At Sweetie Boy Transportation, safety is our top priority. Our AutoPilot drivers and CDL haulers are held to a high standard to promote workplace and driver safety. At the beginning of June, Sweetie Boy welcomed Jonathan Wilson to our team as the Director of Safety. Jonathan has extensive experience working within safety, as he had spent seven years working at UPS, with his last year as a Corporate Trainer in Safety.
In discussing his strategy, Jonathan cites the importance of relationship building as the first step, “My approach to safety starts with understanding our people, the nature of our business, historical trends, and how to effectively promote positive change. We’ve created policies that are clear, concise, and measurable. We closely monitor all aspects of safety, utilize the tools and data we have, and strive to be fair, firm, and consistent”. When asked about advice for everyday drivers, Jonathan highlighted the SmithKeys, a technique first introduced to increase safety for commercial drivers to improve visibility and reduce the chances for an accident. “I love the Smith Tools for safe driving. One of the most important tools is trying to allow space on all 4 sides of your vehicle. While this is not always possible, we ALWAYS want to allow space in the front of our vehicle”.
When it comes to our drivers, Sweetie Boy has both CDL and non CDL policies. AutoPilots are single vehicle delivery drivers that take cars from one location to the next, and our CDL car haulers are able to load and transfer up to 10 vehicles on their trailer. Some may look at those differences and have two very different policies, but Jonathan disagrees, “The approach to AP and CDL are the same in principle but differ in certain aspects. There are different rules and regulations with CDL Safety that are not always applicable to the AutoPilot side of the business”. During his time with Sweetie Boy so far, Jonathan flipped the script on how safety was managed, “We have revamped our entire Safety Policy from scratch for AutoPilots and CDL Drivers. We are committed to excellence when it comes to safety and that starts with communication to all drivers, data driven decisions, and following the correct processes”. With that came fundamental changes with how each hub works, “Providing our hub managers the tools and ability to effectively coach and develop their employees has paid major dividends”.
Growth and improvement are the cornerstone of Jonathan’s hard work. He has been able to see the fruits of his labor with just three months at Sweetie Boy, “We’ve seen safety infractions per driver almost cut in half the past 3 months for AutoPilots. We’ve reached all-time milestones and improved in every measurable facet of safety in that regard. In addition, CDL safety scores are the highest we’ve seen year-to-date this month, since rolling out our new policy in July”. As we continue to strive for better, Jonathan notes, “We will never be perfect, but will always strive for excellence as a professional transportation company, with professional drivers”. Recently, AutoPilots saw their safest day in Sweetie Boy history. On Monday, July 31st, drivers across the east coast logged zero distractions. An amazing accomplishment and many more to follow.
Safety and its standards are always changing, and with that Sweetie Boy will also continue to improve and raise the bar for safety expectations. Finally Jonathan thanked the Sweetie Boy team, “I would like to thank every single driver, car coordinator, dispatcher, data analyst, planner, HR and leadership partners, for helping us accomplish the safety achievements we’ve reached in the last 3 months. It takes all of us, and the amount of hard work and effort each person has put into making safety a priority is amazing to see. I’m grateful to be a part of this team and Sweetie Boy Transportation!”
Thank you to Jonathan Wilson for taking the time to discuss safety and all of the initiatives he has taken to improve Sweetie Boy Transportation.