There are a number of safety strategies work truck fleets focus on, including driver training and a focus on a safety culture.   -  Photo: Work Truck

There are a number of safety strategies work truck fleets focus on, including driver training and a focus on a safety culture. 

Photo: Work Truck

Is your truck fleet truly safe? What is up with work truck fleet safety today? The second annual fleet safety study, conducted in partnership with sister publication Heavy Duty Trucking, has concluded. Work Truck collected some of the top findings for your planning and reference.

Of the 105 respondents, 41% said they operated Class 1 or 2 trucks in their fleet operations. Additionally, 43% indicated that they operated Class 3-5 trucks. Finally, 41% operated Class 6 trucks.

Note that some respondents use more than one vehicle class.

Most respondents operate fleets of more than 50 vehicles, with 23% of light-duty fleets operating more than 250 vehicles and 24% of medium-duty fleets operating more than 250 vehicles. 

The top three fleet types in the light- and medium-duty vehicle categories were construction/mining, utilities, and manufacturing. Additional top fleet types included general freight, retail, last-mile delivery, and other fleet services. 

Top respondents for light- and medium-duty fleets classified themselves as corporate/executive management, including owner/operator; fleet manager/administrator; and VP/general manager.

This year, responses were broken out by light-duty (Class 1-2) trucks under 10,000-lbs. GVWR, medium-duty (Class 3-5) trucks 10,001-19,500-lbs. GVWR, and larger medium-duty (Class 6) trucks 19,501-26,000-lbs. GVWR.

Digging into the Data

The survey results show that most fleets operating Class 1-5 trucks had very similar challenges and needs. Looking at the larger, Class 6 medium-duty trucks, things started to change. 

[ Insurance Costs in Work Truck Fleets ]

How did vehicle and liability insurance costs change over the past year for work truck fleet operations?

Not one truck fleet respondent noted insurance costs decreased. But, around 29-30% of light- and medium-duty fleets noted insurance costs remained essentially unchanged. 

 


Increased 
0-10%

 Increased 
11-25%
 Increased 
26-50%
 Increased 
100%
Largely 
 Unchanged 
 Don't Know/  
 Not Sure 
 Class 
1-2
20% 17% 12% 3% 30% 18%
 Class 
3-5
21% 17% 10% 2% 29% 21%
 Class 
6
18% 26% 10% 3% 23% 20%

 

[ Work Truck Fleet Safety Strategies ]

In a long list of potential safety strategies, the top five answers for light-duty and medium-duty fleets were well-maintained vehicles, written safety policies and procedures, driver training, stricter driver hiring standards, and a focus on safety culture.

Additional top fleet safety strategies used by light- and medium-duty Class 1-6 truck fleets include dash cams/in-cab cameras, driver safety bonuses, driver safety awards and recognition, advanced safety technology, and more. (Note, fleets were allowed to select more than one category.) 

  Written Safety
Policies
Well-Maintained
Vehicles
Driver
    Training    
Strict Driver
Hiring Standards
Safety Culture
Class 
1-2
79% 77% 59% 56% 56%
Class
3-5
76% 73% 59% 49% 51%
Class
6
83% 78% 70% 58% 55%


[ Truck Fleet Safety Technology ]

The leading safety technologies used for light-duty and medium-duty fleets were backup cameras, forward collision warnings, and lane departure warnings.

Additional safety technologies that didn’t make the top five list for Class 1-5 trucks include adaptive cruise control, speed limiters, and collision mitigation with active emergency braking. (Note, fleets were allowed to select more than one category.)

  Backup 
Cameras
Air Disc
Brakes
Forward 
Collision
Warning
Lane
Departure
Warning
Electronic
Stability
Control
Class
1-2
57% 49% 49% 49% 43%
Class
3-5
55% 45% 42% 42% 42%


The top safety technologies used by medium-duty, Class 6 trucks changed from their smaller counterparts, adding speed limiters to the list and bumping backup cameras down the rankings. (Note, fleets were allowed to select more than one category.)

  Air Disc
Brakes
Speed
Limiters
Forward 
Collision
Warning
Backup
Cameras
Lane
Departure
Warning
Class
6
58% 50% 42% 39% 39%

 

Regarding safety technologies Class 1-6 fleets plan to implement next year, the top five answers for all fleet categories were the same, with the only change in the top-ranking percentages for Class 6 trucks. Note: for in-cab cameras*, this includes forward-facing only. 

  Backup 
Cameras
Air Disc
Brakes
Side
Blindspot
Monitoring
Adaptive
Cruise
Control
In-Cab
Camera
Don't
Know/
Not
Sure
Class
1-2
34% 20% 20% 20% 17% 31%
Class
3-5
31% 19% 19% 17% 17% 36%
Class
6
26% 17% 20% 17% 20% 34%

 

[ Work Truck Fleet Safety Training ]

For safety training techniques, the top five answers for light- and medium-duty fleets were hands-on/behind-the-wheel, in-person/classroom, independent video/online training, live remote training (such as via Zoom), and the use of a driving simulator. Additional training options included virtual/augmented reality, other, and does not apply.

  In-Person/
Classroom
Hands-On/
Behind-the-
Wheel
Independent
Video/
Online
Training
Live Remote
Training
Driving 
Simulator
Class
1-2
60% 54% 46% 11% 11%
Class
3-5
61% 53% 50% 14% 8%
Class
6
66% 63% 51% 11% 9%

 

When are drivers given safety-related training? The top three answers for light-duty and medium-duty fleets were when first bringing them into the company (onboarding), after an accident or incident, and after adding new equipment or technology to the fleet. Additionally, around one-third of survey respondents provide regular training, with annual training the most popular. 

  New
Hire
After
Accident
Adding
New
Equipment
Regular:
Yearly
Regular:
Quarterly
Regular:
Monthly
Class
1-2
44% 51% 51% 29% 20% 17%
Class
3-5
75% 53% 53% 33% 22% 17%
Class
6
77% 63% 57% 31% 29% 14%

 

[ Truck Fleet Accidents ]

When asked about work truck accidents, at-fault accident rates are essential when looking at liability, risk, and driver training needs. No fleet respondents reported experiencing higher than 75% of their accidents as at-fault.  

  0% 1% -
24%
25% -
49%
50% -
74%
Does
Not
Apply
Don't
Know
Class
1-2
32% 35% 15% 0% 12% 6%
Class
3-5
31% 42% 11% 0% 8% 8%
Class
6
26% 40% 17% 3% 6% 9%

 

So, what is driving up work truck fleet insurance costs? Insurance is a costly and often rising component of truck fleet management. How do you stop the rise and combat the potential of a ‘nuclear verdict’ from impacting your operation?

0 Comments