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How to Get Bypasses Regardless of Your Safety Scores

Getting the Green Light

Safety scores are essential to every carrier’s operations. They communicate to law enforcement a fleet’s overall commitment to safety by combining relevant data, from crash reports to inspection results. They are also screened by transponder-less weigh station bypass technologies to determine if a truck should be pulled in for inspection. This often creates a misunderstanding about how a fleet’s Inspection Selection System (ISS) and Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores affect their eligibility for bypasses.

What's the Difference Between a CSA & ISS Score?

Before examining how safety scores impact a carrier’s ability to receive more weigh station bypasses, it’s critical to understand the distinction between CSA and ISS scores. Although similar, CSA and ISS scores have discreet differences that come into play during a truck’s route.

  • The CSA score is a collection of safety data aggregated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). This data includes roadside inspections, crash reports, investigation results, and registration details from the last 24 months. The CSA program is designed to hold carriers and drivers accountable by docking their score with each violation. Fleets can find their CSA scores on the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS).
  • A fleet’s ISS score is an aggregation of its various CSA scores. Ranging from 1 to 99 (with a score of 100 being out of service), the FMCSA creates ISS scores to reflect a carrier’s overall safety profile. The lower the score, the better the safety rating. It is the ISS score that helps weigh station personnel determine if a truck requires an inspection.

To put these differences into perspective (side by side image comparison), think of CSA scores as the engine parts and the ISS score as the entire engine. When bypass technologies are screening vehicles for potential inspection, they’re looking at the ‘full engine.’

How Bypass Programs Use a Fleet's ISS Score

Bypass programs only screen for ISS scores and not CSA scores as it is commonly believed. An ISS score offers law enforcement a comprehensive overview of a fleet’s safety profile, and it serves as a more efficient measurement tool.

 

Advanced bypass programs use modern technologies to screen for a vehicle’s ISS score, plus these other key inspection criteria:

  • License and vehicle identification (VIN) number, which allows law enforcement agents to screen against registration, permits, and taxes.
  • The weight of the vehicle, using embedded Weigh in Motion (WIM) scales to record the weight wirelessly.
  • The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sticker.
  • Hazmat placards, if applicable to the truck’s load.
  • In some states, the carrier’s International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).

 

Before the truck reaches the station, the bypass program transmits for the vehicle’s US Department of Transportation (USDOT) number, which is used to locate the fleet’s ISS score in the federal system. The software then employs imaging, sensor information, and authoritative data sources to give law enforcement a detailed snapshot of that vehicle and its carrier. From there, the truck is either asked to pull into the scale house or granted a bypass.

 

Bypass services that offer 100% software-based technology, like Drivewyze PreClear®, allow drivers to receive bypasses directly on their in-cab ELD or mobile devices. This means that ISS scores and other inspection credentials can be read automatically at highway speeds, without having to slow down or switch lanes to drive under a transponder reader.

 

A great ISS score will typically result in more bypasses. Bypass services, like Drivewyze PreClear®, use the ISS score to determine the likelihood of performing an inspection. For instance, a truck with an outstanding score could receive bypasses up to 98% of the time.

Improving ISS & CSA Scores

It is important to understand that a poor ISS score does not mean that a fleet will never get bypasses. It may receive less, but once safety scores are improved, it will result in more bypasses.

 

There are several ways fleets can improve their scores for a more efficient operation. The most effective way for carriers to enhance their safety scores is to use weigh station inspections and highly reviewed bypass services to their advantage.

 

  1. Ensure inspections are always excellent. Inspections impact both ISS and CSA scores, and clear inspections can improve them.
  2. Encourage drivers to volunteer for inspections wherever schedules permit to have a record of violation-free results.
  3. Get first-hand knowledge of the inspection criteria by speaking with law enforcement officers. Retired officer Doug Hatch says this is one of the best ways to learn how to improve a carrier’s safety scores.
  4. Take steps to receive more bypasses by streamlining safety procedures and implementing a bypass service. Bypasses proves the fleet’s commitment to safety and therefore improves safety scores.
  5. Invest in a bypass service that provides GPS-based business intelligence reporting to understand what criteria are reported during vehicle inspections. This will highlight the specific areas where safety measures can be improved across the fleet to upgrade safety scores and provide more bypass opportunities.

Enhance Safety Scores with a Bypass Service

There are many measures carriers can take to understand their safety scores and improve them. By investing in the bypass service with the broadest possible network, such as Drivewyze PreClear®, fleets can automatically increase the opportunity for a bypass, especially for carriers that serve multiple jurisdictions. The bypass service can then be used to analyze safety violations that are contributing to the fleet’s safety profile. As scores improve, it generates a snowball effect: fewer inspections, less time wasted, and happier, more efficient drivers.

Drivewyze driver screen devices

Interested to see how your fleet can get more bypass green lights on their routes? Contact us to start a free trial and find out how you can improve your fleet’s ISS score with Drivewyze PreClear®.

Drivewyze driver application of PreClear weigh station bypass - large

The Most Common Misconceptions About Weigh Station Bypass Programs

Electronic weigh station bypass technologies have been evolving steadily over the past few decades. Since Drivewyze’s transponder-less bypass technology debuted in the US in 2012, bypass programs have developed even further to make truck inspections easier for everyone involved. Today, bypass services help safe vehicles avoid unnecessary inspections through mobile integration and screening techniques that can weigh the truck as it passes inspection stations at full speed.

Although bypass software and solutions are commonplace in the trucking industry, there are still industry misconceptions about how they work. These concerns are largely associated with efficiency, safety, and privacy, even though in reality, bypass apps are designed to enhance driver safety and fleet efficiency as well as provide opportunities to improve a carrier’s Inspection Selection System (ISS) score and reward its fleet with more bypasses.

Misconception #1: Bypass Programs Will Result in More Inspections

A common fear for fleet managers is that bypass programs will cause more inspections, resulting in wasted time, more paperwork, and delayed deliveries. In reality, bypass services are used by law enforcement to reward carriers with high safety ratings.

When a vehicle is screened using bypass technology, law enforcement receives a detailed snapshot of the vehicle’s information.

When a vehicle is screened using bypass technology, law enforcement receives a detailed snapshot of the vehicle’s information.

Drivewyze comparison chart of document types

The screening criteria used is at the discretion of the enforcement agency, but these are some of the common credentials:

  • The carrier’s ISS score, which reflects the overall safety profile of the fleet.
  • The license and vehicle identification number (VIN), which allows law enforcement agents to screen against registration, permits, and taxes.
  • The weight of the vehicle.

References to Inspection Selection System (ISS) scores applied to US carriers only. Canadian carriers are subject to alternate screening and scoring systems.

By combining these credentials into one system, bypass programs provide officers with a more efficient screening process. They can focus their efforts on unsafe vehicles while allowing safer vehicles to stay on the mainline and deliver their load faster.

However, this does not mean safe carriers do not need to be inspected. Law enforcement sets a “random pull-in factor” at each inspection station so that a certain percentage of fleets, regardless of ISS score or bypass system integration, are subject to being inspected. This is an important safety precaution that ensures all fleets are fairly screened.

Bypass services, like Drivewyze PreClear®, use ISS scores set by law enforcement to predict the likelihood of requiring an inspection. The lower the score, the less likely the truck will be asked to pull in. This prediction and the random pull-in factor help improve safety on the road while decreasing inspections for fleets with outstanding safety scores.

Misconception #2: Bypass Programs Use CSA Scores for Screening

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores are calculated using roadside inspection and crash report data from the previous 24 months. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) then combines these various CSA scores to determine a single-digit ISS score for a fleet, which offers a more comprehensive view of a fleet’s overall safety profile. For this reason, bypass systems only screen for a fleet’s ISS score, not its collection of different CSA scores over the past two years.

In fact, bypass services provide an opportunity for fleets to improve their ISS score. Every bypass and clear inspection show the carrier’s commitment to safety. Over time, this lowers the ISS score, enhances the safety profile, and increases each truck’s likelihood of bypassing a weigh station.

Some bypass systems, like Drivewyze PreClear®, also provide real-time data reporting to identify the most common criteria inspected at weigh stations. This gives fleet managers an in-depth look at which safety areas need the most attention. They can restructure their safety strategy to target those areas and improve their ISS score moving forward.

Misconception #3: Bypass Programs are Used to Track Drivers

Mobile bypass technology makes a driver’s job safer and easier.

It’s the mobile nature of these kinds of technologies however, that raises concerns about driver privacy. Bypass systems pre-screen for information that will only alert law enforcement of any safety violations. It’s important to note that during a pre-screening, officers will never check a driver’s:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) log
  • Past medical records
  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL)

Bypass software and applications use secure mobile technology to ensure this personal information is not provided to law enforcement. Additionally, the bypass system will only record the date and time that a truck bypasses or is asked to pull into a weigh station and does not track the vehicle before or after the station.

Drivewyze driver application of PreClear weigh station bypass - small

How information is processed inside the station is also strictly regulated:

  • Any vehicle data collected at the station does not leave the station.
  • Driver data is never collected or shared across locations or officers.
  • Law enforcement personnel can only see weigh stations within their jurisdiction visited by the driver, but not in neighboring jurisdictions.
  • Officers cannot use this data to issue a citation. For example, they cannot use location data to give a driver a speeding ticket.

Not only do bypass programs keep drivers’ data private, but they also make driving safer. Services like Drivewyze PreClear® offer a hands-free system that can be used on the driver’s mobile device. It sends heads-up notifications to warn drivers about upcoming inspection stations, along with safety alerts for high-risk areas on the road. Plus, since the system doesn’t require a transponder, drivers can avoid dangerous lane changes or slowing down to get a bypass green light.

Test the Benefits of a Bypass Program with a Free Trial

Bypass technology is designed to make trucking easier—for drivers, fleet managers, and law enforcement. But with any innovation, there are going to be questions and concerns.

By staying educated on bypass programs and how they integrate with weigh stations, carriers can improve cost and operational efficiency, improve safety scores, and boost driver safety and retention.

Curious whether a weigh station bypass system can work for your fleet? Contact us to start a free trial of North America’s largest weigh station bypass service, Drivewyze PreClear®.

Why Asset Tracking Is Important For Oil and Gas Equipment

Drilling an oil well typically includes the coordination of 10 to 30 different service companies. With all of the crews and equipment involved, it can be difficult to know where they are located and what they are doing. To gain real-time visibility into their remote operations, oil and gas companies are turning to equipment tracking software. Utilization of these technologies allows businesses to increase the productivity and efficiency of the equipment while simultaneously boosting their customer service.

Oil and gas companies using equipment management experience many benefits. Here’s just a glimpse of what OneView can do for you:

Asset Tracking Benefits for Oil & Gas

1. Locate All Assets Equipment

Equipment can often be at a job site for days or weeks at a time, especially when it comes to oil and gas equipment or oil rental equipment. After that long, it can be misplaced – or worse, stolen. Taking the time to manually search for missing machines, tools, or other equipment in these instances costs your company in more ways than one. Workers drive from site to site, burning up fuel, clocking more hours, and putting priority jobs on hold. But with an equipment tracking system, you can instantly locate all equipment and get back to business faster. Using any device that has an internet connection, all equipment location data can be accessed on a single screen, with a single login.

2. Boost Customer Service

In the oil and gas industry, there are hundreds of pieces of equipment and trucks that come and go each day. In the midst of all this activity, it’s inevitable that delays will arise. Traffic congestion, a long line at the last job site, or a breakdown on the side of the road are all too common in the service industry and can lead to angry customers stuck waiting for your worker to arrive. Although an equipment tracking system cannot prevent these inconveniences, it can keep you notified on the status of your workers, allowing you to update the customer with the most accurate arrival time.

3. Properly Schedule Maintenance

Breakdowns can immobilize your entire operation. Costly downtime is often the result of basic checkups like oil changes and tire rotations slipping through the cracks. Equipment tracking systems coupled with a maintenance solution allow users to properly schedule usage or time-based maintenance. Configured notifications and alerts can be set up to remind managers of upcoming maintenance appointments weeks or days in advance, ensuring routine appointments are never missed.

4. Improve Billing

One of the most common questions when processing billing for rental companies is, “How long was my equipment actually in use?” When a piece of equipment is rented out, or on a job site for a long period of time, hard copies of runtime reports get lost, and hours of use go unrecorded. When actual engine runtime blurs together, billable hours are skewed, upsetting both the customer and the business. Equipment tracking systems provide instant reports on idle time, usage time and overall engine runtime. With all this data at your fingertips, billing discrepancies are easily resolved and all billable hours are accounted for.

5. Enhance Communication with Remote Workers

Relying on drivers to pick up the phone and keep you updated is a poor strategy in the oil and gas industry. Not only does it often slip the remote workers’ minds, it is also unsafe (and in some cases illegal). With equipment tracking, you instantly pull asset location with GPS tracking and safely communicate with workers by utilizing dispatching software. An in-cab device provides safe instant messaging between home office staff and the remote worker, but only when the truck or vehicle is stopped and not in use. Update job lists and instantly share them safely to the device, enhancing communication with all employees.

Conclusion

Take your oil and gas business to the next level by making the most of technology. With OneView, you can stop wasting time and resources and start streamlining your operation today.

Note: This post was originally published October 2013, and has been updated and edited for relevancy and accuracy.