St. Louis-based Kienstra Ready-Mix Concrete has experienced a reduction in at-fault collisions since rolling out the SmartDrive video-based safety program in 2018, according to SmartDrive Systems, which produces video-based safety and transportation intelligence.
Kienstra also says it was exonerated in several instances where company drivers were found to not be at fault, as a result of video evidence from the SmartDrive program.
“These results are unprecedented for our business and we can confidently point to SmartDrive as a primary factor in helping us achieve these outcomes,” says Pat Wessels, executive vice president of Kienstra Ready-Mix Concrete. “In today’s environment of ever-increasing insurance premiums and nuclear verdicts, having a great safety record is not enough. We need to stay ahead of the curve. SmartDrive allows us to easily coach our drivers on safer driving behavior and practices, whether at our facilities, at customer sites or on the road.”
Founded in the mid-1940s, Kienstra launched a pilot of the SmartDrive program in summer 2018, with the aim of exonerating drivers and reducing risks associated with operating vehicles in challenging construction environments. After recording positive early results, Wessels and his team chose to cut short the pilot and roll out the SmartDrive program with Extended Recording across its entire fleet.
Following implementation of the SmartDrive platform, Kienstra immediately saw a transformation in driver attitudes and a reduction in risky driving behavior. The fleet experienced improvement across nearly every one of SmartDrive’s more than 70 safety measurements. Specific improvements include:
- Reduced driving without two hands on the wheel by 56%
- Reduced failure to stop at stop signs by 70%
- Decreased unsafe following by 25%
- Decreased unsafe backing by 26%
“Even though we know our drivers do a great job and generally are not at fault, it’s usually the big truck that gets blamed when an incident occurs,” Wessels says. “We wanted a way to prove without a doubt that our drivers were in the right, along with teaching better driving habits. There is no better way to do that than with video evidence. I knew SmartDrive was a powerful tool, but the results have exceeded my expectations. It’s one of the better decisions we made.”
Ready-mix concrete represents SmartDrive’s fastest growing market segment, which the company attributes to several factors, including ready mix-specific triggering and SmartDrive’s extended recording capability, which continuously records video, providing valuable context to incidents that may not be collected during a standard 20-second recording. SmartDrive 360 also provides visibility to protect the driver and those working around the vehicle throughout the day.
“We’re proud to offer an extremely robust and tailored solution that can be configured to perfectly suit the unique needs of construction and ready-mix fleets,” says Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to video-based safety. Kienstra, like other fleets in this sector, face distinct challenges, from navigating congested job sites with uneven terrain to operating heavy-duty specialty equipment. We look forward to our continued collaboration to help Kienstra meet and exceed its safety goals.”