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Incentives: Truck lottery promotes safety

SASKATOON, Sask. - When owner/operator Jeff Chartrand received a phone call from company president Donna Goertzen, his first thought was, "What did I do to get her to call me?"A few seconds later he u...


SASKATOON, Sask. – When owner/operator Jeff Chartrand received a phone call from company president Donna Goertzen, his first thought was, “What did I do to get her to call me?”

A few seconds later he understood why – he was going to be driving a brand new Kenworth T-800 for the next year and the company was going to make all the payments.

And what did Chartrand do to deserve this stroke of fortune? He was the winning entry in RSB Logistic Inc.’s driver incentive program, a contest which rewards drivers who practice safe driving habits.

Goertzen says the idea began last year after the Saskatoon-based company began looking at ways of promoting driver safety.

“We brainstormed and someone suggested a lottery. We thought it might be hard to administer because of the details, but we thought it was worth a try.”

Through the program, drivers who meet certain safety and compliance criteria, have their names entered into a monthly draw drum and prizes are drawn quarterly, with a grand prize being presented at the end of the year.

The quarterly prizes include a color television and VCR, camcorder, and thermoelectric cooler. The grand prize is having the company make your truck payments for 12 months (to a maximum of $2,200) or if you don’t own a truck, you can drive a brand new tractor for 12 months as a lease operator with no truck payments.

The drawing for the grand prize took place in front of all of office employees and an accounting firm, which acted as an independent observer. Once Chartrand’s name was picked, the company contacted him by satellite to phone into the office.

“I was really in disbelief because I never win anything,” he says. “It left me speechless. I just didn’t know what to say.”

To be eligible for the program, drivers must be employed full time by RSB or be a driver for a lease operator owned truck leased to RSB. Their names are entered into the draw drum each month if they have no preventable accidents, cargo claims, equipment damage, or customer service failures.

The driver must also have no CVSA or DOT violations or RSB warnings for log violations or falsifications, breach of regulations, or company policies and procedures including timely submission of paperwork.

Since the program was announced, Goertzen says drivers have been very supportive. Eleven out of 120 drivers were eligible during the first month of its introduction, and by the end of the year, well over 50 per cent of the drivers qualified each month.

“Our main emphasis with the program is on safety,” says Gerry McNally, quality assurance manager. “In 2001, we have had no personal injuries at all and no claims or at fault incidents over US$10,000. For a company that puts in well over 20 million miles each year, that is almost unheard of.”


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