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68 found that having open, formalized, well-documented to reduce the problem with their customers than do hiring procedures helped small companies to hire larger companies. better workers. 13. Limited financial resources. Many of the earlier- 6. Less time spent on driver training. Small carriers cited disadvantages and weaknesses are related to tend to devote less time to both initial and ongoing small carriers' tight profit margins and uncertain cash driver training than do larger carriers. This is also true flows. They are generally much less able to make pro- of safety meetings with drivers. A reason for this may active safety investments (e.g., new vehicles, onboard be that small company managers know their drivers technologies, and training) than are larger companies. better and have more confidence in their abilities. 14. More likely to be new entrants. One reason for greater 7. Less management development. In general, small safety challenges in small companies is that they are companies are less likely to engage in management more likely to be young companies without years of training and development than are larger firms. This experience and lessons learned. New entrants have includes both in-house training and training from out- higher violation and crash rates than more experi- side sources. The survey item, "Lack of training materi- enced carriers. FMCSA has initiated a major program als (or easy access to them) for yourself as a manager" to improve new entrant performance. received one of the lowest average safety importance ratings of those presented. It appears that the relative IMPROVING SMALL CARRIER lack of management development in small carriers is SAFETY MANAGEMENT related both to lack of resources and lack of perceived need. The project survey (chapter two), case studies (chapter three), 8. Less computer literacy. This study did not directly and evidence review (chapter four) suggest many effective address computer literacy; however, one indicator was safety management practices for small carriers and their the relatively low proportion of small carrier respon- owners/managers. A company's progression toward more dents (35 of 111) who used online training programs. comprehensive safety management is likely to include adop- This suggests a lower familiarity with online resources tion of multiple new practices such as those described here. than would likely be found in larger companies. Many small companies already do many of these things, as 9. Less use of Onboard Safety Monitoring (OBSM). evidenced by the current survey findings. Furthermore, the As discussed in chapter four, "Driver Valuation," value of these practices is not limited to small companies. OBSM is probably the most powerful form of driver Given that, it is small carriers that need to assess their current observation and evaluation. Small carriers use OBSM practices and consider possible changes in these areas: less than larger companies. 10. Nonuse of crash avoidance technologies. Two differ- 1. Business plan and attention to business needs. Com- ent questions on the project survey indicated that very panies should have a business plan, ensure that pricing few small carrier respondents purchase advanced crash is adequate to sustain the business, and pay close atten- avoidance devices and that they do not appreciate their tion to the business aspects of company management. potential safety and business value. This includes legal issues, licensing, facilities, purchas- 11. Less use of internal "leading indicators" of safety. ing and leasing contracts, costing of services, assessing CSA's Safety Measurement System has gotten the and dealing with competition, advertising, loans and attention of the entire CMV industry. Small carriers in other financing, record keeping, taxes, cash flow, con- this study do pay close attention to CSA metrics for tracts, creating a website, and other areas not directly both their drivers and their companies as a whole. related to CMV transport. However, use of internal "leading indicators" appears 2. Record keeping. Companies benefit from maintain- to be less common, extensive, and sophisticated in ing up-to-date and detailed operational, safety, admin- smaller companies than in larger ones. istrative, and financial records. 12. Less operational planning to reduce risk. As was 3. Development of business management competen- discussed in chapter four, motor carriers can reduce cies. The typical small business owner starts as an their crash risks considerably through better opera- expert worker, but must transform himself or herself to tional planning. Risk avoidance strategies include become a business person and manager. Business reducing empty ("deadhead") trips, minimizing load- management competencies are needed to complement ing and unloading and related delays, maximizing CMV transport competencies. travel on Interstates, avoiding urban traffic, avoiding 4. Self-insight into management style. It is important work zones, optimizing travel times, use of higher pro- that owners/managers recognize their management ductivity vehicles, and team driving. Project survey styles and personalities and, based on this insight, antic- responses and interviews suggest that small carrier ipate positive and negative implications for company managers do not fully perceive the value of these strate- success. gies. They do appreciate the increased risks caused by 5. Build on small company strengths. The previous loading and unloading delays, but have less leverage section articulated a number of the potential safety
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69 advantages small companies can have over larger well-established. This may be aided by the use of com- companies. These include direct management contact mercial maintenance management software. with drivers and vehicles, closer personal relation- 12. Operational and trip planning. Pre-trip, managers ships within the company, and lower driver turnover. and drivers should schedule trips to avoid high-traffic Small companies need to work to retain these small times and excessive driving during circadian low peri- company values while incorporating the more pro- ods (e.g., 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.). Once on the road, active and systematic practices of larger companies. pre-crash threat avoidance includes route selection 6. Systematic management. As discussed in chapter to avoid undivided highways, traffic congestion, and four, "Business Operational and Safety Management work zones. in Small Companies" (for companies in general) and in 13. Detention fees for loading and unloading delays. "Business Management" (for transport companies), a Even though small carriers have less leverage in deal- carrier needs to conceptualize and develop its own top- ing with their customers, they could negotiate deten- down safety management system. The system might tion fees as part of their contracts, and enforce them set out a company's safety policies, define how it iden- assertively. tifies safety hazards and controls risks, and provide for 14. Use EZ Pass or reimburse toll charges. Drivers who goal setting, planning, and measuring performance. choose to drive on a lower-capacity roadway to avoid A company's top-level safety system concept needs paying tolls are usually greatly increasing their crash to devolve downward to all company employees. risks. For both time savings and safety, toll roads are Four different systematic approaches to safety man- preferable. Carriers need to make it easy for drivers to agement were described in the section on Business use toll roads. Management, and others were discussed earlier in 15. "Cradle-to-grave" Human Resource Management chapter four. Two particularly useful concepts, in the (HRM). Driver and other employee HRM is critical authors' opinion, are Glendon and Stanton's safety for any motor carrier. Cradle-to-grave HRM encom- monitoring approach (see Figure 13) and Mooren's passes best practices in employee recruiting, selec- 12-element model of company fleet safety described tion, hiring, orientation, training, supervision, evalua- in chapter four. tion, retention, and termination. These practices may 7. Occupational Safety and Health Administration be even more important for small companies because (OSHA's) four key elements. By implementing they can potentially retain their drivers longer. OSHA's Four Key Elements of Company Occupa- 16. More formalized driver selection. Survey respon- tional Safety and Health Programs (chapter four, dents identified driver selection and hiring as the most "Safety Management"), companies would ensure the important safety management area, and much other following research supports that opinion. Chapter four, "Driver a. Management commitment and employee involve- Hiring," presented a number of effective driver hiring ment in safety. practices, based in part on CTBSSP Synthesis 21. Small b. Worksite analysis to identify hazards. carriers can improve driver selection by using more test c. Hazard prevention and control; for example, estab- and measurement tools (e.g., adding a driver question- lished and enforced procedures. naire) and making a conscious effort to hire based on d. Safety training for drivers and other employees. objective criteria rather than primarily "interpersonal 8. Safety culture. Companies need to develop their fit." One study found that small companies that for- own safety cultures; that is, shared values and beliefs malized their HRM processes (e.g., by documenting establishing safety as a priority. job tasks, knowledge, skills, and attitude, and mini- 9. Consider onboard safety technologies. Although mum employee qualifications) were more successful few small companies purchase such devices, the safety in finding better employees than those that did not. and business benefits of onboard technologies such as 17. Expanded driver training content. Small carriers Electronic Stability Control, Forward Collision Warn- might consider expanding their training of new and ing, and Lane Departure Warning are well-established. experienced drivers to include additional topics, such as At a minimum, small carriers would learn how to obtain those identified in CTBSSP Synthesis 5 and the section engine Electronic Control Module (ECM) readouts to on Driver Orientation, Training, and Communications help assess driver behavior patterns. in chapter four of this report. 10. Recognition of compliance challenges. Although 18. Embrace e-learning. Computer-based and web-based there may be many imperfections in government reg- training offers numerous advantages over conventional ulations and enforcement practices, small companies classroom instruction. Ease of access is the most notable need to recognize the compliance challenges they face advantage; however, e-learning also appears to result and seek to excel in roadside inspections and other in better and faster learning for many topics. In many compliance areas relative to their peers. ways it is ideally suited for small carriers with limited 11. PM schedules and software. The practice of main- resources. Small carriers need to seek out and take full taining PM schedules and records for each vehicle is advantage of e-learning offerings.
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70 19. Driver evaluation and feedback. Feedback (knowl- Motorcoach Association. Participants meet several edge of results) facilitates performance, but feedback times annually to discuss all aspects of carrier opera- must be based on accurate and timely performance tions and safety. Carriers within each group are selected measurements. Small carriers could seek to develop so as to be geographically dispersed and not in direct multiple measures of driver safety performance to com- competition with each other. Almost any carrier would plement those provided by the CSA BASICs. benefit from this kind of peer information and idea 20. Consider OBSM. Although OBSM technology is exchange. beyond the immediate reach of many small carriers, 27. Growth and metamorphosis. Table 17 in chapter those with the capability might consider using it. As four presented five stages of business development. discussed in chapter four, OBSM is potentially the The growth of a business involves dramatic personal most powerful form of driver evaluation because it and organizational transformations. A manager's role direct measures behavior. of providing direct supervision is gradually replaced 21. Safety rewards program. Rewards and punishments by a role of delegating, coordinating, oversight, and are an extension of feedback. The most effective carrier strategic planning. programs appear to be those based on Behavior-Based Safety (BBS). BBS emphasizes timely observations Broadly, it is important that small carriers try to sustain and of behavior, goal-setting, rewards and recognition for reinforce their advantages while also adopting the more sys- success, and correction of any hazardous situations tematic safety management approaches often seen in larger identified. Group involvement is important to the companies. This report has frequently cited findings from the process. Rewards can be tangible but not be of such I-95 Corridor Coalition Coordinated Safety Management high value that they become a source of contention. Study, which compared carrier safety practices and outcomes Rather, they are primarily social reinforcers and by carrier size. Across almost all measures, Stock found that might be designed to strengthen group norm-setting larger fleets generally had more active and systematic and cohesion. approaches to safety. They also achieve better roadside inspec- 22. Driver retention. Driver retention is a strength in tion outcomes. Stock concluded that government inspections many small carriers. Positive and supportive personal and enforcement "should focus on smaller fleets." Just as sig- relationships between managers and drivers appear to nificantly, he concluded that the "safety management practices be a key to good retention in small companies. Driver of larger fleets adjusted for [the] operational constraints of pay is also a factor, especially for older drivers with smaller fleets could provide effective `best practices' models" marketable driving records and job skills. for small carriers. 23. Crash documentation and investigation. Crashes are rare events, especially for small carriers with just These 27 effective practices were identified based on the a few vehicles. Proactive carriers have established, current survey, interviews, and literature review. The textbox prescribed response practices following a crash or presents abridged recommendations for U.K. transport com- incident. Drivers need to be instructed on procedures panies from a similar study by the U.K. Department for and provided with crash reporting forms. Insurance Transport. Many of the suggested practices are the same as companies often provide assistance in this area. those suggested earlier. 24. Regular safety measurement and monitoring. By regularly monitoring and measuring safety, companies can better understand their sources of risk, respond to "Recommendations for Companies" by the U.K. them, and continually improve. Comparisons with Department for Transport (2000) other companies provide both performance bench- · Training/Recruitment marks and ideas for innovation. The CSA BASICs Ensure thorough driver assessment during recruitment. provide such measurements, but these could be supple- Carry out a risk assessment on new employees (e.g., a mented with internal measures, especially measures of hazard perception test). driver behavior. Set a `qualifying period' for less-experienced drivers. 25. Development of safety management competencies. Integrate corporate safety messages and driving pro- Small companies are less likely to engage in manage- fessionalism into training. Establish and maintain a continuous driver training ment training and development than are larger firms. system. Through training and professional contacts with peers, Use in-cab computers to provide feedback and incor- small carrier managers can develop their supervisory porate this feedback into training. skills and increase their knowledge of specific safety- Teach self-management to drivers. related topics. Include the following in driver training: emergency 26. Participation in carrier peer consortia. Case study situations, maintenance, freeway driving, traffic laws, Carrier I (see chapter three) is a charter bus operator defensive driving, hazard awareness, and equipment with 15 vehicles. Its manager participates in an idea- knowledge. sharing carrier consortium organized by the United