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Truckload Carriers Association Announces 2014 National Fleet Safety Award Winners: FTC Transportation, Inc. and Bison Transport
When it comes to safety, these truckload carriers simply can’t be beat
Last night, as the Truckload Carriers Association wrapped up its Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida, two fleets were named the safest truckload carriers in North America. FTC Transportation, Inc. (FTCT), of Oklahoma City, and Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, are the 2014 grand prizewinners of the prestigious contest, sponsored by Great West Casualty Company.
FTC Transportation, Inc., represented by Travis Arnold, president, won the award for truckload companies in the small carrier division (total annual mileage of less than 25 million miles). Bison Transport, represented by Rob Penner, executive vice president and COO, won for truckload companies in the large carrier division (total annual mileage of 25 million or more miles). Both companies will be recognized again during TCA’s Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting, to be held May 3-5, 2015, at the Charlotte Westin in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“In the trucking industry, safety is our highest objective. Therefore, earning one of these two grand prizes is an extremely important and enviable achievement,” said Brad Bentley, TCA’s president. “We want to showcase the incredible safety programs that these fleets demonstrate so that other carriers can strive to do the same.”
About FTC Transportation, Inc.
FTCT operates differently than most other transportation companies because it is the core carrier for the non-profit charity Feed the Children. Its drivers assist with hunger and disaster relief efforts throughout the U.S. In between its regular loads, it also hauls general commodities for third-party customers and brokers. Drivers come to FTCT because they admire the organization’s work; they stay because they are treated well and know the company’s steadfast commitment to safety will keep them safe while on the job. The company has been very successful in attracting and keeping safe drivers, as its driver turnover rate was only 14.63% as of December 2014.
From extensive training to safety-based financial incentives, FTCT’s employees (including non-drivers) have the culture of safety instilled in them from the moment they apply for the job. Everyone is tracked monthly on a “balanced scorecard” that includes at least one safety element. Professional truck drivers receive a $25 gift card and are entered for an annual cash drawing every time they pass a roadside/DOT inspection with zero violations found. New drivers receive sign-on bonuses for remaining accident-free at six months and one year after beginning employment. The months of April and October are set aside for extra emphasis on employee health and safety matters, with special events designed to raise safety awareness and avoid complacency (for example, a backing skills course and contest, a mirror adjustment station, mock DOT inspections, etc.).
New in 2014, the company began completing on-road observations (ORO) with each driver to fully survey their safety habits and to offer coaching and counseling for any deficiencies. The ORO’s are conducted with every professional driver, regardless of length of service or driving experience.
According to the company’s grand prize application, “At FTC Transportation, we are never content with our current safety picture. Our President has pushed us to try new and different approaches to safety while building on the safety processes that have been proven to work. He has reminded us continually over the past 12 years, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.” So, we do not settle for merely achieving our safety goals, but instead we strive to exceed them and then set new, higher goals.”
About Bison Transport
Bison Transport’s safety program can only be described as outstanding. From its rigorous driver selection process, to innovative training, equipment and maintenance procedures, accident support team, and incentives – both monetary and motivational – every detail has been well planned and executed to ensure sustainability of its safety performance.
The company culture values making personal connections with each professional truck driver. Bison’s leadership defines exactly what constitutes desirable behavior and then motivates, recognizes, and rewards safe behavior. Everyone in the company knows exactly how to earn their incentives, how to improve, and how to track their progress toward achieving goals. When drivers perform safely, they can earn a wide variety of rewards that stretch beyond pay incentives, including certificates, pins, decals, jackets, crystal trophies, and special gold rings with diamond add-ons for additional miles/years.
Bison Transport adapts training to fit each individual and job to be performed. The company is moving to a more intense Skills Evaluation Program that combines in-cab instruction with a computer simulator. In their first year, drivers will complete, on average, five instructor-led courses with a simulation component, and 17 online courses. Ongoing assessments continue over the driver’s tenure with the company, and refresher courses and updated safety training will be provided as the needs of the individual and the fleet change.
According to the company’s grand prize application, “At Bison, we want to raise the bar for everyone, including the industry. We must continually monitor and be critical of our performance. There must be no flat lining on key performance indicators. We must make improvements and show progress. An overall commitment to preventing incidents from occurring in the first place requires accountability at every level.”
The application process for the National Fleet Safety Awards began with fleets submitting their accident frequency per million miles driven. TCA selected the top three winners for each of six mileage-based divisions and had the results audited for accuracy by an independent expert. In December, TCA announced the names of the 18 division winners and invited them to submit further documentation about their safety programs. In order to be granted the grand prize, both winning companies had to demonstrate that they strive to meet stringent standards in their overall safety programs, on and off the highway, and were judged to be the best in their commitment to improving safety on North America’s highways.
For more information about TCA’s National Fleet Safety Awards, please visit www.truckload.org/National-Fleet-Safety-Awards and follow TCA on Facebook—www.truckload.org/Facebook—and Twitter—www.truckload.org/Twitter. You can also learn about this year’s Annual Convention on both social media sites with the hashtag #2015TCA.
To view photos from the event, click here.