FEATURED FLEETS

TCA Members Find Creative, New Ways to Support National Image Campaign

With an ever-expanding list of programs and initiatives, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is constantly working to increase awareness about the trucking industry and to promote its positive image. And with the creative fundraising ideas of TCA members EQUINOX Owner-Operator Solutions, LLC, and Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information Company, the campaign will now benefit from two new, ongoing sources of revenue.

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, EQUINOX Owner-Operator Solutions is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing business solutions firms. The company helps its owner-operator customers manage and grow their businesses through services such as bookkeeping, tax and payroll preparations, fuel analysis, real-time business consulting, and more. Now, in support of the National Image Campaign, the company is donating $25 in the name of any company for each one of its drivers that purchase a product or service. In addition, it will donate $100 in the name of any carrier that allows EQUINOX to discuss potential partnership opportunities with its representatives.

Colton Lawrence, president of EQUINOX Owner-Operator Solutions, said: “We are excited to participate in TCA’s National Image Campaign. The industry’s aging driver force requires that we attract younger talent, but the younger generation is less interested. We feel strongly that investing to improve the image of the driver will enhance the longevity of the industry and aligns perfectly with EQUINOX’s mission to improve the profitability of individual drivers.”

Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information Company of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has also devised a clever way to support the campaign. Specializing in reaching trucking industry decision-makers through an extensive network of publications, interactive media, online content, research and data, and in-person events, the company provides content leadership across every business-critical channel. According to the plan, every time an individual completes a market research survey that is part of the program, the participant can designate that Randall-Reilly make a small donation to the image campaign. The exact amount of the donation may vary from one survey to the next, but it will be clearly stated in each case. In keeping with its strict confidentiality policy in research, Randall-Reilly will not disclose the identities of survey participants to TCA or any other party, but rather will make bulk donations on behalf of all research participants who designate their support for the image campaign.

“Randall-Reilly is pleased to support TCA’s image campaign with a program that also encourages participation in important industry research,” said Avery Vise, executive director, trucking research and analysis for Randall-Reilly Market Intelligence. “It’s a great way for us to direct funds typically spent on survey incentives to a truly worthy cause and to give trucking executives and others an opportunity to participate in that process.”

Over the past several years, TCA’s National Image Campaign has been successful in reaching a broad audience with its positive trucking message. It has aired a television commercial that was viewed by millions; promoted a rising country singer with a song that immortalizes TCA’s Highway Angel program; engaged in a joint venture to publish a magazine dedicated to driver health and wellness issues; and produced an informative, bi-weekly segment on a national radio program. Both EQUINOX and Randall-Reilly have been strong supporters of the campaign in the past. EQUINOX has previously donated $2,500 in funds unrelated to the new donation program, while Randall-Reilly has donated $500. TCA commends these members for thinking “outside the box” and taking the initiative to try something new for the benefit of improving trucking’s image. Hopefully, other companies will do the same!

Mike Mozley Named a TCA Highway Angel

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has announced the name of its latest Highway Angel: Professional truck driver Mike Mozley of Kool Pak, LLC, Lake Oswego, Ore.

At about lunchtime on January 18, 2012, Mozley was heading south on I-5 in southern Oregon, when he passed a D.O.T. sign stating that chains were required as the road continued into California. He pulled over to put chains on his truck and saw a motorist named Bill also attempting to add chains to his Cadillac. Bill’s mother had just died the previous day, and he and his wife were en route to her funeral 400 miles away in Walnut Creek, Calif. Bill had been struggling to put the chains on for at least 20 minutes before Mozley came along.

Mozley offered to help and immediately spotted the problem: Bill had a front-wheel drive vehicle, but was trying to put the chains on the rear tires rather than the front. Mozley placed the chains correctly and showed Bill how to do it himself for future reference. Bill later wrote a letter to Kool Pak calling Mozley a “Good Samaritan” who “offered his assistance in a true time of need.”

“I could see that he was really struggling. I had already pulled over to do my own chains, so it was no extra effort to do his at the same time. I’m glad I could help!” said Mozley, who has assisted several motorists throughout his 11 years as a truck driver.

For his efforts that day, Mozley has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. Kool Pak, LLC, also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel. 

Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.

To view archival copies of past Highway Angel press releases, visit www.truckload.org/newsroom. To learn more about the program or to nominate a driver, go to www.truckload.org/highway-angel or visit the Angels’ Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews. For additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or angel@truckload.org.

TCA and Randall-Reilly Announce 2011 Company Driver of the Year is John Moeller

During the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla., TCA and partner Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information Company (Randall-Reilly) announced that John Moeller of Marshfield, Wisc., is the grand prizewinner of the prestigious 2011 Company Driver of the Year competition. Moeller drives for Roehl Transport Inc., also of Marshfield, Wisc.

Sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Ram, the Company Driver of the Year contest recognizes and pays tribute to the top company drivers in the United States and Canada who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. Moeller was selected based on his ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to his community.

Moeller has been a truck driver for 31 years, all of them with Roehl Transport Inc. He has driven more than 4.1 million accident-free miles and was the first Roehl driver to reach such a milestone. He has been selected as the Roehl Driver of the Year several times and has earned numerous company awards for outstanding performance. In addition, he has been a member of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association’s President’s Safe Driving Club for several years.

Moeller describes himself as having a “strong sense of dedication” to his job as a driver. Always safety-conscious, his primary goal is to protect others with whom he shares the road. He frequently helps newer drivers by answering their questions, showing them the proper ways to do things, and passing on the values of respect and courtesy that he believes are critical to the success of any professional driver.

“John is the standard bearer for what it means to be a professional driver,” said John Spiros, vice president of safety and claims management for Roehl Transport Inc. “John’s service to our industry enhances the image of trucking in a profound way. His performance charts the course for all drivers, and all trucking professionals, to follow.”

As the 2011 Company Driver of the Year, Moeller has won a Cummins-powered Ram truck. In addition, he was flown to TCA’s convention, where he was awarded a plaque and the keys to the pick-up truck in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

To be eligible for the contest, Moeller had to meet certain criteria. At a minimum, he had to prove he has driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles. His operating information, work history, and safety record were closely examined by the contest judges. He also had to write two personal statements: One outlining why he should be a candidate for the grand prize and another describing what makes him a good “trucking citizen.” Based on these materials, Moeller was selected as the 2011 grand prizewinner.

“I was pleased to play a role in recognizing this particular truck driver. He is clearly a tremendous asset to his family, company, and community,” said Gary Salisbury, TCA’s 2011-12 chairman and the president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., of Hope, Ark.

Jeff Mason, senior vice president of trucking for Randall-Reilly, said, “I read somewhere that driving four million, accident-free miles is equivalent to safely traveling from the earth to the moon and back eight times, or driving around the world almost 161 times! I’d say that definitely puts him in Driver of the Year status.”

Two other truck drivers were honored along with Moeller in the 2011 competition. James Coles of Hillsburgh, Ontario, who drives for MacKinnon Transport, Inc., of Guelph, Ontario, and Ronald Round of Enfield, Maine, who drives for Pottle’s Transportation, Inc., of Bangor, Maine, received Honorable Mentions. Coles has driven more than 1.5 million accident-free miles over a 32-year career, while Round has driven 1.3 million accident-free miles over a 21-year career.

For further information on the Driver of the Year competition, please visit www.truckload.org/Driver-of-the-Year.

TCA Announces Division Winners of 2011 National Fleet Safety Awards

Alexandria, Virginia – With safety at the heart of the trucking industry’s priorities, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) proudly announces the division winners of its 36th annual National Fleet Safety Awards. Sponsored by Great West Casualty Company, the awards recognize trucking companies that demonstrate a superior commitment to safety and accident reduction.

“In my opinion, maintaining a stellar safety record is a group effort. A trucking company has to get every employee involved. Each of our 18 division winners has worked very hard at being the safest on the roads, and each deserves to be honored and recognized for its achievement,” said Douglas Cook, chairman of TCA’s Safety & Security Division and vice president of safety for Covenant Transport, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Fleets applying for the awards have completed the first of a two-step process. First, their accident frequency per million miles driven was calculated for each of six mileage-based divisions (listed below). The top three division winners were selected and have been audited by an independent expert to verify their accident frequency numbers.

The division winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony to be held during TCA’s Annual Convention, March 4-7, 2012, at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla, as well as during TCA’s Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting, May 20-22, 2012, at the Embassy Suites Norman – Hotel & Conference Center in Norman, Okla.

All division winners are now eligible to compete for two grand prizes, one in the “less than 25 million annual miles” category and one in the “25 million or more annual miles” category. To win the grand prize, companies will be judged on their overall safety programs, both on- and off-highway, including employee driver/independent contractor selection procedures, training, supervision, accident investigation, inspection and maintenance of equipment, and outside activities, including general highway safety.

As with the division winners, the two grand prize winning companies will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held during TCA’s Annual Convention and then again during TCA’s Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting.

Below are the names of the 2011 top divisional winners based on low accident frequency ratios per million miles. Companies are listed according to the order that they placed within each category.

Division I Winners (Less than 5 million miles)
1. Rocha Transportation, Ceres, Calif.
2. Art Pape Transfer, Inc., Dubuque, Iowa
3. Specialty Transport, Inc., Knoxville, Tenn.

Division II Winners (5-14.99 million miles)
1. Southland Transportation Co., Boonville, N.C.
2. Houff Transfer, Inc., Weyers Cave, Va.
3. Skyline Transportation, Inc., Knoxville, Tenn.

Division III Winners (15-24.99 million miles)
1. Stagecoach Cartage & Dist. LP, El Paso, Texas
2. Grand Island Express, Grand Island, Neb.
3. Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging, Cincinnati, Ohio

Division IV Winners (25-49.99 million miles)
1. Titan Transfer, Inc., Shelbyville, Tenn.
2. Erb International, Inc., New Hamburg, Ontario
3. N. Yanke Transfer, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Division V Winners (50-99.99 million miles)
1. Groupe Robert, Inc., Rougemont, Québec
2. Navajo Express, Inc., Denver, Col.
3. May Trucking Company, Salem, Ore.

Division VI Winners (100 million or more miles)
1. Bison Transport, Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba
2. Gordon Trucking, Inc., Pacific, Wash.
3. Roehl Transport, Inc., Marshfield, Wisc.

ATA Recognizes Industry Award Winners

Grapevine, Texas – Members of American Trucking Associations took time out during ATA’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition here to recognize the winners of several of the industry’s most important honors.

“Through the course of the year, ATA hands out a variety of awards,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said, “these awards provide goals for us all to strive for and examples of professionalism and dedication to follow. While we’re proud of the efforts of all our members and their employees, these champions have gone above and beyond in their commitment to safety and professionalism.”

The award winners recognized by ATA were:

 2011 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Paul Phillips, a Con-way Freight driver from Coarsegold, Calif.;

 2011 Technology and Maintenance Council SuperTech Grand Champion Jeffrey Schlecht, a technician with the Omaha Truck Center, Norfolk, Neb.;

 Rickey Oliver, a Brookhaven, Miss.-based driver for WalMart Transportation, 2011 National Truck Driver of the Year, sponsored by Custard Insurance Adjusters; and

 Alfred LaCombe, safety director with Dupre’ Logistics, Lafayette, La., 2011 National Safety Director of the Year, sponsored by: Great West Casualty Company.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight.

Nominations Now Open for TCA’s Best Fleets to Drive For Contest and Survey

TCA logo SM 3

Now through October 31, 2011, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) will accept nominations for its 2012 Best Fleets to Drive For contest and survey. Company drivers and owner operators may nominate trucking companies by completing an application form on www.BestFleetsToDriveFor.com.

Now in its fourth year, Best Fleets to Drive For is an annual evaluation of the best employers in the trucking industry. CarriersEdge, the leading provider of online driver quality improvement solutions, conducts the survey for TCA.

The survey is open to all for-hire trucking companies with 10 or more trucks, regardless of TCA membership status. Participating fleets will be evaluated against a broad range of criteria reflecting current human resources best practices, and the resulting survey data becomes an excellent source of industry success stories in the areas of benefits, professional development, driver and community support, safety record, and company culture.

For 2012, some new questions have been prepared for participants. For example, in addition to driver retention scores, nominated fleets will be asked what percentage of their drivers have remained with the company for various periods of time (one year, five years, 10 years, etc.). This will shed light on how some companies can demonstrate similar turnover numbers, but in reality have very different retention situations.

Harassment is another new topic. Although most companies have policies in place that cover the office environment, the survey will now ask how companies ensure that their people are not subjected to (or become perpetrators of) harassment at customer sites, truck stops, on the CB, etc. In addition, the survey will ask for the numeric targets that fleets seek for continuous improvement of things like their collision rates and retention scores.

“When it comes to the new questions we’ll have on this year’s survey, the answers will help us not only to score fleets against general management best practices, but to provide a better picture of what’s really going on in the industry,” said Mark Murrell, president of CarriersEdge. “That’s what everybody wants to know.”

Participating in the survey is an experience that can be both enlightening and motivating. Describing his company’s experience as a first-time nominee last year, Keith Tuttle, president of Motor Carrier Service, Inc., of Northwood, Ohio, said: “We learned what we were doing right and some things we needed to improve on in our everyday practices. We had no idea how much the survey probed into the very core of how we and others operate their business. Clearly, this program identifies the best fleets… it is not just luck!”

Outside of the industry, Best Fleets is an excellent public relations tool and a unique way to combat the driver shortage. “Is there a better way to attract prospective drivers or enlighten people about our industry?” asked Gary Salisbury, TCA’s chairman and the president and chief executive officer of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., of Hope, Arkansas. “This survey spells it all out: the best trucking companies offer solid pay, strong benefits, and great support for their people. It really accentuates the positives.”

Once a company driver or owner operator has nominated a fleet and the company has agreed to participate, interviews will be conducted with senior management and a random sampling of the company’s drivers. Top finishers will be identified as Best Fleets to Drive For, and the highest scoring fleets in each of the Company Driver and Owner Operator categories will be named that category’s overall winner.

To view best practices from last year’s survey as well as profiles of the overall winners, visit www.BestFleetsToDriveFor.com.

TCA Names David Howland as Highway Angel

ABF driver assists driver trapped between deployed airbags.

David Howland, a professional truck driver for ABF Freight System, Inc., of Fort Smith, Ark., has been named a Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Highway Angel for assisting a motorist who was trapped between deployed airbags.

On February 17, 2011, at about 8:30 a.m., Howland was driving along I-696 near Pontiac, Michigan, when a car on his left lost control. It spun beside him and hit two other vehicles before crashing into the median retaining wall. One of the vehicles that was hit rolled beside him four to five times before coming to a stop. TCA Logo

Managing to keep control of his equipment, Howland stopped safely and rushed to assist the driver whose car had rolled. He found a woman trapped between the deployed airbags. He cut the airbags with a pocket knife and found her in miraculously good condition, with only minor injuries. Seeing that the drivers of the other two cars were okay, Howland stayed with the woman he had helped, asking her to remain in her vehicle until emergency personnel arrived.

“I’m on the road a lot, and I’ll help anybody if I’m there,” said Howland, who has been a truck driver for 30 years and has helped motorists several times in the past. “It’s a shame that nobody else stopped.”

As a TCA Highway Angel, Howland will receive a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and clothing patch. ABF Freight System, Inc., will also receive a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.

To view archival copies of past Highway Angel press releases, visit www.truckload.org/pressroom. To learn more about the program or to nominate a driver, go to www.truckload.org/highwayangels or visit the Angels’ Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews. For additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or angel@truckload.org.

Driver Team Provides Valuable Aid After Serious Accident

Team drivers Dave Woodman and Tony Rheault of N. Yanke Transfer, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, have been named Highway Angels by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) for their help at the scene of a serious accident.

On August 24, 2010, at approximately 12:00 p.m., Woodman was driving along Highway 17 near Blind River, Ontario, Canada, while his fellow driver Rheault slept in his bunk. Woodman saw a Ford Explorer cross the center line on a curve and collide with an oncoming tanker. The damage to the Explorer was extensive.

Woodman quickly parked the truck and was the first one on the scene. He began directing traffic around the crash site to protect the accident victims from possible further injury. He also kept curious onlookers away. Soon, he smelled highly explosive aviation fuel leaking from the tanker and realized it was covering the road. Worried that a fire could break out, he and several other motorists used five-gallon buckets provided by another trucker to contain the flow.

Meanwhile, seeing that the driver’s side of the Explorer was smashed against the guard rail, Rheault ran to the passenger side and helped an adult female get out from behind the airbag. She was conscious, but in shock, covered in blood, and deeply concerned about her husband. By now, other motorists had stopped to help, including a retired nurse, who had also witnessed the crash. She began treating the husband, who had suffered extensive injuries, and asked Rheault to retrieve a first aid kit from her car. Rheault served as her assistant, handing her gauze and other medical supplies as needed. He also pushed back the shattered windshield so the nurse could better reach the man’s face.

While all this was happening, the couple’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchild arrived at the scene. They had been driving in the vehicle in front of their parents, as all had just finished a family vacation and were returning home. When they realized the parents were no longer behind them, they turned around to see what had happened. In the midst of the chaos and despite their shock and grief, the family members were able to soothe their distraught mother and comfort their father while the nurse worked on him.

In about 20 minutes, emergency personnel arrived. Because of Woodman’s ability to control the traffic and onlookers, they were able to pull right in next to the accident scene and wasted no time using the Jaws of Life to cut the driver out of the car. The 77-year old man was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately died shortly thereafter.

The nurse later wrote a very complimentary e-mail to N. Yanke Transfer praising Rheault and Woodman for their valuable assistance. “Please tell your men to be proud of their excellent emergency response to this stranger,” she wrote. “I think if your men had not been as responsive and diligent as they were, then the driver more than likely may not have even made it to the hospital. I believe we kept him alive long enough to have … his family around him to comfort him and say their last goodbyes.”

Both Rheault and Woodman speak modestly about their involvement at the accident scene. “When you have an accident like this and you start to attach families and relatives to it, it really starts to mean something. You realize that could have been my own parents,” said Woodman. Rheault, who dreamt about the incident for about a month afterward, said, “It’s just the way it is. I hope I can help someone again.”

As TCA’s newest Highway Angels, Rheault and Woodman have received Highway Angel lapel pins, certificates, and clothing patches. N. Yanke Transfer also received a certificate acknowledging that two of its drivers are Highway Angels.

Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.

To learn more about the program or to nominate a driver, go to www.truckload.org/highwayangels or visit the Angels’ Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews. For additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or angel@truckload.org.

Schneider National Dedicated


Driver Rick Morelock Honored for Heroic Act

Rick Morelock, a dedicated driver for Schneider National, was recently recognized with an award from the Jackson County Kansas Sheriff’s office, for a heroic act that helped save a woman’s life. On Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, Morelock pulled over on the side of the road to help a woman out of a burning vehicle, which could have exploded at any moment.

Schneider National is proud to call Mr. Morelock one of our own and applauds him for his efforts to live out our core value of “Safety First and Always” every day he’s on the road.

Trimac Transportation Wins 2011 Best Fleets to Drive For by The TCA

Houston, TX- The Truckload Carrier Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge announced Trimac Transportation as a winner of the 2011 Best Fleets to Drive For award. The award recognizes North American carriers whom provide the best work environments for their drivers and operate at least 10 or more trucks.

Nominations poured in during the fall of 2010. A series of interviews, conducted by CarriersEdge, with human resource representatives and executives took place evaluating Trimac’s corporate direction, policies, and programs.

“After each contest and survey cycle, we compile and widely publicize the best practices of each winning fleet. The results are a snapshot of excellence. It’s only natural for drivers and fleets to want to be a part of this,” says John Kaburick, chairman of TCA. The following scoring matrix came into play as Trimac soared to the Top 20 list, making the final cut.

• Total compensation package, including base pay, bonuses, vacation, and sick day allotment

• Health benefits

• Pension plans

• Professional development opportunities (training, coaching programs, etc.)

• Career path/advancement opportunities

• Commitment to employee personal growth, including work/life balance, driver family support, and employee-directed charitable contributions

• Commitment to continuous improvement, including dispute resolution processes and inclusion of driver feedback in policymaking

• Team building and driver community development activities

• Annual driver turnover rate and efforts to improve

• Fleet safety record

About Truckload Carriers Association

TCA is the only national trade association whose collective sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The association represents dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, and intermodal container carriers operating in the 48 contiguous states, as well as Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Representing operators of more than 200,000 trucks, which collectively produce annual revenue of more than $20 billion, TCA is an organization tailored to specific truckload carrier needs.

About CarrierEdge

CarriersEdge is the leading provider of online driver quality improvement solutions. Comprised of online testing, training and reporting tools, along with expert business analysis and consulting services, CarriersEdge allows trucking companies to improve business performance by improving driver quality and do so without the compromises required by traditional alternatives.

About Trimac Transportation

Trimac is the premier provider of bulk trucking services in North America, as well as related logistics, tank maintenance and cleaning services. Founded in 1945, J.W. McCaig was the first of three generations to preside over the organization. Our mission is to create value for our shareholders by delivering value to our customers safely. Trimac has taken a strategic approach to the business that we operate in. This strategy has primarily been focused on People and Processes. It is our belief that excellence in these two areas provides a solid foundation for our business to grow and be successful in the challenging bulk trucking segment.

If you want to be with a 2011 winner of The Best Fleets To Drive For, call us today at 877-914-4374 or visit us online at www.trimac.com today!

TCA Announces 2011 Best Fleets to Drive For

Twenty companies are recognized for having the best workplaces for truck drivers; five upcoming companies are identified as “Best Fleets to Watch”

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge are pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Best Fleets to Drive For, a survey and contest that identifies North American for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experiences for their drivers. Twenty companies are being recognized this year:
·         1st Express, Inc. – Toledo, OH
·         Best Cartage – Kernersville, NC
·         Bison Transport – Winnipeg, MB
·         Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc. – Clayton, AL
·         Con-way Truckload – Joplin, MO
·         Dart Transit Company – Eagan, MN
·         Don Hummer Trucking – Oxford, IA
·         Erb Group – New Hamburg, ON
·         Fremont Contract Carriers – Fremont, NE
·         Kennesaw Transportation – Rydal, GA
·         Brian Kurtz Trucking – Breslau, ON
·         MacKinnon Transport – Guelph, ON
·         Paramount Freight Systems – Ft. Myers, FL
·         Pride Transport, Inc. – Salt Lake City, UT
·         Schneider National – Green Bay, WI
·         Motor Carrier Service, Inc. – Northwood, OH
·         Trimac Transportation – Houston, TX
·         Vedder Transportation Group – Abbotsford, BC
·         WTI Transport, Inc. – Tuscaloosa, AL
·         Yanke Group – Saskatoon, SK

In addition, five companies have been identified as “Fleets to Watch” (honorable mentions) for making rapid progress toward an outstanding driver workplace:
·         Drive Logistics – Windsor, ON
·         Hueneman Trucking – Garner, IA
·         Tennant Truck Lines, Inc. – Orion, IL
·         Spirit Truck Lines, Inc. – San Juan, TX
·         Turk Enterprises – St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada

The nomination process for the third annual contest began in the fall of 2010 when company drivers and owner operators were asked to nominate carriers that operate 10 trucks or more. After confirming the validity of the nominations and the trucking companies’ desire to participate, CarriersEdge interviewed human resources representatives and executives of the nominated fleets about their corporate direction, policies, and programs. Nominated fleets were evaluated against a scoring matrix covering a variety of categories, such as:
·         Total compensation package – including base pay, bonuses, vacation, and sick day allotment
·         Health benefits
·         Pension plans
·         Professional development opportunities (training, coaching programs, etc.)
·         Career path/advancement opportunities
·         Commitment to employee personal growth, including work/life balance, driver family support, and employee-directed charitable contributions
·         Commitment to continuous improvement, including dispute resolution processes and inclusion of driver feedback in policymaking
·         Team building and driver community development activities
·         Annual driver turnover rate and efforts to improve
·         Fleet safety record

A selection of each fleet’s drivers was also surveyed, with their feedback compared to management’s and incorporated into the final score. The responses were then tallied, resulting in the selection of this year’s 20 winners and five honorable mentions.
“We were pleased to see that for 2011, drivers nominated 30 percent more fleets over last year. Also, fleet participation [fleets who agreed to participate in the phone interviews] went up by over 80 percent,” said Mark Murrell, president of CarriersEdge. “We had a much higher level of interest, especially from first-timers.”

TCA attributes this heightened interest to more awareness of the Best Fleets program. John Kaburick, chairman of TCA and president of Earl L. Henderson Trucking Company, Salem, Illinois, said: “After each contest and survey cycle, we compile and widely publicize the best practices of each winning fleet. The results are a snapshot of excellence. It’s only natural for drivers and fleets to want to be a part of this.”

The best practices culled from this year’s winning fleet interviews indicate some interesting new trends that barely appeared on last year’s survey. For example, social networking has become prominent in trucking. A number of fleets have Facebook groups that serve as a foundation for their recruiting efforts online. The benefit is that drivers do much of the recruiting work by answering questions about the company and providing testimonials. Twitter has also emerged as a popular tool, primarily for sharing just-in-time information about weather conditions, traffic, and company activities.

Some fleets also said they are incorporating Google’s Street View technology into their standard operating procedures. Street View is used for route planning, and some carriers are making it a normal part of ramping up new customers because they can check out all of the places their trucks will be driving without having to go in person first. Both the Satellite Maps and Street View technologies are also becoming key tools for accident investigations and are quite useful for understanding why collisions took place and what can be done to avoid them in the future.

CarriersEdge noticed another technology appear on this year’s survey results: vehicles that are powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). A few fleets have made the leap to LNG, which is environmentally friendly and easily renewable, while others said they are evaluating it right now. “While a lot of larger fleets are getting on board with it, we’re also seeing interest (and purchases) in some smaller fleets as well,” said Murrell.

Now that the top 20 finalists have been named, the next phase of the contest is to announce the highest scoring fleets from each of two categories: Best Overall Fleet for Owner Operators and Best Overall Fleet for Company Drivers, sponsored by Marsh, Inc. These overall winners will be honored at the TCA Annual Convention, March 13-16, 2011, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Convention Center in San Diego, California.

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