• J.S. Helwig & Son

Client Profile

  • ClientJ.S. Helwig & Son
  • IndustryFreight
  • Fleet Size275

J.S. Helwig & Son

Why J.S. Helwig & Son was Ready for a Video-Based Safety Program

Driver protection. For years, it has simply meant reducing collision rates and protecting drivers from physical harm. But as technologies have evolved, so has the definition of what driver protection truly means. Of course, safety remains paramount. But for a growing number of companies like Terrell, Texas-based J.S. Helwig & Son, driver protection also means protecting drivers against false accusations in cases where a collision is unavoidable.

With this in mind, the contract carrier of temperature-controlled and time-sensitive freight set out to find a video-based safety solution for their 275 trucks traveling across the southeastern and northeastern United States. As Helwig began their search, they knew that to best protect their drivers and improve operational efficiencies, they needed a complete picture of what was happening both on the road and in the cab.

“If you only have one camera, you’re missing 50 percent of the opportunities to protect your drivers. If there’s any question about what your driver was doing and whether he was distracted at the time of an incident, a plaintiff’s attorney is sure to zero in on this to your fleet’s detriment. With video, there’s no question as to whether your driver was doing what he needed to do.”

Dave Benson, director of safety at J.S. Helwig & Son

Safety Score Increase

Camera View (road and cab)

Driver Acceptance

Fleet Size

Why the SmartDrive® Program is the Smart Choice for J.S. Helwig & Son

Following a competitive assessment of video-safety solutions, Helwig selected the SmartDrive® system based on its ease of use, advanced reporting capabilities, superior customer support and, of course, its ability to protect drivers.

“At J.S. Helwig & Son, we recognize that our drivers are vital to our success, and their efforts contribute immeasurably to the continued growth of our company. The addition of the SmartDrive system to our robust suite of safety technology is one more way we demonstrate our commitment to the safety of our employees and our dedication to exonerating them when they’re not at fault in a collision.”

James Helwig, owner and CEO of J.S. Helwig & Son

With the dual-camera configuration of SmartDrive Assurance Pro, the company gains visibility into both driver behavior and what is happening on the road. These complementary views optimize the effectiveness of driver-coaching sessions, ensuring that management and drivers have constructive conversations based on what actually occurred, not on subjective reports and driver history.

Maximizing the Value of their Investment

The results Helwig has experienced are dramatic. Within 13 weeks of installation, the fleet’s safety score improved by 74.5%. On top of that, driver buy-in has been swift and sweeping.

An integrated roll-out strategy consisting of newsletter announcements, employee meetings, and driver-feedback sessions helped Helwig ensure that drivers embraced SmartDrive technology as another way to protect themselves. Management has been thrilled with the enthusiastic acceptance of the program.

“Our drivers love the SmartDrive program. In fact, we have drivers coming into the depot for regular preventive maintenance and asking to have the video hardware installed. With the SmartDrive program, our drivers have fewer reasons to stress about what happens on the road. They know we have visibility to what took place in the case of a collision or other incident, and can quickly and easily exonerate them and get them back behind the wheel.”

Dave Benson, director of safety at J.S. Helwig & Son

Increasingly, progressive drivers like those at Helwig are realizing that video delivers more than just protection; it also delivers satisfaction. Satisfaction in knowing they’re protected. Satisfaction in knowing their assessment is based on real-world metrics. As one Helwig driver put it—cameras don’t lie.

“For over a half-century, truck drivers have been blamed for 90 percent of collisions involving commercial vehicles, but cameras don’t lie. Now, with SmartDrive, there’s no question about what the truth is. In addition to clearly showing what actually happened in the case of an incident, the system also serves to greatly enhance drivers’ awareness of safety and has allowed me to focus specifically on areas for improvement.”

Senior Helwig driver

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