By Al Muskewitz
Western Express is always looking for ways to enhance its position as one of the most technologically advanced carriers in the industry,
The Nashville, Tenn.-based carrier took another step in that direction over the weekend when it announced it was moving forward with plans to equip its entire fleet with E-SMART safety technology.
The move comes after a successful pilot test of 111 units in high low-bridge areas in Tennessee, New York and Pennsylvania in May 2019. After analyzing the data the company said it will deploy 3,000 E-SMART units in its facilities across the country by the end of the year.
“Before discovering E-SMART, we had occasional issues with bridge hits [due to lack of clearance], violations for unsafe driving-speeds, and sitting duck-collisions [when a rig is parked on the shoulder of a roadway],” Western Express safety director Daniel Patterson said in a press release announcing the rollout. “It’s very, very important to us that our drivers get home safely. So, we looked for a technology vendor that shared our values.”
E-SMART is an advanced driver assistance system that manages the maximum speed a vehicle can attain for any posted speed limit and uses geofencing to protect drivers from high-risk locations by restricting the allowed speed as it approaches an obstacle.
Patterson said Western Express saw an “almost immediately” return of investment after installing the first 100 test units.
“There was a drop in speeding violations and zero bridge hits,” he said. “Costs went down and productivity was up, while we continued to serve our customers as effectively as ever.
“Even better, we were capturing data through the E-SMART portal that’s helping evolve our roadmap for safety. By preventing accidents we can make the industry safer.”
Western Express provides dry van, flatbed, dedicated fleet, logistics, and expedited truck/rail options with one of the newest fleets in the industry. It has terminals and facilities throughout the United States operating more than 3,000 tractors and 7,500 trailers – all GPS-trackable.
“At Western Express we’re always trying to look forward and become the most innovative company in the market in the trucking game,” Patterson said. “That’s from every standpoint, whether it’s operations or our safety department, technology in the trucks, we’re always trying to do something new.”
Al Muskewitz is editor-in-chief of Wright Media. He can be reached at email@example.com