Michael Krohn

Interview by
Published on
July 12, 2022

In this episode...

Michael Krohn is a seasoned industry veteran who is Regional Sales Manager for marketplace leading technology company NetraDyne. This enterprise is revolutionizing fleet safety with advanced AI fleet dash cams for commercial vehicles. The company's direction is simple yet profound: Our mission is to transform road and fleet safety by using advanced vision technology to change the way drivers interact with the road around them, therefore creating safer roadways for today and smarter roadways for tomorrow. In this fast-paced podcast, Michael and Butch discuss how technology can enhance driver safety, comfort, and care and the best ways innovative companies can incentivize drivers to “get on board” to a safer and more profitable trucking path.

Michael Krohn

Michael Krohn is Regional Sales Manager at NetraDyne


we see how much first of all responsibility that driver has going down the road 80 000 pounds a 150 000 vehicle anywhere between a hundred thousand dollars to a million dollars plus of cargo on board and that's only their their vehicle welcome to life with a mile delivered by brakeworks one of america's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by trucks indicted to tell stories compelling drivers i need to do something industry all here right now this is life with a mile delivered by freightworks i'm butch malphie your host and uh we are just incredibly thrilled every time we're able to come to you twice a week with our podcast which is on youtube as a channel and also on audio platforms uh everywhere make sure you subscribe like share engage it's how our community will grow today we've got a great opportunity with michael krohn he's the regional sales manager for netradine and uh you know i love learning new things and you are a marketplace leader in the whole area of safety and i'm going to go ahead and give the mission metrodyne's mission is to transform road and fleet safety by using advanced vision technology to change the way drivers interact with the road around them therefore creating safer roadways for today and smarter roadways for tomorrow that's great that's great writing by the way welcome well thank you it's great to be here i'm so happy i just have to tell you butch we're big fans of the show we watch all of them and we really love the direction that you guys are going so uh you know congratulations on your success and i'm we're really honored to um be here with you today well it's it's wonderful thanks so much and and michael what i would like you to do is i would like you to go through we had a helpful call earlier today you had a very insightful sort of progression in terms of technology safety and the like go ahead and be the history teacher for a minute okay the floor is yours well let me uh let me set that up a little bit and talk about when net or dime was founded that the founders looked and said hey you know there's a better way to do video safety there's a we really can improve on the artificial intelligence that's been used and instead of negatively reinforcing the driver let's positively reinforce the driver and so they matched up this increased higher level artificial intelligence more accurate artificial intelligence with the positive reinforcement and it's turned out to be a very powerful uh tool for for them to use so i wanted to talk about that real quick because we're talking about video safety um yeah there's uh you know i've been in the industry for a while and i did see there's kind of like the story with video safety starts um you know bv before video you know when when video was not out there and a collision occurred an incident occurred something happened with the driver there'd be uncertainty everywhere um the police didn't know who to believe uh the managers of the carriers the fleet managers they didn't know who to believe you know the fleet managers want to believe the drivers uh but they don't you know they don't know there's no facts you know to it and anybody that does not have uh video now is living in that world uh still um then then it kind of moved to phase two if you will and video came out you know in its early iterations and it was really strong management of carriers and fleets they're able to see what happened so they know what's going on they get an objective view what's going on it wasn't really a great deal for the driver the driver many times you know uh was a victim in it you know even if they did a lot of the right things you know they you know somehow they came out of it wrong but i can tell you the management of the carriers they did just fine they were they were happy they've gotten you know uh what they want it was improvement there and so the way i look at it was like win carrier win fleet managers kind of a loss for the driver not uh not an even deal and i think that that that um and then you know a lot of that technology became forced onto the drivers that's how they came through meaning the big carriers were getting so once again here's another piece of technology being forced you know onto the driver nectar dying comes along and if you talk if you think about what we were talking about before merging that uh artificial intelligence with a positive reinforcement they come up with a new uh road map that that they're ushering into the marketplace now and i'll give you an example um under the you know your driver is driving down the road safely 55 everything's going right uh a vehicle cuts in front uh that driver now has to hit the brakes he's he's following close the video triggers and it shows the drivers hitting the brakes and he's one second behind the vehicle in front of him and that's they walk away saying um you know mr driver i'm sorry you know you get points deducted away from you because you know you hit i had a hard break and you were following two things um nectar dying comes along with the advanced artificial intelligence and a better look at what happens that that um that vehicle goes in front of you and now my driver knows that he's supposed to feather back let the distance increase in the vehicle in front of him three seconds four seconds five seconds and next and he knows in his system he's getting positive points you know our points our um are recorded we call it the green zone points so if you get you get positive points if you do the right thing so this driver backed away and but yeah both drivers did the same thing in one system the older systems they're getting negatively reinforced the newer system they're getting positively reinforced the older systems the second wave systems they uh his road rage occurs the driver is upset he's on the road he's upset with his company he's stepping the driver in front of him who knows what he's doing and they and but the current our new guy is saying hey can somebody cut me off again you know so i can get paid right i'm getting a safety bonus cut me off again i'll back off again i'll make more points his moon is better he's happier um he he doesn't mind you know that he got cut off and um and then this is a guy that's happy to be at this company and uh and he wants to stay and he's made more money for uh positive uh performance that is really so good so you really it's not a gotcha kind of methodology right which a lot of drivers is it safe to say a lot of drivers are suspicious or have been suspicious when companies say hey we've got something new and it's going to help you i mean is that fair to say that's that gotcha thing is too it's a that's kind of how um until netra dime really came along it was you know uh here you're gonna put yeah i don't know you may not like it but that video is going in and you may not like it but that video got you you know doing something and um the uh you know the idea is like let's have a list and a netragon we have a whole slew of them have a list of positive things that we like you to do and then you know this is why you can get more points that's so good this is this is michael crone he's the regional sales manager for netradine now let me let me ask you this talk a little bit about the companies that you find have the kind of orientation where it's just a hand in the glove when they hear about netrodine they go you know what that's us what is it about those companies that have in their dna you know what we want to be forward thinking and this is going to help us describe that kind of company well first of all um i mean those of us have been in doing this for a little while have seen the transition from force dispatch and the driver being told what to do to hey we need to open our world up so there there are the companies that are doing the best on their driver turnover um they're the ones you know they have the lowest driver turnovers they're the ones that have really accepted and um embraced you know the technology they see um you know what has you know been unique uh in metrodyne that they can really align with the driver you know that and um that's a really insightful question because it gets me thinking is that it's always been really difficult to align management and carrier and fleets um needs and desires with the driver now this is kind of the first time i've seen that you have the driver and uh and the managers of the fleet are aligned they both want to do the same thing you know that the fleet wants to keep the driver they want to keep them happy they love it if they make more money and um and they're on the way the driver is in a better mood and he likes to making more money and he wants to stay at this this place so the the fleets that have embraced that have have seen that type of cultural change but tell us a little bit about what you're seeing just in the whole arena of safety and and what drivers are facing you know we we have viewers and listeners certainly that have no background in trucking and logistics can you paint a picture for the average person the average consumer of this podcast of what it's like for drivers these days just right yeah describe that for them yeah well they um uh it is as um i've either in my career have either implemented technology or have helped assist drivers you know uh with with a better life and so we see that um how much first of all responsibility that driver has going down the road um you know there it's incredible it's uh you know 80 000 pounds a 150 000 vehicle uh anywhere between a hundred thousand dollars to a million dollars plus of cargo on board and that's only their their vehicle and then they have the motorist public and these are these are trained professional drivers um and then and then the good thing about the system is that this takes um that uh you know that system and it helps structure these safety departments and helps train that driver but it is uh getting back to your question really is that it's um a real structure for the driver and the driver is really under uh you know a fair amount of pressure which is why you see over the years such a you know a lot of times a negative attitude uh you know how come you can't be more positive that kind of thing you know they've got a lot on their shoulders and this really does help metrodine's you know video safety really helps get them to uh feel more comfortable and confident at what what they're doing down the road that they're they know that they're doing the right way because the safety department of their company is structured to help assist them to uh to be safer on the road but there's no question these drivers there's not really a whole lot of vocations out there with this much individual responsibility on your own you have tools to help you more these days but that driver's got to make that decision at that split second um and it affects other families um and it affects their company um in a in a negative way they have tremendous amount of responsibility and and they're the professionals you know it's one of the things that we have a strong commitment to do here at life of the mile is we want to tell the stories of professional drivers now what happens too is you get some of these nuclear verdicts and then you have the marketplace that develops negative reputations that are not based in reality like truck drivers aren't safe and and the likes so they they've got to deal with weather they got to deal with equipment they've got to deal with erratic podesta you know other drivers that are out there demanding uh receivers and and a lot of it's a lot of pressure that people don't really understand do they there's no question that um every day they get into that truck um you know they put their life on the line they put the life of the others on the line um and um you know and mistakes are very costly um and the idea i think is let's train that driver let's and i want the driver to be open to seeing the video and this is kind of a hurdle that's been tough to get over in this is um you know in your business butch you know we you're on video so you want to be on video but you know uh if you after your uh our podcast today or the other 70 podcasts that you've done that um uh you know do you look at that video do you look at it and say hey right you know what could i have improved on what could i have done better exactly um right and so um i'll do that after this and so um you know that's kind of the same thing with the with the driver we want we want them to view it as i'm being trained i'm i'm increasing my skills um that and that's a that's a key thing that i think a lot of people miss is that it's not big brother watching you know you're increasing your skills your and especially your safety skills and by doing that you're decreasing the risk you know if you have if you have 10 incidences last week and you have five incidences this week you know what's what's your who's more likely you know to have a nuclear verdict or a bad accident that guy with the 10 incidences right if you're decreasing those incidences and you're looking at your video um that you know then your chances of being of having a problem uh uh really decrease you know on the video piece is that you watch your video you help improve your performance um we actually and notre naturodyne i have video of our uh you know calls with our customers and clients we look at that and try to improve um the athlete gets off the field after the game and they review their video and what they're all their mindset always is how am i going to get better exactly and every everybody out there uh wants to improve their performance up for what they have you know anybody that's a you know true professional how do i get better what am i going to get better with what i do that video is by far the most uh the best teacher that you ever had and there's another thing is that we manage more efficiently than anybody else so 80 to 90 percent of your fleet you can will manage themselves because the um the video will you know be sent to you you'll get videos automatically sent to you of your riskiest behavior and then um then you're looking at that video and say geez i was a little bit close to that guy there's no one around looking over your shoulders just the driver with their phone and the video and and they and uh like sometimes you have habits that you've had over years that you know some people are tailgaters some people are speeders they just you know that's how they've always done it and so now you get a video sent on your phone no one's looking over your shoulder knowing you see jeez i am pretty close to that guy you know in front of me that's that's kind of dangerous and then now you're thinking about these things next thing you know you're backing away and um so it's a great efficient way without a lot of management interaction that you can that these videos get sent to the drivers um and then they can review it they can see how they're improving and the best companies you're asking about the companies really adopting i found the best thing is that they they a lot of them have safety bonuses and that's really vital and then having if not the whole structure around this green zone scoring have a big piece of it about how they um how they score um and um and then that you know that really gets the drivers behind it because yes the p you know people uh yet pay is is obviously very important as well right well it's enlightened self-interest and i love the way you describe it that it's a tool for the driver to maximize their own self-interest to get better to be rewarded for good behavior and you know i i it's a principle i learned this even in having four small children that you reward the behavior you want replicated more than you keep talking about what what you did wrong right no doubt and the world has changed in a big way i mean we've all seen back in the day when you um you know you know managements were autocratic they would tell you what to do now the driver um you know is in charge he can get as we all know um another opportunity and um but at the same time is that uh if he leaves with bad habits and he goes to another carrier he'll have he'll have bad habits there and then always in the day as i started uh back at schneider national back in the 80s we uh you know we would oh it's force dispatch i'm telling you what to do this is you know uh the way it goes and everybody's seen that that side and but we've watched not only the the industry evolved but the world evolved to be more democratic you know kind of the joke of you know with the millennials is like they get a trophy every day um but there's there's something to be said about that if you if you watch how professional coaches coach their players these days they're all about positive reinforcement right that's what they're talking about you know with these guys they're not brow beating them for for uh for this or that they're they're looking at the positive stuff and they're going at that so metrodyne really has got themselves on in front of you know that major uh cycle is that is so important and of course uh the whole issue of monogramming jobs i mean more and more drivers are in a position to say these are the five things that i'm looking for and it seems that your technology and so your application and just your service reputation is going to put you in a position to help great companies become even greater and help companies that want to become good and great become that way give a little commercial for your company if somebody's listening and they want to know how to reach out to you what what can they do where should they go yeah well there's always metrodyne.com and go there so that's uh you know that's probably the easiest way um that and and go on and fill out the form and and we'll be uh tracking you down for sure um but you and you also mentioned that they're you know to um uh the biggest thing that we're we're doing at metrodyne is helping the driver and the carrier to decrease that risk you know decrease that risk get away from the um the nuclear verdicts getting away from the opportunity to put yourself in a position where that catastrophe can happen i mean that that's part of it but also a big part of it is get away from the small bumps and bruises those are very costly as well so if there's a um the other thing i i like to talk to our clients about is it's not just an expense you know it's an investment just like any other um uh technology if you're gonna put technology into your company you know you're gonna spend money yes to do it but what's my return on an investment and you know that comes back in um collision costs um decrease in uh fuel usage if you're not braking as hard as you were and not accelerating as hard you use you know less fuel the collision costs cut generally in about half and that for many many companies that's hundreds of thousands of dollars and generally speaking what we found is that for every dollar that you invest in video safety you get three dollars back that is powerful and so it's it's really powerful it's a well-worn path that management has won with video um you know there's no doubt now there's a time where the driver is winning and they're aligned with management as well um and that's what makes the the naturodyne story more exciting that's that's powerful now with the couple of minutes that we have left of course we often say the mark of a good conversation as they go quickly and we've got an off-ramp here in just a few minutes i just want to let you know you're calling in from new jersey i love new jersey i i i like the state a lot it gets a bad reputation and it shouldn't it's got gorgeous shorelines it's got unbelievable beauty in terms of forests and the like why why do people have a bad sense some people don't know we're the nicest people out there you know wherever you go we're just as nice and sweet you know i kind of put it like new jersey people new englanders we're kind of like eggs you know on the outside we have a little bit of a hard shell but once you crack that shell a little bit we're just as soft and mushy as anybody else so um it's uh that that's the way it is and new jersey's a great place it is and you know what i'm one of those people i've been through hoboken a number of times i've been on what used to be called i think the erie lackawanna train or something like that and i would watch these commuters and i was flying from dallas to new york a lot and i had a former uh father-in-law that worked for at t out in baskin ridge but you know what you get on the trains and you look around and it's like a slice of every part of humanity is there right yeah isn't it everybody's there and you really do you really do see every uh walk of life um here and of course um well i'm outside of philadelphia so we're in southern new jersey so it's a little bit uh different um and uh of course we're uh big uh philly fans in this household sure of course now let me also ask you this just because i'm i'm curious you also have rugby in your background can you talk about that i mean number one tell people what rugby is oh my gosh i mean you're a real investigative reporter aren't you um i uh this wasn't planned the uh went to school at university of dayton in ohio and the flyers yes and uh you know it was kind of a rough and tumble kind of guy and across the street from the uh from my dorm uh was uh the rugby field the rugby team was out there practicing and i ran into a few guys and they're like hey you gotta give it a shot and next thing you know i'm playing rugby uh with uh with the university of dayton flyers and we've you know it was just a fun great experience and friends from from that team that we'll always have for the rest of my life but i've you know we've you know there's some injuries along the way you know the things we did back then uh you couldn't get away with now um but uh i i loved it it was a great great sport and for me it was really one of a long line of all kinds of different sports you know that i've done over the years but uh certainly that has a place in my heart i met my wife my girlfriend uh and my wife uh on that rugby field uh and so um you know certainly there's a place in my heart for uh for there's a book of course and you know i have friends from australia and new zealand and i've been to australia and of course rugby is a big deal to some of these uh other countries just like just like cricket is you got a book title there somewhere i met my wife after a scrum or something or something like that that's great and you know of course wright patterson air force base is there in dayton as well right he had a dad just in the air force went through there at some point oh really yeah well if playing we used to play wright patterson and rugby uh and we were the university of dayton we were the preppy kids from the college and then there was right pat university next door which is a lot of the locals and needless to say that was quite a rivalry i i got punched in the eye one one time with that one that's another story for another day you know what we love hearing kind of the stories behind the people this is michael cronin he's the regional sales manager for netradine now just real quickly with the time we have left describe what you think is ahead in terms of technology in the space that you currently are a marketplace leader in how is ai going to change things even more just describe a little bit what's up around the corner yeah well that's a that's a great question well i think you're going to continue um to see well this this is kind of the corner if you will where there's still a lot of adoption of what we have right now and there's there's still um you know uh fleets that are under systems that have the you know the old way of doing things so we see that you know converting some of these fleets into ours our system because i think those fleets are really going to adopt that positive so that um kind of the future is now type of thing um with regard to that so i'd like to see um you know this really um uh play out and see its real potential because um i think we're on your podcast because it's a little bit novel it is and it's it's and so it's a little bit unique and it's but it's but it's a dynamite it's lightning in a bottle it's a dynamite idea and um so that's where um i i think that's where we are that's the um uh the future at least for the next couple years to really be able to see how video uh can really assist the driver work with the driver um and not really um against the driver as it's doing that is that is so good this is this is michael uh crone he's the regional sales manager for netradine you know one of the things that we do as we come to a close here is we really value the marketplace leaders which you are and experts and different parts of the trucking and logistics arena and one practical way to do that michael is that we give you a gift so i'm going to do my little qvc invitation here you're going to get to pick out a gift so the first option one thing i've learned one thing i've learned about the trucking and logistics industry which i had no background in by the way and when we launched this podcast i told our founder and ceo josh farmer we don't really know what we're doing but we're going to do it and we are and so we're grateful and you make it better you somehow seem to be doing a great job uh as i mentioned at the top if you were big fans of what you guys are doing well wonderful we would love to send you something so one option is this breakworks one cap that's that's option number one option number two is this genuine yeti mug you got the uh life of the mile logo there i'm looking like one of the presenters at qbc they do it this way and then we've got the uh freightworks one logo that's a yeti mug or the third option which went over really great at mats is this leather life of the mile patch you've got the patriotic theme in the back there so which of those tell me the first one again real quick this is like i kind of like yeah i like i like that i like them all i would i would take them all you're making me it's a hard decision you're making well we're going to have you back so at some point you'll have the opportunity for the others that's the freightworks one logo this is freightworks one studio so we'll send that along to you we'll just need to get an address and of course as it's appropriate given uh the opportunity if you have social platforms that you can put this out on we'd love for you to do that and uh we're gonna have you back michael you've been you've been great uh i i love the fact that you even had the pictures to frame the back you know sometimes with podcasts you're not quite sure what you're gonna see in the back there might be the cat jumping up or the dog no no no it's all it all is good and you've done a really good job this is life of the mile delivered by freight works make sure you subscribe like share engage it's how we grow our community michael crone we're grateful that you came on today we're going to have you back on soon have a great day thanks for watching this episode you know life by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by a trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to this channel by clicking here we'll see you there

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