Friday, December 2, 2011

Phils interview with Five Star fleets

Professionalism and experience are qualities

Director of Safety Phil Hinshaw likes to

see in a Sammons Trucking contractor.

“We really value an operator’s independence,”

said Hinshaw. “I like to see

a picture of an operator as an independent

business man. We try to find someone that

is looking for a relationship to us, but has a

focus on their own business.”

Of course, safety is good business. To

keep contractors up to date, Sammons posts

its CSA scores every month. Additionally,

drivers get a Vigillo report card quarterly.

“We talk to every operator that gets

inspected — 100 percent, good or bad

— about how that inspection relates to his

total score,” Hinshaw said.

Since Montana was a CSA pilot state,

Sammons has been dealing with the new

safety system for more than two years.

And though Sammons — like every

carrier — has to make risk management decisions,

Hinshaw said it can be shortsighted

to terminate someone over an unusual mistake

on an otherwise good record.

“From the safety side, if you make a had a really strong learning incident likely will

never have that happen again,” he said. “We

look for negative trends. If we can stop those,

we certainly want to keep the operator.”

Sammons’s operations staff at the

Missoula office has gone through CSA

training to understand how the program affects

contractors on the road, he added. CSA

scores are posted in

the operations area


Also, Sammons

has no forced dispatch,

and where a

contractor wants to

run is his choice.

“We are a support

company,” he

said. “We truly feel

that our operators’

success is our success. We are a team. Any

operator that’s got Sammons on the door is a

representative to any other Sammons operator.

If you do something, positive or negative,

it reflects on the whole team. We really push

with peer pressure to get better.”

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