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March 29, 2023

Trucking Safely with Hermann Services

a close up of a sign Author : Hermann Services

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re driving with your friends, family, or others, and part of your route takes you on a main road or highway. The day is clear, and the roads are nice. Everything on your trip is going well.

And then a semi-truck gets on the road and drives next to you for a while.

Does the truck make you nervous? Will you adjust your driving to move away from the truck?

Those fears a driver may experience driving alongside a truck aren’t irrational. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 415,000 crashes in 2020 involving large trucks – which represents only 8% of all vehicle type crashes in 2020 and taking into consideration that cars are at fault 80-85% of the time. And surprisingly, “most trucking accidents happen in rural areas,” according to Heavy Weight Transport, Inc., and they occur midweek between the hours of noon and 3 p.m.

Here at Hermann Services, we take safety – especially for our drivers and trucks – seriously to make sure we’re not contributing to either of those statistics.

“I feel Hermann is a very safety-oriented company, and I think of safety this way: my family travels the same roads as me and I want them to be safe while traveling.

Keeping that thought in my mind helps me to be a safe driver not only for my family but everyone else on the roads around me,” says Richard Kearns, driver with Hermann Transportation.

Our safety stance starts with the model of truck we deploy. Year over year, we’ve purchased Daimler Freightliners because they include state-of-the-art safety equipment in their trucks such as blind spot and collision detection, a lane departure warning system, heated exterior mirrors, and an increased hood slope. All of these factors combine to increase side and forward visibility for drivers.

While the safety experience driving the truck is important, Hermann also makes sure that we keep a “young” fleet to reduce the number of maintenance issues when operating an older truck. With two and a half years for our tractors and four and a half years for our trailers,

we’re rotating out older, and more unstable, equipment to keep everyone safe.

The impact of a truck accident doesn’t stop with the truck driver or another on the road. The FMCSA also reports that, “the average cost of a crash involving medium or heavy trucks was $148,279. The average cost of a fatal accident involving a tractor trailer was more than $7.2 million.”

For an industry that can be impacted by a lack of drivers, a slowdown of shipping containers or railroad transportation, and many other factors, those numbers are quite the price tag for an incident that can be avoided.

Additionally, a crash slows down the delivery of products, impacting the flow of the supply chain and the reputation of the carrier company. According to the ATA (American Trucking Association), within just a few hours, a lack of truck deliveries would “incur significant disruption costs and thousands of employees will be put out of work.”

Thankfully, since 2019 Hermann Services has seen an average yearly reduction in accidents of 20%, which we attribute to continued training for our drivers and driver managers, tractor and trailer safety, and dedication to making all components of our transportation solutions safe.

“The Safety Department ensures that drivers are educated, coached, and show good defensive driving habits,” says Rich F. Hermann, Director of Safety and Compliance. “We’re an integral part in continuing education for all drivers and managers through constant communication such as informative emails, Omnitracs messaging, safety meetings, etc. And we’re proud to create a company culture that focuses on safety for everyone on the road.”

Although driving alongside a truck might make you nervous, perhaps the next time you see one – especially a Hermann truck! – you can drive a little easier knowing that we put safety first and want everyone to have a smooth trip while on the road.

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