SPECIAL REPORT: Road safety stories - Persistence pays off

| 6/26/2003

While OOIDA is evaluating trucker participation levels in its June Safety Month initiative, it’s becoming clear that things are beginning to change.

Each day, the association receives reports of positive action by some carriers, shippers, receivers and brokers who know of OOIDA’s effort, and who respect drivers who have vowed to take the “run compliant pledge.”

“While it’s still too early to gauge the level of participation or the full effect of this effort, there have been many indications of positive benefits,” OOIDA President Jim Johnston said. “We have received many reports of substantially higher rates offered very quickly when the cheap loads were turned down.

“We are receiving other reports of reduced waiting time and better treatment at shipping and receiving docks. Some are reporting that the relief from the stress and fatigue alone is worth the effort. Others have been amazed at fuel mileage savings of more than a mile per gallon, substantially offsetting the fewer miles traveled at slower speeds.”

Here’s a sample of comments received June 24 from participating truckers:

A driver working for Swift Transportation reports his dispatcher now understands when his miles decrease from previous levels – but he says work is still needed on the part of time managers when it comes to load management. The driver says of one shipper: “As soon as I explained I would be camping on their property if not unloaded within one hour, I was unloaded within 45 minutes.”

This from a driver who regularly delivers to Wal-Mart: “(I’ve) been pulling loads into Wal-Mart for years, and it always took four hours.” Yesterday, however, the unload time lasted one hour, the trucker reported.

Another driver reports that Prime Inc. has put a message on Qualcomm telling drivers to run in compliance with the law. 

Crete Carrier Corp. of Lincoln, NE, wrote the following to OOIDA’s Business Services unit: “If … you do receive a contact expressing concern about our policies and procedures, I would ask that either you or the driver contact me immediately.” It was from John Peetz, the company’s executive vice president and CEO.