Since he was a little boy, Cory Adams was always interested in how things work, paying attention to details, little fixes. Today he is at the center of Nussbaum’s cutting edge efforts to reduce fuel consumption, teaching drivers how to improve fuel mileage and earn performance-based bonuses.
“You can be an excellent, experienced, skillful driver and still find small things to do to improve fuel mileage,” shared Cory. It’s not about teaching people how to drive; instead, it’s about having a second set of eyes to point out the little things. And, those little things make a big difference when it’s payday: “If each driver improves a little bit, the whole fleet benefits.”
OUT ON THE ROAD
When Cory goes out on fuel/training runs, the driver will head out first on a course and drive how they usually do, the best they know how. Afterwards, Cory will hop in the driver’s seat and run the same course. Along the way he’ll point out the little things he’s doing differently.
“All it takes is a trip back to science class. Using gravity to your advantage rather than relying on cruise control can be huge. Beyond that it’s just practicing your ability to look ahead and letting off the fuel at the right moments, avoiding overuse of your brakes.”
EXPERIENCE AND PRIDE
“These people are already great drivers. They have a lot of pride in what they do and enjoy their independence. Because of this, they are often nervous before we start but, by the end, their freedom only increases when they see the impact of the changes.”
Cory’s experience comes from his own years as a driver and even riding with and helping his dad as a boy. He’d “been trained to make things happen” and however big the challenge, he knew there was a way to get it done. In fact, it was a challenge he faced when he joined Nussbaum that brought him where he is today.
“I was driving a truck that was already getting good fuel mileage. Out of curiosity, I wondered how good I could get it. Nussbaum was keeping track of what I was doing and they’d realized how great it was. I was told that if I could work on getting the company’s fuel mileage raised 1/10th of a mile per gallon, my salary was paid for – I took that challenge.”
A SHIFT IN THE INDUSTRY
The work Cory and other drivers do directly influences Nussbaum’s Driver Scorecard Program. At its core, the program “is huge, it’s enormously comprehensive,” shared Cory.
“The Nussbaum Scorecard Program goes deeper than just x-number fuel mileage. It takes head winds, cross winds, stops per mile, weight, location, temperature and more all into consideration.”
As Cory shared, things have changed. “Before it was all about more loads, more miles for more money. Today a driver or company has to consider fuel mileage because of the enormous amount of money that is thrown away if they don’t. If a driver at Nussbaum can increase mileage, they’ll increase their scorecard. If they increase their scorecard, they’ll increase their paycheck. It’s that simple.”