Investing in safe and high-quality drivers in our workforce
As a leader in refrigerated transportation and logistics, we are committed to the highest level of safety practices for our drivers. In June 2021, The Erb Group of Companies started a new safety solution with Impirica, called ExceleRATE. A risk assessment program that goes beyond a traditional driver’s abstract or physical exam and evaluates the driver’s cognitive abilities. The program looks at the critical skills required for safe driving and provides insights on the driver’s cognitive behaviour that predicts actual on-road performance.
Our Senior Director of Safety and Compliance, Tom Boehler, leads the use of the program at The Erb Group which is being implemented through a phased approach across the terminal network. As one of the early adapters in the trucking transportation industry, The Erb Group, has seen the program help better identify high-quality and safe drivers during the recruitment process.
Tom explains, “By implementing this program, we’ve been able to remove the bias of ranking systems between each assessor during the recruitment process. This is truly based on a scientific and standardized model that works. Right now, we are currently using it during the pre-screening hiring process and only on a case-by-case basis with current drivers. It gives us the confidence that we are hiring high-quality and safe drivers.”
Gaining insights on driver skills
Part of the benefits of the program is to also help gain insights on driver skills. If there are flags during the on-road evaluation, the program will distinguish those that are trainable, and what is a natural high-risk behaviour. We can then work with the driver to ensure they continue to learn and grow in their role. Alternatively, our driver workforce demographic averages 54 years old and medical conditions can creep up. Through this solution, our teams can utilize the program to identify if there are any cognitive deficiencies that may be caused due to an underlying medical condition, facilitate discussions earlier on, before it becomes serious or a danger on the roads.
Program integration and goals
The program began with our Baden terminal followed by Mississauga. In Spring 2022, we aim to onboard our Ottawa and Montreal terminals. The eventual goal is to eliminate our current virtual health survey for drivers and streamline this component of safety training all through ExceleRATE.
Leading with safety results
We have received several safety awards and recognition, including the TCAs (Truckload Carrier’s Association) Fleet Safety Award. Since launching the program in Baden, we’ve had a 77% pass rate, while 6% are ranking borderline. In total, we’ve assessed 84 drivers as part of our hiring process, with 64 of those drivers results coming in as low risk.