CompSAFE Program Helps Tradewinds Transportation Keep Rolling
The lifeblood of commerce in the United States runs on its highways and byways and it’s the truckers and their organizations that keep that lifeblood flowing smoothly. Oregon is blessed with a number of leading trucking firms and organizations, among them is Tradewinds Transportation based in Millersburg (just a bit north of Albany).
The firm was originally founded in 2002, though its principal has some 30 years of experience in the trucking industry. Tradewinds has evolved over the years to become a full-service operation. It currently counts more than 100 asset-based trucks in its fleet, including both curtain van and tractor-trailer combinations. They partner with more than 7,500 carriers across the nation to ensure seamless product delivery. They also offer warehousing and storage services to accommodate a range of unique delivery needs.
While trucking services are vital to the nation’s commerce, the industry is in the crosshairs when it comes to work-related accidents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, vehicle-related incidents are the number one cause of work-related fatalities in the nation. Accidents involving vehicles account for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities in the country. Reducing incidents by taking preventative measures is just one reason why Tradewinds has partnered with the SAIF OBI CompSAFE workers’ compensation insurance program.
“There is no greater priority than safety, in everything we do, “ says Cyndi Newman, Tradewinds’ Controller. “That’s one priority SAIF shares with us. They have consistently been there with training support, products and services designed to support our safety efforts.”
SAIF has also been a partner in innovative ways to reduce claims and the impact they can have on a business. In 2008, Tradewinds had a driver that had been injured on a job with a previous employer. The driver’s injuries prevented him from lifting 50 lbs. over his head, a serious impediment to allowing the driver to get back to full strength as a driver. With SAIF’s assistance maneuvering through Oregon’s Preferred Worker Program, and with the enthusiastic involvement of the driver, SAIF and Tradewinds found a way to modify his tractor and allow him to get back on the road safely and effectively. The move saved thousands of dollars and got a good driver back behind the wheel (click here for the full article.)
“SAIF really helped us navigate that initial involvement with the program, and it one we’ve been able to successfully use on a few occasions since,” says Tony McLain, Safety Manager for Tradewinds. “Safety and loss prevention is really a total team effort. It has to be to be effective.”
The results can speak for themselves. Tradewinds has a virtual trophy-room full of awards. In 2012, it was recognized with 1st Place for Fleet Safety by the Oregon Trucking Association (OTA) for Carrier classes under 2 million miles. It repeated the honor in 2013 while also earning the Fleet Safety Grand Champion honors from OTA. The year also saw Tradewinds log its fifth consecutive year without a single time-loss incident. In 2014, the company was named as one of the state’s Top Workplaces by The Oregonian. The trucking enterprise is on another run of time logged without a time-loss, making it seven out of the past eight years without a recordable incident.
“While we’re proud of our safety record, we also know that every new mile is a new challenge,” says McLain. “We appreciate our laurels, but we never rest on them.”
It’s a diligence and a commitment to quality that continues to serve Tradewinds Transportation well, mile after mile.