Chevron sets high bar for petroleum distribution quality
Oct 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Element two focuses on the journey management process developed by Chevron. Every trip for every shipment is planned in advance to minimize risks involved. Emergency response planning also is part of the journey management process for each trip. Nothing is left to chance.
“No matter how often deliveries are made to a service station, a journey plan is printed and reviewed for each delivery,” says Sharon Seekatz, Road Transport Safety manager. “Plans are locally generated, and they outline all of the hazards likely to be encountered by the driver.
“Plan development involves drivers, driver instructors, driver supervisor, and safety specialists or driver trainers. We store the plans on computer and print them out with each dispatch. We update the plans anytime there are changes to the route or at the delivery site. We identify the safest routes and every possible risk at the delivery location.”
Driver selection and health are covered under Element three of the program. Selection criteria are aimed at ensuring that newly hired truck drivers will be capable of safely and effectively carrying out their duties without risk to their own health, and the health of their colleagues and the health of the general public.
“At Chevron, we have very high standards and only hire the most qualified candidates,” Seekatz says. “Often, the safest and most qualified drivers come from the carriers that haul product for us. Our own drivers provide some excellent recommendations. We look for demonstrated maturity and a strong work ethic.”
To be considered, an applicant must have at least some experience behind the wheel of a tank truck. Chevron conducts a criminal background check, a thorough review of the applicant's driving record, drug/alcohol screening, and fitness for duty examination. In the United States, an applicant must have a Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) and a current commercial driver license with tank and hazardous materials endorsements.
Driver training falls under Element four. This part of the plan provides detailed guidance on Chevron's expectations for driver training, its frequency, and expected outcomes. The program calls for regular in-cab performance assessments and coaching by a driver trainer.
The new driver training program runs a minimum of 120 hours and is intended to build new safe driving habits, according to Sara Porter, manager of Regional Fleet Operations-North America. While the primary focus of the training program is on Chevron's proprietary fleet, the company also asks contract carriers to use a similar program.
Chevron's driver training program was custom-designed and starts with two days of classroom instruction. Each newly hired driver receives a copy of Chevron's truck driver manual on the first day of training. Customized for the region in which the driver will operate, the manual provides a wide range of useful material, including equipment background information and equipment inspection checklists.
Topics covered during the classroom instruction include Chevron's behavior-based safety system, various Department of Transportation regulations, and ergonomics. New drivers also complete the computer-based Smith System program on safe driving.
“During hands-on instruction, we make sure drivers know how to perform complete pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections,” Porter says. “We want to ensure our trucks will perform safely and reliably and won't have to be towed back to the terminal. We also show them how to properly operate all product handling hardware on the trucks and at delivery sites.”
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