***SPECIAL: INSIDE BISON TRANSPORT – A bold new vision for trucking safety

by Canadian Shipper

As shipper concerns mount over road safety and rising freight rates stemming from skyrocketing insurance rates, Bison Transport has embarked on a bold new vision for trucking safety.

The fast-growing Winnipeg-headquartered carrier will today unveil Tatonka a revolutionary new driver skills development program that combines advanced classroom instruction with computer-based audio and video, stationary driving simulation and a full-motion truck simulator.

With this investment Bison Transport becomes the first trucking company in Canada with a computer-based driver skills development program that incorporates simulator technology used successfully in the aviation industry and military for years.

The Tatonka experience provides drivers with a clear measure of competency and a better understanding of how their actions affect safe vehicle control in every type of situation. Tatonka works towards reducing accidents, emissions, equipment maintenance and risk management expenses. T

"Tatonka is an investment in our people. We want the best-qualified and safest drivers delivering our customers’ freight. We also believe this investment will attract drivers to our doors, which is part of the answer to positioning ourselves for our next stage of growth and answering shipper concerns about capacity," says Rob Penner, Vice President, Operations.

Penner also explains that Tatonka goes far beyond the driver skills development process to help the carrier drive efficiencies and battle rising operating costs.

"Fuel management, for example, is a big part of the Tatonka program. We will be using it to educate drivers on how to drive more efficiently to reduce fuel consumption. Tatonka will also allow us to make improvements in our equipment spec’ing practices. We can simulate any combination of drivetrain from the engine and transmission right down to the rear end and tires. This is not an investment the shipper will have to worry about resulting in higher rates. This is something that will result in huge opportunities to become a more efficient company."

With new corporate headquarters in Winnipeg and driver terminals in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, Bison has grown from just over 18 tractors and 32 employees in 1991 to a leading edge organization with 650 new model trucks and over 1000 full time staff today.

For more information please visit Bison’s Web site: www.bisontransport.com

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