Today’s Pickup: TCA, CarriersEdge looking for the Best Fleets to Drive For

Bison Transport of Winnipeg was last year’s winner in the Best Fleets to Drive For large fleet category.

Bison Transport of Winnipeg was last year’s winner in the Best Fleets to Drive For large fleet category.

Good day,

The Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge are accepting nominations for the annual Best Fleets to Drive For survey.

Nominations for the 10th annual survey will be accepted until Oct. 31, 2017.

“Innovation is a necessity for trucking companies to thrive in this ever-changing industry,” said TCA President John Lyboldt. “While keeping up with technological innovations is important for staying a step ahead of competitors, innovations in a company's relationship with its drivers are the key ingredients for building a real team.”

For a company to be eligible for the contest, a for-hire fleet must have 10 or more trucks and operate in the U.S. or Canada and a professional truck driver must nominate the company online at BestFleetsToDriveFor.com. TCA membership is not required.

Once a company accepts its driver’s nomination, CarriersEdge will contact it and have it complete an electronic questionnaire and telephone interview. Senior management and a random sampling of the company’s drivers will be surveyed to learn more about aspects of the company’s workplace environment such as compensation, safety practices, benefits, equipment, training, etc. The answers to the survey reveal the key innovations that help to attract and retain skilled personnel in the trucking industry, TCA explained.

“Building on last year’s insights about driver/office staff communication and the importance of making drivers feel like valued team members, we're going to be asking specifically how companies keep drivers integrated with the business. Do they get voicemail or email accounts? Are they able to walk into the main office or are they separated from other employees?” said Jane Jazrawy, CEO of CarriersEdge. “We’re also digging more into maintenance, particularly around new vehicle technology, to see how fleets keep drivers running and their communication process around it,” says Jazrawy. "Maintenance is always a top priority issue for drivers, particularly the area of reporting problems and getting them fixed.”

The top 20 finalists will be identified as Best Fleets to Drive For and will be announced at the end of January. From this pool, companies will then be divided into both small and large categories, and two overall winners will be recognized March 25-28, 2018, at the TCA Annual Convention in Kissimmee, FL.

Did you know?

Following Hurricane Harvey, the price of diesel fuel began climbing rapidly around the country. For the week ending Sept. 1o, the price rose again, reaching $2.802 a gallon nationally, up 4.4 cents over the prior week and up 40 cents over last year.

Quotable:

“Aluminum wheels – and they have to be dual, not single – a full aero package, horsepower in the mid-400 range and an 18-speed [manual] transmission is still the gold standard on the used market.”

- Chris Visser, senior analyst for J.D. Power Valuation Services, talking to Overdrive Magazine on what used-truck buyers prefer.

In other news:

Southeast ports reopening

Several ports in the Southeast, including Miami, Tampa and Savannah, GA, plan to reopen today, paving the way for needed supplies, including fuel, to enter the Florida area. (Wall Street Journal)

NAFTA talks remain just talk

Negotiators for the U.S., Canada and Mexico concluded a second round of NAFTA talks last week, but little progress has been made, according to officials. (Supply Chain Brain)

ELD lessons from a fleet that made the switch

Bison Transport has been using ELDs since 2014. Their president explains why they switched so early and how they have utilized the devices to improve the productivity and safety of drivers. (The Transporter)

Want to win a truck?

Forget cheap swag, the Women in Trucking organization will give away a 2014 Volvo VNL670 tractor at next spring’s Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event. (DC Velocity)

Finding the specs you want in a used truck

Used-truck buyers can still find the specs they want when buying trucks, but they may have a pay a little bit more. (Overdrive)

Final Thoughts

The Best Fleets to Drive For content, held each year by Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge, is a great opportunity to learn what fleets treat their drivers well. Because fleets must be nominated by drivers, it is probably a more accurate assessment of which fleets are leading the way. And they serve as a great example of best practices other fleets can adopt. Nominations are now open at www.bestfleetstodrivefor.com. Winners will be announced in the spring.

Hammer down everyone!