Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

BW Mitchum deploys SmartDrive video analytics

Steve Rogerson
October 15, 2019

South Carolina transportation company BW Mitchum Trucking has deployed a video-based safety analytics programme to improve driver safety. The technology comes from California-based SmartDrive Systems.
SmartDrive specialises in video-based safety and transportation intelligence. BW Mitchum operates customised intermodal and domestic transportation and has deployed SmartDrive 360 and extended recording across its entire fleet. It bypassed a pilot programme and went directly to rollout, citing the value of the programme, as well as the support from the SmartDrive team.
"As specialists in overweight refrigerated cargo and general freight, BW Mitchum is very proactive when it comes to safety," said Jarrett Cooper, vice president of operations at BW Mitchum. “In SmartDrive, we found a partner that shares our values. Our objectives in adopting video-based safety expanded beyond exonerations – we wanted the opportunity to coach our drivers and prevent collisions before they occurred. This is exactly why we included SmartDrive 360 and extended recording in our deployment of the SmartDrive programme."
A third-generation family business, for more than 65 years, BW Mitchum provides logistical support in addition to transportation, warehousing, transloading and brokerage services. Starting with one truck and one customer, the company has grown to over 200 lorries and multiple terminals.
"Safety isn't something we do, it's part of who we are," Cooper explained when discussing the company's selection of the SmartDrive programme. "Leveraging a pre-existing relationship with our insurance carrier, Nationwide – an advocate of video-based safety – gave us a sense of comfort to work with SmartDrive. The service we received from our first conversation with SmartDrive up to and beyond rollout continually reinforced the decision we made, and we've not been disappointed since."
Recognising the importance of driver buy-in to ensure programme success, BW Mitchum bosses partnered with the SmartDrive team to implement a multi-step driver communication strategy. Letters explaining the programme were sent to drivers two months before implementation and three meetings were held with each division in the months before the programme went live.
A SmartDrive representative participated in the in-person sessions to ensure drivers understood how the video-based safety programme works and answer any questions. As a result, all BW Mitchum drivers – both company employees and owner-operators – have embraced the programme with many requesting videos when an incident has occurred.
"We've been impressed with Jarrett and the entire BW Mitchum team from day one," said Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO. "The fleet has clearly demonstrated its deeply held belief that safety comes first, and we applaud the company's leadership, drivers, dispatchers and others for truly embracing the value of video-based safety and analytics."
Cooper added: “There's no reason a fleet shouldn't have video; I wish I had done this ten years ago. With insurance what it is today, we believe we will be able to drive down our losses and fraudulent claims. Too often, truckers get blamed for accidents that are not their fault. SmartDrive protects us."
SmartDrive Systems gives fleets and drivers driving performance insight and analysis, helping save fuel, expenses and lives. Its video safety, predictive analytics, telematics, compliance and personalised performance programme help fleets improve driving skills, lower operating costs and deliver RoI. With a managed service, fleets and drivers can access and self-manage driving performance anytime, anywhere.