A look back at all that
was accomplished in 2017
and what's in store for 2018
How are Truckers and Companies Reacting?
Are electric trucks going to make it big time?
Truck driver pay
Does your fleet
need this technology in 2018?
Quarterly Message from the Executive Officer
EDL Mandate — How are Truckers/Companies Reacting?
DFS 2017 Year in Review
Vendor of the Year 2017
Are Electric Trucks Going to Make it Big Time?
Does Your Fleet Need This Technology in 2018
Truck Driver Pay Being Raised in 2018
The Tech to Beat
The GOLD Standard
Creating a Safety Culture
Employee Recognition and New Hires
Quarterly Message from Mike Dickinson and Ted Coltrain
Does Your Fleet Need This Technology in 2018?
table of contents
ELD Mandate - Truckers/Companies React
Ted Coltrain and Mike Dickinson
2017 Year in Review — Page 6
Are Electric Trucks Going to Make it Big Time?
Creating a Safety Culture
Welcome to Dickinson Fleet Service’s first quarterly e-newsletter, designed to highlight our people and progress as a company, along with news and trends impacting our industry. In this first issue, I’d like to touch on some of the highlights we experienced in 2017 and outline our vision for the year ahead.
Celebration. In 2017, we reached an important milestone…our 20th year of doing business. We came together in St. Petersburg, Florida to celebrate our 20th anniversary as well as the 20 years of service provided by one of our company founders, Bob Dickinson. Bob’s vision helped take us from a small firm of four to the most unique and successful company in the transportation services industry.
Partnerships. This past year, Dickinson solidified several key partnerships. We named Maxon Lift as our 2016 Most Valuable Partner of the Year; connected with private equity firm, Ridgemont Equity Partners; and strengthened our partnership with Andretti Autosport with our exciting sponsorship of Indy 500 Champion Takuma Sato’s race car in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar season finale.
Highlights. As a company that strives to be a top employer and an asset to our industry, there was much to be proud of in 2017. We were recognized as a 2017 Freedom Award Nominee by the Department of Defense. We celebrated the effort and excellence of our technicians during our annual Top Tech award competition. And our teams stepped up to help victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma with donations of food and water, reminding us of the importance of compassion, community…and teamwork.
Looking Ahead. 2017 was a great year for our company and we’re excited for what 2018 will bring. One thing is certain, we will continue to stay committed to investing in our two most important assets – our clients and our technicians. For clients, one of the big stories will be the new app we’re developing for operators to provide even faster resolution of vehicle problems. We also plan to improve our service by focusing on what we call the Gold Standard in customer service, and by attracting even more top tech talent to Dickinson. And of course, we will continue to implement our vision to grow and thrive as one of the industry’s leading service providers. We hope you’ll follow along!
The accomplishments of 2017
and what is in store for 2018
Guide to the ELD Mandate, continued
Guide to the ELD Mandate
& Aftermath of the Transportation Industry
The ELD mandate has arrived, but how are fleets responding?
While some are embracing the new technology, other smaller operations are avoiding it like the plague. And when it comes to the truckers themselves, if you were to ask two different truckers - you’d likely get two complete different answers. Before we dive further into reactions, let’s take a closer look at what the ELD mandate was intended to be, what it is and what it is not.
The Idea Behind the ELD Mandate
The basic premise behind the ELD mandate is pretty simple. Rather than having truck drivers spend time tediously keeping record of their hours and duty status using a pencil and paper, they would now have a a device onboard that would be connected to the truck’s engine to take care of this automatically. This would mean no more logbook headaches and things such as Hours of Service (HOS) would be more cut and dry.
Who's impacted by the ELD mandate?
The ELD is required for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers currently required to keep record of duty status (RODS), operate vehicles in excess of 10,001 lbs. gross vehicle weight (GVW), that are placarded to carry hazardous material loads, or that carry in excess of eight to 15 passengers, depending on the vehicle class.
Who's NOT affected by the ELD mandate?
ELDs are currently not required required for drivers holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and remaining within a 100 mile air-radius of their home base, or non-CDL freight drivers remaining within a 150 mile air-radius of their home base. They may still use timecards.
Must Know ELD Facts:
The device must allow the driver to log in and select one of three duty status options: on-duty, on-duty not driving, and off-duty.
ELDs will records time to the nearest minute, whereas with old paper logs, one could track duty status time increments to the closest 15 minute mark.
The ELD must graphically display a driver’s RODS so they can visually and quickly track their available.
That information must be transferable to law enforcement officers during a roadside inspection, either in printed or electronic form.
The ELD mandate took effect Dec. 18, but won’t be strictly enforced until April 1. Interviews with ELD vendors, carrier executives and other industry observers paint a mixed picture of compliance so far.
The ELD Aftermath
While compliance is on the rise, it appears there are going to be challenges. It seems as though a lot is still up in the air as to how ELDs will play into things such as capacity, routing and, of course, the ever growing demand for truck drivers. Of course, this isn’t uncommon with a big technology shift like this one.
Tom Reader, director of marketing for ELDs and Services at J.J. Keller & Associates, said: “we’re aware of issues with essentially all devices on the market. For us, it’s been really a combination of new customers that are learning new technology and the ramp-up time is longer than they allowed for, and a heavy increase in our user population that’s put a short-term strain on our resources. We’re deploying updates to our app at a regular pace, with improvements and added features. ”
While the compliance with the federal mandate is on the rise, there are still some lagging behind waiting until enforcement really cracks down in April of this year. On the other hand, many fleets rushed to meet the December 18th deadline and have found that cheap/quick ELD solution providers haven’t worked out as planned. Many of the vendors promising answers just did not provide a product that truly met the ELD requirements that the FMCSA put forth. This has left some fleets trying to figure out what to do with defective devices and software integration issues.
The tough part about it all is that if a fleet owner finds out that their ELD system isn’t in compliance after all he or she has just eight days to reequip the fleet. Of course, if the fleet fails to do so, they can be hit with a penalty from the FMCSA. When in doubt, it’s always best to double check with solution providers that are listed on the FMCSA website.
The ELD mandate is still relatively new and its lasting impact in the trucking industry remains to be seen. In the big picture, however, this is just the type of the iceberg as technology continues to transform transportation as we know it. We will continue to keep a pulse on the ELD mandate reactions and other emerging trends as 2018 continues. ◼
We are excited to share some of the important milestones we reached as Dickinson Fleet Services celebrated 20 years in business this past year. Thanks to our incredible team, partners and loyal customers, we were able to reach several meaningful milestones together. We wanted to take a moment to share just some of the many highlights from 2017...
20th Anniversary Celebration
In 2017, we were excited to celebrate our 20th anniversary in beautiful St. Petersburg, FL. Dickinson Fleet Services was founded on February 1, 1997, growing from a company of just 4 people working out of a living room to more than 400 employees today. 20 years was a huge milestone for our company and our employees. We are looking forward to continued growth as we look toward the next 20 years and beyond. Our company came together at our annual meeting to reflect on years that seemed to pass in a blink of an eye and create many lifelong memories for our entire team.
2016 Most Valuable Partner of the Year
Also in early 2017, we were proud to name our 2016 Most Valuable Partner of the year, Maxon Lift. Much like us, Maxon is a family owned company that has constantly worked to make life easier, with innovative products that offer workhorse performance, coupled with seamless support through a network of industry professionals.
They’re a great team to work with and they’ve been able to provide a lift gate solution that is allowing us to continue our commitment to technician safety while providing our customers with trailer based maintenance.
Launch of New Company Website
We launched a new and improved web presence for Dickinson Fleet Services in 2017 that makes it easy for our potential clients to learn more about what it is we do. It also works as a tool to make it easy for our current customers to contact us, request service, get industry news and more. The goal was to create something that was informative, easy to navigate and extremely mobile friendly. We think we accomplished just that. Take a moment to visit us at dickinsonfleet.com.
Freedom Award Nominee
During 2017, Dickinson Fleet Services recognized as a 2017 Freedom Award Nominee by the Department of Defense. In partnership with ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve), the Freedom Award is given in recognition to those who exhibit exemplary support of National Guard and Military reserve members.
This was an incredible honor for our company because we take pride in helping those who have served our country. We’re very privileged to provide job opportunities to Veterans who have given so much to and for our country.
Bob Dickinson Celebrates
20 Years At the Company
One of our company’s founders, Bob Dickinson, also celebrated 20 years of service at our company which bears his name. We had an incredible time coming together to celebrate Bob's vision, optimism and courage has led to the creation of the most unique and successful company in the transportation services industry. This was an incredible tribute to the person who was instrumental in making what we do possible.
2nd Annual Top Tech Award
In 2017, we held our 2nd Annual Top Tech competition. The winner in 2017, who was also the runner-up last year, was Jose Feliciano. Jose was accompanied by our 1st Top Tech from last year, Jeff Brinkman, as an alum to the TMC SuperTech 2017 Competition in Orlando, FL . As a company, we improved our overall performance on the National stage from last year
2017 Commitment to Safety
In 2017, we set a goal to really raise the standard of safety throughout our company. This meant working to create a culture that made sure safety was at the forefront of all aspects of our business. To accomplish this, we performed extensive audits, rolled out incentive programs, upgraded out technology in the way of safety, setup committees at each of our shops/mobile units and instituted a "JUST DRIVE" no tolerance cell phone policy companywide.
The results of our efforts were extremely encouraging as we saw our total incident rate (TIR) improve from a 7.6 in 2016 to a 3.7 in 2017. Additionally, we saw our vehicle accident rate (VAR) improve from an 8.1 in 2016 to a 3.0 in 2017. All with a 30% increase in the size of our fleet.
Continued Partnership with
Andretti Autosport & Our First Indy Car!
Last year, Dickinson Fleet Services became the Official Service Provider and Fleet Management Company for Andretti Autosport. This year, we took that partnership to a whole new level to continue our winning ways. A huge milestone for both of us took place at the 2017 Verizon IndyCar season finale at Sonoma Raceway, as reigning Indy 500 Champion Takuma Sato’s Honda sported the Dickinson black and gold on his race car. This was a significant moment for us and one we were all excited to be part of. As car #26 raced around the track, the Dickinson Fleet team couldn’t have been more proud of all we’ve accomplished as a team.
Named Official Provider for
Cottrell Warranty Repairs
We were please to also announce in 2017, that we were named the official service provider of warranty repairs for Cottrell in Doraville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis markets. This means that DFS will provide complete warranty service in these select markets for the Cottrell auto transport fleet. This is the beginning of a great partnership on both sides and we look forward to working with the everyone at Cottrell.
DFS Contributes to
Hurricane Harvey Relief
Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey impacted us all in some way. These extreme weather conditions created a state of need for many people who were without the necessities of life. With Dickinson Fleet having 3 locations in the Florida area, we were certainly affected by Irma. At the same time, our company wanted to step up to make a donation for those who were hit much harder than we were. We sent the crew out to Sam's Club to pick up some of the essentials and the kind folks at Nestle chipped in with a significant donation of water.
Company Expansion &
Looking Ahead to 2018
2017 was a great year for our company and we’re excited for what 2018 will bring. We look forward to exponential growth in the years to come. In 2017 we partnered with Ridgemont Equity Partners, to provide us with the financial resources to expand Dickinson Fleet Services. By doing so we’ll be able to expand our service area for both our on-site mobile services, as well as shop facility services. One thing is for sure, we will continue to stay committed to investing in our two most important assets - our clients and our employees. As we acquire more resources and team members, we will have increased availability in the right places to continue providing our clients with the best service possible. ◼
YEAR IN REVIEW
2017 DFS Year in Review, continued
This year, the power of great partnerships took center stage at Dickinson Fleet Services’ annual awards banquet on February 12, 2018 as Vanair® Manufacturing was presented with our 2017 Most Valuable Partner (MVP) Award. And we do mean power. After all, Vanair literally supplies the power that makes it possible for us to bring repair and maintenance services directly to our clients!
Dickinson executives Mike Dickinson and Ted Coltrain presented the MVP Award to Dean Stratham, Vice President of Sales for Vanair, at the awards banquet, a highlight of our annual company meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida. In accepting the award, Dean said, “Vanair is proud to be a strategic business partner with Dickinson Fleet. We look forward to continuing to provide Dickinson with mobile power solutions as well as supporting them in their Gold Standard for Service initiative.“
Located in Michigan City, Indiana, Vanair specializes in providing mobile power solutions to the transportation industry. With its comprehensive product line of vehicle-mounted air compressors, generators, welders, hydraulics, chargers/boosters, engine starters and custom products, the partnership with Vanair is critical to Dickinson’s mobile service offerings.
While Vanair’s high quality products are important to Dickinson, the company earned our 2017 MVP award for more than just their extensive product line. Their focus on innovation and their commitment to efficiency and reliability is something that sets Vanair apart. Vanair has been an industry innovator since it was founded in 1972, and today is the world’s largest manufacturer of vehicle-mounted air compressors. At Dickinson, we know that we can rely on Vanair products, and that in turn enables us to maintain our quality commitment to our customers. In fact, Vanair’s Air N Arc® systems are now the only power systems we use in our mobile service vehicles.
As Dickinson VP of Purchasing & Asset Management Don Gregory says, “Every year Dickinson Fleet shows their appreciation for its business partners and the support they provide toward our goal of maintenance excellence. In 2017 Dickinson Fleet recognized Vanair as our MVP for their unwavering support working with us and our technicians on training and operations of the Vanair equipment, which supports our mobile techs in the field.” He continues, “We are always thrilled when we can help bring attention to the quality and integrity of a partner like Vanair through our MVP Award and we look forward to continuing to build on our strong relationship with them and all of our valued partners as we grow and expand.” ◼
Named Dickinson’s 2017 Most Valuable Partner (MVP)
Staying up-to-date with technology is a big deal in the transportation industry. When it comes to logistics having information and data available in real time is everything…and technology allows just that. At Dickinson Fleet Services, we invest in technology internally and are committed to keeping our customers informed with the trends that we’re seeing. Today, we’d like to share three different technologies that can improve your fleet management performance in 2018.
A GPS is one thing, but dynamic routing is a whole new animal. Including real-time data that pulls in more accurate traffic and weather conditions can allow you to adjust the path taken to move goods from point to point. The result is a better understanding of exactly what type of situation your drivers are facing and could face as things continue to develop. This leads to making adjustments on the spot even when it may differ from the original plan. Downtime and delays are minimized when you’re able to process and react to data in a quicker manner because of technology.
When it comes to trip planning and routing, getting better, more accurate information to optimize truck routes every day and every time just makes good business sense. Not only can it help you stay on time, but it also can allow you to manage the equipment you’re utilizing better while controlling costs. On top of that, you’re able to provide better service and keep drivers happy because you’re investing in helping them perform better at their job. The end result is happier customers AND employees.
Front Facing Cameras
All too often, truck drivers are the first to get the blame for any type of accident. Yet, many times it’s not actually the CDL driver’s fault. The sheer size of the truck alone often makes them the target. But how is a driver to prove that he/she didn’t cause the wreck? Front facing cameras can certainly help make things clearer.
In-cab cameras have their pros and cons. While dash cams that face in the truck have stirred up some controversy over the years, forward facing cameras have now saved thousands of drivers losing their CDL and costing themselves/their company a lot of money when they might have been the victim of erroneous insurance claims.
In-cab cameras have improved greatly over the years in terms of picture quality, storage space and overall performance. And as this technology continues to be adopted, it will become more widely accepted across the industry. When it comes to front facing cameras, it isn’t about watching your drivers - it’s about watching out for them. Getting a complete view of an accident can protect your drivers and your bottom line.
As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, those involved in transporting human and animal food including shippers, carriers and receivers must follow best practices for sanitary transportation. This requires fleets to properly refrigerate good and clean vehicles in between loads to prevent contamination during transportation.
The bottom line is that shippers WANT to do business with fleets who are implementing this type of technology. While the new rules will not officially be enforced until mid 2018, complying with the new rules and providing documentation NOW will only help.
The majority of the new refrigerated units today are able to transmit the internal temperature within the trailer as well as the GPS position so that the fleet management system can properly track and monitor things during pick and delivery. Maintaining a steady temperature control can get difficult with doors being opened and closed for different periods of time, inevitably allowing warmer air into the trailer. With the temperature tracking technology, Fleet Managers are able to communicate with the driver when/how to fix it. ◼
Technology Trends 2018
When it comes to electric trucks, most are saying it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN? When we will see electric semi-trucks reach widespread status? It might be sooner than we think. According to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, production of the new electric semi truck will begin in 2019.
In fact, the all-electric Tesla Motors Class 8 highway tractor made its official debut recently at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. Must said he believes the company’s new all-electric highway tractor, dubbed the “Semi,” will revolutionize trucking when it makes its way onto the road in just over 1 year.
As of right now, Musk says that the trucks have a 500-mile limitation, which will definitely be something to keep in mind that might slow widespread adoption. But, this will no doubt be something that can be improved down the line as more technological advances are made. Musk proclaims that once electric trucks are readily available, those that stick with traditional diesel options will be committing “economic suicide.”
Charging the Trucks
Tesla said “megachargers” will soon be made available. These will enable truckers to add 400 miles of range in 30 minutes…not bad. Especially, considering the Mandatory 30 Min DOT break that truckers must take anyway. The company has said that these changes will be installed at origin or destination points, and along heavily trafficked areas.
The new “Semi” from Tesla is said to come standard with “enhanced autopilot.” This will include all kinds of safety features such as emergency braking, lane assist and the ability to help avoid collisions. Tesla also said that the Semi can go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 5 seconds without a trailer. This is in comparison to 15 seconds for a diesel. The truck also climbs 5% grades at a steady 65 mph, while most regular diesel trucks max out at 45 mph.
How About The Maintenance?
One thing is clear, much like diesel trucks,
the “Semi” will take regular maintenance to perform up to standard. Batteries, tires, lights, fluids, etc. will all still need to be maintained to make sure things are running smoothly. While some things will certainly change as the technology evolves, many things will stay the same.
At Dickinson Fleet Services, we are committed to following this type of technology and providing the necessary training to our technicians. Times are definitely changing and we’ve always taken great pride in staying ahead of the curve. As adoption of things such as electric trucks becomes more widespread, we will do our best to educate our customers on the pros and cons from a maintenance/performance standpoint. ◼
Click Here: Contact Dickinson Fleet Services for service of your electric and hybrid trucks.
Does Your Fleet Need
This Technology in 2018?
It’s happening. Just look all around…
“Trucking firms offer up to $8000 bonus and other deals to lure drivers”
“Truck lines toss cash at drivers to ease turnover, shortages”
“Roehl Transport Announces Significant Driver Pay Increase”
“More TL pay package, bonus plans on the way”
Does Your Fleet Need This Technology in 2018?
Have Questions or Need Help?
Contact us online
or call 855-DFS-4111
News of trucking companies raising driver pay are dominating the headlines as 2017 closed and 2018 begins. With the driver shortage increasing, lack of new qualified drivers entering the workforce and more drivers reaching retirement age than ever before—companies are feeling the pressure to get drivers on board.
Many drivers are in their 50s and 60s. As they retire the shortage could exceed 174,000 drivers in seven years if the recruiting efforts fall short, ATA predicts."Unless steps are taken to make it easier for individuals to pursue careers in trucking, demand for drivers will continue to outstrip supply — eventually even leading to supply chain disruptions,” Bob Costello warned.
Pay Competition Begins
There has always been an opportunity to make great money in trucking with experience, but all too often the trucking lifestyle proves to be too much for new drivers. So how much of a pay increase is needed to entice just the right candidate to consider trucking (who may have never looked at it before)? That’s the question fleets are asking during this crucial time in the transportation industry.
Pay packages vary from carrier to carrier as each on tries to find their perfect mix. Many are simply raising starting base CPM pay, some are offering huge sign on bonuses, and still others are providing substantial performance based pay increases. But the bottom line is, the needle is moving and average overall pay for truck drivers continues to rise along with the demand.
It’s becoming a very competitive market as companies go up against one another to attract the best of the best. Drivers at all experience levels are now being recruited away from Carrier A to come work for Carrier B every single day. Trucking companies also tying special bonuses to the particular niche they serve - for example Team driving or incentives for endorsements such as the HazMat endorsement. What fleets are finding is simple - truck drivers want to be rewarded for a job well done by having access to increased earning potential.
Who Is Going To Win?
As trucking companies race to get their pay increases in place, it seems they’re all trying to find the “right” answer to the same question, “how do we attract and retain good drivers?” This really comes down to figuring out what type of pay package can bring more new drivers on board and what does it take to get an experienced trucker to jump ship. Both are tough questions to answer, but it certainly seems are though fleets are scrambling to come up with something before it’s too late. ◼
More on Dickinson
Dickinson Fleet is the nation’s leader in mobile truck maintenance and repair. We currently have 300 mobile trucks equipped with state of the art technology visiting our customers nightly across 40 states in nearly every major city in the country.
It's 2018 and
Are In Full Effect
Want More Tips & Industry News?
Dickinson Fleet Services consistently brings you tips and industry news that impacts your business. See our latest blog posts here for more helpful information.
When the team at Dickinson Fleet Services works to make something a top priority, great things happen! In 2017, we focused on raising the standard of safety throughout our company by creating a culture that put safety at the forefront of all aspects of our business. To accomplish this goal, we performed extensive audits, rolled out incentive programs, upgraded our technology, set up committees at each of our shops/mobile units and instituted a “JUST DRIVE" no tolerance cell phone policy companywide.
The results? Our total incident rate (TIR) was cut in half, improving from a 7.6 in 2016 to a 3.7 in 2017. Additionally, we saw our vehicle accident rate (VAR) improve from an 8.1 in 2016 to a 3.0 in 2017. All with a 30% increase in the size of our fleet. We’re proud of what we were able to accomplish for the safety of our employees in 2017 by working together as a team to make it happen. Best of all, the foundation of improved safety that was laid will continue to benefit our employees and customers year after year.
Good as Gold.
Now Dickinson is launching a new initiative. 2018 is the year we’ll strive to set the Gold Standard of customer service. While we continue to focus on maintaining a culture of safety and improving on our safety record, we will also work to implement enhanced service to our customers at every level, from the Dickinson management team to our repair and maintenance technicians to our call center representatives.
At Dickinson Fleet Services, we’ve always had a strong focus on providing exceptional customer service. It starts with our hiring practices, and continues with our extensive customer service training. With the Gold Standard initiative, we’ll work even harder to put the right people in the right place to handle your needs on YOUR schedule.
We will also focus on ensuring that every Dickinson employee acts as an extension of YOUR team, not just ours. In short, if there’s something you’re concerned about…we’re concerned about it too. This means working through details when issues arise to make sure communication is clear. This also means making sure that everyone is on the same page with your maintenance and repair plan, and moving together toward a common goal. A big part of the Gold Standard will involve empowering our Call Center representatives to work closely with our technicians to take care of our clients in every aspect of our relationship.
Our Customer Care Call Center is always available for all scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance needs to make sure we’re assisting you in every possible way. Having a solid call center is part of the engine that keeps our business running day in and day out. We want you to know that in addition to our technicians, we have a team on standby ready to field your call. You can expect to talk with someone friendly, professional and willing to go the extra mile to make sure you receive the best service in the business every day…Dickinson’s Gold Standard of service. ◼
Setting Standards. Exceeding Expectations.
The Dickinson Fleet Services Top Tech competition is back for 2018, and there’s one face that is getting very familiar to competitors…that of Jose Feliciano!
Jose has been in the top ranks of Dickinson’s Top Tech competition since the start, coming in at 1st Runner-Up in 2016, and then becoming the Top Tech champion in 2017. This year, with Jose winning the regional competition in Atlanta and heading for the July finals in Indianapolis, he’s showing that once again, he’s the tech to beat.
For Jose, capturing the overall title of Top Tech last year was a “dream come true.” Jose says that in the first year of the Top Tech competition, he wasn’t really sure what he was capable of. Once he began to put his skills to the test through the first rounds, his confidence grew and he realized that he could seriously compete. In his words, “When I got runner up (in 2016), I told myself, ‘You know, you’re pretty good at this. You’ve got to believe in yourself.’”
According to Jose, Top Tech is about more than technical skills, “the competition helps you show what you are made of…not just on your knowledge, but your character.” He encourages others within the company to step up and participate in the competition, saying that “everyone should experience it at least once.”
Eligible participants for the Dickinson Top Tech award are selected from more than 400 technicians based on criteria including strength of on-the-job technical knowledge, diagnostic skill, quality workmanship and outstanding customer service performance. These technicians participate in training and sub-region qualifying events before advancing to the next round.
The regional competitions consist of very intense rounds of written assessments and hands-on challenges. Ten finalists are selected to advance and have a shot at the title of Dickinson’s Top Tech during the final part of the competition held in Indianapolis. Jose and his fellow Atlanta regional finalists will join the Indianapolis regional finalists in the next round as the road to Top Tech continues. The finals, to be held in Indianapolis on (Date), will be made up of hands-on skill tests which include vehicle electronics, preventive maintenance, air conditioning and emissions. The top finisher will receive a cash prize and go on to represent Dickinson Fleet Services in the national TMC SuperTech event in Orlando, Florida later in the year.
For Dickinson, one of the primary goals for establishing Top Tech was to help build on the camaraderie among our team members through some friendly competition. Judging by the number of people that have come together to cheer Jose on as he progresses through each stage of the competition, we’ve clearly reached that goal. Jose is appreciative of the incredible support he’s received.
“A lot of the guys were rooting for me, and I appreciate that. This company is like one big family. We all know each other and look out for one another. That’s how I see it.”
The Dickinson Fleet Services Top Tech competition is designed to encourage active, enthusiastic participation and support among all team members involved. Not only does it help our technicians build on their knowledge and skills to become even better at what they do, it also gives us the chance to recognize the best of the best by offering them well-deserved recognition within the company, along with some incredible prizes. As Jose focuses on the next chapter of his journey, TMC SuperTech, he has expressed pride at being able to represent Dickinson on the national stage in the past, and hopes to do so again this year. ◼
THE TECH TO BEAT
“Safety first.” These are two words that we often hear used together. While putting safety first is very important, we wanted to take things a step further at Dickinson Fleet Services. That’s why we’ve made it our goal to create a SAFETY CULTURE.
In order to create this safety culture, we have to be very clear on our beliefs. We need to make sure our employees and clients understand the behaviors and habits we expect to be practiced. We do this by creating a clear vision that can be lived out every single day. Our vision is clear and it’s defined in our mission.
At Dickinson Fleet Services, we pledge that we’ll never compromise safety. Period. End of story. We believe in fostering a safe working environment and will never allow our employees or business partners to be put in an unsafe situation.
To help live out this mission, we provide regular safety training, certify our employees on safety items and continually work to provide the safest working conditions and service methods in the industry.
We mentioned the usage of “safety first” and to us it’s more than just something we say. It’s something we live everyday. To help us do this, we’ve developed an acronym using the word “FIRST” which makes it easy to communicate the mindset we want all of our employees to possess.
Find all hazards.
Identify all risks.
Report all incidents.
Stay focused on task.
Together we are safe.
Safety is embedded in our training beginning day one. All new employees understand the strong emphasis that is placed on safety in our workplace and we clearly define what is expected of them. We’ve worked diligently at Dickinson Fleet Services to create an atmosphere to motivate positive change in our safety culture.
We provide all our technicians with the required personal protective equipment to perform the job safely at all times. We have invested in the latest technology to monitor safe driving behavior on the road. We have eliminated the number one distraction while driving by implementing a no tolerance cell phone policy. We want our employees to JUST DRIVE, everything else can wait while behind the wheel.
We’ve also made it a point to monitor performance when it comes to safety. We use strong, significant measurements to include TIR (Total Incident Rate) and VAR (Vehicle Accident Rate). This allows us to easily “score” the progress we see company wide. We’re proud to report that in 2017 we improved our Total Incident Rate (TIR) from a 7.6 in 2016 to a 3.7 in 2017. In addition to that, our Vehicle Accident Rate (VAR) went from an 8.1 in 2016 to a 3.0 in 2017. It is important to not that we achieved this with a 30% increase in our fleet over the last year.
During our annual meeting, we had the opportunity to recognize those individuals who helped contribute greatly to this effort and celebrate a job well done. As we move forward in 2018 safety will continue to be a huge focus for our company and we will keep these initiatives in place. Safety is something that you need to be deliberate about and we will never stop improving when it comes to the well-being of our team. ◼
SEE NEXT PAGE FOR SAFETY AWARDS >>
Safety Awards for ZERO INJURIES/ZERO ACCIDENTS 2017
1. Check Battery & Connections
How are your batteries looking heading into Spring? Literally, what does their appearance tell you? Corrosion, bulging terminals and cracked cases can lead to preventable breakdowns. It has been said that the harshness of Winter can cause battery performance to be jeopardized by up to 60%. NOW is the time to test and/or replace batteries with plugs and wires that aren’t looking so hot. Remember, after a Winter with plenty of cold starts there’s bound to be some battery warning signs out there. Catching these things ahead of time is far less expensive than unneeded downtime.
2. Inspect Those Brakes
The Winter months can wear down brakes quick. Snow, ice and other elements certainly take their toll on the brake system including lines, hoses, parking brakes and fluids. With brake issues being one of the leading causes of accidents among commercial trucks, it’s important to take the time to have a complete understanding on the health of your fleet’s brakes.
Are there missing, lose or cracked parts in the brake system? Can you hear any air leaks around the components and lines? These are just a couple of things to look for when examining brakes. At the end of the day, you don’t want to have ANY trucks placed out of service for brake violations and you certainly don’t want bad brakes to be putting your drivers at risk of accident.
3. How About Lighting and Fluid Levels?
Little things make a big difference, right? Well, this couldn’t be more true when it comes to lighting and fluid levels. You’ve heard the term, “Spring cleaning” and inspecting these items needs to be on your Spring cleaning/maintenance list.
Do all lights appear to have proper color, operation, mounting and visibility? Are there any broken lights or cracks? Maybe it’s time to consider TRP LED lights for an energy-efficient and durable option. TRP LED lights don’t contain filament and have a high-impact polycarbonate lens for greater nighttime visibility.
And how about your fluid levels? Do you happen to notice any oil, fuel, coolant, or power steering fluid leaks? These types of things, if caught early, can be easily fixed before big problems arise.
4. And of Course, Check Those Tires!
Like many other things on this list, Winter time can do a number on your tires. Spring is the perfect opportunity to take a look at tread depth, air pressure, uneven wear and signs of cracking across your fleet. Remember, a tire with low tread depth is more likely to blow out when it hits debris. Also, if tread is wearing unevenly, it is a sign of improper air pressure. While this stuff is covered in a good pre-trip inspection, having a good idea on the big picture can help you allocate your budget and maintain fuel efficiency. If you do have to replace tires, it can get a little costly in a hurry, but a blowout is way more detrimental to your fleet.
Get on a Schedule and Make it Happen
A Springtime maintenance schedule can go a long way in making sure you’re able to minimize downtime while addressing preventable issues. Being proactive with your maintenance needs reduces headaches down the road and goes a long way in creating happy drivers. ◼
4 Springtime Maintenance Check Must Haves
Spring is in the air and warmer weather is just around the corner. You know what that means, right? It’s time to think about all of those things that need a quick check up to keep your fleet running smoothly. As we know, when it comes to maintenance - staying on top of the routine things makes a big difference. All too often, the “basic stuff” gets overlooked when you don’t have a maintenance strategy. Fear not - we’re here to help by sharing some of our favorite Springtime Maintenance Tips…
for January/February 2018
Recognized by the John W Dickinson Award: Mid West Region 2017
New Hire Job Title Region/Location
Fox, Michael D. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Guidry, Erika N. Mobile Billing Cordinator Corporate
Feldheim, Adam M. Mobile Service Technician Southeast Mobile
Jordan, Steven R. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Grife, Brian K. Service Technician Houston Shop
Hein, Kevin D. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Roskres, Thomas J. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Good, Allana J. Sales Executive Sales Texas
Thomas, Christopher B. Trailer Technician Holland Shop
Luce, Charles A. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Smith, Ross A. Trailer Technician Doraville Shop
Buell, Kim G. Parts Associate Indianapolis Shop
Woodall, Mark E. Trailer Technician Indianapolis Shop
Griffin, Daniel C. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Daniel, Robert G. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Greenfield, Matthew Mobile Service Technician Northeast Mobile
Tigert, Richard c. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Noll, Dustin J. Service Technician Cincinnati Shop
Khan, Asad I. Corporate Financial Analyst Corporate
Horta, Jennifer N. Customer Service Representative Miami Shop
Sanders, Lance A. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Ferguson, Ashley N. 3rd Party Biller Corporate
Leason, Aaron Trailer Technician Holland Shop
Huerta, Jose O. Mobile Parts Manager Corporate
Justice, Jonathan D. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Blankenship, Rick E. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Williams, Joe L. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Driver, Donald C. Mobile Service Technician Northeast Mobile
Hoffman, Patrick J. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
New Hire Job Title Region/Location
Diaz, Lorens Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Throesch, Hayden A. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Cook, Kenneth L. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Harrigan, Kyle W. Service Technician Pennsburg Shop
White, Nathan Mobile Service Technician Southeast Mobile
Beil, Brian A. Service Technician Indianapolis Shop
Ibitogbe, Adunola M. Accounts Payable Specialist Corporate
Moore, Ryan K. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Powers, Jacob F. Mobile Diesel Technician West Mobile
Ford, Robert A. Procurement Specialist Corporate
Malagon, Edwin Welder Tampa Shop
Yearry, Eddie L. Mobile Service Technician Southeast Mobile
Winters, John P. Serivce Technician Houston Shop
Castro, Juan R. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Willey, Justin R. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Camacho, Julio A. Service Technician Northeast Mobile
Logic, Randolph A. Service Technician Northeast Mobile
Price, Mark A. Mobile Service Technician Northeast Mobile
Price, Michael R. Mobile Service Technician Southeast Mobile
Forland, Alexander C. Mobile Service Technician West Mobile
Swanson, Darrell Mobile Diesel Technician West Mobile
Dawkins, Saigon L. Apprentice Technician Midwest Mobile
Pennington, Timothy J. Service Technician Cincinnati Shop
Quassy, Kayla M. Parts Associate Indianapolis Shop
McKnight, Julie C. Branch Administrator Cincinnati Shop
Hilker, Nicholas J. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
Timm, Edward M. National Account Manager Corporate Sales
Burroughs, Jeff J. Mobile Service Technician Midwest Mobile
The Award for Maintenance Excellence: Michael Renforth 2017
NEW HIRES for January/February 2018, continued
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