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COMPETITION WATCH: Erb big winner at TCA safety awards banquet

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Erb International was named the grand prize winner of the Truckload Carriers Associati...


Erb International won the grand prize at the TCA's annual awards banquet.
Erb International won the grand prize at the TCA's annual awards banquet.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Erb International was named the grand prize winner of the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA’s) National Fleet Safety Awards for the category of less than 25 million miles.

The Canadian fleet earned top honours in its category while competing against Canadian and American trucking firms. Wendell Erb, general manager of Erb International, accepted the award at the TCA’s annual banquet and awards dinner March 2.

Also receiving recognition were MacKinnon Transport, which won top honours in the 25-49.99 million miles category and Bison Transport which topped the more than 100 million miles category.

But it was Erb’s night, taking grand prize honours for its safety record and driver programs and being singled out among 18 division winners.

TCA said its judges were impressed by how Erb invests in its people, providing employees with the proper tools, training and recognition they need to achieve safety success. TCA lauded the fleet’s open and frequent communication and the company’s “walk-about” management style.

Erb encourages interaction between management and front-line employees, and welcome input on safety concerns and other issues, according to the TCA.

Erb also has a Safety Management Program in place that defines the corporate safety culture and covers all aspects of the company’s operations. It includes standards manuals, an emergency response plan and provides immediate feedback on potential safety risks.

Another key to Erb’s success has been its Pro-Drive driver performance and incentive program. It is based on electronic on-board recorder data that measures speed, hard-braking, idle-time, routing and mileage. Drivers are benchmarked against their peers and best practices are shared company-wide, TCA notes.

Drivers who do not meet minimum company benchmarks receive further training and recognition is given to top performers. Incentives are also given to drivers who remain incident- and injury-free, the TCA reports.

Erb enjoyed a turnover rate of just 10% in 2009, thanks to its open-door communications policy and driver perks. The company also attributes this low turnover to its selection process during hiring. Erb ensures potential drivers are a good match for the company right from the start through personal interviews that go beyond simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses, the company claims.

Entry-level drivers are also required to bring along a spouse or partner to a second job interview.

It’s been a good year for Erb. The company also ranked one of the Best Fleets to Drive For, a program administered by the TCA and CarriersEdge.

 


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