Volvo lauds two fleets for safety performance

PHOENIX. MacKinnon Transport, Inc. and Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. were named winners of the 2010 Volvo Trucks Safety Award, which were announced here this week at the annual American Trucking Assns. Management Conference & Exhibition

PHOENIX. MacKinnon Transport, Inc. and Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. were named winners of the 2010 Volvo Trucks Safety Award, which were announced here this week at the annual American Trucking Assns. Management Conference & Exhibition.

For the second straight year, Volvo Trucks said it set out to find the safest fleets in North America and celebrate their achievements with the Volvo Trucks Safety Award. Michelin America Truck Tires joined Volvo Trucks in 2010 as a supporting sponsor of the award.

At the beginning of 2010, Volvo Trucks invited all U.S. and Canadian fleets with more than five units to apply for the awards. The 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. Fleets were ranked by their accident frequency rates, using the U.S. Dept. of Transportation definition of a “recordable accident,” as well as their accident prevention programs. The accident frequency rates accounted for the major portion of each fleet’s ranking.

MacKinnon Transport of Guelph, ON, won the Volvo Trucks Safety Award in the over 20-million mile category. A family-owned transport provider for more than 75 years, MacKinnon operates approximately 270 trucks, and in 2009 had a remarkable number of zero (0) recordable accidents over more than 25,162,133 miles of operation.

“The culture at MacKinnon Transport is a Safety First Attitude,” said Evan MacKinnon, president & CEO. “In addition to the various safety programs and procedures we have in place, everyone is encouraged to speak freely if they’re aware of something that could be unsafe. It’s one of the key reasons why we’ve been able to attract and retain such a great group of people – including drivers. The safety features that are in the Volvo truck are really second to none, and we have a lot of drivers who want to drive a Volvo for that reason. We wouldn’t win an award like this without a company-wide commitment to safety. And our drivers are at the forefront of that commitment.”

MacKinnon Transport provides more information about the company’s approach to safety in a video at: http://204.156.76.155/assets/vtna/www/video/other/MacKinnonPresentation.wmv

Upper Lakes Foods of Cloquet, MN, won the Volvo Trucks Safety Award in the under 20-million mile category. With a fleet of 42 trucks, Upper Lakes Foods had an impressive zero (0) recordable accidents in 2009 during 2,862,885 million miles of operation.

Established in 1967, Upper Lakes Foods is a family-owned, full-line foodservice distributor covering the upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“We’re a very family-oriented company,” said Shawn Sorensen, vp of operations. “We stepped up our safety-related efforts with the health and well being of our employees in mind. But our renewed emphasis on safety is paying other dividends as well.”

“There’s no denying that over the last couple of years we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the medical and indemnity payments we’ve been making,” said Jeff Laabs, Upper Lakes Foods’ CFO.

“We have a particular emphasis on the driver because of what they do – long hours behind the wheel, getting in and out of the truck all day, lifting and moving loads up and down ramps,” said Brian Sorensen, safety & health manager for Upper Lakes Foods. “We also want to make sure they’re in the safest possible truck.”

Upper Lakes Foods provides more information about the company’s approach to safety in a video at: http://204.156.76.155/assets/vtna/www/video/other/UpperLakesPresentation.wmv

“I am proud to say that our industry has continued to invest in safety – even during the difficult economic times we have been through recently,” said Ron Huibers, Volvo senior vp sales & marketing. “As it is at Volvo Trucks, safety is an integral part of the corporate cultures at both MacKinnon Transport and Upper Lakes Foods, and that doesn’t happen without consistent, sustained effort at every level.”

“Michelin is pleased to stand alongside Volvo Trucks in recognizing fleets truly committed to safety,” said Tim Fulton, Michelin vp, strategic accounts. “Upper Lakes Foods and MacKinnon Transport have shown that investments in drivers, equipment and processes pay off in terms of safety.”

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