Landstar’s Mutual Understanding of Safety Together, or M.U.S.T. program, brings Landstar agents and safety team members together with customers in a joint effort to get freight delivered safely, on-time and damage-free.
M.U.S.T. is designed to support customers by sharing Landstar’s safety-first culture, while opening important lines of communication about the many safety related topics within the transportation industry.
During 2017, many M.U.S.T. customer visits centered around customer understanding of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) mandate for drivers to use an electronic logging device (ELD).
“M.U.S.T. customer visits give us, as members of Landstar’s safety team, an opportunity to communicate and meet with the agent’s customer face-to-face,” says Landstar Field Safety Manager Earl Yarbrough. “In 2017, there was a specific emphasis on ELDs and the hours-of-service rules during the visits leading up to the December mandate deadline.”
ELDs are used to monitor and record every minute of a driver’s hours of service, duty status and every action they take behind the wheel. According to the FMCSA, the mandate was put into place to help ensure that drivers get the required amount of rest in a 24-hour period, and thus eliminate, or drastically reduce, the number of accidents caused by drowsy drivers behind the wheel.
At ASE Transportation and Specialized Services, Landstar Safety Officer (LSO) Joel Lemoine planned two M.U.S.T. meetings about the ELD mandate with his customer DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations.
During the first visit, Yarbrough joined Lemoine and 15 DIS-TRAN employees to discuss in detail the hours-of-service rules and how they might avoid potential delays in loading and unloading freight at their facility.
“The most important focus was safe and timely loading and unloading procedures at the customer’s location,” says Lemoine. “Saving time with a safe loading operation in place means using fewer of the owner-operators hours of service on loading and allows for more drive time.”
“Like Landstar, DIS-TRAN is a safety-first company,” says Dan Mitten, DIS-TRAN project coordinator. “Safe and timely loading is important to us and to a driver’s hours of service. When our freight is delivered safely and on-time, it means our loading process is successful and fully supports the driver.”
Soon after the initial visit, DIS-TRAN invited Landstar back to its facility for a loading and securement demonstration. The hands-on experience gave the DIS-TRAN team a detailed lesson in securing the company’s unique project freight for claim-free delivery.
“We make large substations. The structure is strategically positioned on a flatbed with specific securement requirements,” says Mitten. “When we are loading, the owner-operator hauling the freight becomes the project manager for us. We follow their lead. They are the experts, knowing what needs to happen to guarantee claim-free delivery.”
Lemoine’s efforts to support his customer through Landstar’s M.U.S.T program are part of the safety officer’s daily operations. By always having an open line of communication, hosting weekly conference calls and monthly customer visits, Lemoine has gone beyond a typical safety consultation and into potential productivity and capacity issues.
“Whether it’s a safety concern specific to my customer or about a change in regulations that might affect them, my customer knows I am just a phone call away to help get answers to questions and offer my support,” says Lemoine.
The Landstar agent’s diligence and the overall success of the M.U.S.T. customer visits with DIS-TRAN show in the numbers – 259 shipments, 268,533 safe miles traveled, zero claims and 100 percent on-time delivery.
“With Landstar, our on-time delivery rate is exceptional and our shipments arrive claim-free. The professionalism, safety and reliability Landstar gives us is above and beyond. They are always there when we need them most,” says Mitten.
Watch as a Landstar BCO hauls DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations freight: