CASE STUDY

Airport Drayage uses the accurate data EROAD generates to create a safer environment for their drivers

Detailed, consistent data boosts driver safety

Airport Drayage is a multi-generational family company that has served the Pacific Northwest for the past 60 years. Safety is a key value for the team and while they haven’t had huge issues with safety, they knew that they could be doing better.

When an experienced and valuable driver, Larry Skoglund became available to join them in the office, the team saw a great opportunity for their driver improvement and safety program. Having previously owned his own trucking company, Larry understood the challenges of running a business as well as the importance of safety behind the wheel.

Using EROAD’s in-cab technology, the team leveraged accurate data from the system to reduce Airport Drayage’s exposure to risk and create a safer environment for their drivers.

“Prior to EROAD we were more reactive than proactive,” says Airport Drayage Vice President Devyn Lomax. “With today’s world, and litigation being so heavy on people’s mind, you need to take a proactive stance on safety. People see a commercial vehicle and think that we are a good source of money.”

Having an experienced driver like Larry leading their safety program, they were able to build a partnership-oriented approach to safety where drivers and the back-office worked together to support improvement. Larry understands what the drivers go through every day and can help them successfully modify what they’re doing to be safer.

“We aren’t micromanaging. They know that we are watching, and we approach it from a stance of ‘we’re all in this together,’” says Lomax. “We have conscientious drivers. We pay by the hour and not by the mile, so they understand that their safety comes before speed.”

As Larry delved into the data, he found actionable insights with the EROAD leaderboard and safety scores. He started slowly and then with time delved into the detailed data provided by the system. Larry is now able to systematically review each driver’s safety record and work one-on-one with drivers who stand out from the pack.

When interacting with the driver, Larry’s experience behind the wheel is readily apparent. When he identifies an event in EROAD worth talking about (speeding, harsh braking, etc.) he takes a tactful approach with the driver. Sometimes he just sends a text message so to not interrupt their life in the truck with a phone call. Other times he will have a conversation with the driver when they are in the office. Larry works to see that drivers’ needs are accommodated where possible, and most importantly, that they get home to their families safely.

Results

With a systematic and diligent approach, Larry has been able to help drivers improve significantly. The improvement was so dramatic that over a period of only a few months, they were able to reduce their safety and compliance violations to practically zero.

With their team’s emphasis on safety, they are also able to keep their exposure to legal risks to a minimum.

Larry has also expanded his efforts to include reports on where most of the speeding events happen. “On the freeways we are so used to driving at what we see as the speed of traffic, nobody notices when it drops from 60 to 50 mph,” says Larry. These reports help drivers identify areas of risk before heading out on the road.

For future improvements at Airport Drayage, they plan to focus retaining the driving talent that they currently have.

“We don’t think of it as a driver shortage problem, but a driver retention problem. Driving a truck is a skilled position and we are working to be in a position where we are the company that people want to come and work with,” says Lomax. With their keen attention to safety and a family mentality, they are sure to be an attractive team now and into the future.

Stellar Audit

The team’s impressive attention to detail with EROAD also had an important side benefit. They were recently audited by the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the auditor only found an $8.64 discrepancy in their tax payments. While their initial inclination was to fight the issue, upon consideration they just laughed it off as many other businesses have far more serious issues.

The audit process was incredibly easy thanks to the reports provided in the EROAD Depot. “You use EROAD?” said the auditor. “Good, this will be easy,” he said. And finding so little discrepancy, the auditor even told them “You won’t be audited again.” Clearly less than $9 discrepancy isn’t worth his time to complete another full audit.

Company:
Airport Drayage Co.
Portland, OR

Industry:
Transportation, Airfreight agent & cartage service provider