DECRESCENTE DISTRIBUTING INCREASES DRIVER SAFETY AND RETENTION WITH LYTX
- Wanted to understand and proactively resolve driver fatigue and distracted driving for a 80-vehicle distribution fleet
- Wanted to reduce high driver turnover
- Needed to prevent serious collisions, considering one incident could prove catastrophic due to their vehicle sizes, cargo weights, and extensive routes
- Implemented the Lytx DriveCam® safety program
- Provided continuous driver coaching and counseling
- Significant improvement in driver performance through coaching
- Saved money on both vehicle wear and tear and false claims
- Exonerated drivers after collisions, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars
- Significantly reduced expenses associated with vehicle wear and tear and liability exposure
- Limited the rate of driver turnover
The DriveCam Difference
As vice president of operations for beverage distributor DeCrescente Distributing Company, Tom Turcotte is always on the lookout for ways to improve driver and vehicle safety.
The company serves a 7,500-mile territory and operates a fleet of approximately sixty vehicles, with drivers on the road five days a week. Trucks are loaded at night and drivers head out between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. for the day, making anywhere from six to twenty-five stops each. Naturally, driver fatigue and distracted driving are ongoing concerns, as is good driving behavior, in general.
Turcotte first heard about the DriveCam® safety program through its insurance captive. Although they weren’t having many incidents at the time, preventing the “big one” was an ongoing concern. Turcotte said, “We’re aware that given the size of the vehicles, weight of materials, routes and large territory covered, any single collision could be catastrophic.”
Implementing the DriveCam Program
Change management can be a challenge when implementing any new procedure or system, and the DriveCam program was no exception at DeCrescente.
“There was some pushback about being monitored,” Turcotte said. “But, we told our drivers that if you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about. As long as you’re doing something right, this system will be your friend.”
The DriveCam program immediately revealed some issues that concerned Turcotte. “We saw aggressive driving that we didn’t think would be there.” It also substantiated their long standing concern over drivers’ use of electronic devices, such as cell phones. The program showed drivers using these devices—in spite of company policy and driving laws—more often than expected.
“Without the DriveCam program solution, you have no idea how often your guys are on the phone,” Turcotte said. “Now I know when the phone causes problems.”
DeCrescente has a strict policy for not complying with its cell phone regulations. So far, thanks to documentation from DriveCam services and coaching from driver supervisors, the company has not had to terminate any drivers for failure to adhere to their policy.
Benefits Beyond Safety
Turcotte noticed a dramatic change from initial implementation to just three months into using the DriveCam program. “Now we only see minor issues week to week,” said Turcotte. “With the last few collisions, it showed our guys in the right, which was very impactful.”
In fact, DeCrescente has had three major instances of exoneration involving other drivers running red lights and a stop sign. In each case, the DriveCam program showed the DeCrescente drivers did nothing wrong, saving potentially hundreds of thousands in claims and lawsuits.
The DriveCam program solution has also helped DeCrescente significantly reduce vehicle wear and tear. “Trucks go on and off curbs all the time—it’s one of the hazards of the industry and common among all fleets,” Turcotte said. “Ask someone at another industry company how often he has to change a tire, and it’s a frequent event.”
But with driver improvement thanks to DriveCam event recorders, and coaching from driver supervisors, Turcotte has only had to replace one tire damaged by a driver within the last two years. “My drivers are much safer drivers with the DriveCam program. They go over curbs more slowly so the event recorder won’t trip off,” he said.
In addition, the DriveCam program services has helped DeCrescente eliminate “mystery damage” and fraudulent claims. “We’ve had at least half a dozen trucks hit while parked. We never would have known what happened had it not been for the DriveCam program,” Turcotte said.
Its proof of liability in all incidents has helped DeCrescente recoup repair costs from other parties at fault and reduced fraudulent claims against them, too. “We’ve had people hit us and accuse us of hitting them. They see our logo and think dollars and cents,” he said. With the DriveCam program, DeCrescente has had a constant ally to protect itself from false accusations.
Turcotte believes that the DriveCam program is a must-have for any transportation-based business. In one case, the DriveCam program revealed that one of Turcotte’s drivers had a road rage problem. Thanks to documented evidence, DeCrescente was able to handle the situation before it became a major issue.
“It’s not just the risk he’s taking with a potential collision—it’s your logo on the vehicle. It’s your driver who might be terrorizing people on the road. It comes back to our image, and most importantly, safety.”
With continuous driver coaching and counseling, driver behavior has improved greatly at DeCrescente. Coincidentally, the company has experienced limited driver turnover since implementing the DriveCam program. With driver turnover being such a big problem for many distribution companies, Turcotte is glad to have another tool to help retain drivers.
“The DriveCam program doesn’t offer a monitoring system, it’s a behavior system,” Turcotte concludes. “We were able to change driver behavior with the DriveCam program. They drive differently, act differently, and handle themselves differently in the vehicles.”
“We’re very happy with the DriveCam program.”