Birnie Bus Service Inc., a transportation company based in New York, operates over 900 school buses as well as corporate charter and long distance motor coach services. Their entire fleet, which spansover 1,600 vehicles, travels over a combined 700 million miles a year. Birnie Bus Service is the 18th largest bus company in the United States, transporting over two million passengers annually. The company's corporate fleet supervisor, Harvey Hawkins, spoke with Teletrac about the role that fleet safety plays within Birnie Bus and how he got the company to reduce daily harsh braking from over30 a day to less than six a day.
Teletrac: How did you choose Teletrac to be your company’s GPS tracking solution?
Harvey: I looked up probably 60 different GPS tracking companies on the internet and did a WebEx on all of them. Teletrac was the only one that could meet all the needs of our company.
Teletrac: What are some way that you utilize Teletrac on a daily basis?
Harvey: We keep the hard braking issues that go through our mobile site. When we receive a notice of harsh braking, we call in on the radio and check in to see if everything is okay. That actually does a couple of things: sometimes with hard braking, drivers don’t even realize they do it. The others drivers actually hear that when you’re calling and it slows down the hard braking all the way across the fleet.
At the beginning, we used to have about 30-40 hard braking incidents a day. And now we probably have maybe 5 or 6 a day. We also use mileage report to update our fuel records. We use the detailed stops report to compare suggested routes against the actual route. We monitor idle times and fuel mileage. We also monitor the location of buses during trips to assure they are on track and running on time. This is very helpful on weekends when we have buses out and the customer calls and asks for the status of a bus. We can remotely pull up and locate buses and give an approximate time-frame of when the bus will get to them.
Teletrac: How do you utilize safety analytics software?
Harvey: We actually monitor the analytics report and bring it up during our monthly safety meetings. We recognize the top 10 drivers that have the best safety score during and of course, we also explain how drivers end up on our report with low scores. It’s kind of a competition, they’re all trying to do what they can do to get in the top 10. The terminal manager and I have been discussing different things to present to corporate to recognize drivers. Although we are not there yet, recognizing these drivers in the safety meeting alone makes a huge difference.
Teletrac: Would you recommend Teletrac to another customer?
Harvey: Yes, absolutely!