Melton Truck Lines, a flatbed carrier based in Tulsa, Okla., has been named the CCJ Innovator of the Year by Commercial Carrier Journal for its efforts to improve driver health and wellness. The award was given to Melton Truck Lines at the 2014 CCJ Innovators Summit in Duck Key, Fla.
“Melton Truck Lines sets a standard for an issue that is quickly becoming a serious problem in the trucking industry,” said Jeff Crissey, CCJ editor. “We are thrilled to highlight the fleet in hopes that other industry executives might consider a similar program to help promote driver health and wellness to their drivers.”
CCJ, a national leading business magazine for truck fleet executives, highlights one forward-thinking fleet each month as part of its CCJ Innovators program, and names an Innovator of the Year at the CCJ Innovators Summit in February.
“We were thrilled to be recognized as the Innovator of the Year at the CCJ Innovators Summit,” says Bob Peterson, president of Melton Truck Lines. “The wellness of all Melton people is a strong part of our culture and we’ll continue to encourage our employees toward a healthy lifestyle and offer them access to free primary care professionals.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the obesity rate for truck drivers is more than 50 percent, and the CDC sets life expectancy for the occupation at 61 years old, 16 years less than the average population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has labeled truck driving as one of the highest-risk occupations in the country, citing poor diet, lack of exercise and irregular work schedules as major contributing factors.
Melton’s new voluntary wellness program measures blood chemistry, weight and blood pressure to incentivize healthy lifestyles through its iCare program. Employees that submit to the voluntary program receive a significant discount on their insurance premiums.
“The thing that enlightens our employees is when they see those cholesterol numbers and blood glucose levels, it prompts them to maybe make some changes to their lifestyle,” says Bret Bringham, Melton Truck Lines wellness coordinator.
As part of the program, Melton Truck Lines provides nurses and doctors to its employees and family members at its terminals in Tulsa and Laredo, Texas. Currently, participation rate among the company’s driver pool is 95 percent.
“Drivers can say, ‘My health is none of your business,’ but in a way, it is my business because I need truck drivers, and I need to minimize to the expense to the extent that I can, and I can’t keep raising employee premiums because I have to stay competitive with what other companies are doing,” says Peterson.
Melton Truck Lines also broke ground earlier this year on new corporate offices in Tulsa, which will host a number of driver amenities, including a 3,400-sq. ft. fitness facility and outdoor walking and workout station trail.
Click here to read CCJ‘s October article on Melton’s innovative program.
The carrier will be featured on CCJ and as a cover story in print for its achievement.
Click here to see the full list of CCJ Innovator of the Year finalists, along with articles about each of the carriers and their innovations.