Hiring the best and most capable drivers is the backbone of every fleet company. A fleet manager is only as good as the experience of their staff. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) gives every hiring or fleet manager access to the experience and safety capability of their potential drivers. In this article, we’ll walk you through understanding and making the most out of the PSP report available 24 hours daily on this website

What is a PSP Score in Trucking? 

While most people refer to it as a score, the PSP is a report that gives fleet carriers, industry service providers, and drivers access to safety records from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). Congress mandated the PSP under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act. The FMSCA made the information available so that employers, drivers, and industry service providers alike can see how they can improve safety in their respective practices. The PSP report for trucking is very useful for fleet company employers when screening their applicants. The data it provides helps you assess how safe the driver will perform on the road.

What does a PSP report show and how do I read it?

The information on a PSP driver report helps fleet managers or hiring personnel assess the capability and risk in hiring a driver. The PSP report contains five years of crash data plus the latest roadside inspection data spanning three years. The information comes from the MCMIS database. It also displays the motor carrier the driver operated in these incidents, plus the date and location when the inspection or crash happened. 

What is a PSP score in trucking? Contrary to popular belief, the report does not have a PSP score. No assigned numerical assessment appears based on the crash data. So how do you check the PSP driver score?

You can use software that uses the report to create a score. If this is not accessible, fleet managers can watch out for signs of a bad score such as the use of controlled substances, fatigued driving, low grade on driver fitness, and the like.

Beyond the PSP Driver Report: What Fleet Managers Need to Watch Out for in Applicants

The PSP point system, however, can only do so much in determining an applicant’s future in your company. You need to ask the right questions or look for certain answers when assessing the candidate for hire.

Does the applicant have mechanical savvy?

It helps to have a driver that’s familiar with the likely problems their motor carrier may have while en route. This knowledge ensures they’ll bring in the truck for preventive maintenance or immediately fix the issue to avoid any accidents that may require major repair.

How strong are their vision and hearing?

These two senses are crucial to every safe journey in your fleet. Have applicants take a hearing and vision assessment to ensure all drivers have the means to be alert. Strong vision and hearing allow staff to drive defensively and not resort to reactive actions that result in accidents. 

How are their communication skills?

While drivers will spend most of their time on the road, it requires constant communication with your customers receiving the delivered products. They are the ones representing your company in every journey that your customers benefit from. Observe important communication skills during their interview such as eye contact, basic etiquette, asking questions, and other actions that will make you proud to have them driving the fleet trucks.

How consistent are they in being punctual?

Consistent punctuality ensures all deliveries are on time and maintains the consistency of your fleet service. While your drivers can’t change uncontrollable factors like traffic, construction along roads, bad weather, or accidents, hiring drivers who account for these delays and come on time adds value to your business. Be sure to ask previous employers of your applicant if they came to work on time and maintained on-schedule deliveries.


Final Thoughts 

If you want to enroll your data in the PSP program, you can sign up online and use this link to guide you through the process.

PSP in trucking helps fleet managers and hiring personnel make sound decisions for their company. While there is no PSP score in the existing data, you can analyze the information available and see how you can make your own PSP score for a truck driver. It’s also important to ask the right questions and study the details provided in the PSP CDL report. 


If you’re looking into ways to improve fleet safety, check out the dashcam technology and positive scoring system of Netradyne. These valuable tools help drivers objectively see their performance and improve them over time to avoid having a bad record on the PSP point system. 

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