March 28, 2024

Ervin Steverson: Driving a Culture of Safety

Profile photo of Ervin Steverson and his truck

Each day, companies across America send millions of trucks across the country to deliver products to their customers. The delivery of rental equipment is no different. At EquipmentShare, hundreds of Class A CDL drivers take to the roads every day. Each driver has the same goal: To get home safely.

How Trucking Safety Is Measured

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. Part of that mission was creating a Compliance, Safety and Accountability safety score (CSA score) given to companies with fleets of commercial vehicles and trucks. The lower the CSA score, the better.

Drivers and fleets are scored based on driver fitness, vehicle maintenance and crash history, among other categories. One way to test a fleet or a driver is through random roadside inspections. Drivers are tested on three levels of inspection. They include:

  • Level 1 — An inspection that includes ensuring there are no signs of alcohol or drug usage, and checking a driver’s license, hours of service, seat belt usage, vehicle inspection report(s), brake systems, cargo securement and more. This is the most comprehensive inspection of a driver and vehicle.
  • Level 2 — This “Walk Around” inspection includes only what can be inspected without getting under the vehicle. This also includes checking for the appropriate driver's license.
  • Level 3 — This is a “Driver Only” inspection and includes an examination of the driver’s license, medical certificate, skills certificate, hours of service and appropriate seatbelt use. 

How EquipmentShare Drives a Culture of Trucking Safety 

It’s difficult to get a clean inspection three times in a row at all levels, but it’s not impossible. Ervin Steverson, of EquipmentShare’s branch in Newark, California, is a great example of truck driving safety.

“I’ve been in truck driving jobs since 2016, and safety has always been important to me. I’ve seen really bad accidents. This can be a dangerous field, and at the end of the day I want to make it home to my family, my three kids,” Steverson said. “If I hit someone in one of these machines, it’s not like a regular car accident — they are going to be seriously hurt. I want to make sure that I’m doing my part to make sure my vehicle is safe and that everyone around me gets home safe. It’s worth taking extra time to do it right.”

Steverson completed three roadside inspections between August 2023 and January 2024, passing each one with zero violations. 

“Three clean roadside inspections is fantastic, and Ervin passed all three levels of difficulty.  Three times in a row, at all levels, is really hard to do,” Megan Smith, EquipmentShare’s DOT compliance manager, said. “He deserves to be recognized because his dedication and work ethic exemplify our culture of safety.”

What Does a Roadside Inspection Look Like?

When a truck is chosen for inspection, several parts of the truck are observed to determine the final score:

  • Lights must be operational
  • No cracks in the windshield
  • Tires must have enough tread
  • No leaks must be found
  • Fluids should be at appropriate levels
  • Windshield wipers must be working properly
“Everything has to be in working order,” Steverson said. “The ultimate goal of the inspection is safety. I don’t mind being chosen for a random inspection, because it ensures everything is properly running and ready to go.”

Why Is Trucking Safety So Important?

“Sometimes it seems like a hassle but at the end of the day it could save someone’s life, so that’s what makes it worth taking the time,” Steverson said. “Pay attention and do your pre-trip inspection. Take the time to do it correctly — it’s the difference between making it home and not making it home.”

“Roadside inspections drive our CSA scores, which is the way FMCSA grades us as a company based on our fleet,” Smith said. “That score compares us to other companies that are the same size in fleet, drivers and operations. CSA scores continuously help us improve our overall score, which is ever-changing. It’s drivers like Ervin who help us keep our CSA scores low. We want the drivers and the trucks home safely at the end of every day, and he’s helping make that happen.”

Looking for a Truck Driving Job?

Do you have a safety mentality and want to contribute to our culture? Have your Class A license and want to help drive the future of construction? Check out our open roles and join the team.

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