View from the Edge

Midsize fleet uses multi-faceted safety program to deliver best-in-class results

Wisconsin-based Halvor Lines operates 430 trucks, serving customers across the US and Canada. With both new entrant and experienced drivers providing dry van, reefer, and flatbed services, keeping everyone safe and productive is a daunting challenge.

However, by creating a safety management program that blends a variety of driver development tools, and focusing on continuous driver improvement, the company is seeing unmistakeable results.

Onboarding

Halvor's safety program gets new hires started right, with a combination of classroom and online courses. The company uses the CarriersEdge system to provide interactive, online training for safety and regulatory subjects such as FSMA, C-TPAT, and security awareness, among others. Those courses are supplemented with classroom sessions focused on company-specific information, making the most of a driver's time in orientation.

Following the online and classroom components, new hires get hands on training with a simulator. That typically includes the company's "low bridge simulation" program to test driving skills, but other programs are employed as necessary.

From there, drivers spend time working with on-road coaches until they're fully ramped up and ready to run solo. That may be a few days or a few weeks, depending on the driver's background and skill level.

Throughout the onboarding process, the company also conducts outreach to new hires, with trainers and mentors checking in to see how things are going, and formal surveys collecting feedback on the process as a whole. The results of those check-ins and surveys are used by company management to gauge the success of their onboarding efforts, and continually refine the program components.

Ongoing

An extensive onboarding program ensures drivers get off to a great start, but Halvor doesn't stop there. The same attention to driver performance, and blended approach to skill development, continues throughout a driver's career at the company.

All drivers complete the Smith System defensive driving course early in their tenure, and renew it periodically, as well. The company runs the course regularly, and each class includes a mix of newer and more seasoned drivers. Recognizing that the mix of drivers in each class provides an excellent opportunity for teambuilding and discussion, the company uses each session to gather feedback for future improvements.

In between Smith System courses, drivers stay current with quarterly online assignments, building on the material delivered in class and allowing for timely and topical updates. Online course performance is tracked and reviewed regularly, so anyone needing further assistance can get it.

Employing a similar approach for practical skills, the company has drivers complete simulator training on an annual basis, allowing them to test their abilities against a variety of driving scenarios.

Supplementing those formal training programs, Halvor's safety coaches also monitor on-road performance and provide development plans tailored for each driver's individual needs. That can include additional online courses, or dedicated on-road coaching, depending on the situation.

Results

Halvor's efforts are paying off, and the numbers speak for themselves:

  • First place in its category in TCA's National Fleet Safety Awards
  • First place in its category in Wisconsin Motor Carrier Association Fleet Safety Awards
  • 98% on-time delivery rate
  • 38.5% driver turnover rate
  • Six consecutive years as a Best Fleet to Drive For

"Halvor Lines shows the value of providing a diversified, proactive safety and education program for drivers. By balancing classroom and online, with a simulator and individual coaching, their drivers are getting the best of all available options. It's no wonder they're seeing such fantastic results!"
Jane Jazrawy
CEO
CarriersEdge

View from the Edge is a bi-monthly review of best practices in risk management, driver development, and technology for the trucking industry, produced by CarriersEdge.

CarriersEdge provides interactive online driver training for the North American trucking industry. A comprehensive library of safety and compliance courses is supplemented with extensive content creation and customization options, full featured survey tools, detailed management reports, and the industry's first dedicated mobile app for driver training.

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