottom line:
·Work with your insurance partner to ensure you have the best coverage options for your particular fleet. Something as simple as increasing a coverage deductible or excluding a particular coverage you don't need can save premium dollars.
·Remember, employees stay with a company for more than just the pay. Consider conducting an employee survey to learn what your team like (or don't like) about their work environment. It's far less expensive to retain an existing employee than hire a new one.
·Look for cost effective ways to show your drivers you appreciate them. I've witnessed items as small as a Safety Pin brighten a driver's day.
·Make sure your CSA data (violations) is accurate for both the company and your drivers. This information will impact an underwriter's decision when pricing risk.
·Provide your drivers with education/information on the impact their driving can have on the company and their team's ability to reach their goals. One bad apple can affect the bunch.
·Use the tools at your disposal to help ensure you hire drivers that won't have a negative impact on your CSA scores and ultimately your insurance rates. Before you hire, look at the FMCSA Pre-screen Program (PSP); it could save you time and money on future claims and insurance premiums.
Staying awake at the wheel applies to more than driving; it also applies to running an efficient and profitable company.