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Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution, LP of El Paso, Texas, Named One of Two Grand Prize Winners in TCA’s 33rd Annual National Fleet Safety Awards

Paradise Island, The Bahamas:

Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to announce that Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution, LP of El Paso, Texas, is the grand prize winner of the highly coveted 33rd Annual National Fleet Safety Award in the category of truckload companies with a total annual mileage of less than 25 million miles.

TCA presented the award to Jay Blobner, director of safety, at the Annual Banquet held March 3, 2008, at The Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.

Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution was selected from among nine division winners in the National Fleet Safety Division Awards announced in January. The company, along with its counterpart winner in the more than 25 million miles category, Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, strives to meet stringent standards in its overall safety programs, on and off the highway, and was judged to be the best in its commitment to improving safety on our nation's highways.

The basis of the company’s 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.

Another tenant of Stagecoach’s safety program is its attention to the driver’s needs. “A driver who feels that he has no one to turn to if he has issues with other personnel, safety concerns, family issues, etc. is an unhappy driver who may in turn become an unsafe driver,” the company writes in its Grand Prize application. For this reason, Stagecoach mediates numerous meetings between the driver and various company representatives until the conflict is resolved. Stagecoach also utilizes a rigorous driver hiring and training program and orientation system. With a driver turnover rate of only 25%, it is clear that Stagecoach drivers are content with their jobs and thus more likely to make safety a priority in order to keep their jobs.

The judging process began with the determination of the top companies in each of six mileage divisions. The division winners were selected based on accident frequency only. The top three winners in each division were then able to compete for the two grand prizes. The grand prize-winning companies were judged on their excellent overall safety programs, both on- and off-highway. During the judging, some of the factors considered included safety program organization, employee driver/independent contractor selection procedures, training, supervision, accident investigation, inspection and maintenance of equipment, and outside activities such as general highway safety. In an effort to ensure the highest level of integrity in the contest, all grand prize finalists were audited by independent auditors not affiliated with TCA or the carriers.

Note: Publications that would like to receive a photograph of this winner accepting the award should contact Deborah Sparks after March 7, 2008, at (703) 838-1950 or