Dealer Tire Driver Training Program Recognized for Reducing Accidents, Saving Money
May 31, 2016Dealer Tire Driver Training Program Recognized for Reducing Accidents, Saving Money
CLEVELAND, OH—May 31, 2016—Dealer Tire, a Cleveland-based tire distributor, was recently recognized by the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University, the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Association for Talent Development for DT HERO, an innovative defensive driving program designed to make Dealer Tire associates better drivers. The award was presented at a luncheon on May 19 at Windows on the River in Cleveland.
According to Jill Marcotte, partner and chief supply chain officer at Dealer Tire, the company has approximately 300 drivers who deliver tires to car dealerships across the U.S. and Canada.
“We’re dedicated to helping car dealers put safe vehicles on the road, and that dedication to safety has been a key to our success,” said Marcotte. “We developed the DT HERO program to make our associates better, safer drivers.”
Marcotte said the company looked at several “canned” driver training programs, but couldn’t find one that fulfilled its needs. An in-house team of learning and safety specialists, distribution center managers and associates developed the DT HERO program. The name is an acronym for driver safety topics:
- Drive Defensively
- Take Responsibility
- Have a Way Out
- Eliminate Distractions
- Read and React Safely to Conditions
- Obey Traffic Regulations and Dealer Tire Policies
The program incorporates web-based training, safety meetings, instructor-led training and video-based exercises to simulate driving conditions and demonstrate safety practices. Drivers also experience hands-on exercises in parking lots and on the road, and receive final certification as a DT HERO by passing a written test and successfully completing an on-road driving evaluation.
“We launched the program in January 2015, and by April 2015, all of our existing drivers were certified as DT HEROs,” noted Marcotte. “Since implementing the program, we’ve seen an overall accident reduction rate of 24% and have reduced year-over-year accident claim costs by 74%.”
While the measurable results are impressive, the company has also seen a shift toward increased safety awareness among its delivery drivers, distribution center managers and associates.
“Many of our distribution center managers are creating their own safety challenges for their teams and are rewarding them for accident-free performances,” said Marcotte. “We’re getting positive feedback from new hires who are impressed with the caliber of training we’re providing, and some of our associates have taken the initiative to hold their own driver safety huddles, brainstorming about challenging delivery locations and how to safely navigate those situations.”
Marcotte added that it often takes a few years for training programs to fully achieve strong results. “Our ability to quickly attain such great results is a testament to the quality of the program we developed and to the willingness of our associates to fully embrace our quest for safety behind the wheel.”About Dealer Tire
Dealer Tire is a family-owned company that was founded in 1999 by the then owners of the former Mueller Tire & Brake, a Cleveland-based retail chain founded in 1918. Dealer Tire manages replacement tire and parts programs for 23 automotive OEMs in the United States and eight in Canada. It serves more than 10,000 car dealerships from 42 distributions centers across the U.S. and Canada. For more information about Dealer Tire, visit www.dealertire.com.