Kriska Holdings, Britton Transport Honored with Volvo Safety Awards

John Sommers II for Transport Topics
SAN DIEGO — Volvo Trucks honored Kriska Holdings Ltd. and Britton Transport Inc. as the winners of its 2014 Volvo Trucks Safety Awards.

The two fleets achieved “tremendous safety performance” during the past year by investing in innovative training programs, said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks’ North American sales and marketing. “These results show that safety does not happen by chance, it happens by choice.”

Each fleet received $25,000, to be used toward their continuing safety-related activities, during an awards ceremony held here Oct. 6 at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition.

Nyberg said safety is part of Volvo Trucks’ DNA, but added that designing and building a safe truck is just the starting point.

MC&E 2014: Complete coverage

“In the end, it’s up to fleets and drivers to make safety not just a priority, but a part of their culture,” he said. “We have with us today two inspiring examples of this safety focus in action.”

Kriska Holdings, based in Prescott, Ontario, won the annual safety award in the over 20 million miles category. The company, founded in 1978, operates a fleet of 340 trucks and specializes in cross-border service.

During 2013, the fleet had an accident-frequency rate of 0.25 while logging more that 32 million miles.

As an example of Kriska’s commitment to safety, Nyberg said the fleet provides its new drivers with at least four weeks of in-cab training from one of the company’s veteran driver trainers. Kriska has also implemented a performance bonus for drivers who go three months without a safety incident.

“Safety is of pre-eminent importance to Kriska, so it is a huge honor to be awarded a Volvo Safety Award for 2014,” Jonathan Wahba, Kriska’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “From the time an employee enters our organization as a trainee, through training and then into a truck, we reinforce the importance of safety at every corner and at every turn.”

“The people who deserve the most credit for the accomplishment we’re celebrating today are our drivers and owner-operators,” Mark Seymour, Kriska’s president, said after accepting the award on the company’s behalf.

“Safety is not negotiable for us,” he said, adding that the company has been speed governing its trucks since 1987.

Britton Transport, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was honored in the under 20 million miles category. The carrier, which began operating in 1980, operates 97 trucks and logged more than 9.2 million miles last year with an accident-frequency rate of 0.32.

Britton Transport has developed a nine-week program designed to give inexperienced drivers a chance to gain hands-on experience from its driver trainers. The carrier also assigns its drivers at least two required safety courses per quarter.

“This award does not speak to one person’s efforts, or even a department’s efforts, but to a continual effort on behalf of the entire company to purposefully protect others,” Jim Stockeland, president of Britton Transport, said in a statement.

In comments following the award presentation, Stockeland said safety is ingrained in the company’s culture, from the founder of the business on down.

“We mention to our drivers, ‘We want you back tomorrow for another trip, and we want to make sure that everyone on the road around you feels safe,’ ” he said.

All motor carriers in the United States and Canada with more than five Class 8 trucks, including at least one Volvo model, are eligible to apply for Volvo’s safety awards. The winning fleets were selected based on their accident-frequency rates using the U.S. Department of Transportation definition of a recordable accident, as well as their safety and accident prevention programs.

Michelin America Truck Tires was a supporting sponsor of the awards.