Building tomorrow's transportation company model
Apr 21, 2010 3:40 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Dupré Logistics continued...
“We measure virtually everything,” says Al LaCombe, certified director of safety at Dupré Logistics. “Primary components are fatigue management, driver performance, and data aggregation and analytics. We use a predictive model that scores drivers on their likelihood of having an accident or service failure.
“We focus a lot of attention on the big four accidents: rollovers, lane changes, rear end collisions, and intersection crashes. We're constantly refining and tweaking the process. We've made changes in our operating procedures, such as switching all of our drivers to hourly pay. We know the program is working, because over the last three years all accidents are down 23%, serious accidents fell 81%, and driver productivity increased 12%.”
The fatigue management program was developed in partnership with Circadian Technologies and was launched in 2001. “We realize we can't eliminate all driver fatigue, but we can manage the risk,” LaCombe says. “We've changed driver schedules from top to bottom. We work with our drivers to promote healthy habits that can reduce fatigue.”
Dupré Logistics continues to upgrade its safety program. The newest enhancement is the GreenRoad technology. GreenRoad continuously measures and analyzes maneuvers that most impact safe driving, fuel efficiency, and vehicle emissions. Constant reinforcement in the form of a simple red-yellow-green in-cab display promote correct driving behavior. Fleet and safety managers can monitor driving performance via email and the GreenRoad web portal that provides individual trip details, risk analysis, and coaching to help drivers sustain improvement.
“We've put a lot of money into programs like GreenRoad,” LaCombe says. “We believe GreenRoad will pay for itself when we get a 2.0% fuel mileage improvement. Beyond that, we are very confident that the program will help prevent accidents by helping drivers change their behavior.”
Safe and efficient vehicles are just as important as safe and efficient drivers. A SmartWay Transport partner with the Environmental Protection Agency since 2006, Dupré Logistics announced in late 2009 that it was adding the latest generation of SmartWay spec'd tractors to its fleet, and will have the latest aerodynamic treatments, engine technology, tires management, and idle control.
“We'll buy approximately 50 new replacement tractors this year,” says Stephen Choate, Dupré Logistics director of maintenance and fleet assets. “Those tractors will meet the SmartWay spec. We bought 70 new tractors over the past year, and we plan to stay on our regular replacement schedule. We also expect additional growth through fleet expansion.”
The newest tractors are Freightliner Cascadias with Detroit Diesel DD13 engines in daycabs and DD15 engines in sleeper units. Both engines are rated for 450 horsepower. The powertrain includes Eaton Fuller 10-speed transmissions and Meritor and Alliance tandem-drive axles.
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