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Chris, Safety Dawg (0s):
And who do we have on the show this week? All great question. Thanks for asking. We have mr. Scott Creighton of Northbridge insurance, and we're talking about what is it? Those safety guys are looking for when they come into your company. I call it an audit. Scott calls it a review, but what are they looking for when they walk into your company and do the job that they are doing and reporting back to underwriting. That is next.
Chris, Safety Dawg (33s):
That's good. Do it.
Chris, Safety Dawg (39s):
Welcome to dog on it. Trucking podcast. I'm your host, Chris Harris safety dawg. And when it comes to trucking safety, that dawg is on it. I am so privileged to be able to sit and discuss with a variety of trucking influencers, a wide range of trucking topics. Please, if you would show your appreciation for the podcast by the readings 8,000, it's got all of them.
1 (1m 6s):
Chris, Safety Dawg (1m 10s):
Hey Scott, thanks for joining us on the dawg Trucking podcast. How in the heck are ya?
Scott Creighton (1m 17s):
I'm doing great, Chris. Thanks. How about yourself? You're doing good.
Chris, Safety Dawg (1m 21s):
Doing well in this COVID self quarantine isolation.
Scott Creighton (1m 28s):
Absolutely. Yeah. The commute these days is a little bit shorter from the upstairs, down into the office in the basement. So that's a, that's that part is kind of nice, but the, the being stuck insides, a bit of a challenge,
Chris, Safety Dawg (1m 44s):
It is. And yet, you know, a huge thank you to all the truck drivers that are out there doing what they do best. They're not stuck inside and yet they're exposed to what you and I are pleasantly avoiding.
Scott Creighton (1m 58s):
Absolutely. I mean, you know, that's why I love this industry and they, they plug along no matter what, right. And I mean, they put up with a lot. We know that even in the best of times, but it's nice to see all of them doing their thing and getting a little bit of recognition that they sold deserved.
Chris, Safety Dawg (2m 19s):
Yeah. And Mike million and I were talking the other day on a previous podcast. And one of the things that he mentioned is perhaps, and I'm very hopeful that he's right. That the long term, well, you've been trucking probably as long as I have.
Scott Creighton (2m 37s):
Do you remember when we were the white Knights of the road? Absolutely. I remember even before I got into it, into the driving seat that, you know, there were certain companies that if a car was broke down on the side of the road, that they were mandated to stop and help. And if they did not, and they got the truck number, they were brought in
Chris, Safety Dawg (3m 0s):
For a little bit of the talking too. Yeah. And unfortunately that's gone away, but perhaps because of COVID the, the, what do you call it? The, the
Scott Creighton (3m 14s):
Image, I guess maybe the image.
Chris, Safety Dawg (3m 16s):
Yeah. It has been improved. And perhaps people will realize now that we're not an obstacle on the road, that we are a necessity.
Scott Creighton (3m 27s):
Absolutely. I mean, I know there's an image campaign going to be starting by the associations in the fall. And I, and I think this is a time for it to carry on.
Chris, Safety Dawg (3m 38s):
Yeah, that's great. But today I'm really a kind of excited to get you on the show. Cause I want to ask you some questions about what, just in a general way, what safety people from insurance companies are looking for in their audits. When they go to see the fleets, what are they looking for and what tips could you give to a listener and watcher 10 to do well in these,
Scott Creighton (4m 8s):
I call them audits. Yeah. So I can speak from my Northbridge perspective on what we look at, but I will go on to say that may not be the same order. We have a 13 different areas we'd like to look at when we go out to assess, I like the word assessment. I don't like the word audit. I don't want to scare them, but jeepers on somebody we're not going in there to sanction them like the empty, you know, or give them a slap and like USB OT, we're going into assess them, assess the risk for our underwriting team.
Scott Creighton (4m 41s):
But at the end of the day, the, every insurance safety person, when they go in, basically looking at more or less the same stuff, maybe not as in depth, maybe not everything in this order, but everybody looks at the same at the same stuff.
Chris, Safety Dawg (4m 58s):
Yeah. Well, just before you go on, this is a personal opinion. I call it an audit because I believe that the safety people from the insurance companies have a direct impact on that trucking company's insurance premium.
Scott Creighton (5m 15s):
Yeah. I, I, well, I think the, really the, the carrier themselves have the direct impact on how they are managing their business. We are just reviewing it then and forwarding our opinion, the underwriting. But that's the nice thing about the job and the safety people. I mean, Chris, we all, we all have the same passion for the industry and for safety. I mean, most of the people that are in this field and the role that I am in and you formally, I mean, we came from industry. So we came from safety and we love to help each other and we like to share stuff.
Scott Creighton (5m 50s):
And that's a great thing about my role in our, my team's role is we get to not only win the SAS, but then we get to provide suggestions, recommendation for improvement. And then we work with them for the next year, if we are on risk.
Chris, Safety Dawg (6m 3s):
Yeah. And I mean, the other thing I'll say about all the safety people from the insurance companies that I know you guys all have a huge wealth of knowledge. Yeah. If the trucking companies would listen and implement some of the suggestions, you know, but just going back to the cost, and I know we're not discussing cost of insurance, but I just want the listener to understand. But the reason the safety professionals are out there on behalf of their insurer is that the are, as you said, assessing risks, and this has a direct impact on the opinion, at least of the underwriter.
Chris, Safety Dawg (6m 45s):
And the underwriter is the one who they don't pick the numbers out of the air. Like some trucking companies think they do there actually a real process to it, but it has a direct impact on those numbers. And this is a hugely important meeting. And I want the listener to understand how important it is so that when you get into exactly what it is that you are looking for, I want them to pay it pinch.
Scott Creighton (7m 11s):
Well, quite honestly, we'd like them to as well.
Chris, Safety Dawg (7m 17s):
I mean, I know in the past I'm six years removed from doing the job that you're doing. And it used to be that I'd walk into a client and I'm more than one occasion. They would go,
Scott Creighton (7m 30s):
Chris, Safety Dawg (7m 31s):
God, is that meeting today?
Scott Creighton (7m 34s):
Chris, Safety Dawg (7m 35s):
Which would tell me it wasn't very important to them on their agenda. Is that still happening today
Scott Creighton (7m 43s):
To a point? Yes. It's still is a, I mean with technology, again, we're lucky we've been able to send the reminders and send a meeting invites and sticks in their calendars. But I mean, I remember when I was still in the field, you know, areas would see a car pull in and all of a sudden, just before you get out, the phone would ring and say, Oh, sorry, I can't make it today. I'm out driving, but you can still see him through the window in his office and all that. And I mean, people are busy. Right. But I mean, yeah, it it's the second.
Scott Creighton (8m 15s):
I don't know what the, why, what, I mean, it's a, it's a necessary thing for that. It's gotta be done, but they don't always, you know, it's not something they look forward to, I think. Well,
Chris, Safety Dawg (8m 26s):
And I really think that's incorrect. I not you, but their attitude of, it's not something they look forward to. If they did look forward to it and sucking the knowledge from you guys and implementing it, God that'd be so much better off.
Scott Creighton (8m 42s):
Absolutely. And I mean, not only like we really encourage and we, we are very, very sh Mmm, Mmm. We love the customer relationship side. That's our kind of our, you know, our yeah. Mission or whatever it is. We really want to work and know the customer work with the customer. And I encourage the customers as well. No matter where you are, you have to know your risk person. It's better to work with them. Like you said. I mean, there are, you know, once you're, you're on risk, it's a, it's a free resource to them.
Scott Creighton (9m 13s):
Not to mention, gets an older underwriter. You don't talk to their broker and meet their underwriter. So it makes a huge difference when you know that person that's writing your premium. Yeah. So let's get into it. What is it that you guys are looking for when you come into assess a risk? Okay. So for us, I hope my screen is up, but for us, we look at, as I mentioned, 13 different areas. When we go into evaluate a customer, I mean, and this is more, we do this on a, by annual or annual basis.
Scott Creighton (9m 46s):
One we're on risk for updating. But when we're looking at a new piece of business, we were pretty in depth. And we look at all these areas here. So rate for them, it'll drive her selection. You know, how are you hiring drivers, the orientation, you all, if you're all in dangerous goods, what are you doing there? Mmm. You know, what's your crash review program. Like your, your management receptiveness. I'll get into that. When we a little bit farther along there's, we're chatting because that is a huge back to our point about wanting to meet people and get people, the safety people in this is a huge one.
Scott Creighton (10m 20s):
And then the compliance management today. So any questions for you as well, just pop in and I a little bit, but I'm going to just flip through and we'll see how it goes. Just to give them a little bit higher ideas. So, and our driver election, I mean, you know, what, what kind of drive you hiring, as I mentioned, like, are you looking for three years experience? I mean, which is pretty tough to get these days. There's no doubt. I mean, but what are you looking for? What did the Allen, I mean, what three years?
Scott Creighton (10m 50s):
I mean, what is the, you know, what does the, what's the record look like? What's their abstract. And I, you know, to say this, but sometimes you go in and say abstract, that's a little bit scary, but in today's world that happens, you know, we'll test, sorry. You want to see this in writing? Is that what I heard? Absolutely. I mean, put that down in your procedure. This is what I'm going to do. Cause then we're going to verify why that you're hiring who you say. And you know what? I was just kind of a side note there.
Scott Creighton (11m 21s):
I mean, you put down your ultimate say is two years. That seems to be a little bit more of the norm. And it is hard. We understand, I mean, in our world, we're lucky because all our fleets, we look at all our fleets and all, all profits that our fleet is every company that has 10 or more power units get assigned to a consultant based on their territory. So they can go in and, and meet up with them. So they're allowed to hire drivers if they're entry level, they can. But what suggest to people is it's okay. If you want two years, that's great.
Scott Creighton (11m 51s):
But, and this is the experience. But if you're hiring somebody, an entry level person, show me how you're going to get them up to the experience that you really want. Show me your mentoring program, your finishing program. If you will give me that, show me again, show me you'll, you'll notice as a key word here. So
Chris, Safety Dawg (12m 12s):
Now if you don't mind, I think in the show notes below, I will put a link to so that people can download the voluntary apprenticeship documentation, because I think many insurers for a finishing program, if a trucking company started with this and it's a multipage form, but if they started with that and enhanced it, I think most insurers would be pretty happy that they've got something in writing for those companies. Want them to go that way.
Scott Creighton (12m 43s):
Absolutely. And if they're following it, it's great for them as well. I mean, they're getting a better driver. It's, it's amazing. Drivers want to know that they're wandered out there, you know, and, and it's, it's a lot different. I think. I mean, back when I got my license, I'm sure yours. I was lucky I did get some training, but it wasn't near what was expected today. It wasn't just here's the keys and go. But I mean, it wasn't as in depth as today, and I'd been, boy, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to get the trainings available today.
Chris, Safety Dawg (13m 15s):
Yeah. Now, just before you leave the entry level driver training, if I was a trucking company owner, could I have a fleet of drivers that were all new hires wood?
Scott Creighton (13m 28s):
No, again, I, if it's a fleet, I mean, we were just first going to look out we're going on. What pretty depth is in depth to see what's going on. I mean, a new company and a new starting up that way. It's going to be difficult. I would say. I mean, cause you got to have signatures and unless you can show me what you've got in place. I mean, if you're a company that's been operating for a while and you've got entry level and you've got a very robust finishing program. Yeah. We'll look at that. I mean, you know, you gotta give them credit. Cause I mean, it's hard to get, I mean, now every driver has, that's going to be a little bit tough, but again, that's a, that's we're going to, we're going to advise underwriting what, what we see and what's there.
Scott Creighton (14m 6s):
And then of course they're going to ultimately have that, that call. But I mean, yeah, they're gonna, they're gonna write it appropriately.
Chris, Safety Dawg (14m 13s):
Yeah. Just back when I was doing the job, we old Republic was who I was working for obviously. And they would look at it and leave, wanted it to be a small percentage of the fleet to be the new driver because they recognize that there is a little higher risk there. But so I just want, you know, hopefully you agree with that, that it's a small percentage. It's not, you know, 50% or a hundred percent. Yeah.
Scott Creighton (14m 41s):
You want to. Yeah. Cause it's pretty hard to have a good mentoring program if you haven't got some coaches to go along with them. You're absolutely right. But I mean, every insurance company looks at things a little bit though. Right. So I mean, you know, it depends on appetite.
Chris, Safety Dawg (14m 56s):
Yeah. I mean, well specifically old Republic had a percentage and I don't want to say a percentage because it could be varied from company to company. But I do want the listener to understand that it is on the small side. It's not going to be the vast majority or anywhere near 50% of your fleet. If you want to get insurance, in my opinion, that wouldn't be the best way to be going about it.
Scott Creighton (15m 19s):
No. And again, I mean, if you've been in business for awhile, if you've got all entry drivers, there's something else that's deep down that needs to come out because why are you not keeping drivers? It's gotta be something.
Chris, Safety Dawg (15m 33s):
Yeah, no, I'm thinking of a specific fleet that was a customer of mine. And they had
Scott Creighton (15m 40s):
Chris, Safety Dawg (15m 41s):
Almost a hundred percent of their fleet.
Scott Creighton (15m 43s):
Chris, Safety Dawg (15m 44s):
Entry-level drivers. It was to say it was a disaster as being kind.
Scott Creighton (15m 50s):
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Chris, Safety Dawg (15m 54s):
It wasn't the Northbridge insured either. Sorry. Carry on.
Scott Creighton (15m 57s):
Nope. No for sure. But yeah. And interviewing part Chris, I mean a lot of, it's not just bring, bring in, fill out the application part and you know, talk to the guy. When can you start? I mean, you want to, you know yeah. When you do explain these days, what's, what's going on. You want to find out what you're, what you're hiring. It's a big responsibility. You are handing over your reputation to somebody going up and down the road. You want to think about that road tests even. I mean, this is a interesting wonders.
Scott Creighton (16m 29s):
Most companies now have documented road tests, but there's still a few that I'm really amazed when I look at their abstracts and then look at the road test and see how perfect they are on their road test. It's just amazing, You know, so critical road test, be honest. I mean, you got to have something to look at down the road so that to help the driver improve
Chris, Safety Dawg (16m 53s):
Well, you know, for again, people that are listening the road test, I always view it as an opportunity to take a qualified driver and offer suggestions for improvement. You know? So not every road test should be written the same suggestions for improvement and the fact that the driver listened can all be documented properly.
Scott Creighton (17m 15s):
Absolutely. And then if you're doing, you're doing an annual review or a follow up road test, see if they were able to improve on that. Yeah, for sure. So driver qualification, files, huge, huge thing. I mean, it is all the paperwork and it's, it's amazing. I'll, we'll get into it a little bit farther maybe, but I mean, I'm sure everybody's heard of these nuclear verdicts these days, especially in the U S and I mean, the biggest thing I see now in all the articles and everybody else can read them as well, is that it's not just after the driver that saying the driver's at fault, it's looking at the company and what did they do for that driver?
Scott Creighton (17m 56s):
It's kind of the back door type stuff for the back office is what they're looking at these days. So, I mean, you need to protect your interests.
Chris, Safety Dawg (18m 4s):
Yeah. I've heard even safety consultants like myself getting drawn in because if I sold the policy and procedure manual, for instance, that the client, all of a sudden I'm in the courtroom and things like that, they're going, they're looking at everything and every dime that they can possibly get.
Scott Creighton (18m 23s):
Absolutely. And more, I mean, it's, it's insane. It really is. So, so we all was good. Moving on. We do also want to look at our orientation and training, what your orientation programs look like, you know, what do you do for a new person? I got like, get stuff kind of jokingly, but I mean, here's the, here's the keys in a way you go, but no, we'd like to see a little bit more in that. I mean, those ones that, yeah, it takes me about an hour to go through everything. So that tells me, they're showing. So here's your truck and here's the paperwork and where you go. I want to see some, you know, what's the protocol you're doing some training.
Scott Creighton (18m 56s):
Do you have your, or your training on your policies and procedures, you know, right. Hours of service pre-trip inspection, that sort of stuff. You know, distracted, maybe trip planning, I think is it always, ELD is become more and more prevalent. They are in the U S and have been for awhile. But as they become, when it becomes law in Canada, trip planning is all the more important. So maybe they're a little bit of program on that, right? The practical on the job thing, are you just saying here, here you go. Or are you giving them that person, that new driver, he or she an opportunity to learn from somebody that's already there.
Scott Creighton (19m 32s):
And then back to our, our mentoring program. As I mentioned, when we went into, if it's a new driver, I mean, weekly documented, you know, plans that are in place to show how they've improved improvement plans,
Chris, Safety Dawg (19m 45s):
Just in case our listeners are thinking, God, you guys are hard. You guys being insurance industry. Most of this is also mentioned in the MTO safety manual that is online, but they want training and they want a new hire orientation and all that kind of stuff. So it's not just the insurance industry that's looking for best practice.
Scott Creighton (20m 8s):
No, absolutely not. I mean, I, when I started this, it was like, you know, you want to have everything in place, so you can pass an audit, whether it's an MTO DLT, whether it's Alberta, wherever. I mean, but, well, honestly, that's basic today. You gotta be able to, you gotta be able to defend yourself. I mean, and as we just said with these rubrics, I mean, so are you comfortable, but not driver behind the, and can you sleep at night? I mean, honestly, I mean, think of it, you know, your wife and kids are running up and down the road here with this driver.
Scott Creighton (20m 38s):
So are you comfortable with that? It's always a question I like to ask. Yes, absolutely. No, we, we go on and at the safety and motivation and you know, Ontario, Quebec and all speed governors and Mmm. Telematics, do you have telematics in your trucks? I mean are and what are you doing with them? Mmm. You know, it's one thing to say, Hey, I got them and this is all great, but, so what are you doing with all these speeding alerts that are coming up here?
Scott Creighton (21m 8s):
You're costing yourself a lot of grief. You're not doing something about it. Okay. Documents be policies. It's amazing. People tell all my trucks are governed. Don't need to worry about that. Oh, well, that's interesting. I mean, although our speed limiters governed a little bit higher than the speed limit. I mean, it's still, there's lots of roads out there and they travel that aren't one Oh 100 kilometers an hour. So it shouldn't have something in place, safety, incentive programs. I mean, that's a, and it's difficult for smaller carriers. That might be a difficult thing, but you know, there could be some basic ones for clean inspections or, you know, give them something even a Tim's card.
Scott Creighton (21m 44s):
I mean, it's amazing what the little, little incentive for a driver upgrade up to the most in depth ones, you get a larger fleet. That's, you know, got idling time and they've got, you know, fuel economy and all that sort of stuff. So, yeah, that's a lot, depending on the carrier. Mmm. They're progressive discipline. Very, you know, it's, it's one thing to have that in place, but I mean, you really need to follow up. I mean, I can remember kind of going into a company while actually I witnessed it at a previous, previous life of mine and, you know, the middle guy.
Scott Creighton (22m 16s):
He got in trouble for something and was brought in and got to talking to, and then one of the senior drivers did the exact same thing and nothing happened well, that kind of deflates everybody else's the culture was not great. So, Mmm. You know, and, and then is there any over the road observations, do you have a, are you watching your drivers on the road or what are you doing when people call in? I mean, and we know what today, everybody has a fault and everybody takes pictures and everything ends up on YouTube, but they're not distracted while we were doing this driving down the road. Of course these other pictures, but that's beside the point.
Scott Creighton (22m 49s):
So it's amazing this stuff. So, Mmm. Turn over again. We'd like to, what's your turnover rate, you know, it's, it's amazing. I'll be asked like why? Yeah. I think I hired this many guys or I did this and said, well, wait, what you want to know exactly how many guys? Yeah. Like what does it cost you to hire a driver? And I know I've, I've had smaller carriers tell me it costs them two or $3,000 up to 10 or $12,000 for a larger one, depending on how robust their program is to get them up to where they need to be to make money.
Scott Creighton (23m 23s):
So, I mean, it's, it's important. Plus we know a new driver starting at a company, no matter what experience he has as a more, a greater chance of having an incident or a crash, just sheerly because change of lane, change of equipment and what have you. So it's just something to keep him in line. And if you're having big turnover Mmm. Challenges, then maybe it's time to look at your recruiting side. What are you doing? What's wrong?
Chris, Safety Dawg (23m 51s):
Well, and unfortunately, most of my clients, and as you probably know, my clients are the average one is 50 trucks or less probably averaging around 25. They're not calculating driver turnover, you know, not to defend them, but I know what I ask about it. They'll say, well, you know, I'm busy moving the freak, Chris, come on. I I'm, I'm the dispatcher, I'm the accident guy. I'm everything. I don't have time to calculate driver turnover.
Chris, Safety Dawg (24m 21s):
And unfortunately they often take the same attitude to hiring. I don't have time to do a thorough in depth interview. I've got to answer the phone.
Scott Creighton (24m 30s):
Yeah, exactly. And even the paperwork. I mean, I don't have time to do that. You know, it's preventative maintenance statement, write it down on a piece of paper. Well, how long does that take you? And then just follow it. I mean, it, doesn't gotta be fancy.
Chris, Safety Dawg (24m 47s):
Oh, right. In the, I'm doing a lot of work right now into the MTO safety manual. I'm using it as a Bible for a project. And I mean, they, even in there the say a simple preventative maintenance statement is all you need.
Scott Creighton (25m 2s):
Hmm. But for sure, yeah. I gotta have one that's right. And I mean, and you know, it's funny and I, and I don't you got me out a little bit of a soap box, but I mean, MTO, I mean, I think Ontario to get a CVOR they've done a, a good job, at least starting towards, at least there's a test to write and there's go through this manual and you need to know, but I mean, you know, they say you get bonus points. If you have these extra safety things in place, but they, it doesn't listen sometimes, always lay out as good as you would like to see it, for sure.
Scott Creighton (25m 35s):
To help the carrier.
Chris, Safety Dawg (25m 37s):
Well, I mean, I could defend them to you. I think they've done a reasonable job of balancing, for instance, in an audit, there are, I want to say four to six things that must be in a driver file, but then in their manual, in the safety manual, they also have best practice. And they have a list of items that are under there as, for best practice that they want to see. They're not scored in a lot. I think we want to see them there. So it's, you know, cause I'd hate to be like the U S where everything is legislated and you can get a ticket for everything.
Chris, Safety Dawg (26m 12s):
And you know, the application form going back 10 years is legislated. Well, do we really need that? Or
Scott Creighton (26m 19s):
Anyway, but it's true. I mean, it's best practices. That's the, that's the catchphrase these days, isn't it? I mean, you know, here's what you need to do from a compliance perspective, but here's a best practice. And that's what we like to promote with our, after assessing a carrier with our best practices profile and show them, where are they? It's a roadmap for them. Right?
Chris, Safety Dawg (26m 41s):
Yeah. And going back to nuclear verdicts,
Scott Creighton (26m 43s):
That's what they're looking at. They're not looking at just compliance. They're looking at well, what are your best practices are you're doing? What fleets of your size, the best ones are doing, you're exposing yourself and your insurer at the same time. Absolutely. Absolutely. So, so go back. That brings me back to listen to your G D safety guy from the insurance company.
Scott Creighton (27m 13s):
Yeah. We're there to help you or not. Yeah. That's it for sure. Or listen to your safety consultant, whichever way you want to go, but you know, whichever way you want to go. Absolutely. For sure. Or operators and other areas. We like to look at Chris. I mean, you know, the smaller guy saying, well, I don't, it's the road test our operator. No. Ah, how come well, he's had a truck for this many years and looks good and blah, blah, blah. Well, that means running under your insurance policy.
Scott Creighton (27m 44s):
You remember that? So in all intensive purposes, you could be here, he's running, he's representing your company. So, you know, we'd like to see them higher, basically the same as that would accompany driver. What kind of experienced, you know, injury benefits. I know you had had Glenn on last a couple or a while ago, I guess, on the, on the dock. And you know, it's huge. I mean, Mmm. You want to have something to protect yourself or protect your policy. So do they have a, you don't really have alternate coverage if, if they've opted out of WSAB.
Scott Creighton (28m 18s):
So not all do, but some, some do. So if they've opted out, what do they got to replace it? You don't, and is it first payer? You know, you don't want them, you know, and there's nothing worse than getting the cheapest policy and then finding out that you didn't get what you thought. So really investigate what you're doing, you know, and what's the schedule like, are you monitoring the, how you're monitoring the maintenance of the owner operators, truck? I mean, there's one little, you have a pretty good idea of what that driver or what that owner operators going to make.
Scott Creighton (28m 51s):
It's always a good idea. You maybe you don't want to dig in or, you know, get soul private that ask them, you know, is, you know, financials, but you want to know what his truck payment is. I always say, because, you know, if you're, you're only going to make a thousand a week and your truck payments too, there's a problem. Yes. I mean, it becomes a big issue. So, Hey, I don't know of any carriers in Canada that do credit reports on owner-operators. They used to be quite common in the States.
Scott Creighton (29m 22s):
I don't know if it still is to investigate your credit as an owner operator. Well, it's, it's funny. I had, we had a carrier that, you know, Oh, 50, 60 trucks and very, very proactive on safety and hiring and stuff like that. And he, before he hires an owner operator, he actually has a, a small version of a Mmm. Managing a business for them.
Scott Creighton (29m 52s):
I mean, and it all come out too. He had a, a couple of owner operators and their wives would come in and need an advance because they couldn't quite make it. And he's going, I'm looking at this and I know what they're paying on their trucks. Okay, what's going on? So he'd asked the Olin, he brought them in and they went, Whoa, never thought of that. Or it didn't do that. So he just incorporated into his new hire with his owner operators, you know, that they, they went through this little bit of a business course. You put together. I thought that was a phenomenal thing. You want them to just succeed on the road?
Scott Creighton (30m 25s):
I got to believe that makes the fact that he wants his owner operators to succeed so much that he's willing to invest in them. That's gotta make it more attractive as a place to go work for other owner operators. Absolutely. Absolutely. The word gets out. I mean, it's, it's great. Then I shouldn't say when we were talking about owner operators, one thing that a lot of times you get missed as a contract with your operator. You know, we really want them to be working with you.
Scott Creighton (30m 56s):
I mean, I've, I've seen some, I've gone into some fleets and start reviewing the CVOR and say, Hey, well, I didn't know you started running BC because, well, I didn't, well, how come you got this ticket on here? And as it turned out and the owner operator decided it wasn't too busy, he took some holidays. And what worked for somebody else, you know, it's crazy. So no, it is getting better of course, but we can operate on maintenance is another area, Chris. We'd like to look at it.
Scott Creighton (31m 26s):
What are you, how are you maintaining your trucks? And I mean, there's a bit of a scorecard that we can kind of barometer and review before we even get in. If we see their profiles that have an idea, I mean, and does it, and that Brian on maintenance statement, we talked about it's, it doesn't have to be that fancy. It's got to be there, but it should include your owner operators. Right. And then you should be getting the documentation from the owner operators on a monthly basis and what have they done to that vehicle? So you can put it in your file because you know, you've been through enough MTO audits with your customers of what, some of the stuff they look at.
Scott Creighton (31m 58s):
And that's a, that's an important piece for them. You know, even the annual inspections being up to date. I mean, Hey today with COVID, it's a little tough. I mean, for some areas, I mean, forgetting the plates and licenses these days, but Mmm. You know, and the garages are all still open. Are they not? Yeah. Garage doors are still open, but I I'm. And I'm, and I don't know this, but I'm not sure how they, if they're able to get supplies of the cert certificates stays, right. If everything's open or not, some stuff is so I would assume never know.
Scott Creighton (32m 32s):
Mmm, no. And how's the carrier tracking? Well, I've gone into some, I mean, foil boy, it's all, all on the computer or there's alerts go to the driver or the truck gets locked out. If it misses its maintenance schedule, if you're doing mileage is, you know, and it's awesome. It's managed very well, but you know it, so not all carriers can afford that kind of stuff and understand that. I mean, I've been in one Northern Ontario, actually in thunder Bay and they had a man, they had a book for each truck and trailer and there wasn't a piece of paper missing.
Scott Creighton (33m 6s):
It was absolutely pristine. They knew exactly, you know, when that truck was in last, you know, all small fleets, all in all, you only got 20 trucks to worry about, but I mean, they knew, Hey, this truck's going to need to get off, pull it off the road. Again. One of the biggest things these days is the culture of the company. Right. It's, it's really important.
Chris, Safety Dawg (33m 26s):
It is. It's huge
Scott Creighton (33m 28s):
For sure. So hours of service, again, you know, are you auditing your logs? So I mean, if at all in the U S obviously you have the LDS, but there still doesn't meaning you can just let them go and take their, okay. You still need to is still need to look and see what's happening there. As I mentioned, same as the telematics somebody, Oh, the computer does it? No. I mean, telematics PLDs, they are a great tool, but they're only as good as how you use them. So, so drivers still violate the law that's right.
Scott Creighton (34m 2s):
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, and our service training is probably a good part that should be incorporated in your orientation and some ongoing and some refresher stuff, you know, let's keep, make sure that nothing will go on a ride with them. We'll review those logs
Chris, Safety Dawg (34m 19s):
While you're mentioning that I'm on my YouTube channel. I really would encourage people to watch the video on can Canadian Jews, personal conveyance while in the States, because I, I know there are tickets being written for that as a violation, and it's kind of unfair, but the drivers need to understand what the rules are and how they get applied.
Scott Creighton (34m 44s):
That's all. Absolutely. Absolutely. We went, actually, we had a new piece of business come through just before COVID started in. And that was a concern of an underwriter. Was there, us score at spike had been consistent. And then it was a huge spike. Well, as it turned in, when we did the assessment assessment, the, it was one driver that was got pinched for the convenience. He used it consistently and they hadn't caught it.
Scott Creighton (35m 17s):
So, I mean, that got rectified pretty soon after they got the tickets. I mean, still it's, it's interesting. Absolutely. Absolutely. Mmm. Gargle loss prevention. What's your terminal security like, are you keeping loads overnight? Are you keeping them over weekends? And how are you mitigating the potential for loss here? I mean, we all know cargo crime is a huge economy killer, if you will.
Scott Creighton (35m 47s):
And it's an easy money maker and the penalties are, or not near what they need to be, but that's my little soap box. We all pay for that at the end. What would security? Hi, how are you securing? Your loads is one thing in a van, but if you're an oversized carrier, you know, you know, what are you, are you, how are you training these guys flat deck? I mean, we see in these times that, you know, and people are scrambling and I understand, I mean, there's a lot of trucks sitting that are not, you know, the automotive guys for example are struggling.
Scott Creighton (36m 18s):
I'm sure. So, you know, some carriers are looking for ways to get the wheels rolling. I think, Oh, wait, there's still flatbed work. Let's buy some flatbeds while there's more to it than just sending that drivers used to hauling a van and the flatbed, if he's never had any experience or any experience on that. So when I was in your shoes, I had a carrier, he trained to dry run, flat deck and trained him really good on that whole lumber. Then within the first week, he sent him to go pick up a printing press. Well at the first corner, the printing press, which was over a hundred thousand dollars piece of equipment, 10 or 15 years ago, when this happened, ended up on the road curves.
Scott Creighton (36m 60s):
Absolutely. It's it can happen. It can happen. So that's the thing, load specific training in your orientation. What are you doing? Like give them that and ongoing refresher training, please do that. Ongoing draining. I mean, drivers meetings. I mean, I know, you know, a lot about drivers meetings and help out there, so, Mmm. You don't give them some refresher on, on a schedule basis. I always look at, you know, what we noticed the defensive driving, for example, carriers, there's some of the bigger ones, you know, everybody gets a refresher, defensive driving every couple of years, which is fantastic.
Scott Creighton (37m 39s):
We kind of watched a few moderate, a few carriers and they started having a couple incidents. And when we reviewed them, it turned out they'd switched their refresher trading from two to three years, and the incidents were occurring with drivers, but it had lots of experience. It wasn't entry guys. It was drivers with experience, but yeah, it was in that window between the two and three years refresher. So got, I got to believe they went back to their two year.
Scott Creighton (38m 9s):
They absolutely did. Absolutely did. Oh boy. And your a theft prevention program. We talk a little bit about that as well, to try and help them out dangerous goods. If they haul dangerous, it's all visitable carers, a little bit different. What's the training like what's the quality of the trainer? I mean, it all, is it just here you go, is the owner sign the ticket or are we actually doing some good quality? And I mean, I've gone into some say, Oh yeah, we do TDG trading as part of orientation.
Scott Creighton (38m 41s):
And it takes us about a half an hour. Yeah. I'm not quite sure that's enough. Even first consumer commodities and dangerous goods. I mean, you need to know all the regulation that's changing all the time, especially that, or you're, you know, I went in to see a carrier and asked, is this guy still working for you? Yeah. I said, well, it's dangerous, good certificate expired three months ago. And just plain lucky spill response. Like, what are you doing? And inviting and not just dangerous goods.
Scott Creighton (39m 12s):
We asked about spill kits. That means feel kits are a pretty cheap thing. You can make your own, or you can buy them already made. But I mean, you know, fuel on that truck. I mean, we'll get, I'll help you there as well. Yeah.
Chris, Safety Dawg (39m 27s):
Scott Creighton (39m 28s):
It's a good thing. And your followup investigation, not just for what the lie is, but what are you doing?
Chris, Safety Dawg (39m 36s):
Yeah. PDG you just remind me all carriers need some sort of an expiry list and be monitoring everything that expires driver's licenses, training certificates, annual safeties, preventative maintenance, all that kind of stuff.
Scott Creighton (39m 52s):
Absolutely. I mean, whether it's a spreadsheet that's sent around or whether it's your automatic software that does it for you, but you need to track it. I mean, I can remember when I was in the safety and compliance role of the carrier and you know, I, I was, we had our signing authority there, so I was monitoring their licenses pretty closely and pulling abstracts and Mmm. I locked it on my boy, this guy is, he got his license to come and do. And I call him, he goes, boy, I never even, I never got anything in the mail.
Scott Creighton (40m 24s):
Well, it turned out it was there to do his renewal. It was just mixed in with his license sticker. And he just handed it to his wife and said, go get the stickers from the truck while I'm away or for the car while I'm away. And it was mixed rate in there. So, I mean, that could have been a little bit of a challenge if they was down in the States with a expired license, I suspect. So, you know, that's good. So health and safety don't get into a lot of that, but you know, what a document health and safety program kind of tells you don't do they understand their role and responsibility under occupation, health, and safety or federal labor?
Scott Creighton (40m 59s):
I mean, it really shows to me the culture and the education of the area. If they've got some of this stuff in place and we also like to help them, I mean, there's some great associations across the country that can help out when it comes to this IHSA here at Ontario is a great resource and through WSAB, they're kind of paying for it anyway. So why not use that same thing? Use the person that's there for you. It's free is always good. I think.
Chris, Safety Dawg (41m 24s):
Yeah. And I mean, just to plug a, another episode of this show last week, Andrea from healthy trucker was on. So there's, that's a great
Scott Creighton (41m 34s):
One. That's another thing that is one thing as part of the, as part of our assessment, we do ask, do you have a wellness program? What are you doing for your drivers? You know, these days we know, especially now with COVID in all mental health, PTSD are huge. And you know, PTSD is a little bit of a quiet thing. I guess we always heard it originally. It was from, you know, somebody coming back from the army or a emergency service, but it's anybody, you know, you see those traumatic incidents out on the road, who knows what it's going to trigger.
Scott Creighton (42m 8s):
I mean, our drivers see a lot of stuff happening
Chris, Safety Dawg (42m 11s):
In right now. It's gotta be, it's always stressful being a truck driver, but with this COVID deal of having to try to keep everything so clean. Yes. It's gotta be a lot more stress. I've got Linda Corkem. Are you familiar with Linda from Nova Scotia? I was going to say, yeah, she's coming on. I got to set the interview time up, but that's what she's going to be talking about is truck driver, mental health. So I'm really looking forward to that interview. I've heard her once before talk about, and that's why I wanted to with her on the show, but I got to get her on soon because COVID, I believe is having a huge effect on everybody.
Chris, Safety Dawg (42m 50s):
This is stressful for all of us. I can't imagine being out on the road with this.
Scott Creighton (42m 56s):
Oh boy. I mean, I've been lucky. I mean, since I come into the role into the insurance world, we, it was a, I've got used to the work from home thing. I mean, I'm still going to the office, but I mean, I was used to it. I get, whenever I gotta get something done, it's in the office. But even now, I mean, you get caught up on a bit of work, but it's, for me personally, it's the fact of knowing that I shouldn't or can't go anywhere. Yeah. I'm and I'm very lucky. I live on the country so I can go out and walk around the field.
Scott Creighton (43m 27s):
It's Oak behind me and get out. But there's people that are cooped up in a, in a condominium boy. I really, really feel for them. I, like I said, it's not going out is a, it's a, it's amazing what it does to, to the, to the mood and the state
Chris, Safety Dawg (43m 42s):
Of your health. I mean, I try not to watch. I watched the news once per day now, but I mean, one of the shows I did watch recently, doctors and nurses have set up bedrooms in their garages because they're refusing to go into their house and possibly infect their own families. Well, a truck driver isn't that much different. They're not quite at the same high level of exposure that a nurse or a doctor or anybody in the hospital might be at or nursing home, but still, you don't want to bring this home.
Scott Creighton (44m 18s):
No. And it's, I mean, I read a, an article and I, and I actually know somebody that's an owner operator and they come home on the weekends and they're still staying in their truck on the weekends. I don't know. Their wife is bringing stuff out to them, to the truck and they get out and get it. And they keep their distance and stuff like that because he doesn't want his wife to get ill. Yeah. It's a stressor. It is at absolutely. Is it absolutely is so, Mmm. Anyway, sorry, but no it'll crash, frequency, benchmarks and stuff like that.
Scott Creighton (44m 55s):
And establishing those kinds of things and not just crash. It's a lot of stuff. The incidents and whatever. Like if you're not, you're not tracking it, you can't measure it. So you can't improve what you don't know. And it's amazing people. I remember going into a carrier once and I'm looking, we're going through his shop. And he was talking about the high expense of all the stuff he had parks. And I said, well, didn't you just change over to a different gap. We're going to move to all one fleet. I said, well, then that's not going to this.
Scott Creighton (45m 27s):
I'm not going to save you right there. You don't got 10 different parts for 10 different trucks. I mean, it's those little things that, you know, it can add up it's that, you know, what's the total cost of risk. I mean the same thing. And I people say, well, my, how do I going to save on my insurance? Freeman insurance is very important. You have to have it in premiums are a part of the business, but I mean, you have ways of, you know, that's just the, what the insurance company pays out. It's all those underlying things. A lot of people forget when there's an incident. I mean, so always remember if I had won the world stops, right?
Scott Creighton (45m 60s):
I mean, the safety guy now has got to go out, maybe an investigate and dispatch has got a range of different truck to get that load delivered. If it's a load, there's just so much of costs that we don't, they don't always think about when there's an incident. And then when there's a loss, I mean it's expensive. Yeah. Very much, very much. So they don't want, if you've got your policies and procedures manual, that's great. You you're following it and that's even better. And, and are you updating it and how often?
Scott Creighton (46m 30s):
So it's a very important, Mmm. I've gone to crashes again, you know, are you, do you have a criteria for your high risk guys? I mean, we, we have a high risk driver program that we help them walk our carrier through when you're hiring and, you know, based on the attri study and on violations that have been showing up on the abstract. Mmm. Okay. The chance of a crash potential in the next 12 months. So I'm not saying don't hire those guys either. It's just, you understand what you're hiring and let's put some training in place to make sure.
Scott Creighton (47m 2s):
And let's, let's help that person. I mean, yeah. Remember the days when it was, Hey, you know, you messed up and the laugh, the joke was it was like going to the penalty box. You had to go for some defensive driving refresher. Well, that's not the case. I mean, we want the drivers to come home safe and it leads back to the culture. Let's help them improve where they need it and all that. We do a lot of defensive driving at our company. And if you get one, you don't use save. You've one thing away from that course, that's a bonus.
Scott Creighton (47m 32s):
In my opinion, something you didn't know what something can help improve. Mmm. Same thing in all of the, the action plans. How are you investigating losses? And are you reporting them promptly to your insurer to make sure that that can be, you know, they can be closed off quickly management receptionist. I mentioned this at the beginning of this was one of them biggest areas like who do we have when we go in to meet with a carrier who we meeting with, we'd like to meet with the safety compliance manager or the whoever's managing the operation.
Scott Creighton (48m 3s):
And we, at some point, you know, you'd like to meet the owner if they're around, because you know, you want to see and they need to hear it from you as well. I mean, if we're offering recommendations or suggestions for improvement in all, is there a commitment to the timelines we've suggested, you know, maybe like the preventative maintenance statement don't have in place, can you get that done in the next a couple of weeks or 30 days, or should be able to do it where you're sitting there. But I mean, that's a bad example, but I mean, what's the commitment. And only if we're on risk, what does their last, what have they done on the recommendations we've offered in the past?
Scott Creighton (48m 35s):
And then the biggest and most important in my eyes is what's the likelihood of risk improvement are, they got the culture. And that has to start at the top, Chris. I mean, you know, you can't have, you can't have the owner running around. I don't know how many times you go in and I'm sure you see it as well. And the small carers, because again, we mentioned that the owner is probably the local shuck driver as well. And you pull up, you look at the abstract or you look at the CVR and go, who is this guy? That's got all these tickets. Oh, that's the owner.
Scott Creighton (49m 6s):
Well, you can't give the driver's trouble when you're not walking the walk. So it's, it's lots of fun. That's for sure.
Chris, Safety Dawg (49m 19s):
Oh, go ahead. Sorry. Sorry. I was going to say, when you, when any of the insurance companies give the recommendations, it's always in writing and I encourage trucking companies to respond in writing. It's saying, you know, thanks. Hey, really appreciate that I'm taking this serious. And if it didn't come with suggested timelines, I tell my clients to respond with realistic timelines that you can stick to and say to the insurance company, Hey, I've taken your recommendation serious and I'm implementing these ones.
Chris, Safety Dawg (49m 51s):
And if one didn't fit for whatever reason, explain why you can't do it so that you work with your insurance provider and not just
Scott Creighton (50m 2s):
Ignore it. Absolutely. We, we do ask them to that's exactly as part of the, the letter that we send them is, you know, can you please follow up with your plans on this? And that's what we're looking for. But I mean, again, we have the luxury as we are in pretty good contact with all our insurance. As I said, our consultants are assigned based on their, their territory based on where they live. So they're, they're seeing their customers two, three, four times a year, depending on the want the need.
Scott Creighton (50m 33s):
I mean, I've had some carriers say, Oh, we're good to see you next year. And it's a normal, you, we need to see a little bit more. And then there's other carriers say, okay, yeah, I'll see you in, see you next month. Right. They want to see you every month. So, you know, we, we do have that luxury of being able to help them out that way. You're right. Response. That is the most important thing. So, as I mentioned, the, you know, we look at other things too, is the, the intro or the external, they run cross border. Are they running just provincially? They stay in locally, that kind of stuff.
Scott Creighton (51m 3s):
That's all taken into account for what they do. And then just the last sentence for us as our customer monitoring, we call it monitoring. But I mean, it's just our relationship and working with our customer and give them that ongoing support. I mean, that's what we're there for. We see anything new. We talked to them next time. We're out to see them or send them an email and say, Hey, were you aware of this with all the COVID stuff that's going on right now? It's a, we're still, obviously there's no face to face visits like we were doing. Yeah. We're calling our carriers and ask them, Hey, how's it going?
Scott Creighton (51m 36s):
And you can't get any better than to be quiet and listen to them right now. That's the relationship because I mean, they are, it's nice to, no, I think that's a nice voice for them to hear no, somebody else that's calling the check on them. Right. And just say, Hey, how you doing so unusual times? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Mmm. So yeah, that's kind of the majority of what we look at. I mean, there's more stuff and it's based on what we find and what, when I say, find what we see and what the answer to the question is.
Scott Creighton (52m 9s):
We dig a little deeper here and there, whether it's into the carrier profile or the U S side. I mean it's yeah. It's, it's, it's good.
Chris, Safety Dawg (52m 18s):
Yeah. No, that was awesome. I think for carriers, if I didn't get something out of this presentation or interview, whatever you want to call the show, they're either very, very good or they're they didn't listen. So I thank you so much for coming on. That was, that was awesome. Did we cover everything that you wanted to mention?
Scott Creighton (52m 44s):
I think the only thing a couple minor things would be when we talk about the carrier profile just quickly. I mean, it's a, it's a roadmap to your, to your company. In my opinion, it's, it's a scorecard for you where, where you're at, but you know, the overall violation rate, isn't the be all day end all. I mean, you need to look at what the violations are and that's what we do. We drill down to see what they are. I mean, if they're speeding and there's brakes out of adjustment and there's auditors of service, then there's a trouble.
Scott Creighton (53m 14s):
There's a problem. But I mean, I think back to a carrier, again, in Northern Ontario, I had that, you know, they were trucking along with a 15, 20% CVR violation rate and was good. And then all of a sudden, all in one day they got like 10 tickets and put them up to like 50%. Well, what the heck happened? Well, and that was a learning curve for me, that it was, it was a logging company and the MTO has an agreement in Northern Ontario. They, we go in and pick a carrier and grab a month's worth of their scale tickets.
Scott Creighton (53m 46s):
Well, they pulled this carrier's tickets and it happened to be in half load season. So they nailed them with overload tickets. I mean, yeah, you should know what you're got on your truck, but I mean, I really want to see the safety going on. And then what are you monitoring that carrier or that CVOR, I mean, but honestly, you know, best practice, you should be pulling that thing every month. Yeah. It's five bucks. I mean, pull it and have a look and see where you're at. Mmm. Like, same with the, you've got a great program.
Scott Creighton (54m 16s):
We use cabin. It's a great a system that can monitor and the, you know, that's it, that's a, that's an easy one. That's a no brainer. And, and drivers abstracts to best practice. We talk about best practice. Sorry, your audio cut out there. What was that? Oh, I'm sorry. Like driver's abstracts the same thing we talked about best practices, all them on a quarterly basis. I mean, make sure that the driver, cause again, same thing.
Scott Creighton (54m 47s):
Some of those things, I always use the empowerment regulation. I mean, sometimes drivers don't even know they've been downgraded. Yeah. Especially Azalea, especially in this new world, with the changes with the D license here in Ontario, a lot of people didn't get their notice that they needed medicals and they were automatically downgraded. So at least if you're pulling that quarterly, your, your truck's not gonna stay there. Yeah. The impound yard. So that's awesome. Anyway, thanks so much, Scott.
Scott Creighton (55m 17s):
Oh, Hey, thank you, Chris. I really appreciate you getting on here and trying to, I get the word out again, like I said, everybody, including yourself, it's all the, it's the safety world that we that's our passion and you do it very well. And, and North fridges, certainly, you know, probably I would imagine you're still the largest trucking insurance company in Canada. Well, they don't know that anymore, but, well, I think we've been the longest anyway, over 60 continuous years.
Scott Creighton (55m 48s):
So we haven't, you know, we're in it for the long haul. Pardon the pun. Perfect. Thanks so much, Scott. We'll talk again soon. You bet. Thanks Chris. Take care.
Chris, Safety Dawg (56m 1s):
I hope you love the show. As much as I did, please leave us a, like a thumbs up a review, a comment, a reading. If it is, thank you so much. And I do really appreciate your time and join us again next week for another exciting
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