Trio Forest Products
- Nine vehicles tracked (all Class 8 trucks).
- In the first week, drivers triggered 102 safety events.
- Three months later, they had 9 safety events – a 91% reduction.
- After meeting with management to review their scores, they improved within 24 hours.
- Trio Forest Products has not used the Driveri smart camera for disciplinary actions.
Trio Forest Products delivers building materials throughout Arizona, from Nogales to Flagstaff, from Safford to Kingman. The company has served the region since 1979 and remains family-owned and operated. Its owners are the embodiment of a “customer first” approach that infuses the entire staff.
Trio Forest Achieves an Overnight Fleet Safety Turnaround
Ingrained Habits Create Danger
All drivers have their ingrained habits. It’s easy for us to ignore or justify them: “I slowed down enough for that stop sign. Everybody drives 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. It’s just one text message!”
Those tendencies seem trivial. But they add up to significant risks.
Searching for a Safety Solution
The management team at Trio Forest Products started researching ways to safeguard itself from the cost of accidents: A fatality can cost a company $3.6 million if it’s found at fault. The average cost of an injury accident is $200,000.
Trio Forest has relied on GPS Insight tracking and compliance products since 2010. The results they gained and trust they established with their GPS Insight account manager led them to select our Driveri smart camera system. Trio Forest had them installed in December of 2019.
Driveri Smart Camera System
Drivers knew the cameras were coming. Two drivers were close to resigning, believing the company’s culture would take a dystopian “Big Brother” turn. Barry Ruchty, inventory manager at Trio Forest Products, knew he had a challenge on his hands. In-cab cameras represented a major shift, and drivers across many industries view them with suspicion.
Because his position also encompasses co-managing the fleet and its drivers, Ruchty needed to assure them that the Driveri cameras would function as a wingman, not a watchdog. To make that happen, he implemented practices from his former career.
Creating a Baseline
Ruchty came to Trio Forest Products after 32 years in law enforcement. He trained officers and deputies, showing them that safety is even more important for people who wear a badge.
Since joining Trio Forest, he worked his way from driving a truck to management. With knowledge ranging from law enforcement to earning his commercial drivers license, Ruchty had his team’s confidence. He understands their world, and they know it.
Ruchty adapted a method he used to trained young law enforcement officers to emphasize safety over speed in responding to emergency calls. He monitored drivers for two days and let the Driveri GreenZone® system score them; GreenZone® is a driver scorecard that records both good habits and safety incidents.
Trio Forest Products drivers carried on as always in the days after the camera installation. There were no big announcements and no dire warnings. The results came in: The drivers all scored in the 600-point range out of a possible 1,000. Many Driveri users select a score of 900 as their benchmark.
Ruchty noticed a wide spectrum of violations that resulted in the low scores.
Focusing on the Facts
With two days of data in hand, Ruchty held talks with each driver individually. His message? “Let me introduce you to yourself,” Ruchty told them. He emphasized a few key points with the drivers:
- How they drive at work is also how they drive with their families.
- He doesn’t have time or interest in monitoring them constantly.
- The only time he would watch them is if Driveri indicated a safety event.
Ruchty says no manager has time to idly peer in on drivers without a reason. He only reviews footage when Driveri notifies him about a possible violation. He emphasized this to drivers from the start: “I will only see what’s created by you.”
Drivers Improve Overnight
The day after drivers met with Ruchty, Driveri scores shot into the 900s fleet wide. Even better, they’ve stayed there. The lowest score on a recent day was 931 out of 1,000.
The GreenZone® scores represent a 91-percent reduction in drivers triggering safety events. In the first week of use, they triggered 102 events. In the first week of March 2020, they triggered nine events.
Some drivers even exceed the maximum 1,000-point score with courteous, safe driving actions like slowing down to let others merge. These actions earn Driver Stars that boost their scores.
Trio Forest Products also has a reward system: The driver with the highest average score each month receives a gift card. Ruchty believes rewards are more effective than reprimands.
We have not had to use it (Driveri) for discipline at all. I consider myself extremely lucky.
Still Getting the Job Done on Time
There’s always a rush to get a job done. Does easing off the gas a bit make it harder to meet deadlines?
Ruchty said Trio Forest drivers are making the same number of deliveries, even while coming to a complete stop and driving slower.
With most routes in the 15-25 mile range, the time drivers can save by speeding just doesn’t help, he added. And with the longer runs, there’s still no way to get in extra jobs.
Slowing down, though, pays dividends beyond the number of jobs. Ruchty listed improved gas mileage and less wear on brakes as additional benefits.
The success with Driveri camera may help with insurance costs in the future, too.
“Our insurance carrier is absolutely in love with this system,” Ruchty said.
GreenZone® scores at Trio Forest have remained consistent because of the constant reminders the system provides to drivers and managers. Improving old driving habits remains top of mind.
Ruchty will sometimes call a driver when he receives a safety event, just to let them know that safety is a never-ending goal. In short, Driveri is an outstanding success. He also believes it would help any other fleet manager who truly cares about safety.
“It’s something I would push on anyone,” he said.