Great West Casualty Company Blog

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Entries related to: operations

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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Operations' Role In Avoiding ELD Issues

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are here. Operations staff play an integral role in helping drivers plan efficiently and schedule their time to operate within the boundaries of the hours-of-service regulations. With the transition from paper logs to ELDs, a driver’s day must be calculated down to the minute. Because of this, it is important for operations staff to be a driver’s advocate and help the driver proactively address trip planning issues before they become a problem and create unnecessary business interruptions. This approach benefits both the driver’s and the company’s earning capacity as well as boosts morale and fosters teamwork. Three areas operations staff can help drivers manage their time and avoid ELD-related problems are delays at the shipper and receiver, parking, and communication.
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Post-Traumatic Growth: Improving Operations After a Catastrophic Loss

Every motor carrier operates in a challenging environment that exposes it to the risk of a catastrophic loss. Serious injuries, loss of life, and high-dollar claims are just one crash away. Yet, even with this awareness, many motor carriers are ill-prepared for what follows that dreaded phone call informing them that one of their drivers has been involved in a critical crash.
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Summary of the ATRI “Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking” 2017 Report

Every year since 2008, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has published “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.” Last year’s report is now available; it contains helpful analysis in two areas of particular interest: high-level benchmarking of interest to motor carriers, and potential transportation impact assessments, of interest to public sector agencies.
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