FLORIDA Rock & Tank Lines Inc scored a notable milestone by winning its first Outstanding Performance Trophy in the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) 2011 Tank Truck Safety Contest. The Jacksonville, Florida-based carrier did so with a frequency of .340.

The Florida Rock & Tank Lines achievement comes at a time when the cumulative tank truck accident frequency is at a 10-year low. The carrier competed in the 35-55 Million Miles Class and was selected out of a group of 23 tank truck fleets that won the Grand Award in their respective mileage categories for the 2011 calendar year. In addition to the Outstanding Performance Trophy, Florida Rock & Tank Lines is taking home a Grand Award in the Competitive Safety Contest and an Honor Award in the Personnel Safety Contest. The carrier also earned a fifth year improvement award.

The management team leading Florida Rock & Tank Lines includes John Mabbett, chairman; Robert E Sandlin, president and chief executive officer; and Jim Anderson, vice-president of safety.

Sandlin praised the safety efforts of everyone at Florida Rock & Tank Lines, saying: “I am proud to be associated with such a wonderful group of professional people who understand the focus needed to successfully improve safety performance, and I am excited to be able to accept the Trophy on their behalf. We strive to operate safely first and then provide the best customer service in the industry. Our employees focus on prevention of accidents and property damage, prevention of product contamination and spills, and prevention of personal injury.”

The Outstanding Performance Trophy is awarded annually by Heil Trailer International of Athens, Tennessee, and is presented to the carrier judged to have had the best safety program in the tank truck industry during the previous year.

Contest judges this year were: Joe Evans, Evans Transportation Safety Consulting; Bob Farrell, Automobile Carriers Conference/Distribution & LTL Carriers Association; David Ford, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and Carlisle Smith, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

NTTC conducts four annual safety contests. These include a Competitive Safety Contest in which carriers compete in separate mileage classes; the Safety Improvement Contest in which a carrier competes against its own record for the previous year; a Personnel Safety Contest that is based on injuries per hours worked; and the Outstanding Performance Contest.

For 2011, the cumulative DOT accident frequency for participants in the NTTC's Annual Safety Contest was 0.498. This represents a decrease in the average frequency of 0.513 accidents per million miles traveled in 2010. It is important to note that these figures are for the NTTC member companies that participated in the safety contest, not for the tank truck industry overall.

For the 2011 contest year, NTTC had 92 entrants traveling 2.12 billion miles. In 2010, 104 contest entrants recorded 2.24 billion miles.

“Our industry continues to proactively promote safety as the foundation of its diverse operations and service segments,” says John Conley, NTTC president. “The tank sector of the trucking industry is the safest one operating day-to-day, and the latest contest results actually confirm that tank truck accidents are rare occurrences on North America's congested roadways. The dedicated men and women who drive these rigs deserve collective congratulations.”

Winning companies will be recognized at NTTC's 64th Annual Conference & Tank Truck Equipment Show in San Francisco, California, May 6-8. Awards will be presented to safety directors in charge of the winning programs at the NTTC Tank Truck Safety & Security Council annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 5-7.