Great Plains Transport recognizes its Safety Director Sara Edmondson as a vital part of the executive team. As a leading trucking company in North Dakota, Great Plains Transport knows that the safety of their workforce is driven by the experience, knowledge and hard work that Sara puts forth every day.
Meet Sara Edmondson
Sara is a proud resident of Fargo, North Dakota. While the challenges of winter can keep her family inside during the school year, her husband and two kids enjoy spending their summer vacations at the lake, consuming themselves with boating, water sports and sunshine.
Before becoming the Safety Director for Great Plains Transport, Sara acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography. She ran a successful photography business, and managed a hotel restuarant, before entering the transportation industry.
Sara joined Great Plains Transport in 2013 when it was a much smaller company. By working hard and being involved in all aspects of the organization, she was able to learn about everything in the industry, and apply it to her current role.
A Typical Day as a Safety Director
Not only does Sara run the safety department for Great Plains Transport, overseeing over 225 tractors and 250 trailers. Some of her daily tasks include training drivers, ensuring compliance with all permits, and writing and enforcing safety policies.
Sara dedicates herself to keeping pace with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules and regulations. One of the newest challenges is enforcing the rules of electronic logging devices (ELD). By the end of the year, the entire fleet has to be moved over to ELDs. By writing new safety policies that incorporate FMCSA rules, she can make sure that her drivers stay compliant, secure and safe.
As one of the many female department heads at Great Plains Transport, Sara has felt the support of her colleagues both personally and professionally. The culture of support and continuous learning has given her the tools she needs to succeed, and help her group succeed too. Her goal this year is to earn her certification with the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI), which is the highest level of certification she can have as a safety director.
Continuously Working to Keep Drivers Safe
Sara also does work with risk management. She is continuously evaluating the fleet in order to prevent accidents or maintenance violations. By narrowing down weaknesses, she’s able to help her team minimize threats so that issues don’t continue to happen.
For example, in the event that a truck gets pulled over by an officer, a Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection occurs. If the officer finds that tires are bald, or brake hose connections are not in compliance, the safety score of Great Plains Transport is in jeopardy. By keeping drivers and trucks above the appropriate threshold, the entire company can continue to operate at a safety score that builds relationships with customers and provides service at appropriate rates.
“In the end, everyone in the company is on the same side and our biggest goal is to protect each other — to protect [our drivers’] health and well-being, protect other people on the road, and to protect our company’s driving record,” Sara Edmondson.
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