Brown Line Safety Director Bill Smith proudly displays the company's two award plaques for workplace safety issued by the American Trucking Association (ATA). The ATA's National Truck Safety Contest results were announced last month and Brown Line placed in two categories for the second year in a row. The Mount Vernon trucking company placed first in the general commodities LTL/local division, up to 10 million miles category, and took third place in the general commodities LTL/line-haul division, up to 10 million miles category. "We are up against much bigger trucking companies with hundreds of employees and trucks, so these awards are hard-won and extremely meaningful," Bill says. Congrats to the Brown Line team!
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Lynden Air Cargo, Brown Line and Lynden International were each recognized for workplace safety earlier this year.
Lynden International celebrated no Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recordable accidents in 2012, according to Human Resources Manager Kristie Duggan. Brown Line received three awards from the American Trucking Association (ATA) in its National Truck Safety Contest. The company took first place in the general Commodities LTL/Line-Haul Division (up to 10 million miles traveled category); third place in the general Commodities LTL/Local Division and third place in the general Commodities LTL category.
“The awards are based on our accident-free records for the year,” explains Brown Line Safety Director Bill Smith. “Now that we are covering 6 to 7 million miles a year with 56 trucks and 120 drivers, we are in a new, more challenging category. We compete with trucking companies from throughout the U.S. with up to 1,000 employees and hundreds of trucks which makes the awards even more meaningful.”
For more than 10 years, Lynden Air Cargo has received an annual Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA) Safety Award. AACA Board Members Mike Stedman and Bob Hajdukovich personally presented the 2012 award plaque to Director of Safety and Security Anthony Knapp in Anchorage last month (at left) in recognition of another year of operating with no aircraft accidents. “We couldn’t do the safe flying we do every day without the support and outstanding work of our maintenance and flight operations departments and the entire team,” Anthony says. “We work hard to follow safety measures and protocols and to do the job right. It’s rewarding to be recognized for these efforts year after year.”
Lynden Air Cargo, Lynden International and Brown Line will continue to focus on workplace safety in the coming year with regular meetings and employee training. “This year we are focusing our training efforts on a new and improved driver development program and driver retention as well as additional training for the shop, dock and office departments,” Bill says. “Safety is our No. 1 priority.”
Over the last three years, Brown Line has implemented a number of changes resulting in a radical improvement in fuel economy. The company recently added 18 new tractor-trailer combinations that are achieving over 7 mpg on average. “With the new equipment fuel economy increased by 23 percent, trailer cubic foot capacity by 16 percent, and improved payload capacity by 6 percent,” says Brown Line President Jason Jansen.
Driver behavior has also contributed to fuel savings, with PeopleNet onboard computing systems enabling drivers to assess their fuel consumption and compete to be the best. Maximum truck speed was reduced from 68 mph to 64 mph for eastbound routes and to 62 mph for all other routes. “We adjusted the gearing to match the lower speeds, and we set low idle time standards for drivers,” Jason says. “PeopleNet also gives us the tools to improve routing, monitor tractor performance and idle time.”
As a fleet, Brown Line's average fuel economy has improved from 5.4 mpg in 2008 to 5.84 mpg in 2011. All new tractors have roof farings and new trailers have side skirts to improve aerodynamics. The side skirts are estimated to save about 5 percent in fuel economy. Brown Line now has 30 new 53-foot trailers with side skirts that have replaced the older 48-foot trailers, and will be exploring retrofit options for the older equipment.
The new 53-foot trailers are 1,900 pounds lighter than the older 48-foot trailers they replaced and compliant with California Air Resources Board (CARB) rules for reefers units. All new trucks and trailers use wide-base, low-rolling resistant single tires and have an automatic system to keep tires properly inflated for optimum fuel economy and to reduce tire wear.
The Washington Trucking Association (WTA) recently presented Brown Line with the Common Carrier Fleet Safety of the Year Award for 2011. The award is based on a carrier’s accident rates, driver training, safety programs and vehicle maintenance. In addition to the yearly safety award, Brown Line Safety Director Bill Smith was recognized as one of the latest WTA members to become a Certified Safety Director through the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI ).
Brown Line is headquartered in Mount Vernon, WA and provides temperature controlled truck transport throughout the U.S and Canada. Bill is pictured holding the two awards with Captain Groondell from the Washington State Patrol and Kevin Skow of Great West Casualty.