Great West Casualty Company Blog

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Entries related to: continuous-improvement

Back to Basics

In the frenzied pace of motor carrier operations, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of fundamentals. For any business, three key elements are crucial to success: communication, teamwork, and planning. Revisiting each of these elements periodically is healthy for the entire organization and can help the company achieve its objectives. However, one area that motor carriers tend to ignore in varying degrees is safety. In the Spring 2019 issue of Safety Talk, we discussed how practical drift, an employee’s gradual deviation from established policies and procedures, can erode the effectiveness of a company’s safety efforts, and if allowed to continue unchecked, can negatively define the company’s culture. Senior management at a trucking company can contribute to this erosion as well. Here is an example: A motor carrier may become complacent or resistant to change because it hasn’t recently experienced a crash or injury. Management then adopts a mentality of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This type of mentality introduces risk into what may otherwise be a healthy organization. If management cannot attribute the company’s success to effective loss-prevention practices, it is essentially saying pure luck is responsible for the company’s performance. Regardless of past loss performance, no company can afford to rest on its laurels if it expects to remain competitive. A periodic review of basic safety practices is essential because new risks may be present that have not been accounted for. Whether a change in customers, equipment, commodities, or personnel, motor carriers should have a process in place to continually assess their risks and determine if current safety practices are sufficient. Below are some assessment methods.
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Why You Should Make Road Tests Part of the Hiring Process

One of the most important responsibilities a motor carrier has is to hire qualified drivers. This critical task, if conducted haphazardly or not performed at all, could have a negative ripple effect across the company and affect productivity, downtime, morale, expenses, and profitability. Due diligence should be given to screening applicants and conducting required background checks, but, arguably, the most reliable method to gauge a driver’s abilities and safety attitude is with a comprehensive road test.
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Ask the Safety Rep: How Can I Improve Driver Retention?

Great question! Unfortunately, there’s not a magic pill to resolve this issue, but motor carriers would be wise to consider retention solutions from the driver’s perspective if they hope to remain competitive and limit the business interruptions caused by driver turnover. Below are the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) critical issues in the trucking industry for 2018; on this list, you can see that drivers and motor carriers do not share the same concerns. This difference in views is important to point out because if a motor carrier wants to attract and retain quality drivers, it needs to create a culture and work environment that addresses driver concerns.
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Tips on Continuous Improvement Initiatives

Change is a constant in the trucking industry. From hours-of-service changes, the ELD mandate, and other proposed regulatory changes, this state of flux requires motor carriers to either rise to the challenge and improve or risk being left behind.
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