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What Is The FMCSA?

What's in this article?
  1. Registration With The Fmcsa
  2. Driver Training And Licensing
  3. Research And Analysis
  4. Rules And Regulations
  5. Informational Programs And Campaigns
What Is The FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency established to improve the safety of commercial trucking in the United States. Its operations encompass a wide range of research and policy, from creating licensing tests for commercial drivers to analyzing data on accidents and responding with new guidelines. In partnership with state and local law enforcement and other organizations, the FMCSA works to make sure that the carriers and individual drivers on the nation’s highways are functioning at the highest possible safety levels.

Registration With the FMCSA

In order to confirm that every carrier operating on an interstate basis within the United States is aware of national trucking safety requirements, registration with the Department of Transportation and the FMCSA is a prerequisite to receiving a USDOT number. This registration includes an audit and eighteen months of close attention to determine that the carrier knows and adheres to the administration’s safety standards. While a USDOT number is required for a carrier to conduct interstate business, many states require it even for business within the state. In addition to this basic registration, the FMCSA also issues differing levels of “operating authority” based on the particulars of each carrier’s business and the area it serves.

Driver Training and Licensing

A major responsibility of the FMCSA is governing national standards for commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. Each state establishes its own specific set of tests and qualifications for a CDL, but the FMCSA sets minimum levels to guarantee uniformity in driver training. The administration also sets minimum penalties and blood alcohol levels that the states must meet in prosecuting drivers who violate safe driving rules.

Research and Analysis

One of the FMCSA’s most important functions is to study the data submitted by state authorities on accidents involving commercial vehicles. By analyzing this information and comparing it with data from past years, the administration can gauge the success of safety programs; identify widespread safety issues; and adjust policy as needed. Many of the statistics generated by these studies can be viewed publicly on the official FMCSA website, which details not only the number of accidents reported each year, but also information on reviews, audits, and inspections of carriers and drivers. The FMCSA conducts research and analysis primarily through the CSA program (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability), which uses information provided by roadside inspections and crash reports to determine what steps should be taken to make the trucking industry safer. This takes the form of both large-scale changes in policy and contact with individual companies that display unsafe practices.

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Rules and Regulations

Trucking companies must comply with the rules established by the FMCSA. Some of these regulations apply to the operations of the company as a whole, addressing topics such as employee safety, insurance requirements, training, and record keeping. Other rules govern vehicle emissions, equipment, inspections, and repairs. There is a further set of requirements for drivers, establishing guidelines for CDLs, record keeping, and the number of hours drivers may spend on the road. Following all of these regulations is essential for the legal operations of a carrier, and FMCSA agents conduct regular inspections to make sure that a company is following all rules.

Informational Programs and Campaigns

In addition to its regulatory functions, the FMCSA also manages efforts to spread information and awareness of driving safety topics through national campaigns. One of the largest of these is Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT), a program that cooperates closely with state authorities to create highly visible reminders of driving safety rules such as seatbelt use and passing procedures. It largely focuses on the increased safety concerns connected with driving near tractor trailers, such as tailgating and changing lanes unsafely. The CMV Safety Belt Program combats low safety belt use among commercial motor vehicle drivers, and the PRISM program was initiated to aggressively restrict the operations of carriers that show an alarming level of disregard for safety procedures.

A motor carrier company that places a high priority on the safety of its drivers and others on the road values the efforts and involvement of the FMCSA. By carefully following the established rules of operation for companies, vehicles, and drivers, and by cooperating with inspections, carriers do their part to keep the roads safe.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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