For Keith Bellenfant, it is important to promote safe driving awareness among his fleet’s drivers. After trying various types of safety programs at his company, Goggin Warehousing deployed an in-vehicle video-based safety system.
In operation since 1998, Goggin Warehousing is a full-service logistics company that offers several services in the Southeastern U.S. region, including transportation, storage and distribution. Made up of Volvo Trucks, Freightliners and Peterbilts, each of Goggin’s 80 fleet trucks contains a SmartDrive camera.
Goggin chose a video-based safety program from SmartDrive Systems. Through vehicle data and video event recording technology, SmartDrive uses video to help managers coach drivers on their driving performance. According to Bellenfant, when a g-force event occurs (such as a hard braking, g-force shock, speeding or an advanced maneuver like a U-turn), the camera is triggered and automatically turns on, capturing video of the driver in the cab and the road.
“Our ultimate goal is to get our trucks and drivers from point A to point B in a safe and timely manner,” says Bellenfant, president of Goggin Warehousing. “It makes a system like SmartDrive a good fit for our company.”
How It Works
Whether a driving event is captured by an evasive or unusual driving maneuver or manually, the driver controls when the triggering occurs, according to Adam Kahn, senior director of marketing at SmartDrive Systems. Otherwise, if the system isn’t triggered, the camera doesn’t turn on.
Drivers can manually capture an event using the SmartDrive system if they feel that they are in a situation that needs to be filmed, says Bellenfant. In fact, a few of his drivers have been exonerated from driving incidents due to SmartDrive’s footage.
“If we didn’t have footage of the incident, a driver could have been blamed or mistakenly put at fault,” says Bellenfant. “The footage of what happened can clearly explain that this incident could have been caused by something out of the driver’s control.”
SmartDrive reviews all video footage captured to score and prioritize critical safety events, and this data is provided to fleet managers. At Goggin, a manager will review the SmartDrive driving data, including the video, audio and vehicle data from the engine control unit. Then the manager assigns the reviews to the appropriate managers for the one-on-one driver coaching, says Bellenfant.
“Each week, we pull driver reports that explain risky occurrences or maneuvers that need coaching,” says Bellenfant. “But the coaching tool also allows us to recognize drivers who may have had a great week of driving.”
The driver reports also help identify if the same bad driving maneuver manifests among multiple drivers, says Bellenfant. Then it can be addressed at the company’s monthly safety meeting.
Within the first 90 days of implementing the SmartDrive safety program, Goggin saw dramatically lower occurrences of risky driving, such as speeding, unfastened seatbelts, mobile phone usage and stopping violations. According to Bellenfant, there was about a 45% improvement in driving skills as well as a 65% decrease in higher risk driving events.
In addition to improving driving skills, the SmartDrive system has helped Goggin improve its fuel usage. By measuring the vehicle data, SmartDrive tracks a vehicle’s fuel performance. According to Bellenfant, Goggin has seen a 2.2% increase in fuel savings.
“The systems monitor idling and risky driving maneuvers like hard braking and speeding, which cause you to use more fuel,” says Bellenfant. “As you coach the driver, the fuel efficiency naturally improves.”
With its safety program and low CSA (compliance, safety, accountability) scores, Goggin has also gained more credibility with its suppliers. “When we tell potential clients we utilize the SmartDrive video-based safety system, they see the quality program we have in place to modify our drivers’ skills,” says Bellenfant.