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Kenco - Representing Highway Safety Today: Joe Smith

Posted by Jeff Tanner


The Safety Management Council for the American Trucking Associations (ATA) honored Kenco Transportation Services with its highest honor—the President's Trophy (among others) at their 2015 awards ceremony.

The ATA presenter went on to praise one safety professional for the career accomplishments that have led to his company’s recognition—someone who "represents highway safety, today and for the future.” He was speaking, of course, about Joe Smith, Kenco’s Manager of Fleet Safety.

The ATA honored Joe with its Leadership Award as well as its National Safety Professional Award of Excellence for contributions to motor carrier, highway, and workplace safety.

An educator and former pastor with a Master’s degree in Religious Education, Joe calls his work a deep dedication to get people home safely, "both here and the hereafter." He enjoys training people to share this mission and contribute to the safety of motorists everywhere. Accepting the awards, Joe thanked his wife and colleagues for encouragement and support, and related it to growing up in West Tennessee: "In the cotton fields, if you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself.” His tenure at Kenco began on a Monday in 2006 as an extension of his career after retiring the previous Friday from Bi-Lo. He had joined the national chain as a tractor-trailer truck driver then became a defensive driver instructor, and later a supervisor/developer of its national fleet safety program.

"People trust us to be efficient, cost effective and safe," Joe said. He was instrumental in keeping that trust through his work managing Kenco's transportation operation sites. His team reviewed performance at the sites, looking for regulatory issues and room for improvement. They established a comprehensive, long-range safety program and certified safety coordinators. This work, together with an intensive driver application review process, led to Kenco's 2015 Safety Improvement Award and Division Improvement Award in the National Truck Safety Contest.

Kenco was honored for a superior record in its size category (under 25 million miles), a safety performance and commitment impacting all highway users. To achieve these results, Kenco used some of the industry's best onboard technology, together with rigorous driver training programs:

  • PeopleNet computers: electronic logging of hours of service, to prompt drivers to rest
  • SmartDrive camera systems to record performance and coach drivers
  • JJ Keller interactive training, monthly

To learn more from Joe's experience, read his post: "How to Drive Safety Across Your Transportation Fleet."

Kenco White Paper Transportation

Topics: Transportation
Jeff Tanner

Written by Jeff Tanner

VP Risk Management at Kenco Group


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