Ash Grove Cement

Client Profile

  • ClientAsh Grove
  • IndustryCement
  • Fleet Size230

Ash Grove Cement

When it Comes to Safety, Status Quo is Not an Option

Why Ash Grove Cement was Ready for a Video-Based Safety Program

For 137 years, Ash Grove Cement Company has manufactured the portland cement for ready-mixed concrete used to construct the highways, bridges, commercial and industrial complexes, and single and multi-family homes fundamental to America’s economic vitality and quality of life. In the Midwest, Ash Grove delivers concrete and construction materials to customers through its vertically integrated businesses known as Fordyce Concrete, Century Concrete, and Material Transport.

Ash Grove management realized that it needed to do more to reduce the potential for vehicle crashes, rollovers, and close-following events. Based on the positive experience of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Lyman-Richey Corporation, and the capabilities SmartDrive provides, Ash Grove quickly embraced the SmartDrive video safety program and deployed it across its entire fleet of 230+ ready-mix trucks and transport haulers in the Kansas City, MO metropolitan area. “We had an effective defensive driving system in place, but video was the piece we were missing,” said Steve Minshall, Corporate Director of Health and Safety.

“With the video, we saw exactly what the driver saw and thus we could analyze the situation after the fact and learn from it together.”
– Steve Minshall, Corporate Director of Healthy and Safety, Ash Grove Cement Co.

Some of the immediate benefits of installing SmartDrive were a dramatic 90% reduction in call-ins from the public reporting poor driving and a near complete elimination of windshield replacement costs due to drivers maintaining a longer following distance, as well as corresponding reductions in fuel use and reduced wear and tear on brakes and tires as drivers began to reduce their driving speeds and hard braking.

“The drivers quickly realized that the program was a coaching tool and video evidence proved that the driver was doing everything properly when a collision occurred. Our driver did not lose any days of work and word spread quickly among his colleagues of how the video helped him.”
– Mike Petersen, Operations Manager, Material Transport Division, Ash Grove Cement

Rolling Out the Program

Building on this, Petersen was adamant that the SmartDrive program would be used to coach drivers. As a result, Ash Grove received very little pushback from its drivers.

“This video technology is a great tool to not only to help us with less incidents but also provide learnings from incidents that may be avoided in the future.”
– Mike Petersen, Operations Manager, Material Transport Division, Ash Grove Cement

Decrease in Close Following Distance

Decrease in Speeding

Increase in Seat Belt Use

Reduction in Mobile Device Use While Driving

Based on the results, Minshall commented, “I wasn’t originally in favor of having cameras. But, after six months, I was convinced it was the right decision. Now, if I were to go somewhere else, I’d encourage my managers to put video cameras in their fleet. Every driver is teachable. Video is a coaching tool that drivers can embrace and learn from. Once they’re exonerated, they become our best salespeople for the technology.”

“I would tell anyone considering video cameras in their fleet, get them in there. Trust the technology. After your first accident where you can prove it’s not your fault, you’ll be glad you had the video.”

Mike Peterson, Operations Manager, Material Transport Division, Ash Grove Cement

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