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42 CHAPTER FOUR CASE STUDIES The 11 carrier case studies in this chapter are based on phone or Note also that, within each case study, qualitative statements in-person interviews with motor carrier safety managers or made (e.g., regarding operational risk factors or practices to other carrier officials with similar job titles and responsibilities. reduce risk) reflect the opinions of the SM interviewee and Most companies and interviewees were identified through the not necessarily the conclusions of this report. project safety-manager surveys, although some were already known to the report authors. Interviewees were selected based on the number and variety of their carriers' innovative opera- CASE STUDY A: LARGE TRUCKLOAD CARRIER tional practices as indicated on their survey forms. Carrier A is a large truckload carrier providing refrigerated, flatbed, and tanker services. Its safety director has decades The Sampling Approach section in chapter three described of experience in carrier safety and operations, and is active the interview process and listed some supplemental questions in several national truck safety-related organizations. In the asked as follow-ups to the respondents' written survey responses. As noted there, interviewees were recruited from the project survey, the safety director rated the following opera- survey questionnaires; respondents were asked if they wished tional practices as having the greatest benefits to safety: also to participate in a phone interview on innovative carrier practices. Each interview followed the same general topic Reducing loading and unloading delays; sequence, but specific questions varied in response to inter- Maximizing travel on Interstates and other freeways; viewee answers and carrier practices discussed. The case stud- Avoiding urban rush hours and other heavy traffic situ- ies summarize interviewee answers and highlight operational ations; practices believed to be safety-effective by each carrier. Inter- Avoiding adverse weather and slick roads; view data were supplemented by a review of the carriers' web- Avoiding construction zones; and site content relating to its operations and practices. Companies Assigning familiar routes to drivers when possible. are identified only as "Carrier A," "Carrier B," and so on. The safety director believed that efficient carriers tended The 11 companies interviewed included large fleets (>1,000 to be safer carriers because of "a thousand little things." Inef- vehicles), medium fleets (1001,000 vehicles), and small fleets ficient carriers "let things go," such as postponing PMs or not (<100 vehicles). They are further classified as follows: replacing old equipment. Company A replaces its trucks after approximately 3 years of service, which reduces mechanical Large for-hire truckload carriers (AD); problems with possible safety effects. Medium for-hire truckload carriers (EF); Large private truck fleets (GH); The company's website says it provides computerized Medium private truck fleet (I); and mapping and routing directions "to driver associates to ensure Small bus fleets (JK). that loads get from point A to point B in the quickest, safest and most efficient manner. The greatest benefit of this tech- The authors believe that all of the carriers included here are nology is reducing the time driver associates spend searching well-run operations with excellent safety programs. Never- for shippers' docks, especially in remote locations or con- theless, project resources did not permit formal evaluation of gested industrial areas." This technology also reduces driver any operational practice of any carrier. The examples given cell phone use and provides a delivery tracking system. are to be considered as suggested practices for consideration by readers, not as scientifically proven methods. Division operational managers are considered to be safety managers as well, and this is incorporated into their perfor- For consistency, all interviewees are termed safety man- mance evaluations. This concept strengthens the link between agers or safety directors, regardless of their actual job titles. operational efficiency and safety. The company uses com- Each case study includes a textbox with five notable carrier mercial software to plan and manage their PMs. Trucks are efficiencies with likely safety benefits. Practices were chosen equipped with EOBRs, though the safety director stated for the textboxes based on the SMs' enthusiasm for them, and that they decrease productivity by 3% to 5%. EOBRs do, to present the widest possible range of worthwhile practices. however, provide operational managers with better data on