MacKinnon Transport, Upper Lakes Foods earn Volvo Safety Award

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Updated Oct 20, 2010
Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks' senior vice president of sales and marketing (middle), honors representatives of Upper Lakes Foods and MacKinnon Transport with the Volvo Trucks Safety Award.Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks' senior vice president of sales and marketing (middle), honors representatives of Upper Lakes Foods and MacKinnon Transport with the Volvo Trucks Safety Award.

Volvo Trucks announced two trucking fleets as winners of its second annual Volvo Trucks Safety Award. Upper Lakes Foods, Cloquet, Minn., won in the less than 20 million miles category, and MacKinnon Transport, Guelph, Ontario, won in the category for fleets with more than 20 million miles. Participating fleets were ranked by accident frequency rates using the U.S. Department of Transportation definition of a “recordable accident,” as well as their accident prevention programs. The accident frequency rates accounted for the major portion of each fleet’s ranking.

“The most important thing is to make safety a non-event in our industry,” said Ron Huibers, Volvo senior vice president, sales and marketing. “These fleets know that everybody wins when accidents never happen. Highways are safer, drivers and other employees have fewer injuries, morale goes up and costs go down.”

In 2009, MacKinnon Transport had zero recordable accidents during more than 25,162,133 miles of operation. 

“The culture at MacKinnon Transport is a Safety First Attitude,” said Evan MacKinnon, President and CEO.  “In addition to the various safety programs and procedures we have in place, everyone is encouraged to speak freely if they’re aware of something that could be unsafe.  It’s one of the key reasons why we’ve been able to attract and retain such a great group of people – including drivers. We wouldn’t win an award like this without a company-wide commitment to safety.  And our drivers are at the forefront of that commitment.” 

Upper Lakes Foods operates a fleet of 42 trucks, and like MacKinnon Transport, had zero recordable accidents in 2009 during 2,862,885 million miles of operation. Upper Lakes Foods has focused on driver selection and training, enforcing safe operational practices, and creating an environment that values safety – from top management to each driver in the fleet. 

“We’re a very family-oriented company,” said Shawn Sorensen, vice president of operations.  “We stepped up our safety-related efforts with the health and well being of our employees in mind.  But our renewed emphasis on safety is paying other dividends as well.” The company’s safety training and accident prevention efforts have led to a dramatic reduction in the medical and indemnity payments.