Classic Transportation & Warehousing has a company motto that drives everything they do: Exceed the Standard Always, Do the Right Thing. VP of Sales & Logistics Dianne Newton says investing in Netradyne’s Driveri safety solution helps them live that motto – by supporting both the drivers and the company and enabling them to focus on the core business and its continued growth.
Classic’s interest in video safety technology came about mainly to protect both the company and their drivers from potential legal battles as well as add another layer to solid driver training. They see cameras as a necessity in the trucking industry. Safety Director Mike Wazny says, “In an accident the person in the smaller vehicle will be the first to describe how [they think] it happened, and they typical- ly blame the truck. When you get into litigation it can get messy, so we’re better off knowing what happened even if it’s our fault, so we can deal with it.”
CEO Rod Cooper adds, “It’s very clear that the target is often on the driver of the truck when there is an accident. Our amazing team of drivers are one of our greatest assets. Having the camera on board levels the playing field and provides a clearer picture of what actually happened and protects our drivers and our company.”
We recommend that drivers use the mobile app—it’s so much easier if they’re getting the info real-time. Once they see the data, they know what to do.
— Rod Cooper, CEO
Once Classic made the decision to invest in video, they were diligent with their research, taking the time to educate them- selves about the options in the marketplace before forming an opinion about their needs.
“Once we got into it, we learned that we wanted great video quality, a dashboard that was easy to use, and the ability to train drivers with AI technology. Netradyne did all three really well,” says Wazny.
“It’s tough to know what’s going on in the trucks, and with the AI, we now have visibility,” says Cooper, “We were honestly a bit surprised seeing what some of the drivers were doing. These things quickly improved however when Mike was able to monitor them using the cameras and then working with the drivers.”
He says that when companies don’t have visibility, they may incorrectly assume things are fine.
“We started with a target fleet score of 850 [out of 1000]. Now we’re way above that. We meet with everyone below the target and work with them to improve. During our talks we recommend that drivers use the mobile app — it’s so much easier if they’re getting the info real-time. Once they see the data, they know what they need to do.”
Comprised almost entirely of Owner-Operators, Classic knew there would be some push-back when rolling out the safety platform.
“Our approach was always that we’re protecting the drivers. These drivers are out there working hard, and they can be criminally prosecuted if they are doing it the wrong way,” says Cooper, “We tell them, ‘if you’re a good driver, then you shouldn’t be concerned.’ The cameras are another layer of protection for them.”
Drivers voiced concern about privacy while not on duty. Though the system operates in “privacy mode” when the truck is not in motion, Classic implemented a physical cap on the camera to help reassure drivers that they are only inter- ested in visibility while they’re doing their job.
Wazny recounts a recent story about a driver that did not like having a camera in his truck. He ended up getting into an accident and was initially falsely blamed by the other motor- ist. He then realized how much he needed the camera. He shared the video with the police officer at the scene and put the issue of liability to rest on the spot.
This driver had one of the lowest scores [in the fleet] and now he’s one of our top drivers. It is a night and day difference in performance.
– Mike Wazny, Safety Director
Classic shared their approach to driver coaching. They con- nect with their drivers monthly to review the reports togeth- er, addressing both the good and bad driving, with a focus on recognition. They award $100 each month to the three highest scoring drivers, which encourages friendly competi- tion. They coach drivers who are under the goal but showing improvement. Drivers who do not improve over time will be let go.
Wazny shares, “We had one driver that had a bad month. He came in and I shared the printed scorecard. We went through what the system identified as the problem: a stretch of road where the speed limit switches. We reviewed the vid- eo and he saw that this was not a matter of opinion — I didn’t put the speed limit there. This driver had one of the lowest scores [in the fleet] and now he’s one of our top drivers. It is a night & day difference in performance.”
Safe driving is always going to impact the financials. We’ll pay less on claims and receive lower premiums.
– Rod Cooper
Within a two-month period, Classic’s fleet compliance for following distance, traffic lights, stop signs and speeding improved by 66%-86%. In that same two months, their CSA score dropped by 27% to its lowest point since 2013.
With this improved performance, Classic and their team of drivers affirms their promise to exceed the standard always and do the right thing.
Classic Transportation & Warehousing is an employee- owned warehousing and intermodal transportation firm with sites throughout West Michigan. Founded in 1988, Classic is a service-oriented provider with a reputation for operating with integrity. Classic strives every day to provide seamless, world-class service at competitive rates, freeing up the time and resources clients need to grow their businesses.