Like many fleets, Fortune Transportation is always looking for technology to improve efficiency while keeping an eye on safety.
The Windom, Minnesota-based company recently shared its recent experiences with deploying technology that made a difference in both of these areas for the 150-truck refrigerated fleet.
Past safety achievements for Fortune Transportation include the American Trucking Associations’ 2017 President’s Award for Safety in the under 25-million mile category. “We’re especially proud of that,” said Leland Krumrey, driver services manager. “We were recognized as the best of the best – for those of us in the trucking industry, it’s like winning an Oscar.”
Krumrey has been with the company for 22 years, 14 as a driver.
“We continually look to improve,” he said. “In 2018, we wanted to automate and electronically file driver information and be more efficient. So, I researched companies that might be able to help us and found TruckRight. It was a good move to engage with them. It’s been a great success.”
TruckRight helps trucking companies streamline HR paperwork, and worked with Fortune Transportation to deploy tools like an engaging website and social media presence for driver recruiting.
With TruckRight, Fortune also deployed online training services through its Ignite E-learning platform, which uses CarriersEdge driver training courses.
After revamping Fortune Transportation’s website, TruckRight helped the company streamline the review process for driver applicants and increase its applicant pool to make better hiring decisions, while simultaneously decreasing the workload for screening.
“Our recruiter used to spend a lot of time on the phone with applicants walking them through the application process, and that was inefficient,” said Krumrey. “TruckRight worked with us to improve the application process for driver, and we now review everything online. We can get back to drivers in a very short amount of time if there is a match with our company and the hiring process can begin. Plus, we can do things remotely, which has really helped us during COVID-19. Our recruiter can work from home.”
The company asks new drivers to take three online courses from CarriersEdge for pre-orientation: Whistleblower Protection for Drivers, Food Safety, and one on CSA. The platform tracks how drivers do, and if they have any troubles, fleet administrators work with drivers one-on-one during formal classroom orientation.
According to Krumrey, in-house orientation normally takes up to three days depending on the size of the group. Once on the road, drivers have quarterly online courses that are designed to help with conditions they may be encountering.
“Online courses work well for us and drivers can take the class when it’s most convenient for them,” he said. “If we have a driver who we feel needs some extra training – they may have been involved in a fender bender, for example – we can pick from a library of online courses offered by CarriersEdge. It’s been very helpful.”
Fortune Transportation has seen results in its CSA scores. For unsafe driving, it is 98% better than its peer group, 89% better in hours of service and 87% better in vehicle maintenance/DOT inspections.
“We think it’s been the combination of our ability to hire the right drivers, our strong commitment to safety, and a family atmosphere that recognizes the accomplishments of our drivers,” Krumrey said.
The company has several driver appreciation days each year. The owner, Perry Olson, often has a fish fry and drivers receive plaques, patches, gift cards and duffel bags at different safe driving milestones, starting at 250,000 miles. A carved wooden truck plaque is given to drivers who reach 1 million safe miles, and an annual driver event then recognizes all driver accomplishments.
To date, the company’s seen 101 drivers receive the 1 million mile plaque, while three drivers have gone on to reach 4 million safe miles with the company.
“These numbers say a lot about the quality of our drivers and their dedication to the company,” said Krumrey. “Our drivers, our commitment to safety and our dedication to quality customer service is what’s got us to our 40 year anniversary. And I’m confident it will get us to the next 40.”