Northern Refrigerated Screenshot

Northern Refrigerated adds SmartDrive video-based safety

March 3, 2021
West Coast reefer carrier reports immediate benefits from converged solution, including improved driver following distances

Northern Refrigerated Transportation recently added the SmartDrive video-based safety program to its in-cab technology suite.

Omnitracs, which last year acquired SmartDrive Systems, said the Turlock CA-headquartered refrigerated hauler already is benefiting from an Omnitracs ELD, and will continue to advance its tech as it moves to the Omnitracs One platform.

“We know that fleets have a choice when it comes to video-based safety,” said Greg Nelson, chief commercial officer for Omnitracs. “We’re delighted that Northern Refrigerated, a satisfied Omnitracs customer, extended its partnership by adding the SmartDrive program. We look forward to working together on a converged solution that meets all of Northern Refrigerated’s compliance and safety needs.”

During the buying process, Northern Refrigerated spoke with multiple providers of video-based safety solutions. After testing several, the company realized the results did not directly translate into safer drivers or ROI for the fleet. Knowing Northern Refrigerated wanted a solution that truly enabled managers to coach drivers up, not out the door, veteran safety manager Jeff Smith turned to SmartDrive.

“The program’s managed service delivers results, without flooding my inbox with alerts, as others had,” he said. “I feel secure knowing experts are reviewing our videos and only delivering those that need attention.”

Northern Refrigerated is a full-service, less-than-truckload (LTL) refrigerated carrier servicing from the largest distribution centers to the smallest businesses. In addition, the company services truckload customers, full loads and point-to-point, through capabilities that include warehousing, liftgate delivery, overnight delivery, cross-docking, re-palletization and more.

Northern Refrigerated is the largest refrigerated LTL service provider on the West Coast, delivering to more places more often than any other refrigerated LTL carrier based in California.

Like many safety managers, Smith was concerned that his drivers would push back on having a video camera in their cab. That wasn’t the case. “We didn’t receive any pushback,” Smith maintained. “The drivers know we have their back if they’re involved in a collision. They feel particularly protected with side cameras that provide evidence of sideswipe.”

And soon after installing the SmartDrive program, Northern Refrigerated saw improvement in its drivers’ following distance.

“The impact was incredible,” Smith said. “The program allows me to see each driver’s scores, coach them, and quickly see the results of our efforts. Reinforcing the program is the service we received. No other company compares. SmartDrive is a valuable tool that helps us get our drivers to the next level of professionalism.”

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

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