Fleetowner Com Sites Fleetowner com Files Uploads 2017 05 04 06 Fo2017 Ctp Pic

Safety pro Duvall awarded NPTC top grad

June 5, 2017
Dot Transportation exec asserts team interaction is key

Understanding from personal experience what it’s like to drive a truck professionally has given Scott Duvall a unique perspective in his job as a safety manager for Dot Transportation, Mt. Sterling, IL, the largest food redistributor in the U.S.

He also recently was named the top Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) graduate for the class of 2017 by the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) at the group’s annual meeting in Cincinnati back in May.

“I’m incredibly honored to be recognized,” Duvall, 34, told Fleet Owner. “The CTP itself is a tremendous achievement for everybody who went through the process and earned the designation, and I’m just proud to be a member of that community.”

Duvall added that the 2017 class contained some of the “best and brightest” transportation professionals he’d ever had the chance to meet and work with.

Duvall is responsible for Dot’s Safety Scorecard and data-based driver training. These programs merge onboard vehicle data and advanced analytics with defensive driving to identify behaviors and create customized driver training.

A breadth of experience in the trucking industry, along with several earned certifications, provided Duvall a unique perspective to help foster more efficiency in Dot’s fleet operations.

Dot Transportation’s Scott Duvall was named top CTP graduate for 2017.

“I think it’s one of those things where I have had a wide background in transportation, from ground-level driver operations up through various aspects of operations management,” he said.

“I’ve looked at it from the inside out. But I’ve also had experience from the outside in, from consulting in the reconstruction work and looking at transportation through a different lens,” Duvall explained. “I’ve seen this industry from many different angles, and I continue to learn, to experience new things with individuals in fleets of every size, and vendors and industry associates. There’s always something to learn from them.”

Duvall began his career driving and working on trucks, before going to college and working as a forensic accident reconstruction specialist for a decade.

At Dot, he’s worked on the fleet’s driver improvement program, interacting with drivers to identify problems and prevent accidents—like the ones he used to investigate and reconstruct for a living —from happening at all.

“A lot of drivers have a different level of interaction with people who are at least willing to try it, to get behind the wheel,” Duvall emphasized. “There are things you don’t understand until you drive. I value the driver’s part in the safety process, because there may be things they experience I don’t fully understand. There is a lot that we do with technology that affects our drivers, and their feedback is necessary to understand what works and what doesn’t.”

He added that “every beep, bell or whistle is not something we have to respond to; we have to do a little bit of research, a little bit of homework.”

And the driver’s part is just as crucial as anybody else’s in the company, whether they are a supervisor in the field or working in an office, he stressed.

Duvall’s current job is to take data, performance indicators, and problems detected and translate them to changes in human behavior without “making drivers feel like they’re sitting on the other side of the principal’s desk, about to get their knuckles rapped,” he explained.

Duvall also insisted on crediting Victor Hart, Dot Transportation’s director of safety, for his own accomplishments.

“He was this year’s recipient of the NPTC Private Fleet Safety Professional of the Year award, and he was honored at the NPTC annual conference as well,” he noted. “He was the initial creator of the data analytics model we use for driver training, and behind much of the developing/pioneering of this aspect of our Safety Department.”

Turning data into real solutions is what really drives Duvall’s work in the private fleet business.

“One thing I enjoy most is to continually get new information and look at it and transform it,” he said. “To not be reactive to scenarios, but look at the underlying behaviors. Look at the decisions that go into every event, and work to change behaviors for the future.”

With safety, he explained that it is oftentimes reactive. “You’re responding, trying to make decisions on what has happened while at the same time trying to make decisions for things we can do in the future. And the scale is often not weighted equally,” Duvall pointed out.

“What I love is to take the information, the data, and the feedback we get from drivers, and from managers, and look at our operations through a forward lens; to continue to have the success we do and think about ways we can improve,” he said. “We use the information from the past but are focused on continued growth. No matter how well we’ve done, everyone here is challenged to find ways to do things even better. This is my calling.”

About the Author

Michael Catarevas

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...