The Heart of Safety

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has received a lot of attention recently as more companies try to satisfy the public demand to make their safety, social and environmental impacts a centerpiece of their corporate policies. Briefly put, CSR is a business model that helps a company understand and be accountable for all its effects in the community in which it operates. The idea is for companies to acknowledge that impact and enact policies and procedures that help to mitigate it.   

Corporate Social Responsibility is not a new concept at XTL. It has long been a focus of the way we do business. And one of the most critical aspects of our approach to CSR is safety. We have based this approach to safety on a single premise: safe driving practices lead to safer roads, which means safer communities. But for us, safety implies much more than simply training our drivers to drive safely, although we do that too. It is entrenched in our policies, in the technologies we embed in our systems, in the way we manage and inspect our equipment and even in the way we purchase our insurance. Here is a quick look at all the ways that XTL reaffirms its commitment to our corporate safety responsibility every day. 

Safety First Policies   

Our safety-first policies start with a rigorous onboarding procedure for our new employees, take for example our cross border drivers. After 2.5 days of orientation, new drivers receive a minimum of two weeks of on-the-job training with an experienced mentor. This is followed by 30-, 60- and 90-day reviews as well as annual reviews for all drivers regardless of experience.  

When an adverse event happens, the director and trainers review it to determine the root cause and then resolve it with corrective actions and remedial training if necessary. They may also harness the information they gather about the event to use in training opportunities for the entire fleet. All events, including hard braking, collision mitigation, speeding and stability control, are captured on video and reviewed by this team. Telematic data trends are gathered and tracked in a scorecard.  

However, our actions are not just reactive when it comes to safety. We have also kept a focus on preventative measures that encourage and reward safe behaviours. This year, we have introduced a recognitions program that celebrates our drivers for their safety achievements, including individual awards tied to the number of years a driver has remained accident-free.  

When they are out on the road, our drivers understand that they can and should stop when it is not safe, regardless of their hours of service. This includes if they are feeling tired, drowsy or ill. We further instruct our drivers to stop in a safe rest area when storms become strong or dangerous.  

Our industry typically pays by the mile, which means drivers receive the same pay no matter how long their trip takes, hence creating a mindset for the driver to rush and complete their trip as quickly as possible. However, at XTL, we incentivize safety. We pay our drivers based on the hours worked to ensure their focus is on safety rather than speed. They do not need to make up for lost time or income.  

Insurance Captive 

XTL has joined with a group of 20 plus other best in class carriers to form a Captive Insurance Group. This means that our safety scores directly affect the entire group and the group premiums we all pay. It makes us accountable not only to ourselves, but also to every other member of our insurance group. As far back as 2010, the Safety group within the captive created a campaign on the importance of professional behaviour and the impact it has on our safety. At XTL we continue to build on this with the mantra that no load is more important than your safety; in a heartbeat, things can change forever.  

Safe Driving Technologies 

XTL governs our trucks far more stringently than is required by governmental legal mandates, which helps keep everyone safe but also reduces our impact on the environment. To accomplish this, we have invested in critical tractor technology, including:  

  • Collision avoidance systems 
  • Blind spot radar detection 
  • ABS with stability and roll control 
  • Satellite and GPS systems 
  • Electronic logs  
  • Speed limiters fleet wide 
  • Automatic transmissions 

To ensure we can implement these new technologies as soon as they are available, we have also reduced our tractor trade cycle. Our tractors are, on average, less than two years old and our trailers less than five years.  

We continue to emphasize safety aspects in our social media and communications to our employees, including our recent support of distracted driving awareness month in April.  

Our commitment to ensuring the safety of our people and the communities in which we operate is integrated into every aspect of life at XTL. It is the focus of our support of continuous training, acts of appreciation and recognition and, of course, in our commitment to purchasing the latest in safety technologies for our fleet. However, the most crucial aspect of our approach to safety remains professional behaviour.  

We have stayed true to a simple mantra first voiced in that ground-breaking 2010 campaign: no load is more important than safety.