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Safest private fleets receive awards

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. -- Winning fleet safety awards is one thing that never grows tiresome, and it's a go...

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — Winning fleet safety awards is one thing that never grows tiresome, and it’s a good thing for Pro Distribution Services.


The company was named winner of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC)/Zurich Private Fleet Safety Award in the Small Fleet Category for the fifth time in the past 12 years. Taking home the prize amongst large carriers was Huron Services Group/TONA Transport.


The awards were doled out during the PMTC’s annual awards luncheon June 19. All Canadian private carriers are eligible for the awards, which are judged by an independent panel following established safety criteria and considering the fleet’s overall safety regime and over-the-road record.


Pro Distribution Services has operated a private fleet for 26 years, delivering weekly flyers to various newspapers. The fleet includes six power units and 13 trailers, and ran nearly 100,000 kilometres each of the last three years with a CVOR violation rate of zero – this despite running most of their miles in the Greater Toronto Area.


The company has a written safety and driver policy that outlines the responsibilities of both drivers and management. The fleet chalks up much of its success to the fact that every one of its drivers has been with the company for at least nine years, eliminating the safety problems sometimes associated with driver turnover.


In the large fleet category, it was Huron Services Group/TONA Transport that took top honours. The company operates 42 power units and 200 trailers running both Canada and the US. The fleet hauls hazardous materials as well as non-HazMat freight and is FAST-, C-TPAT- and CSA-approved.


Equipment includes dry vans, tankers, container chassis and reefers. Over the past three years, the fleet has run more than 24.6 million kilometres.


The fleet follows a strict hiring protocol consisting of complete background checks, drug and alcohol testing and a pre-employment medical. Candidates must then undergo complete written and road tests. That’s followed by a two-day orientation on company policies and procedures. After all that, drivers must still attend quarterly safety meetings and individual training is ongoing as required, according to the company.


The fleet has an overall CVOR violation rate of 17% and scored better than 86% during its most recent facility audit in both the driver and vehicle categories.


“Zurich and the PMTC congratulate the management and drivers of these fleets,” said PMTC president, Bruce Richards. “Their combined effort in promoting, managing and operating with road safety uppermost in mind delivers these enviable safety records. They are both excellent examples of well-run fleets.”


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