Chevron sets high bar for petroleum distribution quality
Oct 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Newly hired Chevron drivers, as well as other carrier's drivers, must complete training on terminal-specific operating and safety procedures and practices. Training is provided by terminal personnel and takes about four hours. Drivers must demonstrate an understanding of the loading rack procedures at the conclusion of the training.
The initial orientation is just the beginning of a training process that continues throughout the time a driver works for Chevron. Annual refresher training is mandated. Refresher training covers defensive and safe driving, loading and unloading procedures, hazardous materials handlng, and general safety.
Most of the training is handled by driver instructors, who are working drivers who have been identified as having the skills required to be effective coaches. Chevron requires at least one instructor be available for each of the loading terminals where it has trucks. In addition, fulltime regional driver training specialists conduct 30-, 90-, and 180-day check rides with new hires. Check rides also are scheduled when there is an indication of risky driving behavior.
Chevron has four driver training specialists in North America and two in Latin America. Six driver training specialists are based in South Africa.
Driver performance is monitored daily in the Chevron road transport system, and this is Element five in the Road Transport Safety program. Chevron's Loss Prevention System behavior-based safety management is used throughout the worldwide fuels trucking operation. All fleet managers and drivers participate in the program, which includes loss prevention observations and loss and near-loss investigations. On-board computers also play a big role in the performance monitoring effort.
“We began installing the Cadec Mobius TTS system three years ago, and we have specified Cadec equipment in our US trucks for more than 15 years,” says Jim Fleming, fleet standards specialist in Chevron's Global Marketing Logistics unit. “The Mobius TTS system provides tracking and communication with GPS and cell phone technology.”
Fleming adds that Chevron requires Cadec (or comparable) systems in all of its trucks and vehicles operated by contract carriers. “We want to be able to track and reward desirable driver performance, which is the vast majority of our observed activities, in addition to dealing with the occasional undesirable behaviors that are risky or dangerous,” he says.
In addition to using the Cadec system, Chevron partners with Digicore in Africa and Siemens VDO hardware in Latin America.
Fleming says the crucial first step with contract carriers was to convince them to install the onboard systems in their trucks. Next Chevron Global Marketing Logistics managers had to show them how to use the information to improve driver performance and safety.
Chevron uses a Green/Yellow/Red (GYR) program — co-developed by Chevron, Cadec, and Kenan Advantage Group (one of Chevron's strategic carriers) — to analyze sudden decelerations, speeding events, overreving the engine, and roll stability system actuations. “We've seen a lot of progress since we started using this tool about two years ago,” Fleming says. “At our Avon (California) terminal for instance, drivers average 98%-99% green, which means they are performing like we want. The national average for Chevron in the United States is 85% green, up substantially from a 15% average when we launched the program.”
Going beyond the on-board computer, Fleming is working with North America colleagues to pilot an on-board camera system in their Los Angeles, California, fleet. The camera is proving useful in driver coaching and is valuable in incident investigations. Information and experience gained from the pilot project will support development of a global standard for the camera system within Chevron's distribution network.
Improved driving affects more than safety. It has a direct impact on the bottom line with regard to fleet operating costs. “When driving improves, we see better performance out of the vehicle and less wear and tear,” Fleming says. “Some locations are recording a 15% to 18% fuel economy improvement. The GYR program can really pay dividends.”
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