by Vitaliy Dadalyan
Tags: American Freight Trucking
<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-smokeypointwinners-1.jpg" border="0" alt="
Chris Zondlo, SPD safety coordinator (2nd from left), receives a Great West Safety Award from Great West's Kevin Skow (far left), and the WTA's Safety Fleet of the Year Award from Jason Berry, Washington State Patrol assistant chief (2nd from right) and Tom Walrath, of T.E. Walrath Trucking and WTA president (far right). Photo: Daseke
Chris Zondlo, SPD safety coordinator (2nd from left), receives a Great West Safety Award from Great West's Kevin Skow (far left), and the WTA's Safety Fleet of the Year Award from Jason Berry, Washington State Patrol assistant chief (2nd from right) and Tom Walrath, of T.E. Walrath Trucking and WTA president (far right). Photo: Daseke">
Arlington, Wash.-based Smokey Point Distributing, a Daseke company, has been named the Washington Trucking Association's “Safety Fleet of the Year” in the common carrier (over 5 million miles) category.
“We take safety to heart and we're very honored to be named the top carrier in our state,” said Lee Michaud, SPD executive vice president. “We've had a fantastic year – first being awarded our fifth straight Platinum Safety Award by our insurance provider, then being recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association as the top fleet in safety (15 million to 24.99 million mile category). This award from our home state means a great deal to us.”
According to Mike Southards, WTA safety director, the Washington State Patrol named the ultimate winner. “We forward the nominations to the State Patrol and they select our winners as an independent third party,” he said. “We were very excited to see SPD win the award– it was well-deserved. SPD represents our state and our industry in a very positive light. They've grown to become one of the largest carriers in Washington and they have a phenomenal outfit, both in management and in drivers.”
In 2015, SPD's national network of terminals grew to have more than 300 drivers as well as nearly 400 open-deck trailers. The company said it is “on pace to have another solid growth year in 2016.”
SPD's Michaud said the carrier had zero chargeable accidents in Washington during 2015, along with an accident rate of just .29 occurrences per million miles in 2015, putting it well below the industry average.
“Safety begins with a meticulous maintenance program and culminates with our drivers who truly care about the loads they haul,” said Michaud. “Everything has to work together and it does. We're very proud of our CSA federal safety scores, which are among the top tier in the industry. And our drivers– they're our cornerstones.
“We stay true to our culture of celebrating their professionalism and individualism; we trust and respect what they do and how they represent Smokey Point,” he added. “It's a recipe that works for us and it's one of many reasons why our turnover rate is one of the lowest in the industry. We're family here and we love what we do. And we do it with a safety-first mentality.”
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