After more than 30 years in the business, Brian Kurtz Trucking has made a name for itself as one of the safest and most reliable names in the business. On Mar. 15 that reputation was further cemented when the Breslau-based company was recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association in the United States with two prestigious national safety awards.
At the association’s annual awards banquet at the San Diego Convention Centre, Kurtz took home the National Safety Fleet Award in the five-to-15 million mile (eight-to-24 million km) division, and were also the overall winners in the small carrier division, a total annual mileage of less than 25 million miles (40 million km).
The company was also named as one of the top 20 trucking companies to work for in North America at the gala.
“Our philosophy is that safety is of the utmost importance here,” said John Lamour, the safety and compliance manager at Kurtz. “It reflects everything to do with this company, and in the industry. We’re very proud of this.”
Kurtz Trucking – which started with only one truck and one broker back in 1980 – has grown to about 100 employees and 70 trucks, and they move goods ranging from paint to pharmaceuticals from as close as the GTA as far as the Carolina’s and California. In 2010, their trucks racked up approximately seven million miles (or approximately 11 million km) on the roads.
“There’s no question that our employees got us here,” said general manager Trevor Kurtz, the son of company founder Brian Kurtz. “Yes, we have a strong safety advocacy here, but our employees were the ones who won us this award.”
To qualify for the award, they had to submit a 15-page report which was audited by the TCA. The company also maintains a platinum rating with their insurance company with a rating of 4.8 out of 5 for safety, and perhaps what is most impressive is that the company had zero reportable accidents on the roads in 2010, according to the American Department of Transport.
“A lot of people can’t get back and forth to work every week (without a traffic accident), and our guys are running millions of miles per year and doing just that,” Kurtz added.
They use satellite and GPS technology to monitor the movement of their trucks, as well as a computer-based recording system to audit driver logs, and an internal reporting system to monitor driver actions such as inspections or violations over time and to determine if any corrective action is needed before an incident can occur.
Kurtz said that the company prides itself on making safety their first priority, which is reflected in their outstanding safety rating. Despite the fact the company has grown immensely since his father first started it, they make the effort to know every driver by their first name and to have an open-door policy between management and employees.
The company is still a family-operated affair, with brothers Geordie, Gerrad, Trevor and Brent all still heavily involved in the company, and their father Brian still in place as CEO and president.
“We’re family. We treat people like people, and a lot of industry and businesses today get away from that,” Kurtz said.