Verst Group Logistics
The Salvation Army

Yodel Enhances Fleet Safety With SmartDrive

Yodel, the UK independent parcel carrier, has enhanced its fleet safety programme and reduced collision rates over its HGV fleet by using SmartDrive System’s managed service video-based safety

The company operates a proactive, ongoing safety improvement programme – implementing the latest technology across all aspects of its fleet to ensure continuous improvement.

This latest investment in SmartDrive’s video-safety programme has seen Yodel exceed its annual fleet safety target regarding collision reduction, in just six months, as well as exonerating its drivers when not-at-fault and providing protection from fraudulent claims.

“With SmartDrive, we benefit from objective risk scoring of onroad instances and follow up with driver coaching. It was great news to hear that, on the strength of data from the SmartDrive programme, our insurer accepted that our new proactive approach to road safety was capable of significantly reducing our collision risk.”

— Andy Yemm, Head of Fleet and Transport, Yodel

Why Big Bus Tours was Ready for a Video-Based Safety Programme

Big Bus Tours Ltd, the largest operator of open-top sightseeing tours in the world, has taken the next step in its ongoing commitment to road safety
by investing in SmartDrive Systems’ video-based driver risk management programme across its entire London fleet.

Big Bus Tours has installed SmartDrive’s highest level of fleet protection, the SmartDrive® Assurance programme, in each of its 68 London buses. This combines forward-facing and interior cameras with a fully managed analysis service, as well as the SmartDrive Extended Recording option.

Why the SmartDrive® programme is the Smart Choice for Big Bus Tours

The SmartDrive system captures ‘triggered’ events, such as harsh braking or sudden course corrections, which causes 20 seconds of video to be captured, typically 10 seconds either side of the event. This is uploaded automatically via the cellular network, along with GPS positioning and base telematics data, to SmartDrive’s own review centre, where it is reviewed by its highly trained safety team.

The footage is analysed against dozens of pre-determined ‘observations’ or driver behaviours and assigned a risk-score in line with Big Bus Tours’ corporate policies, which is fed back to the company via a dedicated, secure on-line portal for use in driver coaching.

Critical events, such as high-impact collisions will trigger an immediate alert to relevant parties. Drivers can also manually trigger footage capture if necessary.

“We have a big name on a big bus and so we are a target for people who make unrealistic or inaccurate claims. With the kind of objective insights the SmartDrive programme provides we can instantly disprove many of these,”

–  Gerry Price, Executive Vice- President of Operations, Big Bus Tours

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

Why Reynolds Decided to Continue its Video-Based Safety Programme

Reynolds made the decision to extend the programme based on both the safety improvements and financial results achieved, most notably a 30 percent reduction in collisions year-on-year, ongoing fuel consumption improvements across the fleet and a reduction in associated costs, such as insurance premiums. In addition, using the SmartDrive Assurance programme to proactively coach and manage driver behavior has created a culture of safer and more anticipative driving, with the SmartDrive programme delivering a two percent improvement in average mpg across the fleet in 2015.

Reynolds invested heavily in its fleet over the past few years in order to help satisfy growing demand, most notably from the casual dining sector. Throughout this growth, SmartDrive’s Assurance programme has helped to propagate its culture of ‘safety first’ across all areas of the business. The proactive management of the fleet through improving driver behavior is one of the key areas where a continuous focus on safety has had a significant and positive impact.

Why SmartDrive is the Smart Choice for Reynolds

All of Reynolds’ drivers engage with the company’s strong safety culture. It is part of its core operational DNA and the SmartDrive programme is a vital component of this. Reynolds has not experienced any problems with driver acceptance of video technology in the vehicles, predominantly as it is firmly embedded in its orientation programmes. Furthermore, in many cases, it has been instrumental in exonerating ‘not at fault’ drivers and helped protect against ‘fraudulent claims.’

“We have enough data now to say that SmartDrive has made a considerable contribution to enabling us to reduce collisions, save fuel and proactively work towards minimizing our associated direct and indirect costs. It has become an integral part of our day-to-day operations and is a necessary component of our fleet management strategy, helping to ensure that our drivers are operating safely and efficiently on the road and that we are doing all we can to minimize our total cost of risk.”

– Steve White, Head of Fleet, Reynolds Catering Supplies

Why Verst Group Logistics was Ready for a Video-Based Safety Programme

Strategically based in Kentucky, America’s manufacturing heartland, Verst Group Logistics transports everything from beverages to auto parts throughout a six-state area. As a third-party logistics provider, Verst thrives by being efficient, cost effective and smart risk managers. A big part of risk management is their continual focus on safety, emphasizing driver safety, as well as that of the public. Their “safety first” environment also led them to seek ways to improve driver performance as a way to prevent the “big one” – the big one being a collision that could have catastrophic repercussions.


Why SmartDrive is the Smart Choice for Verst Group Logistics

SmartDrive Safety provided a path to better driving, less risk as Verst looked for ways to reduce risky driving behavior and improve driving performance, they realised an on-board video system was an absolute necessity to gain real visibility on the road. After researching their options, Verst knew that they needed a systematic approach that would let them identify root causes behind driver behaviors.

“We lacked the ability to actually capture behavior changes with an event-triggered video system in the cab. And that’s the benefit of SmartDrive Safety to us,”
Chris Cusick, VP of Transporation.

SmartDrive Safety was the only solution that met all their concerns.  Verst made the decision to go with SmartDrive based on these three things: risk avoidance, risk prevention and risk management.

Why The Salvation Army was Ready for a Video-Based Safety Programme

The Salvation Army is over 60,000 employees strong and has the 10th largest fleet in the U.S., with over 15,000 vehicles. While The Salvation Army strongly values public service and has been committed to keeping streets safe for its employees and the community, due to the sheer size of its fleet and the large amount of city driving, they have had a significant number of costly collisions. “Our insurance costs were rapidly ballooning,” said Jim Thompson, Director of Loss Prevention. Management began actively attempting to reduce vehicle collision rates and related claims costs across the fleet, while identifying and improving risky driving behaviors. And they sought a comprehensive solution to address safety and cost reduction.

Why SmartDrive is the Smart Choice for The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army deployed the SmartDrive Measured Safety Programme across a large number of its fleet of trucks in the Western Region of operations. The Salvation Army fleet supervisors were immediately impressed by the responsiveness and customer service of SmartDrive. They expressed complete satisfaction in the programme’s ability to effectively monitor and manage The Salvation Army’s fleet.

“I was impressed with the versatility of the SmartDrive services. The next-day feedback allowed our team to correct driving deficiencies immediately by counseling our drivers on safety, proper use of seatbelts and other risky driving behavior.”

John Johnson, Director of Production at The Salvation Army

Like all SmartDrive implementations, the rollout of The Salvation Army’s Measured Safety Programme was preceded by training and a Q&A session designed to help employees understand the SmartDrive approach and benefits. By selecting SmartDrive to manage their driver safety programme on a fully outsourced basis, The Salvation Army’s employees were able to focus on their core competencies. A dedicated SmartDrive account team works directly with The Salvation Army to manage and monitor the programme and deliver consistent, timely review of critical events so supervisors can better do their jobs. SmartDrive also provided The Salvation Army with in-depth information about their drivers’ performance, comparing the frequency and severity of risky driving events between drivers, divisions, geographic regions, and even across the entire organisation.

Maximizing the Value of their Investment

Since implementing the SmartDrive Measured Safety Programme, The Salvation Army has seen a dramatic drop in their collision rate and saved a significant amount of money on claims and insurance.

In addition, SmartDrive has been instrumental in exonerating drivers when they initially were assigned blame. Within the first few months, SmartDrive exonerated three of The Salvation Army drivers who were found not to be at fault by the video and audio that SmartDrive provided. “SmartDrive helps protect our employees from other drivers on the road, and the liability associated with a collision. It provides us a record exonerating our employees when they were not at fault,” said Thompson.

The programme has also had a surprising impact on the morale of The Salvation Army drivers. “In the six month period after we implemented SmartDrive, driver turnover has gone down,” said Henry Filoteo, the Director of Production for many of The Salvation Army distribution centers.

Operations expenses have also been reduced through the use of SmartDrive. “With our drivers slowing down, we’ve also increased fuel economy and reduced maintenance costs,” adds Thompson. These savings fall straight to the bottom line.