In October 2017, a top-performing driver for Oakley Transport crossed the centerline of a bridge at approximately 4 a.m.
A windshield-mounted Bendix camera system detected the lane departure and instantaneously shared data with an in-vehicle SmartRecorder 3 (SR3) device from SmartDrive.
The SR3 captured and transmitted a 20-second video clip for Oakley Transport to review through a SmartIQ web portal.
“It was a scary moment to watch,” recalls Craig Stevens, Oakley’s vice president of operations and strategic initiatives. He saw the driver shaking himself to try and stay alert.
Several months earlier, Thomas Oakley, chairman and chief executive officer, was meeting with senior management at Oakley Transport’s office in Lake Wales, Fla.
Everyone in the boardroom agreed that SmartDrive’s video-based safety program would protect the company and its drivers from accident liability and improve driving behaviors. Oakley Transport had just completed a pilot test with the technology in 25 trucks.
The technology rollout started in July amid tensions with some drivers. A SmartDrive camera, mounted on the windshield, had a green power-on indicator light that was fueling suspicions.
“They thought we were watching them 24/7,” Stevens says.
In October, management considered stalling the rollout until “we knew exactly what it was going to do for turnover and the risk of losing key driver employees.”
When the technology identified the fatigued driving event, Oakley Transport’s safety department intervened and provided the driver treatment for a previously undiagnosed sleep apnea.
This was a moment of truth for Stevens. He called an emergency meeting with driver managers to give “a very affirmative message that this product is going to go in our trucks.”
“I am not going to listen to any negative feedback from anybody,” he told the managers. “I am convinced this technology is going to make the company safe and save lives.”
Another pivotal moment came later in October when sales reps from SmartDrive drove south to Oakley Transport’s office in Lake Wales, Fla. SmartDrive had revealed a next-generation SR4 platform to select customers who, by appointment, entered a concealed booth at the American Trucking Association MC&E conference in Orlando.
Within a week of the SR4 introduction, Oakley Transport began to install the remainder of its 500-truck fleet with the new version of SmartDrive’s video-based safety and transportation intelligence platform.
SmartDrive provided CCJ with a sneak preview of SR4 on Feb. 22 during a meeting in its San Diego office. CCJ also visited Oakley Transport at its Florida office on March 2 to understand how the company utilizes the technology for driver safety and performance.
Click on one of the below topics about the new SR4 platform and its use at Oakley Transport.