Five Star Breaktime Solutions avoids nuclear verdict & improves safety thanks to Whip Around

“We make the drivers take a photo or input the mileage from the odometer. They have to take a photo of the dipstick. And if any defects are found, those are mandatory photos. We even require them to take a photo of their medical card.”

-Josh Humphries, Corporate Safety Manager

Key results:

  • Safeguarded against a nuclear verdict
  • Significantly improved safety score
  • Building a strong safety & compliance culture


Most folks spend a lot of time at work. When considering all the lunch, coffee and snack breaks you take throughout the year, that adds up to a significant chunk of hours.

Five Star Breaktime Solutions makes those breaks better. 

Founded in Chattanooga in 1993, Five Star has become one of the nation’s top out-of-home food and beverage retail solution providers for employers, commercial and institutional locations.

They operate in major US cities and small towns across the South, offering services like vending machines, micro-markets, office coffee, catering, pantry and corporate foodservice. In recent years, they’ve embraced innovation to essentially transform break rooms into “unmanned convenience stores” that serve myriad employee needs.

The challenge

Powering a business of this size requires a rather large fleet — about 1,500 vehicles in this case. 

Conducting and tracking inspections on paper can be quite difficult. Previously for Five Star, reports were often lost or misplaced — and keeping track of paper files was simply not realistic. 

Since a sizable number of Five Star’s vehicles are subject to DOT regulations, that situation wasn’t going to cut it for Corporate Safety Manager Josh Humphries. 

“The problem was, that’s a piece of paper sitting on someone’s desk that they’ll throw away,” Josh said. “So we really weren’t fixing all of our defects or DOT-compliant issues.”

He was also concerned about Five Star’s CAB score, which is essentially a rating that insurance companies will use to evaluate the safety and compliance of commercial motor carriers. 

“Basically, the CAB score will give you a breakdown of each vehicle that’s been pulled over within 24 months and what they got pulled over for,” Josh said. “We were doing DOT pre-trips on paper and not catching all our maintenance defects, which caused us to be in the red on our CAB score.”

It was clear to Josh that they needed a tool for holding drivers accountable and helping to incentivize safety. 

“Our safety and fleet department felt as if we were always playing catch up, so we had to make some changes.” 

The solution

Once Five Star implemented Whip Around, the accountability improved swiftly.

Previously, drivers would look at a previous inspection and just pencil-whip it. For example, if tire pressure was marked low last time, they’d just mark it low again. 

Now they don’t have that option.

“If I’m driving a truck that I’ve never been in, I don’t know what the person before did with it,” Josh said. “I only know what I did. So this way you don’t assume that the other person did everything correctly — you actually check everything out and put your initials on it saying it is 100 percent.” 

Streamlining defect management 

Incorporating Whip Around has led to the discovery of defects that wouldn’t have otherwise been found. The app’s customizable forms and forced photos have played a key role.

“We make them take a photo or input the mileage from the odometer. They have to take a photo of the dipstick,” Josh said. “And if any defects are found, those are mandatory photos. We even require them to take a photo of their medical card.” 

The defects page within the platform has proven instrumental in helping fleet managers prioritize maintenance tasks. They can simply look at new defects then quickly assign them to the proper team members to resolve and mark as corrected. 

“With Whip Around, now we have that info for as long as we need it,” Josh said. “I can go on there or the local fleet manager can go on there and say, OK, this is not that important, but this one we need to get fixed as soon as possible.”

The results

Before we dig into Whip Around’s impact, it’s worth starting with a concrete example of the platform’s immense value.

Avoiding a nuclear verdict

Recently, Whip Around helped prevent a tragic incident from becoming even worse for Five Star.

Despite the Five Star driver operating safely and legally, a serious accident occurred involving a pedestrian. 

The responding officer then asked for the driver’s DOT pre-trip and full inspection history. Thanks to Whip Around, this process went smoothly. 

“He was able to show him that he’s been doing his inspections ever since he was hired, and when we got to the police station they wanted to see if we had any defects reported,” Josh said. “We didn’t have any defects reported, so that freed us up from a lot of additional questioning from DOT and police officers.” 

Without those records proving that the truck was properly maintained, a tricky situation could have arisen. 

“It was a huge help from a legal standpoint and also from a state standpoint, avoiding being cited for certain things,” Josh said.” 

Moving the safety and compliance needle

Remember that CAB score we talked about? Five Star has successfully reduced that score — and a lower score is a good thing.

“I want to say we were at 82 percent; now we’re at 50. So Whip Around has helped bring that score down,” Josh said. “With DOT pre-trip inspections, that’s where the drivers report this stuff back, finding issues with things like lighting, reflectors, tires, wheels, windows and all that stuff.”

The momentum in the fleet and safety department continues to build. As a way to incentivize drivers to prioritize safety, Josh is planning to roll out a new internal safety program. Whip Around will be a big part of that.

By completing training sessions and conducting inspections every day, each division will earn a score. At the end of the year, the divisions and employees with the top scores will win prizes, including a special Safety Cup.

“Basically, we are trying to incentivize our employees to do the right thing,” Josh said. “And we’re incorporating Whip Around into that.”