Smokey Point Distributing, a part of Daseke, Inc., was recently honored by Great West Casualty Company with its highest award for highway safety-- the platinum award. It recognizes the open-deck/specialty hauler for “outstanding achievement in highway traffic safety.”
The award is based on the percentage of at-fault accidents compared to miles driven. To receive a platinum award, a carrier must have no more than one such accident per million miles. Last year, Smokey Point drivers traveled more than 21 million miles.
Smokey Point has received platinum awards from Great West Casualty seven of the last eight years. (The fleet was recognized with a gold award in 2009.) To achieve such a lengthy record of consistently safe performance “is a rare accomplishment,” said Kevin Skow, vice president of safety for Great West Casualty.
“This award comes in the form of a plaque, but it’s so much more than that,” said Dan Wirkkala, Smokey Point Distributing president. “It’s recognition of the high professional standards and focused attention our drivers give to safety every mile, every day, on every trip. We’re very proud and appreciative of them.”
“The sort of safety record recognized by Great West Casualty doesn’t happen by chance,” noted Smokey Point executive vice president, Lee Michaud. “It’s a combination of experienced and well-educated drivers, supported by a company commitment to safety.
“Our drivers understand the work it takes to be entrusted by our customers to professionally secure and watch over their precious cargo,” he added. “They know how to plan appropriately to overcome challenges as they arise on the road.”
Smokey Point Distributing team members along with family and friends, leaders from their Arlington, WA community and special guest, Don Daseke, CEO and chairman of Daseke, Inc., also recently gathered together for an official ground-breaking ceremony at the site of what will be the operation’s new headquarters, also in Arlington.
The company took the opportunity to reflect on its history as well as look forward to its promising future. According to Wirkkala, one of the keys to the company’s success has been building a culture that appreciates people for who they are as well as what they can do. “We have worked together to build the expertise and infrastructure to support not only full truckloads, but also partial truck loads,” he said.
“This unique model requires investments of money and time and the effort to build a national network of terminals which support our customers’ ever-evolving needs,” Wirkkala added. “Creating and maintaining long-term relationships with our customers is critical to the future success of our business. Our customers depend on a reliable and consistent service that supports the growth of their businesses.”
Today, the company is an industry leader in open-deck trailer diversity. SPD offers its customers a one-stop-shop for trailer types and configurations including flatbed, step-decks, stretch, RGN and retractable curtain trailers.