The open-deck/specialty drivers of Smokey Point Distributing (SPD) don’t just deliver cargo; They deliver it safely.
That record of safety has now been recognized, for the fifth consecutive year, with the highest-level safety award presented annually by Great West Casualty Co., the South Sioux City, Neb. company that insures truckers and fleets.
Great West Casualty has awarded Smokey Point Distributing, a Daseke company, its platinum award in recognition of “outstanding achievement in highway traffic safety.”
Smokey Point’s record is even more impressive considering the company has also received platinum awards from Great West Casualty seven of the last eight years and was recognized by a gold award in 2009.
To achieve such a lengthy record of consistently safe performance “is a rare accomplishment,” said Kevin Skow, vice president of safety with Great West Casualty.
The award is based on the percentage of at-fault accidents compared to miles driven. To receive a platinum award, a carrier must have no more than one such accident per million miles. Last year, Smokey Point drivers traveled more than 21 million miles to deliver cargos safely.
“This award comes in the form of a plaque, but it’s so much more than that,” said Dan Wirkkala, Smokey Point Distributing president. “It’s recognition of the high professional standards and focused attention our drivers give to safety every mile, every day, on every trip. We’re very proud and appreciative of them.”
SPD also has top-tier Compliance-Safety-Accountability scores as computed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Wirkkala added.
Lee Michaud, Smokey Point executive vice president, said “The sort of safety record recognized by Great West Casualty doesn’t happen by chance. It’s a combination of experienced and well-educated drivers, supported by a company commitment to safety.”
“Our culture and how we look after our drivers’ safety, health and well-being are the first steps of this whole process,” Michaud added. “Our team takes pride in making sure we are one of the safest fleets on the road.”
Safe operations come only with communication and experience, so Smokey Point works to foster a personal relationship with its drivers, in part resulting in a driver turnover rate of just 16 percent, which is six times better than the industry standard.
“Our drivers understand the work it takes to be entrusted by our customers to professionally secure and watch over their precious cargo. They know how to plan appropriately to overcome challenges as they arise on the road,” Michaud said.
Along with experienced drivers, Smokey Point adds state-of-the-art equipment. “We take great pride in keeping our equipment maintained well above manufacturers’ standards, to ensure safety for all of our drivers and cargo,” Michaud said. “It’s definitely worth investing the time and a few extra dollars in our shop to make sure our rigs are taken care of.”
The result: Drivers and motorists reach their destinations safely, and customers get their often cumbersome and sensitive shipments delivered in excellent condition.
Michaud said Smokey Point’s drivers, mechanics and support staff are hard at work on winning a sixth consecutive platinum award.
About Smokey Point Distributing:
This 3-decade-old company is a leader in aviation-related trucking with a highly diverse trailer fleet featuring a large inventory of curtain trailers in open-deck, step-deck, low-profile step-deck and double-drop configurations. Smokey Point also regularly handles over-dimensional and super loads. It delivers throughout the United States and Canada and operates terminals in Arlington, Wash.; Wichita, Kan.; Pomona, Calif.; North Charleston, S.C.; Toledo, Ohio; and Dallas, Texas.
About Daseke, Inc.:
Addison, Texas-based Daseke, Inc. is a family of open-deck trucking companies serving 49 states, Canada and Mexico. The companies include Smokey Point Distributing, based in Arlington, Wash., (www.spdtrucking.com); the E.W. Wylie Corporation, based in West Fargo, N.D., (www.wylietrucking.com); J. Grady Randolph, based in Gaffney, S.C., (www.jgr-inc.com); Central Oregon Truck Company, based in Redmond, Ore., (www.centraloregontruck.com); Lone Star Transportation, based in Fort Worth, Texas, (www.lonestar-llc.com); and The Boyd Companies, including Boyd Bros. Transportation, based in Clayton, Ala., (www.boydbros.com), WTI Transport, based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., (www.wtitransport.com), and Mid Seven Transportation, based in Des Moines, Iowa, (www.mid7.com).