Lawrence Transportation Company and MacKinnon Inc. Win TCA’s Grand Prize Fleet Safety Awards


Alexandria, Virginia:

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to announce the Grand Prize winners of the highly-coveted 2003 National Fleet Safety Awards: Lawrence Transportation Company of Rochester, Minnesota, and MacKinnon Transport Inc. of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

The awards were presented at the March 16th Annual Banquet & Awards Dinner to Eric Lawrence, president of Lawrence Transportation Company, and to Ray Haight, president of MacKinnon Transport Inc. Lawrence Transportation Company won the award for truckload companies operating under 25 million miles annually, while MacKinnon Transport Inc. won for the category of over 25 million miles annually.

The Truckload Carriers Association and the truckload industry are dedicated to improving the safety of all fleets and our nation’s highways. All participants in this award program must prove their commitment to safety, and each Grand Prize winner is recognized nationally for making safety the number one priority.

Lawrence Transportation Company believes its safety success is due to its concept of “operations with safety, not operations and safety.” The company has received seven consecutive First Place awards in the annual Minnesota Trucking Association Safety Contest, including the Grand Trophy in 1997. Lawrence Transportation Company also placed second in the ATA Safety Contest in 1998.

One of the most important components of Lawrence’s “operations with safety” program is a thorough driver selection process. In its application Lawrence wrote that it is “fully aware that a company hires its accidents” which is why it places such great emphasis on its selection process. The Lawrence driver selection process includes contacting all previous employers from the last three to five years, a criminal record check in each state the applicant lived, and a driving record check in every state the applicant held a CDL. For its efforts Lawrence Transportation Company is not only this years safest fleet under 25 million miles but also has only a 29% driver turnover rate.

MacKinnon Transport Inc. believes that a commitment to safety “begins with the leadership of the owners and senior management” which is why all of the company’s safety policies and procedures have their “unwavering support.” One way that MacKinnon supports their safe drivers is through their driver safety incentive program, which rewards drivers up to 5% of their wage to acknowledge safe driving and reinforce a commitment to safety.

For MacKinnon Transport safety is not just an idea or goal, “it is a tangible product and service” for which customers contract with the company. Since safety is one of their “products” MacKinnon strives to upgrade employees skills through in-house safety training. The training programs are not limited to MacKinnon’s driving force but also encompass all employees and include guest speakers and informal “lunch and learn” sessions open to all employees. The company also developed it’s own MacKinnon Transport Road Master Driver Program which recognizes drivers who by experience, education, and ability, belong to “an expert league of professionals.”

The TCA Fleet Safety Contest judging process began with the determination of the top companies in each of six mileage divisions. The division winners (listed below) were selected based on accident frequency only. The top three winners in each division were then able to compete for the two grand prizes. The grand prize-winning companies were judged on their excellent overall safety programs, both on and off-highway. During the judging, some of the factors considered included safety program organization, employee driver/independent contractor selection procedures, training, supervision, accident investigation, inspection and maintenance of equipment, and outside activities including general highway safety. In an effort to ensure the highest level of integrity to the contest, all grand prize finalists were audited by independent auditors not affiliated with TCA or the carrier.

The top divisional winners based on low accident frequency per million miles were:

Division I Winners (under 5 million miles)

1st Place
Specialty Transport, Inc.
Knoxville, TN
Robert Pemberton, President

2nd Place
Frerichs Freight Lines, Inc.
Swansea, IL
Bill Frerichs, Jr., President

3rd Place
Rochester Cartage, Inc.
Rochester, MN
Greg Reid, President & CEO

Division II Winners (5 – 14.99 million miles)

1st Place
Five Star Trucking, Inc.
Willoughby, OH
John Gramc, President

2nd Place
Lawrence Transportation Co.
Rochester, MN
George Wilson, President

3rd Place
Best Cartage
Kernersville, NC
William Ward, President

Division III Winners (15 – 24.99 Million Miles)

1st Place
Grand Island Express
Grand Island, NE
Thomas Pirnie, President

2nd Place
Christenson Transportation, Inc.
Springfield, MO
Don Christenson, President

3rd Place
Erb International
New Hamburg, ON
Vernon Erb, President

Division IV Winners (25 – 49.99 Million Miles)

1st Place
Kriska Transportation
Prescott, ON
Mark Seymour, President

2nd Place
MacKinnon Transport Inc.
Guelph, ON
Ray Haight, President & COO

3rd Place
Cornhusker Motor Lines
Omaha, NE
Ed Trout, President

Division V Winners (50 – 99.99 Million Miles)

1st Place
John Christner Trucking, Inc.
Sapulpa, OK
John Christner, President

2nd Place
Highland Transport
Markham, ON
Norm Sneyd, President

3rd Place
G & P Trucking Company, Inc.
Gaston, SC
Clifton Parker, President

Division VI Winners (Over 100 Million Miles)

1st Place
National Freight, Inc.
Vineland, NJ
Jeff Brown, President

2nd Place
FFE Transportation Services, Inc.
Lancaster TX
Stoney “Mit” Stubbs, Chairman & President

3rd Place
Smithway Motor Xpress, Inc.
Fort Dodge, IA
William Smith, President