Client Profile

  • ClientSmithfield Foods
  • IndustryTrucking
  • Fleet Size600


Why Smithfield Foods was Ready for a Video-Based Safety Programme

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly’s®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny® and Berlinki®.

“We found ourselves reacting to accidents and situations, rather than training our drivers to get ahead of them. There was a growing concern and some anxiety over the question, ‘what if the next accident is worse than the last?’ We knew we needed an effective way to reduce risk, and the SmartDrive programme was the perfect solution.”

James Michael, senior operations manager at Smithfield Foods

Why the SmartDrive® Programme Is the Smart Choice for the Smithfield Foods

To improve its safety record, Smithfield embarked on a side-by-side comparison pilot of two video-based safety systems in its vehicles across the country. “The SmartDrive results were overwhelmingly positive,” continued Michael. “Soon after deploying the SmartDrive programme, we went from 20 preventable accidents on the roadway where we lost two trucks to accidents, to only eight preventable accidents and no truck losses during the same time period the following year. In addition, the online dashboard, coaching workflow and client support convinced us that the SmartDrive programme would be the most beneficial solution for our fleet.”

Smithfield Foods executives were involved in the purchasing decision and, after seeing the results from the pilot, quickly agreed the SmartDrive programme was the right choice. The SmartDrive system installed in the Armour and Eckrich branded trucks includes both cab-facing and road-facing event recorders, in order to provide clear insight into risk factors that occur both behind the wheel and from other motorists on the road. Being able to see what drivers were doing during risky maneuvers and having the ability to coach them on needed skills has already yielded positive results for the fleet.

“We have 40 branches across the country—both union and non-union facilities,” explained Michael. “We engaged our drivers in a conversation so they understood the programme and how it works. Once it was clear to them that video is only recorded if a risky maneuver or external G-force is detected, many drivers made a personal commitment to avoid causing a trigger by driving safely each and every time they hit the road. The results speak for themselves.”

“Some companies are worried about having a video-based system due to liability issues in case a driver actually is at fault in an incident. However, the benefits—including being able to exonerate drivers when not at fault and being able to prevent accidents—far outweigh the risks. As a private fleet, we want to ensure our brand is synonymous with safety. Leveraging the SmartDrive video-based platform is a key tool for us to protect our drivers, the motoring public and our reputation.”

James Michael, senior operations manager at Smithfield Foods

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