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120 Driver Fleet Suddenly Closes – Only Weeks After Award

Est. 3 min read

August 27th, 2019 marked the abrupt closing of yet another fleet this year, HVH Transportation. The sudden news came with both confusion and devastation; resulting in immediate job loss for hundreds of employees and drivers left stranded thousands of miles from home.

Driver fuel cards were shut off without warning, leaving HVH drivers to sleep overnight in their truck or withdraw money from their own accounts in order to get home. HVH employees did all they could to help their drivers, but the time constraint left many helpless.

HVH Transportation received a $15 million new business award only weeks before this incident, a key detail in this story that is leaving many fleet professionals baffled and concerned. The award was attributed to their growth and efficiency of onboarding new drivers. Among the pandemonium following a seemingly positive situation, many fleet professionals are asking “how?”

Reports describe various financial setbacks as contributing factors, but particularly high insurance costs were a primary element. HVH Transportation faced high insurance rates to begin with, paying $150,000/month in insurance with a $100,000 deductible. Recently, this monthly rate grew to $358,000 on top of $750,000 more just to write the policy.

These recent closings have rendered fleet professionals concerned, but you can rest assured that there are actionable steps to lower your rates and avoid a similar fate to HVH Transportation.

In our latest insurance-based webinar, “How Are Fleets Reducing Insurance Premiums with Safety,” John Simms, Senior Risk Advisor with HNI Advisors, and David Heller, VP of Government Affairs at TCA, share what insurance companies analyze most when they inspect your fleet. Tips to reduce insurance premiums include:

  • Implement a top-down safety culture. Besides your Safety Team, the CEO, maintenance, operations, HR, drivers, and even drivers’ families should be involved in your culture of safety.
  • Invest in a smart, talented Safety Team. Safety managers should be analysts of data, not just administrators of it. Taking collected data from each system and using it to take action and put preventable measures into place is crucial.
  • Keep driver retention well documented. When loss control comes to a fleet, they are looking at driver retention bands. How many drivers have been with a fleet for only 3 months, 6 months, or under a year? They want to know who has been there 1-3 years, 3-5 years, 5-10 years, and over 10 years.
    • Long-tenured drivers are typically practicing safety the right way. They are familiar with fleet operations and best safety practices that a fleet has implemented over time. They have a habit of safety and overcome driver-related factors in terms of accidents.
  • Keep your CSA Score low. Three or more alerts leave a fleet with only one or two markets that will consider insuring them.

HVH Transportation’s story isn’t unique. Trucking shutdowns have spiked this year, and understanding your fleet’s data is vital from both a safety and financial standpoint. 

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