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Two N.C. carriers earn 2013 Volvo Trucks Safety Award

Laureen McComas King, executive vice president of MCO Transport, and daughter of MCO President Danny McComas, accepts the Volvo Trucks Safety Award during a news conference Oct. 21. (The Trucker: CLIFF ABBOTT)

The Trucker News Services

10/25/2013

ORLANDO, Fla. — Outstanding performance on the road and a focus on training with safety in mind earned Tidewater Transit Co. and MCO Transport the 2013 Volvo Trucks Safety Award.

The fleets were recognized Oct. 21 at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition here and presented $25,000 to be used toward their safety-related activities.

Now in its fifth year, the annual Volvo Trucks Safety Award recognizes the outstanding safety achievements of North American fleets. Michelin America Truck Tires again joined Volvo Trucks as a supporting sponsor of the award.

“Tidewater Transit and MCO Transport have made safety a top priority, and their outstanding performance reflects that commitment,” said G?ran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. Like Volvo, the winners of this years award understand the importance of integrating safety into every facet of their operations.”

Safety has been a core value of Volvo since its inception in 1927.

A world leader in commercial vehicle safety, Nyberg  said Volvo pioneered the three-point seat belt and today manufactures its truck cabs with high-strength steel, provides a standard driver’s side airbag and offers integrated enhanced stability and collision avoidance technologies.

The Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission, a standard feature on Volvo trucks, also helps improve driver safety by reducing fatigue and allowing drivers to give their full attention to operating the vehicle.

“We’re proud to be part of an award that brings honor and recognition to the safest fleets in North America and increased attention to the issue of safety,” said Mike Cain, Michelin vice president of original equipment. “Tidewater Transit and MCO Transport demonstrate the clear benefits of establishing a safety-first culture and providing drivers with the best training and equipment available.”

All motor carriers in the U.S. and Canada with more than five Class 8 trucks are eligible to apply for the annual awards. Awards are given in two categories: one for fleets with less than 20 million miles of annual operation and the other for those with more than 20 million miles.

Winning fleets are selected based on their accident frequency rates, using the U.S. Department of Transportation definition of a “recordable accident,” and their safety and accident prevention programs.

Tidewater Transit Co., Inc. of Kinston, N.C., won the Volvo Trucks Safety Award in the over 20 million miles category. Family-owned and operated since 1949, Tidewater Transit operates 360 trucks throughout the eastern seaboard and gulf areas. The company primarily hauls dry and liquid materials – everything from sulfuric acid to plastic pellets. In 2012, Tidewater Transit recorded an accident frequency rate of just .25 while logging 31,649,340 miles on the road.

Tidewater Transit puts its new drivers through a “Top Gun” program, which pairs new hires with a Top Gun trainer, a hand-picked driver who oversees the full training of the new driver and ensures they have the knowledge and skills needed to operate on the road. Additionally, Tidewater Transit recognizes safe drivers with a quarterly cash bonus program, which includes presentation of certificates and plaques during company events when families are in attendance.

“Safety goes to the very core of what we do. We have to be safe in this industry,” said John McNairy, Tidewater Transit chairman and CEO. “We are so humbled and proud to be winners of the 2013 Volvo Trucks Safety Award.”

MCO Transport of Wilmington, N.C., received the Volvo Trucks Safety Award in the under 20 million miles category. MCO Transport was established in 1975 as a commodities carrier transporting containers to and from the local port. Today, they offer transportation and warehousing services for diverse local, regional and national clients. MCO Transport operates a fleet of 88 trucks and logged 5,976,962 miles last year with just one recordable accident, equating to an accident frequency rate of .167.

MCO Transport’s multifaceted approach to safety is built around clearly defined policies and procedures. They also hold mandatory quarterly safety meetings and utilize a recognition program for drivers who receive no violations during DOT roadside inspections.

“Safety is of prime importance to MCO Transport – it’s our number one goal. We’ve made it part of our culture,” said Danny McComas, MCO Transport president. “This award is a culmination of all our effort after many years. It’s confirmation of the fact that you can run a trucking operation and always be safe.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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