Each recipient will receive $25,000 to be used toward their safety-related activities. The fleets were recognized during an awards ceremony at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
The 2012 Volvo Trucks Safety Award marks the fourth consecutive year Volvo Trucks has recognized the outstanding safety achievements of North American fleets. Michelin America Truck Tires again joined Volvo as a supporting sponsor of the award.
“Volvo is synonymous with safety. It permeates our company culture,” said Magnus Koeck, Volvo Trucks vice president, marketing and brand management. “Erb International and Muñoz Trucking have clearly demonstrated the importance of safety within their organizations. We’re pleased to acknowledge those commitments and how they translate into safe performance on the road.”
“Muñoz Trucking and ERB International both have shown an outstanding commitment to the safety of their employees and others,” said Mike Cain, Michelin vice president of Original Equipment. “We’re pleased to join Volvo Trucks in recognizing both the safety cultures and excellent performance records of these fleets.”
In early 2012, Volvo Trucks invited all fleets across the U.S. and Canada with more than five Class 8 trucks to apply for the annual awards. The awards are given in two categories: one for fleets with less than 20 million miles of annual operation and the other for those with more than 20 million miles. Fleets were ranked by their accident frequency rates, using the U.S. Department of Transportation definition of a “recordable accident,” as well as their accident prevention programs.
Erb International, Inc. of New Hamburg, Ontario (http://www.erbgroup.com/) won the Volvo Trucks Safety Award in the over 20 million miles category. The Erb Group of companies began as a one-man operation in 1959 and now employs more than 1,200 staff and 140 owner-operators across a network of 10 terminals. Erb International operates more than 240 trucks, and in 2011 recorded an accident frequency rate of just .294 while logging 27,210,747 miles on the road.
Erb International focuses on employee training and performance by establishing an employee and driver wellness program, encouraging and supporting driver participation in Truck Driving Championships, offering a driver performance monitoring and incentive program and collecting driver performance data for use in developing driver risk assessment reports. They also stress preventative safety through a hazard prevention program, active communication of safety reminders in all terminal driver’s rooms and available driver supervisors and trainers at each terminal.
“We are absolutely thrilled to win the Volvo Trucks Safety Award,” said Wendell Erb, Erb International president and CEO. “When there is proven technology like Volvo offers that can improve safety for us, we will be right there to add it to the spec of the truck. What we see with Volvo is the safety side of the equipment is definitely an added bonus. Volvo is competitive in everything and at the same time, they are a very safe truck,” continued Erb.
“I’m just so proud of everyone at Erb International for their achievements,” said Tom Boehler, director of safety and compliance for Erb International. “It’s the employee’s willingness to participate in our programs that makes us a success.
Muñoz Trucking, Inc. of El Paso, Texas (http://www.munoztrucking.com/) received the Volvo Trucks Safety Award in the under 20 million miles category. Muñoz Trucking began in 1989 as a dry-van company hauling general freight. Today they provide a wide range of transportation and warehousing services throughout North America. With a fleet of 79 trucks, Muñoz Trucking had an astonishing zero recordable accidents in 2011 during 10,195,060 miles of operation.
Muñoz Trucking employs a three-phase safety process that’s enforced in each department. Phase 1 focuses on staying informed of the newest safety regulations and industry trends, with a specific attention on the full status of drivers, including CDL status, driver physical, driver logs and other documentation. Phase 2 focuses on enforcing the safety policies and identifying potential driver issues. Phase 3 rewards safety compliance, providing driver bonuses for every clean DOT inspection and a year-end bonus for remaining accident-free throughout the calendar year.
“Safety means everything to Muñoz Trucking,” said Juan Pablo Muñoz, president of Muñoz Trucking. “We want to be sure the driver returns to their family and the public is safe. One of the ways we do that is by keeping up-to-date safety equipment.”
“It’s my job to train our dispatchers and our maintenance department to work with our drivers to make sure they have the best equipment and the safest equipment,” said Pascual Muñoz, vice president of Muñoz Trucking. “The training is a minimal investment for such huge results.”