For-hire and private fleets had competed for the same trophy in two divisions since 2014.
The change is one of 12 updates to the long-running safety contest first considered by the NTTC Safety and Security Council in April and later approved by the trade association’s Executive Committee in November.
“I am excited about these changes,” said Jim Anderson, Safety and Security Council national chair, and vice president of safety and risk management at Florida Rock and Tank Lines. “They’ve really done what was needed to enhance our contest. I’ve been involved with other contests similar to this at the state level, with state associations, and they all become dated over time as the industry and technology changes.”
Awarding a third trophy for private fleets acknowledges the “fundamental business operation differences” between for-hire carrier and private-fleet members, NTTC said Dec. 15 during a webinar introducing the changes.
The move also allows the association to recognize more private fleets. LSP Transport, a subsidiary of LiquidPower Specialty Products, was the first private fleet to claim the North American safety championship two years ago. “This is something that had been on the table for a number of years,” Anderson explained. “It wasn’t something that came up this year. It’s something that’s been talked about at different levels, within the Executive Council, and we’ve had conversations in the Safety & Security Council on this through the years. But with this comprehensive review [by NTTC staff and Great West Casualty auditors], the executive council wanted to … make a final decision on how this was going to work.”
For-hire and private companies now will compete separately in both rounds of NTTC’s Competitive Safety Contest. In Round 1, members compete for Grand, Honor, and Merit awards based on their DOT-recordable accident frequencies. Grand, or first-place, winners move on to the second round, where judges consider eight factors—including driver qualification, training, and management; safety programs and training; and vehicle and tank inspection and maintenance—in crowning the year’s safety champions.
However, in another change, mileage categories won’t be as rigid going forward.
Instead of 10 set ranges, for-hire carriers will fall into one of 10 classes to ensure a more even distribution of awardees. For instance, in the 2021 contest, no carriers qualified in the 12.5-15 million miles category. By making the ranges fluid, every class will have qualifiers, and NTTC can recognize more carriers. Classes 1-5, for carriers with more than 15 million miles traveled, still will compete for the Harvison division trophy, and carriers in Classes 6-10 will compete in the Sutherland division for operations covering less than 15 million miles.
Private fleets will compete in five evenly distributed mileage classes in Round 1.
Other Competitive Contest changes include using safety management system or electronic-logging device (ELD) data in lieu of the International Fuel Tax Agreement for determining mileage, submitting only data related to tanker operations (for companies with mixed fleets), and self-redacting identifiable information in Round 2.
Personnel Safety Contest changes include removing questions about fatalities and safety record improvements, and setting Dec. 31 of the contest year as the snapshot date for determining employee count.
The application period for the 2022 contest opens Jan. 3, 2023. The deadline to apply is Feb. 24, and division champions will be revealed during NTTC’s 75th Annual Conference, set for May 21-24, 2023, at Encore Boston Harbor in Boston.
Past North American safety champions
(Since the award was split into two mileage divisions in 2014)
- 2014: Tidewater Transit, Harvison; Wynne Transport, Sutherland
- 2015: Miller Transporters, Harvison; Carbon Express, Sutherland
- 2016: Groendyke Transport, Harvison; GLS Transport, Sutherland
- 2017: Gemini Motor Transport, Harvison; G&D Trucking/Hoffman Transportation, Sutherland
- 2018: Groendyke Transport, Harvison; Tandet Logistics, Sutherland
- 2019: Trimac Transportation, Harvison; G&D Trucking/Hoffman Transportation, Sutherland
- 2020: Suttles Truck Leasing, Harvison; LSP Transport, Sutherland
- 2021: Service Transport Company, Harvison; Lacy’s Express, Sutherland