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How To Boost Safety in Sub-Zero Temps?


The global economy functions on a never-ending thirst for energy. As the need for oil, gas and mining increases, companies that operate in these areas continue to face challenging obstacles while trying to stay safe.

Noble Casing Inc., an oil and mining company based out of Fort Collins, CO, faces daily risks in the field from rocky terrain to below freezing temperatures.

The company currently operates across three states with some of the coldest temperatures in the United States: Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota. Tom Childers, the company’s lead fleet managers notes, “It’s cold with rough roads and dirt. Our guys deal in the coldest temperatures possible. I had guys from Alaska say they’re going back to Alaska because it’s so cold. It can get 50 below zero with 70-80 percent humidity. You can’t feel your hands let alone drive at a job without challenges.”

These challenges are high: protecting employees while simultaneously lowering operational risks and labor costs. The main issue, however, has always been safety: safety of the company’s business and of its drivers.

When deciding how to lower risk on the road, the company looked to a range of GPS tracking companies that could help track their drivers. “There were companies that did not meet all of our needs. When we demoed with Teletrac we saw the features catered to the needs of our business more.” A large part of the company’s solution that appealed to Noble Casing was Teletac’s Safety Analytics, which monitors unsafe driving behavior and ranks the best and worst drivers in a fleet.  Noble Casing was in need of reliable technology to reduce accidents in addition to lowering fuel costs and streamlining their operations in the field.

“When employees go out the door we make sure they’re trained and prepared for different situations.” These situations include a few routine accidents on the road. “We’ve had guys sliding off the road, swerving...we had a guy drive into a ditch because he didn’t know how to put the vehicle in four-wheel drive. Safety Analytics can help us reduce incidents like that.”

In fact, a portion of the company’s mission statement reads: Safety is our culture.  Safety is not given a backseat to production, customer service or profit margins.  We place safety at the forefront of all decisions we make. “Safety is everything to the company,” Childers affirms.

Two big features the company has recently implemented in addition to Safety Analytics: electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) and electronic logbooks (E-Logs): “Taking away the paper has saved us considerable time.” Considerable time, including a knock from the Department of Transportation. Childers notes, “Having E-Logs saved the company on an audit recently. Not bad.” Not bad, for one of the most successful oil and mining companies in the U.S. And now one of the safest.

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