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High-tech Safety Solutions Keep Drivers Safe

LeRoi Cochran

Our drivers keep our business moving people and pallets in the right direction. It takes special attention to stay safe and navigate always changing environments and road conditions.

shippingOur drivers are on the road everyday contending with constantly changing conditions. Bad weather. Tight schedules. Other drivers. Congested roads and loading docks. It takes special attention to stay safe and navigate always changing environments and road conditions.

Over the last three years, 48forty has invested in a tremendous amount of technology to help create a safer workplace for our drivers. What’s exciting is that not only are we seeing fewer accidents, but we’ve also improved communications and created a supportive coaching environment for our drivers.

Here are three things we’ve done:

Added Telematics to Our Tractors

Telematics is a combination of telecommunications and informatics and serve as onboard computer systems that connect our drivers to our managers. Thanks to these GPS enabled devices, someone is always there to help if our drivers ever need assistance getting to a pick-up or drop-off location. The system also enables our electronic logs plus monitors fuel consumption and other information, giving 48forty the data we need to support fleet efficiency and regulatory compliance.

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Implemented In-Cab Cameras

This is one of the hottest emerging safety technologies, and something we are excited to have implemented across our entire fleet. At the core of this technology are two cameras; one inward facing and one outward facing.

The inward facing camera is only activated when something triggers an “event” so our drivers maintain their privacy while we ensure the right safe driving behaviors. Since implementation, we have seen a reduction in distracted driving, following too close and seatbelt violations.

The outward facing cameras are proving invaluable for accident reconstruction and legal defense, capturing not just road conditions but other drivers’ behavior. Video provides factual evidence we can use to defend our drivers and the company should an accident occur, understand our liability, and reduce our insurance and litigation costs.

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The camera system makes good drivers better and is the perfect coaching tool for feedback, which definitely makes for better communications and relationships within our business!

Utilized OEM Technology

Despite a tremendous effort around driver training and coaching these proactive, but “passive” efforts aren’t always enough. There are situations where accidents can occur and to minimize this risk, protect our drivers and reduce the severity of accidents, we are also investing in “active” safety technology from the manufacturers. First, collision avoidance technology automatically engages the tractor’s brakes in an unsafe situation. Second, lane departure technology lets drivers know when it’s safe to switch lanes and alerts them if another driver is in the lane. Finally, our safety suite of OEM technology also enhances the tractor’s stability. Should a driver enter a curve a little fast, drive onto the shoulder of a road or be involved in an accident, sensors help the tractor adjust itself and keep from rolling over.

48forty is proud to be leading the industry toward safer driving with professional truck drivers and the latest advances in safety technology. While we can’t level the safety playing field entirely for our drivers, the fleet technologies we’ve implemented proves we can create safer, more positive work environments that protect our people, pallets and fellow motorists. Since implementing them, 48forty’s accident rate is down and our support and communications with our drivers is better than ever. And that’s what keeps our business moving people and pallets in the right direction!

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LeRoi Cochran

LeRoi is Vice President, Supply Chain at 48forty Solutions. He has more than 15 years' experience in transportation, quality, sustainability, strategy, and engineering. LeRoi currently serves as Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee within the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association. Read more about LeRoi here.