Cooperative efforts in the Midwest providing TST Driver Safety Programs with emphasis on compliance


Concerns about forest products transportation continue to grow nation-wide. An ever-increasing qualified driver shortage, as well as, keeping up with constantly evolving state and federal regulations challenge sustainability for many. The good news is that cooperative efforts in the Midwest are moving forward with assistance for loggers, mills and wood products transportation companies interested in taking positive actions to improve their operations. Michigan Association of Timbermen (MAT), Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) and Forest/Loggers/Mauck Insurance Agencies have joined to provide assistance for the transportation segment of the forest products industry.

TEAM Safe Trucking began six years ago as a nation-wide effort to develop truck driver safety programs for log, chip and lumber truck drivers that would focus on their unique transportation environment. The support provided by MAT, GLTPA and F/L/M Insurance Agencies was instrumental to the progress of TST Driver Safety modules development nation-wide.

Over the past several years, TST Driver Safety Program modules have been accepted as SFI continuing education credits (CE) in Michigan and Wisconsin. Although truck drivers are not required to comply with SFI requirements at this time, this is an excellent opportunity to inform logging and trucking operations about the benefits of truck driver safety programs and compliance. SFI class attendees have been very receptive to having TST including as part of their CE classes. I have experienced occasions when attendees remained 30 – 40 minutes past scheduled class time with questions and comments. Many have expressed their appreciation for addressing their trucking concerns and would like to see more TST class subjects made available in other venues as well. We are currently seeking out assistance from various logging, trucking and wood consumer operations in Michigan and Wisconsin for venues to provide truck driver safety programs and education sessions. Please contact MAT, GLTPA or F/L/M Insurance Agencies if you would like to host a meeting.

In the summer of 2020, the Great Lakes Forest Products Truck Safety Team (GLFPTST) was created to help promote truck driver safety and compliance, as well as, TEAM Safe Trucking Driver Safety Program modules in the Great Lakes region. In the fall of 2020, the Forest Products Transportation Truck Owners Guide for Safety & Compliance booklet was completed and distributed at various meeting venues and individual Risk Control visits to logging, transportation and wood consumer operations in the Great Lakes region.

Compliance with governmental requirements for both the truck and the driver are very important to an insurance provider’s underwriting process in today’s world. When a truck and a driver are involved in a crash, the settlement of that claim will increase greatly if either is found to be non-compliant and/or in violation of the laws that apply. This continues to be a major problem for commercial truck insurers and requires higher premiums to cover claims cost.

Finally, having an active truck driver safety program as standard operational procedure for your truck drivers is essential in today’s transportation environment. Your driver’s safety and the public’s safety depends on your concern for them. Contact Jimmie Locklear of the Great Lakes Forest Products Truck Safety Team today at 906 291 0011 for more information and assistance with these programs available for your operation at no cost to you. THANKS!

Jimmie Locklear - Risk Control Services - Forest Insurance Center Agency, Inc.

Cell (906) 291-0011 ---- Email - jimmiel@forestinsurancecenter.com