Back-to-Back Safety. Injury Prevention Training for Drivers and Warehouse Employees

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional truck drivers suffer more injuries requiring time away from work than any other industry. This is a trend that has continued for over a decade.


Per OSHA, manual materials handling is the main cause of compensable injuries in the American work force, with four out of five of these injuries affecting the lower back. In 2013, there were 212,080 cases involving injuries to the back. These cases include sprains, strains, and tears; bruises and contusions; fractures; and soreness and pain in general.

These statistics, coupled with the fact that nearly 25% of all warehouse injuries occur at loading docks, highlight the importance of implementing and enforcing safe lifting practices in the workplace for professional truck drivers and warehouse employees.

Improper lifting, twisting, or bending can strain or sprain the back, cause ruptured or slipped disks, muscle spasms, and other pain. Back disorders can develop over time due to repetitive motions, or they can be triggered by a single movement or accident.

Several factors can increase the likelihood of developing a back disorder:

  • Poor posture and bad body mechanics
  • Stressful living and working activities
  • Poor physical condition
  • Poor design of job or work station
  • Repetitive lifting
  • Twisting or bending or reaching while lifting
  • Heavy lifting
  • Fatigue
  • Poor footing such as slippery floors, or constrained posture
  • Lifting with forceful movement
  • Vibration, such as with lift truck drivers, delivery drivers, etc.

While protecting workers from back injuries does not fall under any one particular standard, OSHA points to the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act of 1970, which requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Osha general duty clause

Below are some of our favorite DVDs from JJ Keller that can help you keep your employees injury free:

Back Safety DVDJJK 38232 – Back Safety
This DVD will help you educate your employees on how to keep their backs healthy and provide preventive measures that can be taken to avoid back injuries.


Warehouse Safety TrainingJJK 178DVD – Loading Dock and Warehouse Safety Training
This DVD covers the safety issues unique to drivers, loading dock workers, and warehouse employees. Includes topics such as: back injuries resulting from improper lifting or carrying; using forklifts; and preventing slips and falls caused by wet or oily docks.

Injury prevention for driversJJK 13937 – Injury Prevention for Drivers
This industry-specific DVD teaches drivers how to stay injury-free while performing non-driving tasks.  Covers best practices for preventing back injuries, avoiding sprains, cuts, pinches, abrasions and cuts, and avoiding becoming pinned or crushed by cargo.


About Ryder Fleet Products
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We’re here to help
Find a part number, cross reference a part, or ask a question by contacting our customer service team at 855.885.5631or

Copyright 2015 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.     Copied with permission


What to Consider When Choosing a Truck Mattress

truck mattress

A sleepless, restless night is no fun. And waking up after an uncomfortable night and having to go to work – especially if you drive for a living – is less than ideal and can present unique problems.

Obviously, a well-rested driver is going to be more alert to road incidents and be able to make quicker corrective actions. For your time on the road, you need to stay rested, comfortable and healthy. The right truck mattress waiting for you in the sleeper berth can be just what you need to rejuvenate. If you’re contemplating purchasing a truck mattress and could use a little guidance, we hope the tips below can help steer you in the right direction.

1. Mattress Size

Sizes and configurations of sleeping cabs vary, so start with measuring both the length and the width of the sleeper berth to use as a guide when looking at mattress sizes.

Many truck mattresses are conveniently shipped compression packed and don’t expand to their full size until they are unpackaged. This makes the mattress easier to handle and maneuver into the sleeper area, regardless of the mattress size. Unpack once inside the sleeping area and give the mattress a few minutes to take shape and reach its full size.

2. Comfort level/thickness

A truck mattress will not only vary in width and length, but also in thickness. What do you prefer sleeping on? Will a thin mattress suit you, or are you dreaming of resting on something thicker, plusher, and topped with memory foam?

Mattress thicknesses generally range from between 4″ thick to 10″ plus. A 4″ thick mattress may not offer all the cushion of a thicker one (especially when one driver sleep while another drives)  but can be a great economical option or a good choice for a top bunk that is slept on infrequently.

For added comfort, go with a thicker mattress or a mattress topped with memory foam such as these memory foam truck mattresses.

Other popular thicknesses are 6.5″ and 5.5″.  Look for one with a quilted top for more cushion and comfort than a non-quilted one.

3. How easy is the mattress to clean?

This may be an important consideration for team drivers, company owned trucks or any situation where a truck is to be used by multiple drivers. Some truck mattresses, such as these from Mobile Innerspace, have a cashmere removable cover that you can easily take off and throw in the washer. Alternatively, a basic cloth or plastic mattress cover can be purchased separately and will help protect the mattress. The plastic will help to resist stains and spills.

4. Is the mattress reversible?

A reversible mattress is designed so it can be flipped over and used on either side. Useful for increasing the life span of the mattress.

5. Does it meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards?

A quick check should let you know if a mattress meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 302 (MVSS-302) – Flammability of Interior Materials – Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses.
This standard specifies burn resistance requirements for materials useFMCSA logod in the occupant compartments of motor vehicles. Its purpose is to reduce deaths and injuries to motor vehicle occupants caused by vehicle fires, especially those originating in the interior of the vehicle from sources such as matches or cigarettes.

Each mattress sold at passes MVss-302 requirements.

Start your truck mattress search at Ryder Fleet Products.

We’re your source for luxury truck mattresses. Choose from various models and price points and enjoy FREE shipping on orders over $250. Let us help you relax, rejuvenate and wake up refreshed!

We’re here to help
Find a part number, cross reference a part, or ask a question by contacting our customer service team at 855.885.5631or

With, you have instant access to the trucking industry’s premiere aftermarket parts and shop supplies – all at discounted prices.

Three-to-One Odds are the Best You Can Get in This Horse Race – A Look at Violation Rankings

Puzzling to many managers in the motor carrier industry is how a carrier can go from a decent ranking within their peer group one month to one of the poorer rankings within the same group the next month. How can that carrier lose ground even in a month where they had no accidents, only a few roadside inspections, and no serious (meaning out-of-service) violations charged to them? Were all the other carriers in the same peer group perfect during the same month?

Time-weighting becomes a huge factor in answering these questions. For example, let’s say our carrier struggles with their performance and scores in three of the seven BASICs: Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service, and Vehicle Maintenance. The remaining four ― Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances and Alcohol, Hazardous Materials, and the Crash Indicator ― BASIC scores are low and therefore are not a real concern for the carrier.

The Unsafe Driving BASIC covers things like cell phone usage and texting while driving, speeding, not using caution when hazardous conditions exist, following too close, not using seat belts, and not obeying traffic signals. Many drivers struggle with these types of violations and more.

Hours-of-Service compliance is all about violations in Part 395 of the regulations. Incomplete logs or failure to log are always the most common.

The Vehicle Maintenance BASIC covers simple infractions, many of which could be noticed by a driver who does thorough pre-trip, enroute, and post-trip inspections of the vehicle. Violations concerning lights, tires, brakes, other equipment and accessories, and load securement issues populate this list of safety infractions.

So, our carrier may not have had an accident in the last month and did not have an unusual number of roadside inspections, but had been cited for a few violations during these inspections. What did hurt our carrier more than anything is the fact that our carrier received no “clean” inspections while other carriers in our peer group likely did.

Anytime a carrier receives a violation, even if the point value is just “1” for the first six months, it feels like getting three of those violations, whereas other members in the peer group with, let’s say, as little as one “clean” inspection can gain as much ground as having three “clean” inspections over other carriers! This is where time-weighting can heavily affect a carrier’s ranking. It also shows the true value of a “clean” roadside inspection.

It’s almost like getting three-to-one odds that you will finish above the rest.

Bob Rose is an editor in the Transportation Publishing Department of the Editorial Resource Unit at J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., specializing in motor carrier safety and operations management.

Copyright 2015 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. Copied with permission


Keep cool and diagnose on!Cab A/C maintenance is one of the highest cost accessories on vehicles today and keeping it cool (and keeping your cool) relies on successfully managing the many different components that need to get along and work together in harmony. Refrigerant leaks, compressors, and clutch failures are three such components and each deserves special attention when diagnosing a poorly performing A/C.

This article looks at one of these three critical A/C parts – the clutch – and examines possible causes for its failure.

Why Do A/C Clutches Fail?

Most A/C Clutches fail due to extreme heat created when the A/C clutch is slipping. This situation occurs when there is some internal problem found within the A/C System. Burnt clutches would not be considered defective in the manufacturing process but simply a result of overheating due to one of the following system problems:

  •  Low voltage to the field coil – The loss or lack of voltage can cause a reduction in the strength of the magnetic field of the field coil. The weakened field coil can’t hold the front hub firmly against the rotor and clutch slippage would occur.
  • System Overpressure – This problem will cause high shaft rotation torque. This binding will inhibit the rotation of the armature plate and leads to clutch slippage.
  •  Contamination on friction surfaces – The contamination will diminish the coefficient of friction between the two mating surfaces and result in slipping of the armature. Regardless of what causes the extreme heat, the seal will deteriorate and the grease inside the bearing assembly will melt and spin out. Without the proper seal and lubrication, the bearing will freeze up and destroy the clutch assembly.

Clutch Slipping

Clutch slipping is a condition that occurs when the armature plate fails to engage and rotate in synchronization with the clutch rotor. The field coil when energized becomes an electromagnet which then magnetizes the clutch rotor and armature plate. Friction and magnetic attraction cause the armature plate and clutch rotor to lock together (clutch engagement) and rotate the compressor shaft.

Clutch slipping specifically refers to a situation that occurs when the armature plate fails to lock together properly with the rotor. The armature will then tend to drag (slip) against the rotor surface. This dragging (slipping) results in intense friction and heat. Asthe slipping continues, the heat causes deformation of the armature plate. In the case of a rubber armature, clutch slipping may lead to melting of the rubber damper and can result in a subsequent failure of the entire clutch mechanism.

You may also be interested in these additional articles on diagnosing A/C problems:
Examining Clutch Failures
A/C Compressor Failure Prevention
A/C System Contamination
Finding the Correct Replacement A/C Clutch For Your Truck
Cab Air Conditioning Standards for Diagnosis and Repair
Selecting the Correct A/C Compressor

Ryder Fleet Products provides quality air conditioning parts for your semi, light, medium, heavy duty and trailer truck needs. View our online selection of AC compressors, AC condensers and evaporators, blower motors,
clutches, hoses, valves, cabin air filters, driers, freon and
more for your truck’s air conditioning needs.

Stock Your Toolbox with our Free Booster Cable Offer.



Look for the “Stock Your Toolbox” icon at the top of our blog posts for special offers and promotions! Let Ryder Fleet Products help you stock your toolbox faster, easier and sometimes free!

We will be promoting these special deals and promotional offers on our blog posts under the category  “Stock Your Toolbox”, so be sure to check back often! Find these pages quickly by narrowing your search to the category “Stock Your Toolbox”.

Please feel free to share these “Stock Your Toolbox” offers with your social media friends, as well as with your co-workers, friends, and fellow drivers.

The FJC Booster Cable promotion has expired. Please check back often for more special promotions. Look for the yellow and red “Stock your Toolbox” logo –  or narrow your category search (listed to the right of the page) to the “Stock Your Toolbox” category.

Receive a FREE set of 10 gauge 12’ 250 Amp Light Duty Booster Cables (FJC45215P) with the purchase of any of the following professional duty booster cables:

FJC45255:  1 Gauge Professional Booster Cables (This promo has expired)
25 foot cables;  800 Amp Commercial Grade Clamps

FJC45234: 4 Gauge Booster Cables (This promo has expired)
20 foot cables;  600 Amp Parrot Style Clamps

FJC45245:  2 Gauge Professional Booster Cables (This promo has expired)
25 foot cables; 600 Amp Parrot Style Clamps

FJC45265: 2/0 Gauge Professional Booster Cables (This promo has expired)
25 foot cables; 800 Amp Commercial Grade Clamps

Just order the product from our website and you will automatically be sent the free item as well as the item you ordered. No promo code or coupon code needed.


Discounted Tools

This Air Tool Gatemouth Bag Promo has just been reduced even more – giving you a great opportunity to add five quality Sunex Tools to your toolbox at a fraction of the price. Plus, receive a convenient Sunex Gatemouth Tool Bag free.

Get ready to fasten, cut, grind and create with five of Sunex’s most popular tools:

1. SX231P – 1/2 Premium Impact Wrench

  • Powerful twin hammer mechanism produces 500 ft-lbs of torque
  • Reverse bias technology increases torque in reverse ensuring the removal of lugs
  • Ultra-light weight reduces user fatigue

2. SX113 – 3/8 Air Ratchet

  • With 45 ft-lbs. of torque and 150 rpm, it can handle any job quickly and efficiently
  • Unique head design for longer ratchet life
  • Exceptional quality with surprising power

3. SX233A – Utility Cut-Off Tool with Guard

  • Light weight at 1.6 lbs but with the power to cut all types of material
  • Rear exhaust directs air away from the work surface
  • Built-in regulator
  • Includes 3 cutting wheel
  • Replacement wheels (set of 5) – 87602

4. SX231B – 1/4 Dr. Mini Air Die Grinder

  • Compact, lightweight design for easy maneuverability in tight areas
  • Built-in speed regulator
  • Lock off throttle for extra safety

5. SX264 – 1/4 Dr. Mini Right Angle Die Grinder

  • Compact, lightweight design for easy maneuverability in tight areas
  • 90 degree head allows flexibility in many applications
  • Lock off throttle for extra safety




You may also want to visit the clearance section of our website.

5 Reasons You’ll Love the VDO RoadLog

VDO RoadLog Electronic Logging Device

The FMCSA has proposed that interstate commercial truck and bus companies soon be required to use ELDs (Electronic Logging Device) in their vehicles to improve compliance with HOS Rules. Although the latest projection for the final rule is now around the fourth quarter of 2015,  many owner-operators and fleets are deciding to go ahead now and replace the paperwork burden of manual logs with electronic logging.

But where do you start and what should you look for in an ELD, and are there benefits to switching from manual logs to an ELD sooner than mandated?

In this article, we discuss the VDO RoadLog ELD and outline five favorite features that drivers, owner operators, fleets, and even roadside inspectors, say they love the most.

1. No monthly fees/no contracts
Ease of use and affordability have made the VDO RoadLog popular among drivers, owner operators and small to medium fleets. There are no monthly fees or contracts to worry about and it’s the lowest cost solution for full regulatory compliance.You’ll get fast, accurate, and easy reporting on a budget. A budget that doesn’t have to be dipped into month after month.

2. Built-in Printer – print and go at roadside inspections
When going through a road-side inspection, we all want to hear the “You’re good to go!” from the inspector as quickly as possible. And the built-in printer helps make that happen. Simply print your logs right from your truck, and hand them to the compliance officer – the same as you’ve done with manual logs. The printout is similar to the log book style so the inspector is able to quickly and easily view and interpret the data – making the printer a feature that the roadside inspector appreciates just as much as the driver. The printout immediately eliminates any technology compatibility issues with having to transfer/display data electronically at a roadside inspection. And, because it is a thermal printer, it never requires any ink.

VDO RoadLog Electronic Logging Device

Simply print your logs right from your truck, and hand them to the compliance officer.

3. Automatic software updates – Keeps you current with the latest changes
Keeping up to date with the most current FMCSA regulations is now automatic.
When there’s a change to an FMCSA regulation, and there’s been 5 concerning HOS within the last 2 years, your VDO software will automatically update to reflect the latest regulations so you can rest assured you’re always in the know.
If you’re about to exceed any of the upcoming limits, it will even send you an alert letting you know — helping you steer clear of compliance violations and fines as much as possible.

NOTE: A new software update is now available: On January 26, 2015, Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket, the manufacturers of the VDO RoadLog ELD, released a free software update to address the FMCSA’s decision to temporarily suspend the 34-hour restart rule revision instituted in July 2013. The software updates are free and automatically available online at to registered VDO RoadLog owners.

4. Your edge to getting the best loads
Because fleets may receive more favorable insurance rates if they can show that their drivers are operating in compliance, it benefits them to hire a driver who is already ELD equipped. These drivers are able to show that they operate safely and within compliance and can have a positive impact on a fleet’s CSA scores. Additionally, it can give a driver an advantage when it comes to receiving the best loads from their favorite carriers. For many drivers, this advantage has been their motivator for going ahead and making the switch from paper logs now.

If you are an owner-operator, you may also be interested in this article from Overdrive – “An owner-operator option for ELDs.”

5. Automatically generate your logs – no calculator needed
Use the VDO RoadLog not only for tracking Hours of Service, but also for recording a whole host of other data automatically. Data, such as DVIR, IFTA and IRP, is also captured and provides a complete FMCSA compliant report you can use to run your trucking operations safer and more efficiently.


Automatically capture Hours of Service, as well as other data such as DVIR, IFTA and IRP.

Want to know more?
Download the product brochure or view the videos below to learn more about how the VDO RoadLog can benefit you and your fleet.
CO1618 RoadLog Owner Operator brochu Nov13 v6.0.indd

Download  pdf of the VDO RoadLog product brochure 

Video – VDO RoadLog ELD – Electronic Logging Device Overview
The VDO RoadLog ELD can help you stay in compliance, protect your CSA scores and make operations safer and more profitable.

Video – VDO RoadLog – Buyer’s Guide
Great video to guide you through the essentials of what to buy to get up and running with the VDO RoadLog ELD.

VDO RoadLog™ was developed by Continental, the global leader in regulatory compliance systems, with over six million electronic logging devices in use worldwide.

We’re here to help
Find a part number, cross reference a part, or ask a question by contacting our customer service team at 855.885.5631or

With over 60,000 parts in inventory from over 400 suppliers, we’ll help you find just what you’re looking for.

‘No-Defect’ DVIR Rule Designed to Lower, Not Raise, Costs

Effective December 18, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration eliminated the requirement for truck drivers to prepare a post-trip driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) when no defects are discovered. While the post-trip inspection must still take place, drivers are required to complete a DVIR only when a defect is identified. Drivers of buses, motorcoaches, and other passenger-carrying vehicles are not affected by this change. They must continue to prepare DVIRs whether there aredefects to report or not.

The motivation behind the FMCSA’s reasoning for this rule change was to save the trucking industry money ― claiming that $1.7 billion was spent annually on this paperwork process, yet 95 percent of all DVIRs listed no defects. Adding to this cost was the fact that these “no-defect” DVIRs were kept at the carrier’s place of business for recordkeeping purposes, and then discarded after 90 days.
Now, just over a month since this rule became effective, it may be too soon for a motor carrier who eliminated this paperwork requirement to see a reduction in its administrative costs. However, an increase in maintenance costs may be felt by some carriers, as could a rise in their Vehicle Maintenance BASIC ranking in the CSA program.

Many motor carriers have concerns that their drivers will not adequately inspect their vehicles under the changed requirement and therefore will continue to have their drivers complete a DVIR for all post-trip inspections. Some see this as a best practice and safety management control that can minimize the risk of operating unsafe vehicles and protect company safety rankings. Daily DVIRs can:
• Protect a company’s Vehicle Maintenance CSA scores by preventing any of nearly 350 vehicle maintenance violations that can be found during a roadside inspection.
• Increase efficiency through a preventive maintenance program that identifies and avoids mechanical problems that lead to costly breakdowns, repair, and out-of-service orders.
• Reduce risk by having pretrip and post-trip inspection documents as evidence in the event of accident related litigation.
• Improve safety by catching mechanical problems before they lead to serious accidents or fatalities.

The FMCSA wrote that it “will allow motor carriers to continue to require drivers to submit no-defect DVIRs if they believe that doing so is appropriate for their operations.” While this certainly can be viewed as a “best practice,” it is also a good example of managing above the rules.


For more in-depth knowledge of the Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR), this DVD from J.J. Keller will help your drivers realize that routine inspections are essential to preventing breakdowns, out-of-service delays and crashes. It also reviews a standard procedure for conducting inspections and goes over the DVIR.

What are your thoughts on the new “No Defect” DVIR rule? Voice your opinion in the comments below.

This article was copied with permission from J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
Copyright 2015 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.  

Roadcheck 2015.

Roadcheck is an annual event sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), North America’s leading commercial vehicle enforcement organization. Within a 3-day period, 10,000 CVSA and FMCSA inspectors conduct roadside inspections at more than 1,500 locations. The goal of this event is to increase safety and security on the highways and reduce the number of crashes involving commercial vehicles.

All commercial motor vehicles (trucks, buses, and motorcoaches), plus all CMV drivers of those vehicles, could be subject to a roadside inspection.

The event begins at midnight on June 2 and runs for 72 straight hours — JUNE 2-4.

Last year, during Roadcheck 2014, 23% of all the vehicles inspected were placed out of service. Nearly 1 in 4 vehicles!

• Total inspections — 73,475
Vehicle out-of-service rate — 23%
Cargo securement violations in relation to all OOS violations — 11.5%
Brake-related violations in relation to all vehicle OOS violations — 46.2%
Driver out-of-service rate — 4.8%
• Seatbelt violations issued — 825

That’s just a sampling of last year’s results.

To help ensure your vehicles and drivers are prepared to pass a comprehensive inspection, such as Roadcheck 2015, we’ve gathered some of our top educational choices from safety expert J.J. Keller that can help you protect your safety reputation, CSA BASIC scores, and bottom line.


The Cargo Securement Handbook for Drivers provides need-to-know securement guidelines on proper use of blocks, ropes, chains, bars, and more for flatbeds, dry vans, reefers and other widely used types of trailers.
Cargo Securement Handbook for Drivers

“Cargo Securement Handbook for Drivers”

The CSA Handbook – A Complete Guide for CMV Drivers is the only handbook that covers all information CMV interstate truck and bus drivers need to operate successfully under CSA. Provides fingertip access to explanations of the seven BASICs, severity tables, and tips for avoiding the most common violations. Explains how to prepare for roadside inspections, rights during inspection, what not to do, and steps to take after inspection.

CSA Handbook - A Complete Guide for CMV Drivers

“CSA Handbook – A Complete Guide for CMV Drivers”


Out of Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial Edition identifies Critical Vehicle Inspection Items following a roadside inspection. Details criteria that can prohibit a motor carrier or operator from driving or operating a commercial motor vehicle for a specified period of time or until the condition is corrected. Includes a full set of CVSA Inspection Schematics.

Out of Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial Edition

Out of Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial Edition


Roadside Inspections: A Driver’s Guide – DVD Training is specifically tailored for drivers and carriers to help them pass roadside inspections, and covers the following topics:
– Roadside inspections – who conducts them and why
– The Six Levels of Inspections
– How drivers should prepare for a roadside inspection
– How drivers should prepare their vehicles for a roadside inspection
– How drivers should conduct themselves during a roadside inspection
– CVSA out-of-service criteria
– Results and consequences of a failed roadside inspection

Roadside Inspections - A Driver's Guide. DVD Training

Roadside Inspections – A Driver’s Guide. DVD Training


Are your vehicles inspection-ready? And your drivers, too? If not, either or both could be placed out of service. And that can lead to a multitude of negative consequences, including delayed shipments, lost revenue, a tarnished company image, loss of customers, DOT penalties, and a hit to your CSA BASIC scores.

Are your vehicles and drivers ready for Roadcheck 2015? Let us know what your biggest challenges are this year in our comments section below.

Copyright 2015 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. Copied with permission

How Does CSA Affect Small Carriers?

 The size of the carrier is not a factor in deciding which carriers the FMCSA will investigate, but size is a factor in how carrier scores are calculated.

The first question that comes up in many discussions is, “What is CSA and what does it do?”

Despite all of the folklore that has been built around it, at its core, CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) is simply a program used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to track and evaluate carriers based on compliance and crash history. Carriers that do not score well in the system are the ones FMCSA will spend time warning or investigating.

How the scoring works
The scoring in the system is based on roadside inspections, violations listed on roadside inspection reports, and crash reports. Violations are “valued” based on severity and time. The severity of a violation is based on its relationship to crash causation. Severity weighting uses a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being violations that have the closest relationship to crash causation.

The time factor involves multiplying the severity of a violation by a “time weight.” The severity for any event (inspection, violation, or crash) that has occurred in the last 6 months is multiplied by 3. If the event took place between 6 and 12 months ago, it is multiplied by 2. Events that took place between 12 and 24 months ago are multiplied by 1. Events over 24 months old are not used in the scoring.

In most of the Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs), the total of all severity- and time-weighted violations is divided by the time-weighted inspections a carrier has undergone. This results in a “BASIC Measure” that reflects a “violation rate per inspection,” with severity and time factors considered.

Two of the BASICs, Unsafe Driving and Crash, use a different process for calculating the measures. It involves dividing the total of all severity- and time-weighted violations by the company’s power unit count that has been multiplied by a utilization factor. The utilization factor is based on the carrier’s average miles per power unit. The power unit count and mileage are taken from the carrier’s MCS-150s that have been on file over the last 18 months.

Once the BASIC Measures have been calculated, they are compared to other carriers’ BASIC Measures.

To start this comparison process, carriers are placed into “Safety Event Groups” in all of the BASICs. Depending on the BASIC, the groups are based on the number of violations, inspections, or crashes. The result is that small carriers are compared to small carriers and large carriers are compared to large carriers. The carrier with the best (lowest) measure in each group gets a “percentile rank,” or BASIC Score, of “0.” The carrier with the worst (highest) measure in the group gets a BASIC Score of “100.” All other carriers in the group will have a score in between these two extremes based on their BASIC Measure.

Carriers that do not perform well are the ones that are placed on the “intervention list,” and can expect the FMCSA to take action against them. The action can include a warning or an investigation.

Because the system uses DOT numbers as its basis, if you are an owner-operator operating under your own DOT number, all inspections and violations are scored directly against your DOT number. If you are leased onto another carrier and operate under that DOT number, your inspections and violations are scored under that DOT number.

There are ‘minimums’
Each of the BASICs has minimum standards; that is, inspections, violations, and crashes, to be scored. If the carrier does not have enough data in a BASIC, the carrier is not scored in that BASIC. Here is a table that explains what is required in each BASIC to receive a score.

Data requirements
All three criteria below, where applicable, must be met before a BASIC score (percentile) will be assigned.

BASIC Min. # of inspections/crashes in past 24 months Min. # of violations/crashes in past 12 months Min. # of violations recorded during latest relevant inspection
Unsafe Driving 3 inspections 1 violation 0
Drug & Alcohol 1 inspection 1 violation 0
HOS Compliance 3 inspections 1 violation 1
Driver Fitness 5 inspections 1 violation 1
Vehicle Maintenance 5 inspections 1 violation 1
HM Compliance 5 inspections 1 violation 1
Crash Indicator 2 crashes 1 crash


These standards are why many small carriers, including one-truck owner-operators, are not scored in most or all BASICs. They either do not have enough inspections or violations to receive a score.

Drivers are separate
The driver scoring system is different. All drivers are scored in the Driver Safety Measurement System, which works basically the same as the carrier system discussed above. The differences are that drivers are not held responsible for certain technical violations and the driver system uses a different time weighting.

In the driver scoring system, drivers are scored independently of the carriers. It does not make any difference what carrier the driver is working for when the inspection and/or violation occurs.

Driver scores are completely confidential and they are only used by FMCSA investigators when investigating carriers. Part of the carrier investigation process is to review the carrier’s drivers’ BASIC scores, and investigate the drivers that have high scores.

How do I make my BASIC scores better?
The easiest way to get better BASIC Scores (as a carrier or as a driver) is to get good inspections. In five of the BASICs, this will make an immediate difference due to the “violation free” inspections being used directly in the math. In the other two BASICs (Unsafe Driving and Crash), good inspections do not help in the math, but they don’t hurt you either since there is no violation to bring into the BASICs for scoring.

What’s the challenge with being a small carrier?
The challenge is, once a small carrier gets a score, the carrier does not have a broad base of inspections over which to “spread” the violations. The result is that each violation has a significant impact on the carrier’s BASIC Measures, and therefore scores. The Safety Event Groups used in the comparison process help even this out, but only to a certain point. In most BASICs, the smallest Safety Event Groups are based on 3 to 10 inspections or 5 to 10 inspections. One violation spread over 3 inspections has quite a different impact than one violation spread over 10 inspections.

Also, small carriers are not likely to see an increase in inspections due to increased BASIC Scores, so getting good inspections to offset high scores is difficult. Large carriers that have high scores will see an increase in inspections, and if they can pass them they can actually see their scores lowered fairly quickly.

So what is the biggest challenge with being a small carrier as far as CSA is concerned? Once you get a bad score, it is hard to get it to come down. What’s the solution to this challenge? Avoid violations in the first place. This can be done by being aggressive with maintenance and inspection, and keeping your credentials and log current at all times.

About Ryder Fleet Products:
Ryder Fleet Products provides a wide range of truck parts, shop supplies & safety items for the medium and heavy duty truck industry at prices much lower than retail. And we offer FREE shipping for orders over $250. Find a part number, cross reference a part, or ask a question by contacting our customer service team at 855.885.5631 or

Thomas Bray is an editor in the Transportation Publishing Department of the Editorial Resource Unit at J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc, specializing in motor carrier safety and operations management

Copyright 2013 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.        Copied with permission

This article first appeared on HDT/,, is the website of Heavy Duty Trucking


Win Free Wiper Blades

Feb 2, 2015 National Change Your Windshield Wipers Day

February 2 (Groundhog Day) is “National Change Your Windshield Wipers Day”. And to help remind drivers that wiper blades are an important safety feature that should be changed every 6-12 months, Ryder Fleet Products is running a “Win Your Blades” contest.

Order a pair of Anco Wiper Blades, and you might just win them along with a laptop backpack. Just order between 1/12/2015 and 2/2/2015.

Are Your Wipers Showing Signs of Wear?
You can quickly and easily check the condition of your wiper blades by running your finger along its’ rubber edge to see if it’s become rigid or chipped. Harsh conditions, such as direct sunlight, can cause the rubber to break down over time and will require that the blades be replaced to ensure a clean, smooth swipe. You may also notice a cloudy film on your windshield (which is caused by dirt, oil or grime accumulation), or that the rubber appears to have pulled away from the wiper frame. All signs that it’s time to replace your wiper blades.

Which Wiper Blade Should You Choose?
Ryder Fleet Products offers a wide selection of quality wiper blades from ANCO including The Contour beam blade, The Profile beam blade, The Transform hybrid blade, AeroVantage conventional blade, The 31-series, and Winter specialty blades. And, ANCO understands the importance of Original Equipment fit, so you can rest assured your new wipers will fit and function as seamlessly as your previous ones – no matter which type of wiper blade you choose.

Below, we have put together a quick guide to get you familiar with the different ANCO blade options featured on our website.

1) Anco Contour Blades –  a beam blade providing premium all season performance.
Beam blades have an infinite amount of pressure points which provide better blade-to-windshield contact and are more aerodynamic – helping prevent lift and noise. Beam blades also have less moving parts and no superstructure so ice and snow don’t stick to them.

The Contour blade has an exclusive, advanced rubber compound that gives you a streak-free wipe time after time.

2) Anco Profile Bladesa beam blade with advanced technology for every vehicle.
Like the Contour, the Profile is also a Beam blade with an infinite amount of pressure points for better blade-to-windshield contact.  Beam blades are more aerodynamic than conventional blades which helps prevent lift and noise. They also have less moving parts and no superstructure which means ice and snow don’t stick to them.

The Profile blade has a unique connection system that offers an ultra-low-profile design that mirrors the look of original equipment beam blades.

3) Anco Transform Hybrid BladesThe new look of performance.
This blade integrates the aerodynamic features of a beam style wiper with the evenly distributed pressure points of a conventional structure. The Transform is a replacement blade for vehicles that came equipped with hybrid technology or an upgrade for vehicles that utilize a J hook design.

4) Anco AeroVantage Conventional BladesClear wipe at any speed.
Replaces OE with a quality that matches the style, fit and performance of the blade that originally came with the vehicle. Has an aerodynamic vented bridge that maintains wipe at highway speeds.

5) Anco 31-Series Coventional BladesReliable Wiper Performance
Affordable wiper blades that replace OE with a quality that matches the style, fit and performance of the blade that originally came with the vehicle.

6) Winter BladesSpecialty blades to handle snow and ice
Uses exclusive designs and materials to ensure clear windshields and safe visibility in any driving condition. The specialty blade is more durable for winter conditions and contains an exclusive extra thick rubber compound that provides a consistent, streak-free wipe while remaining flexible in even the coldest temperatures. A rugged rubber cover over the heavy duty frame prevents slush from freezing joints.

Find the correct wipers for your vehicle
If you need to determine which wipers will fit your vehicle, go to the Anco application guide and enter your vehicle’s year, make & model. Then type in the part # that comes up into the search bar on Ryder Fleet Products. Or contact our customer service at 855.885.5631 or

And remember, as part of our “Win Your Blades contest, if you order your Anco Wiper Blades between 1/12/2015 & 2/2/2015, you could get them for free – along with a laptop backpack*!


Read on for helpful comments from customers who have purchased Anco wiper blades at Ryder Fleet Products:

“Anco makes good products – And this one is no exception!!!”
(Anco 31 series)

“Perfect item, My fleet will get these from Ryder every time. Never had a problem, Always shipped fast.”
(Anco 31 series)

“This is a great wiper never any problems. Always a great price. This is the product we will be using on our fleet of 255 busses for a long time.”
(Anco 31 series)

“We use these on our trucking fleet and pickup fleet. Perfect fit every time! The clip holds the wiper in great and they hold up to the brutal sun here in southern Nevada.”
(Anco 31 series)

“Never a complaint about Anco wipers.”
(Anco 31 series)

“For price of this product it is worth every penny, because I’ve used it on my vehicle along with a different brand and I really see and hear the difference. It is much quieter and last longer.
(Anco 31 series)

“Great product, the best company to buy from! Fast shipping too, packed well!! AAAAAAAAA++++++++++++”
(Anco Wiper blade 50-22)

“The life of the 91 series wiper blades helps in controlling the over all cost of operation. With school busses and vans the need to have good product that holds up to time in bad weather snow and ice is a very important safety requirement.”
(Anco Aerovantage)

“We purchase all of our wiper blades from Ryder Fleet Products and have been very happy with the product.”
(Anco Winter Blades)


About Ryder Fleet Products:
Ryder Fleet Products provides a wide range of truck parts, shop supplies & safety items for the medium and heavy duty truck industry at prices much lower than retail. And we offer FREE shipping for orders over $250. Find a part number, cross reference a part, or ask a question by contacting our customer service team at 855.885.5631 or

Official Win Your Blades Contest Rules
-Wiper blades must be purchased from January 12, 2015 – February 2, 2015 from
– The winner will be credited for the amount of one pair of wiper blades. If only one blade is purchased, the winner will be credited for the price of that blade.
– You may purchase as many windshield wiper blades as you wish; however, credit will only be applied for one pair.