The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program (CSA) to improve commercial motor vehicle safety.
FMCSA describes this program as a “data-driven safety compliance and enforcement program designed to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities”.
A high CSA score can have multiple negative effects for a motor carrier:
- Higher insurance costs
- More frequent roadside inspections
- More difficulty recruiting drivers
- Driver retention issues
- Fewer clients
Here are the 5 ways TrailerNet technology will improve your CSA scores:
#1 Vehicle breakdown detection
The Phillips TrailerNet system monitors lights, brakes, and tire inflation, addressing roughly 80% of FMCSA violations on trailers.
TrailerNet hardware sensors installed on each trailer provide a constant stream of information to the Phillips Automated Fleet Management System.
The fleet management system displays equipment reports. In addition, Phillips’ proprietary “dashboards” display information to the driver, dispatcher, and the maintenance crew.
The maintenance module allows:
- Real-time alerts on tire inflation, burned out trailer lights, brake condition, etc
- Predictive analytics for predicting impending maintenance/breakdown events
- Trailer condition reports, in real-time
- Asset alerts to schedule preventive maintenance
- Asset tracking (GPS)
- Location-based service locator
- ABS monitoring
- Sensors to detect if the trailer door is open and/or if the trailer is loaded
- Actuators to lock the trailer door and/or lock the trailer brakes for lost prevention
- Detecting issues with temperature control equipment
Sensors provide instantaneous, real-time indications of serious problems related to the trailer. Maintenance personnel are notified as faults occur. Drivers and dispatchers can track the mechanical condition of equipment, in real time.
This improves operational efficiency and reduces the exposure of potentially failing a roadside Department of Transportation (DOT) safety inspection.
#2 Predictive analytics in repair scheduling
PCT’s TrailerNet uses predictive analytics to assist in maintenance scheduling to reduce breakdowns. Fewer breakdowns result in less time running with equipment that could potentially fail a roadside inspection.
Predictive software calculates Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR). Both are critical to keeping equipment running safely. Sensors can be placed to detect early physical signs of failure. Early detection of equipment failure (or, potential equipment failure) means reduced maintenance costs, reduced down time, and greater reliability. Most importantly, early detection means a much reduced chance of injury to drivers and the general public.
#3 Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance
TrailerNet tracks driver HOS and can warn drivers and dispatchers when a driver is nearing HOS limits.
Of all the violations committed by drivers—HOS violations are the easiest to commit. The rules for HOS can be complicated. Sometimes the rules are not clearly understood by drivers. HOS logs are often filled out late at night.
A simple clerical error, or a basic mistake in arithmetic can cause a driver to be in violation. This error gets assigned to both the driver and the motor carrier that has dispatched him. Paperless logs have made these sort of errors less common. The next, logical step is full integration into a common data stream that combines data from all operations.
Keeping track of HOS issues does more than simply prevent a poor CSA score—if the driver and the dispatcher have good HOS information—better trip planning is possible. Proper planning is easier when everyone has good, current, and reliable information. Keeping everyone in the office aware of what is happening in the field—and, everyone in the field aware of what is happening in the office—simplifies the transportation process, keeps the equipment moving, and reduces the possibility of creating a situation that could lead to a CSA reportable issue.
#4 Plug and Play
Phillips’ Automated Fleet Management System is plug-and-play, using smart-trailer technology. Phillips integrates all components. This provides seamless data flow. Dispatchers and load planners no longer need to manually compare information from multiple software platforms.
PCT’s plug and play system fully supports a variety of trailer/cargo combinations. Not every motor carrier is the same. Not every trailer is a dry van. Safe operation depends on customizing trailer sensors to fit the operation needs of the carrier and work conditions. Fleet owners can pick which sensors are appropriate. Safety is not a “one size fits all” set of tools.
Repair/replacement of sensors is greatly simplified. Using standard components make maintenance tasks easier. Less complicated repair/replacement tasks can be accomplished by mechanics, with greater efficiency, in the field—instead of moving the trailer to a trailer shop.
Automated safety equipment reduces issues related to operator error. Computers never get tired. A more consistent operation can be achieved.
#5 Phillips Connect Technologies
TrailerNet is connected by the Phillips’ Automated Fleet Management System. This system provides a single source of data—connecting the equipment, driver, dispatcher, maintenance department, etc. This greatly simplifies overall operations. Smooth, effortless sharing of information removes many obstacles in getting work finished in a timely manner.
All the data from the fleet management system is transmitted by a single data carrier. Previous technology required multiple data paths (occasionally multiple data service providers, each with a separate data plan). Each data path only transmitted part of the information back to the carrier’s operation center. When the various pieces of data were back at the data center, the data would be combined by hand. With Phillips’ system, all data is transmitted together.
With a simplified data structure, planning confusion is curbed and operation errors that could lead to CSA related issues are reduced.