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Promoting Safety From Dispatch Through Delivery
Landstar Safety Officer of the Year 2019
Landstar Safety Officer (LSO) of the Year Don Ellis draws on his experience as a former Landstar business capacity owner (BCO) to set his agency up for success. Ellis opened his agency in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, with his late wife, Tammy, in 2008 and was selected as the 2019 Landstar Safety Officer of the Year.
Landstar recognizes one of the 12 Landstar Safety Officers of the Month as the Safety Officer of the Year for his or her individual safety efforts.
As Ellis explains, the safety standards at his agency come from the many lessons he learned during his own time behind the wheel driving a truck.
“I understand what the drivers are going through at customer locations and the things owner operators are faced with when they are out delivering freight,” explains Ellis, who puts extra effort into getting BCOs the most detailed information available so they can operate safely.
From dispatch to delivery, Ellis says his agency team at Shipment Transport Inc. places special emphasis on complete and accurate dispatch, which is why Ellis was nominated to receive Landstar’s Safety Officer of the Year Award.
Landstar’s Complete and Accurate Dispatch checklist for truckload shipments is a reference guide for agents and capacity to ensure that all pertinent information on a truckload shipment is exchanged at the time of dispatch. The idea behind the checklist is that an owner-operator is better prepared to move the shipment safely if he or she knows what is loading, where it is loading, where it is going, has special instruction requirements, and knows the time restraints of the shipment.
“My experience as a Landstar BCO gives our agency a unique and important perspective on what it takes for drivers to operate safely. Every aspect of safety starts with clear, detailed communications,” says Ellis.
“With every load we are in constant communication with the owner-operator to make sure he or she has all the information needed for safe and on-time delivery,” says Ellis. “When my wife and I opened the agency, we knew our attention to every detail was the best way to support owner-operators – it makes a difference when it comes to putting safety first.”
According to Ellis, his team’s attentiveness to detail during complete and accurate dispatch also translated to 4 million Landstar BCO miles in 2019, with no preventable accidents or cargo claims on any shipment the agency arranged during the year.
“The agency’s emphasis on complete and accurate dispatch procedures and support of Landstar’s safety initiatives is evident by the team’s impeccable safety record,” says Landstar Transportation Logistics Vice President of Safety and Compliance Mike Cobb. “Don promotes safety by continuously having an open dialogue about safety issues with all of his customers, his agency staff and every BCO who hauls loads for the agency.”
“It is a huge honor to be recognized as the Landstar Safety Officer of the Year. Our efforts to support our customers started with complete and accurate dispatch, and grew to include education on the importance of updating loading areas, using better securement procedures and better personal protective equipment for drivers and their own employees,” says Ellis. “Landstar’s support along the way has been amazing. There is no company that practices and promotes safety the way we do.”
The Landstar Safety Officer of the Year Recognition
Landstar recognizes one Landstar Safety Officer of the Month as Safety Officer of the Year for his or her individual efforts to promote safety initiatives within the agency and the industry. The 12 LSOs selected throughout the year become candidates for the title of LSO of the Year. The 2019 LSO of the Year was announced in April, during Landstar’s monthly Safety Thursday Conference Call.
Landstar requires each of its independent agent locations to name an individual responsible for the safety performance of the agency. The designated LSO promotes safe, secure and compliant driving, participates in Landstar’s network-wide monthly Safety Thursday Conference Call and supports customer safety initiatives.
Complete & Accurate Dispatch Checklist
Landstar’s first Complete and Accurate Dispatch Checklist was created in 2007 as a reference guide for agents and capacity to ensure that all pertinent information on a truckload shipment was being exchanged at the time of dispatch. The guide was most recently updated in 2019 due to countless industry and technology changes.
Landstar also solicited and incorporated input from agents and BCOs as to ways to improve the checklist.
The primary benefit of using a Complete and Accurate Dispatch Checklist for truckload shipments is safety. An owner-operator who knows what is loading, where it is loading, where it is going, has any special instruction requirements, and knows the time restraints of the shipment is better prepared to move the shipment safely. The checklist helps Landstar agents provide customers with great customer service by also having this information at their fingertips to answer any questions.