Life On The Road
TCA’s National Fleet Safety Awards
Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution of El Paso, TX (annually less than 25 million miles category) and Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (more than 25 million miles) won the grand prizes in the TCA’s 33rd Annual National Fleet Safety Awards. Both companies strive to meet stringent standards in their overall safety programs, on and off the highway, and were judged to be the best in their commitments to improving safety on the nation’s highways.
For Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution, the basis of an outstanding safety program begins with major investments in technology. The company has incorporated the latest technology into its vehicles, allowing it to track things such as the maximum speed of the truck, idle time, hard braking, lane departures and tire pressure. Using this information, it can, for example, spot a driver who is following other vehicles too closely and work with him to change the unsafe habit. Speeding is another issue that is tracked closely; drivers are warned twice and then terminated if three speeding incidents are detected.
Stagecoach believes that a healthy driver has a much better chance of being a safe driver, so health is a major concern for the company’s management. Employees receive fruit every morning for breakfast and are reimbursed for membership in a fitness facility if they choose to participate. The company recently held a Fitness Challenge, paying everyone who entered $10 for each pound of weight lost. It also hosts a driver fatigue (sleep apnea) program and a smoking cessation program.
For Bison Transport, 2007 marks the third consecutive year of winning TCA’s Grand Prize National Safety Award for its mileage category. When it first won in 2005, the carrier had created a “You’re Safe With Me” campaign; this campaign continues today and has been expanded with much success.
A new feature of the 2007 campaign is the development of a Driver Risk Level Assessment, which applies point values for both positive and negative things, such as training a driver has taken, positive DriverCheck reports, moving or log violations and preventable accidents. When the formula is calculated, it helps Bison identify a driver’s risk level and bring him to an acceptable level of risk before he might be involved in an accident. The tool allows Bison management to replace general fleet training programs with specific programs that are tailored to the individual driver.
The following companies were winners in their respective categories:
Division I (Under 5 million miles)—StageLine Express; Coopersville, MI.
Division II (5-14.99 million miles)—H.O. Bouchard; Hampden, ME.
Division III (15-24.99 million miles)—D & D Sexton; Carthage, MO.
Division IV (25-49.99 million miles)—MacKinnon Transport; Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Division V (50-99.99 million miles)—Groupe Robert; Rougemont, Québec, Canada
Division VI (100+ million miles)—Bison Transport; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada