Developing an Uncompromised Safety Culture

Est. 4 min read

Fleet Leader Chat with

Ben Banks, VP of Operations at TCW

Ben Banks, Vice President of Operations at TCW, has seen firsthand how safety and risk management can make a tangible impact on a company’s bottom line, reputation, and employee experience. With more than a decade of experience in the trucking industry, Banks has overseen safety and risk at TCW since 2017. In this blog, we’ll dive into Bank’s experience, as well as TCW’s commitment to safety and risk management, their approach to technology and data, and their strategies for empowering drivers and front-line managers.

How TCW Built an Uncompromised Safety Culture

TCW’s commitment to safety is evident throughout the company, with “Uncompromised Safety” as a core value. ‘We don’t just talk about safety, we practice it every day,’ said Banks.

This commitment ties directly into the company’s mission statement of being a ‘unified team with a disciplined focus.’ Banks stressed the importance of a top-down focus and support for safety initiatives, exemplified by TCW’s leadership team. TCW also manages several reward programs for safety achievements ranging from badges to cookouts to being the recipient of the prestigious President’s Trophy from the American Trucking Association multiple times.

Technology, Data, and Driver Professional Development Plans

TCW has invested in a variety of technologies to support their safety programs including Idelic’s Safety Suite. Prior to adopting Idelic three years ago, TCW used spreadsheets to calculate driver risk scores but saw a limited correlation between scores and road incidents. According to Banks, leveraging Idelic’s Driver Watch List provides a powerful view of which drivers may require preventive coaching before an incident occurs. Focusing on the Top 10% of the list, TCW’s safety team applies Professional Development Plans (PDPs) through Safety Suite to guide both front-line managers and drivers through a collaborative process. The goal of the PDP’s is not just completing training, which can be tactical and one-off, but instead engaging with a driver over the course of 30-90 days to genuinely change driver behavior. 

Operationalizing Solutions and Incorporating Driver Feedback

A challenge of rolling out new programs or tools is ensuring adoption throughout the organization. Banks discussed TCW’s Master Coach Program that involves drivers in building a safety culture. ‘In this program drivers are empowered to self-regulate by giving them access to the same data as management, creating a sense of shared responsibility.’ said Banks. Master Coaches serve as ‘ambassadors’ throughout the fleet to share best practices in safe driving and initiatives. 

Future Goals and Initiatives for TCW Safety and Risk

Looking ahead, TCW will focus on continuous improvement and not accepting complacency. Banks sees the potential for artificial intelligence and machine learning to continue playing a larger role in safety technologies and encouraged fleets to continue to invest in their number one resource – their drivers. 

Watch the Full Fleet Leader Chat Here!

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