Written by: Tara Beeby, Head of Customer Experience Idelic 

Recently I sat down with fleet safety veterans Nate Lewis, Sr. Dir. Risk Management, Transportation, Tyson Foods and Tim Eckhardt, Director of Safety, Dot Transportation, Inc. during a joint webinar with TCA to learn more about what they’re doing to effectively manage risk, lower accident rates and retain great drivers. Here’s part one of our blog series focused on highlighting the steps every fleet can take to make their safety programs more effective.

1. Identify Each Driver’s ‘Why’ to Improve Engagement and Effectiveness

Fleet safety teams stand on the front lines, protecting drivers, mitigating risk, and avoiding costly litigation and the potential for nuclear verdicts. Tim stated, “Anytime a truck moves, we have risk, and anytime you have a driver in a truck, you have risk.” He emphasized that even the best safety programs would fail if leaders don’t comprehend the unique reasons ‘why’ each driver should commit to fleet safety. “We understand what’s driving the business and the associated risk, but that’s not necessarily the driver’s motivating factor,” he said. Tim stressed the vital role of building personal relationships, providing diverse incentive programs, and viewing driver coaching as a partnership.

2. Invest in an Integrated ‘Single Version of the Truth’ to Improve Risk Identification

Having accurate data is crucial when effectively coaching drivers. Reflecting on how Tyson Foods utilizes Idelic’s Safety Suite Platform, Nate commented, “It’s not about trying to make the data tell you what you think it should say… let the data inform you.” He continued, “When we started using Idelic, we realized some drivers we considered excellent had behaviors on the road that were not as we perceived. So if the data is accurate, don’t attempt to reinterpret it.”

3. Utilize Technology to Save Time and Better Prepare for Driver Reviews

Safety teams often need to accomplish more with less. Operating efficiently is critical to addressing driver risk promptly and allocating more time to engage with drivers rather than analyzing spreadsheets. Tim disclosed that his team previously relied on 15 different systems for driver data, and safety managers typically spent 3-4 hours preparing for a driver review. “Now, we use Idelic’s Driver Watch List Score for various decisions across the fleet… being proactive means understanding precisely what you’re dealing with and having the basics to formulate a plan,” he said. With all driver data consolidated, safety teams can focus more on coaching and less on data retrieval.

If you’re looking for part two of this series click here.

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