Because the number one priority for the federal government and your carrier is safety, you deserve to benefit from a safe truck driving record. Just as trucking companies and drivers receive fines for unsafe actions, truckers should receive compensation for actions considered safe. Yet not all truckers see value in using the system to receive a regular safety bonus. Here are your 5 Tips to Earning a Safety Bonus for Truck Drivers:
Your CSA Safety Score Matters
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program to “hold motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety.” The FMCSA goes on to explain, “CSA affects drivers because their safety performance and compliance impact their safety records and, while working for a carrier, will impact their carrier’s safety record. Lower scores indicate safe driving habits. A safety bonus for truck drivers is directly tied to CSA scores.
CSA scores update monthly from data in seven areas:
- Unsafe Driving Violations
- (Non-Public) Crash History
- Hours of Service Compliance Issues
- Vehicle Maintenance Citations
- Controlled Substance/Alcohol Violations
- (Non-Public) Hazardous Materials Violations
- Driver Fitness Citations
The bottom line is your driving receives evaluation every thirty days. The Federal Government and your carrier track your scores, and you should follow your CSA score. Pay extra attention to significant changes in your score and prepare yourself to dispute violations that may be incorrect. Your CSA score is the difference between making money and losing money.
Drive for a Carrier that Rewards Safety
Not all carriers reward truck drivers the same for excellent CSA scores. As part of your conversations with a recruiter, you should ask about the carrier’s safety bonus program. Many trucking companies offer excellent safety bonus programs allowing drivers to increase yearly income significantly. If your company does value safety, the safety bonuses will reflect it.
Always Put Safe Driving First
Earning safety bonuses all starts with your attitude towards safe truck driving. Putting safety first in all aspects of your driving ensures you are in the best position to keep harm from coming to you, your truck, or the public.
Driving a truck for a living has always been an essential service and helps millions of people provide for family and loved ones. You must maintain the reputation that trucking is the backbone of America and that truckers are among the most extraordinary workforce in the country’s history.
Keep Your Truck Safe
A truck driver’s ability to stay safe is only as good as the equipment he or she uses every day. Pre-trip, inter-trip, and post-trip inspections are vital to keeping a truck safe for the driver and the public. No one knows your vehicle better than you, which is why you are the best person to keep it in the best shape.
Stay proactive in tracking maintenance records. Fix things before they create a hazardous situation. The pride you have in your truck means it’s safe.
Keep a Clean Driving Record
It should come as no surprise that a clean driving record is a cornerstone to maintaining employment in the trucking industry and receiving safety bonuses. Your non-carrier, day-to-day, home-time driving affects your professional life. Bring the same tenacious desire for driving safe behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler as you do driving your four-wheel passenger car.
Final Thoughts on Earning a Safety Bonus for Truck Drivers
FMCSA’s website says, “When Your Drivers Get Road Smart, America’s Roads Get Safer.” We like to add, “and Truckers Earn More.” Safe driving benefits everyone…you, your family, the public, and your carrier. Keep up the essential work, stay safe, and go after your safety bonuses.
A leader in specialized secured transportation, Tri-State and its drivers make it one of the nation’s safest carriers. We follow standardized procedures for safe, secure shipments in the Hazardous Waste Industry, the Sensitive Commodities market, the U.S. Department of Defense for Arms, Ammunition, and Explosives, and more.
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