As bottling partners of a well-known corporation, independent Coca-Cola bottlers are highly visible in their communities. Their bright red trucks with the Coca-Cola name in the iconic white cursive script are on the road every day. This high profile can connect them with the community they serve or expose them to certain risks.
“The nature of our business as an independent Coca-Cola bottler is high risk,” said Donahue Holloway, Safety Coordinator for the Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. “We’re out there every day, and lots of things are going on.”
If an accusation is made against the driver of a bottling company – whether valid or not – the cost of investigating the claim and defending the driver and company can be well beyond an independent bottler‘s means. “When you’re an independent bottler, those claims can eat you alive,” Holloway noted.
But in 2018, Durham Coca-Cola Co. found a solution.
“Since installing Lytx’s Driver Safety Program, we’ve been able to capture events where we were falsely accused.” With one driver, “it happened less than two hours after he got the camera. He was on his way back from the install when another vehicle collided with him.... After the event, he called us and said, ‘This is what happened.’ I said, ‘Let me see what I can find out.’ I went in to check the video footage and saw that it happened while he was making a turn and it showed clearly that it was not his fault.”
"We had two companies go after us when they thought we hit them....In fact, the video clearly showed they hit us. Once we mentioned that we had Lytx®, [the false claims] went away. When you have that kind of information it changes the game.”
On another occasion, “We had two companies go after us when they thought we hit them,” Holloway said. “In fact, the video clearly showed they hit us. Once we mentioned that we had Lytx, [the false claims] went away. When you have that kind of information it changes the game.”
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and “Route-to-Market” Safety
In addition to reducing claims costs, Lytx’s video telematics also helped Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. improve the route-to-market safety of its 190 drivers. “We want [our drivers] to be able to come home safely,” said Holloway. This is where the coaching aspect of the fleet safety program comes in. “Some of our drivers were doing some things that we didn’t want them to be doing,” such as driving unbelted and distracted driving. “Backing into fixed objects was [also] an issue. We’ve coached to improve this.”
Ultimately, it is the ability to review the video with the driver that makes the biggest difference in increasing safe driving for the independent bottler’s fleet of 140 delivery vehicles, Holloway added. “When our drivers can see what they’re doing in the video clips captured by Lytx, they become more aware of their driving habits.” Greater awareness has resulted in increased safety and reduced speed, which also cuts down on fuel and maintenance costs.
Other savings are more dramatic. Before the Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. installed Lytx, “we were close to $100,000 in [claims] costs,” Holloway said, “After a little more than a year of installing Lytx cameras, our claims costs have dropped 92%. We’re currently well under $8,000 in claims cost for the year.” The improvement was so dramatic that “our insurance carrier called us to do a presentation on our safety program because of how much we were able to reduce claims.”
Having Lytx as an extra eye on the road has provided Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. with the ability to dramatically reduce claims costs, improve route-to-market safety, while also enhancing the company’s reputation in the community, Holloway said. That’s why Lytx is the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sale and Service-recommended supplier of video telematics and fleet management technologies.
If you’d like to see how Lytx‘s fleet management solutions can improve efficiency and productivity for your company, enhance fleet tracking, reduce claims costs, improve driver safety, and exonerate your drivers from false claims, schedule a demo.