SmartDrive Systems, a leader in driving performance solutions that reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency, announced that J.S. Helwig & Son (Helwig), a contract carrier of temperature-controlled and time-sensitive freight, has deployed the SmartDrive video-based safety platform. Helwig selected the SmartDrive system based on the program's ease of use, advanced reporting capabilities, and superior customer service and support. With driver protection and safety central to the fleet's decision to adopt video, Helwig's highly successful rollout helped ensure not only driver acceptance, but appreciation for the fleet's investment.
"At J.S. Helwig & Son, we recognize that our drivers are vital to our success, and their efforts contribute immeasurably to the continued growth of our company," stated James Helwig, owner and CEO of J.S. Helwig & Son. "The addition of the SmartDrive system to our robust suite of safety technology is one more way we demonstrate our commitment to the safety of our employees and our dedication to exonerating them when they're not at fault in a collision."
Headquartered in Terrell, Texas, Helwig operates 275 trucks hauling refrigerated goods across the Southeastern and Northeastern U.S. Seeking to reduce collision frequency and maximize protection for drivers, fleet management turned to video to gain full visibility to what was happening on the road. A strategic, integrated communication strategy ensured Helwig drivers not only understood the objectives and benefits of incorporating the SmartDrive program into fleet operations, but that they also embraced the technology as another way to protect themselves.
"Helwig is among the growing number of fleets to recognize the advantages of video-based safety technology not only for improved fleet operations, but also for enhanced driver satisfaction," stated Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. "Increasingly, the most innovative, progressive fleets view the adoption of video as a driver benefit, with some drivers suggesting they won't consider working for a fleet that doesn't tap into the power of video to both protect and help improve performance."
In keeping with the company's longstanding commitment to transparency and collaborative, constructive approach to driver performance improvement, Helwig's leadership team ensured drivers were informed and involved in the program rollout. Starting with management's initial introduction of the technology through the company newsletter and at employee meetings, and continuing through early conversations with senior drivers to ensure their buy-in, Helwig leadership made it clear that the aim was to protect drivers and improve safety. As a result, drivers have been overwhelmingly supportive and enthusiastic.
"Our drivers love the SmartDrive program. In fact, we have drivers coming into the depot for regular preventive maintenance and asking to have the video hardware installed," noted Dave Benson, Helwig's director of safety. "With the SmartDrive program, our drivers have fewer reasons to stress about what happens on the road. They know we have visibility to what took place in the case of a collision or other incident, and we can quickly and easily exonerate them and get them back behind the wheel."
With the dual-camera configuration of SmartDrive Assurance Pro, the company gains visibility to the driving skills of its drivers and what is happening on the road outside the vehicle. The road-facing and cab-view videos optimize the effectiveness of driver coaching sessions, ensuring Benson and his drivers have positive, constructive conversations based on what actually occurred. In just 13 weeks since the first trucks were equipped, Helwig has already experienced dramatic results, with fleet safety scores improving by 74.5 percent.
"For over a half-century, truck drivers have been blamed for the majority of collisions involving commercial vehicles, but cameras don't lie. Now, with SmartDrive, there's no question about what the truth is," stated one Helwig driver who has had the SmartDrive platform installed for nearly three months. "In addition to clearly showing what actually happened in the case of an incident, the system also serves to greatly enhance drivers' awareness of safety and it has allowed me to focus specifically on areas for improvement."
Benson and Helwig ardently believe in the benefits of the dual-camera configuration and encourage their peers across the industry to embrace video and other advanced technologies to improve safety and operational efficiency.
"If you only have one camera, you're missing 50 percent of the opportunities to protect your drivers," Benson commented. "If there's any question about what your driver was doing and whether he was distracted at the time of an incident, a plaintiff's attorney is sure to zero in on this to your fleet's detriment. With video, there's no question as to whether your driver was doing what he needed to do."
More Info: http://www.smartdrive.net