DHL Express has begun its first Safe Driving Rodeo competition that puts 180 of its U.S. couriers to the test for 112 workdays to promote DHL’s safety culture by having drivers engage in friendly head-to-head competition.
Participation is completely voluntary, according to the company.
"The rodeo is a way for us to raise the bar even higher when it comes to safe driving throughout the company," said Fred Matthews, DHL's senior manager of safety. "Monitoring plays a major role, coaxing the 186 participating couriers to fine-tune their driving behaviors where needed, and in all kinds of driving conditions."
The participating drivers will be tested on how well they care for their company vehicles and their defensive driving skills based on the Smith System, through an evaluation by their supervisors during three safety test rides. Participants will also be given a 50-question written test that measures their safety knowledge, knowledge of the Smith System, and DHL’s safety culture. Each aspect of the competition is weighted. Contestants can earn a maximum of 1,000 points.
"The Safe-Driving Rodeo Competition is another way that DHL is moving the needle from safe to safest," said Mike Wagner, director of safety for DHL Express U.S. "The company with the safest drivers on the road is a winner every day, and we’re working every day to make that company DHL."
The DHL Express U.S. drivers in each of the company’s four operational regions who come closest to receiving a score of 1,000 will be named the safest driver for that area and will receive prizes, including a winner’s jacket and trophy.
The four area winners will then compete for the national prize in Arlington, Texas, where they will be put through a day-long evaluation of their skills by officials of the Smith System.
The completion will conclude on Sept. 30, and DHL officials hope that the Safe Driving Rodeo will grow in subsequent years.
DHL operates a fleet of approximately 3,100 vehicles. The vehicles that will be used in the competition are Mercedes-Benz Sprinters.