TCA, GRAPEVINE, TEX. -- Two Canadian fleets were the grand prize winners in the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual National Fleet Safety Awards, announced at TCA’s convention.

Claiming the honor for 2013 are MacKinnon Transport Inc., of Guelph, Ontario, and Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The 38th annual awards, sponsored by Great West Casualty Co., were presented Tuesday.

MacKinnon, represented by Alex MacKinnon, vice president of finance and administration, won the award for truckload companies with total annual mileage of less than 25 million.

Bison, represented by Rob Penner, executive vice president and COO, won for truckload fleets with total annual mileage of 25 million or more.

“These two carriers continually set the bar and demonstrate that they strive to achieve a high standard of excellence in the safety arena,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president. “Awarding TCA’s grand prize for fleet safety to both MacKinnon and Bison validates exactly that.”

Both carriers will be recognized again during TCA’s Safety & Security Division annual meeting, May 18-20 in St. Louis, Mo.

About MacKinnon Transport

Founded in 1929, MacKinnon Transport believes safety plays an integral part of successful business, Alex MacKinnon said. Every aspect of its corporate culture has been designed to support safety.

It utilizes stringent hiring procedures, safety-based bonuses, and an open-door communications policy that addresses driver and staff concerns in real time. It trains drivers and all individuals whose job involves operations, maintenance, or administration. This way, everyone possesses the same thorough knowledge of the company’s governing rules and regulations.

MacKinnon notes that there is a difference between someone who is a certified road professional and someone who is just a truck driver. It places such value on the skills and dedicated professionalism of its drivers that it has developed the Road Master Driver Program.

This initiative recognizes those who belong to "an expert league of professionals who are amongst the very best in the industry."

According to MacKinnon’s grand prize application, “While safety has always been a priority and part of the culture since our founding 84 years ago, we believe that we must always increase the importance within our organization.

"Our safety program operates within the framework of continuous improvement at all levels of the organization and is ingrained in our mission, vision, and core values.”

About Bison Transport

Bison Transport’s extensive safety program is based on the philosophy that each driver and staff person is a shareholder who is accountable for results, Penner said. To reach safety goals, company management aims to find and fix hazards and address root causes, all within a supportive and motivating environment.

It invests significant money on driver recognition and incentive programs that are meaningful to each individual, strengthening his or her motivation to be safe. The company offers numerous communication methods to keep people informed and engaged, as well as an extensive health and wellness program.

Bison’s statistics prove that its safety program is working. Over the past four years, it has reduced its overall accident, insurance, and claims costs by more than $1.3 million. Since 2011, it has experienced a 5% reduction in insurance premiums each year and a combined loss ratio of 46%

According to Bison Transport’s grand prize application, “Bison recognizes that, to truly succeed, a steadfast commitment to safety must be our core value. We have stayed true to that value through the ups and downs of growth and a challenging industry and economy. Safety is about lives, livelihoods, and doing what is right.” 

Application, selection process

The application process for the National Fleet Safety Awards began with member fleets submitting their accident frequency per million miles driven. TCA selected the top three winners for each of six mileage-based divisions and had the results audited for accuracy by an independent expert.

In January, TCA announced the names of the 18 division winners and invited them to submit further documentation about their safety programs.

In order to be granted the grand prize, both winning companies had to demonstrate that they strive to meet stringent standards in their overall safety programs, on and off the highway, and were judged to be the best in their commitment to improving safety on North America’s highways.

For more information about TCA’s National Fleet Safety Awards, visit and follow TCA on Facebook——and Twitter— Information about this year’s Annual Convention on both social media sites with the hashtag #2014TCA.