The company says it has had drivers exonerated since the system’s rollout, and it enjoyed a 10% decrease in insurance premiums thanks to the “measurable safety improvements” SmartDrive’s system provides.
“Safety is paramount to our business at Waccamaw, so we spec our trucks with all of the safety systems we can get,” said Michael Mason, safety and human resources director at Waccamaw Transport. “For us, video was the last piece of the safety puzzle. It was the right thing to do to protect our company and employees.
“As a result of our improved safety performance and the reduction in insurance rates, the SmartDrive program has more than paid for itself.”
Since 1939, family-owned Waccamaw has provided fuel and petroleum transportation services to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. The company completes 42,000 deliveries of 320 million gallons annually to customer bulk plants and retailer locations, and prides itself on offering a 99% on-time delivery rate through its best-in-class fleet of drivers, operations and technology.
“We travel 4.6 million miles every year in urban areas,” Mason said. “With a lot of traffic, our drivers have to make numerous independent decisions every day and SmartDrive has helped with that decision making.”
Waccamaw says its management recognized the need to engage drivers in plans to adopt the SmartDrive program, and a proactive driver communication and rollout plan helped ensure successful deployment. This approach also helped ensure drivers were well-informed of how the video safety and analytics platform benefits them.
“We prepared our drivers many months ahead of installation, and were very explicit in terms of what the program did, how it worked, who could review the captured video events and more,” Mason said. “We took the time to demonstrate the program, share sample videos and discuss the benefits of coaching, letting our drivers know that—just as professional athletes watch videos and learn from them—we can do the same thing to hone our skills.
“As a result, our drivers were accepting of the program and now view it as an ongoing learning experience.”
With the dual-camera configuration of SmartDrive Assurance Pro, Waccamaw has visibility into the behavior of its drivers and what is happening on the road outside the vehicle. The road- and cab-facing cameras provide video that optimizes the effectiveness of driver coaching sessions, ensuring fleet managers and drivers have constructive conversations based on actual events, SmartDrive maintained. By having the cab-facing video, fleets can see exactly what happened in an event and exonerate a driver who’s not at fault.
“Fuel transportation involves unique and inherent risk, over and above that of a typical for-hire fleet, and Waccamaw’s commitment to investing in the latest technology to ensure driver safety is commendable,” said Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO. “We’re proud the SmartDrive program is now a key component of the company’s comprehensive approach and look forward to a long-term partnership to improve the safety of the carrier's drivers, customers and the communities it serves.”