KING CITY, Ont. -- The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and Zurich Insurance awarded three of Canada's safest private fleets at an industry dinner last night.
The winners were selected by an independent panel based on the companies' overall safety regime and road safety record.
Representing large fleets was Home Hardware Stores, represented by national transportation manager Dennis Shantz. This year marks the fourth time Home Hardware has won the award. The fleet currently consists of 132 power units and nearly 500 trailers and delivers 95% of the product sold by its network of 1,080 stores.
The Home Hardware fleet runs about 17 million kolometres a year and has developed thorough written policies for the hiring, orientation and training of drivers. Its Carrier Safety Management System was developed in conjunction with the Canadian Standards Association.
At Home Hardware, driver performance is monitored using on-board recorders and drivers are kept appraised of their performance and that of the entire fleet. The company offers bonuses for safe and efficient driving. Home Hardware's CVOR violation rate is just 10.9%.
John Deere was awarded as the safest medium-sized private fleet, with John Van Geest, manager of depot operations accepting the award. John Deere's fleet runs cross-border and is FAST-, C-TPAT- and CSA-approved. The fleet has been in operation for 29 years and currently runs 36 tractors and 80 trailers along with some straight trucks.
The John Deere fleet runs more than seven million kilometres per year and thoroughly screens new hires along with driver services company Huron Services Group.
John Deere's CVOR violation rate is less than 20% and it has an incident rate of 0.399 per million kilometres.
Also awarded was Maple Leaf Foods, which was recognized as the fleet with the Most Improved Safety Record. Maple Leaf runs 170 tractors and more than 200 trailers along with some straight trucks and light commercial vehicles.
Most of its miles are within a 160-km radius of its home base and it averages 10-11 million kilometres per year. Maple Leaf's safety program involves the screening of new hires, a comprehensive orientation program and ongoing communication with drivers.
In the last three years, Maple Leaf has worked its CVOR violation rate down from 32% to 22% and its incident per million kilometres rate has gone from 2.11 to 0.6, earning it the most improved award.
Larry Lachereva, fleet safety and compliance supervisor with Maple Leaf accepted the award.
Bruce Richards, president of the PMTC said the winning fleets set the standard for other private fleets to aspire to.
"The process of applying for one of these awards provides a type of checklist for fleet managers to see what the best-in-class fleets are doing to maintain their safety programs," Richards said. "Along with Zurich, we at the PMTC congratulate the management and drivers of these fleets."