Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

July 22nd, 2014

Open Letter from company President, Joe Dagnese

As part of my onboarding at Con-way Truckload, I decided it would be best for me to learn what we do from the ground up by taking a truck trip. I set up the week to spend five or six days out on the road with Mr. Frank Merrill, one of our professional Driver Finishers. We had a mix of tough days with short miles, mechanical issues with our trailer, and axle weight distribution problems on an automotive parts load, but we powered through, logging a total of 2,327 miles – not bad for a rookie.

My experiences from the trip were humbling and helped validate the key areas we are working on to improve our company. We have to think differently about how we approach what we do, and how we do it. One of the most important things I realized was that engaging management with our driver workforce is critical.

I discovered, during a long conversation with Frank one night, that management and drivers don’t always communicate well with each other. For example, a question was posed by one of our drivers in a “Your Voice is Heard” call, which, although the senior management team answered the question, they didn’t really answer the true underlying question. It took Frank and I almost 30 minutes of back and forth to get at what was really being asked. We, the management of the company, need to take more time to truly understand what the driver issue or need is. I have asked our management team to ensure we are addressing the true root of the questions being asked. I would also ask that you, our professional driver, try to frame up questions as transparently as possible. If you see an improvement opportunity, state the problem and reason it is an issue. Of course, your suggestions and input as to how to address the problem are absolutely welcome. To submit a question or issue, email

Frank and I also discussed the Smith Key Principles of Safety in detail as part of creating a safe driving environment, which is the foundation of our culture. What I found is that these same principles apply to how we need to think about transforming our company to make it stronger.

1. Aim high in your steering = Aim high in your goals for success.
2. Get the Big Picture = Every employee at Con-way Truckload should know how their job fits into achieving our company goals.
3. Keep your eyes moving = Have eyes for improvement to eliminate waste and inefficiencies. Do not accept “this is the way we have always done it” unless it is proven to be true.
4. Leave yourself an out = Our key focus priorities will change with the landscape of the market. It is imperative we stay ahead of what is happening around us.
5. Make sure they see you = Be a relevant company in our industry and with our customers.

I appreciated both Frank’s time and honesty. The trip opened my eyes to some important issues facing our drivers, company and industry and my purpose is to ensure that we continue grow stronger as a whole. I ask you all to share your thoughts and ideas to help us all improve. Thank you for your commitment to safety and to Con-way Truckload.

Stay safe out there,

Joe Dagnese
President, Con-way Truckload

June 20th, 2014

A lot of things can happen on the road that lead to a health emergency. At Con-way Truckload, we’re lucky to have some of the safest drivers in the industry who will go above and beyond to help motorists or fellow drivers in trouble. One way to make sure you’re ready for an emergency is by knowing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

The American Heart Association recommends that everyone – no matter what industry or what kind of training they have – know how to activate CPR with chest compressions.

Take a look at this short video illustrating the two-step CPR method: Two-step CPR

The American Heart Association has also developed a smartphone app that’s available with the Apple iPhone and Google Android. Consider downloading the app to your phone today in order to access quick, concise first aid and CPR instructions from your smartphone that can help save a life. The app includes 34 video and 46 high-res illustrations and is considered to be easy to use, especially in an emergency.

Smart Phone

This downloadable app provides quick, concise and clear first aid and CPR instructions from a user’s smartphone that can help the user save a life in the event of an emergency.

Do you have questions or a story about how CPR helped to save a life? Share your story with us on Facebook.

June 6th, 2014

SYH Self Defense

Our drivers know how to be safe on the road, but personal safety is equally important. Here are a few tips and information about basic self-defense methods to help you stay safe.

Avoidance, anticipation and preparation are the best methods of self-defense.

Avoid an unsafe situation by always parking in an open, well-lit area, making sure to keep doors locked and windows closed.

Anticipate potential threats by being aware of your surroundings. Before exiting the truck, take note of where you need to go and what or who is between you and your destination. Avoid looking vulnerable by walking confidently, directly and at a steady pace and trust your instincts.

Prepare yourself by employing discreet self-defense tactics like carrying your keys in your hand, making sure that you have the key you need to unlock the door affixed between your first and second fingers. Holding the key in this fashion will still permit you to unlock the door but also provides for a defensive weapon if necessary.

While always best to avoid a physical fight, if you are attacked, use the method police refer to as the “bash and dash.” Primary targets are eyes, nose, mouth, ears, throat, groin, knees and shins. These are pressure points, so it will not take much force to incapacitate an attacker long enough to get away. Once in a safe place, contact the police immediately.

Quick tips
• Carry a whistle or similar type of noisemaker. In the event of an emergency, the sound may scare off a would-be attacker.
• If you’re being followed, turn to look at the person. It sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.
• If someone makes you uncomfortable and you are in close quarters, look them directly in the eye and make a comment about their personal appearance, indicating you have a good look at them and could make a positive identification.
• Don’t freeze. If you are attacked, keep moving and always try to create distance between yourself and an attacker.
• Look out for ‘Good Samaritans’ saying that you dropped something as could be a ploy to delay you long enough for an attack. Spend the extra thirty seconds in the truck to secure your belongings to insure nothing is dropped.
• Do not walk and talk on your phone as you are distracted and therefore a more likely target.
• Be ready to yell and use your voice. Yelling “My baby” or “Fire” will more likely get a response than “Help” from people within earshot.

A note on self-defense weapons
If you choose to carry something for self-protection, carefully consider three things; your ability to use it effectively, your willingness to use it on another human being and the legality of possessing it. Did you know that brass knuckles are illegal to possess in Arkansas and mace is illegal in Wisconsin and Michigan? Also keep in mind that whatever you carry could be taken away and used against you.