On May 14, I journeyed to Kitchener for the second installment of the 2014 Best Fleets to Drive For seminar series. The series is put on by CarriersEdge president Mark Murrell, who also co-founded (with partner Jane Jazrawy) the Truckload Carriers Association’s Best Fleets to Drive For competition. This program has really taken off. This year, 98 fleets were nominated by their drivers and 89 agreed to participate in the exhaustive evaluation process. Fifty-nine fleets were named finalists and from those, the Top 20 Best Fleets were named.
Bison Transport went on to be named Best Fleet for Company Drivers while Paramount Freight Systems was named Best Fleet for O/Os. Going forward, the categories will be divided based on fleet size rather than company driver vs O/O, since Mark said there are few O/O-only fleets out there, and thus, less competition for the O/O prize.
We covered the seminar fairly comprehensively. For my full report on it, you can go here. And our assistant editor Sonia Straface filed this blog from the event.
But if you want a little something extra, here is a composite profile of a Best Fleet, as described by Mark at the seminar, based on the dozens of carrier evaluations and thousands of driver surveys that were conducted. This will offer a roadmap towards becoming a Best Fleet to Drive For.
What does a Best Fleet to Drive For look like?
Standard base rate for new hires, adjusted based on skill by end of probation
Contributes 33-67% towards benefits package
Offers some kind of retirement savings plan
Standardized vacation with accelerated ramp-up (in Canada, start at two weeks and ramp up quickly)
Solicits feedback formally and frequently
Has a formal harassment policy
Periodic post-orientation reviews
A formal driver committee that meets at least quarterly
Formal targets for yearly safety improvements and strategies to meet them
Formal driver-focused operational policies
Electronic on-board recorders and other technologies in trucks
Two or more advanced technologies on the trucks (ie. collision mitigation systems)
Two or more efficiency technologies on the trucks (ie. trailer skirts or wide-base single tires)
Driver’s performance shared monthly or more frequently
Multiple reward types offered across various metrics
Some fleet-wide benchmarking, shared at least quarterly
A quarterly performance improvement program is offered
Development and career path:
Compensated training opportunities offered in variety of formats
Formal coaching/mentoring is offered
Forums for sharing best practices across the company
Expanded facilities (ie. fitness equipment, bunks) at some locations and standard facilities (ie. lounge, laundry) at all
Family support programs offered (ie. financial and legal counselling)
Some wellness services offered (ie. smoking cessation, healthy eating advice)
Company is involved in industry outreach
This composite Best Fleet to Drive For would have:
92% driver satisfaction
26% driver turnover
0.2783 DOT reportable collisions per million miles driven
If you live in Western Canada (or Moncton, or the Centre of the Universe) there’s still time to catch this travelling Road Show, which is not only informative, but also free to attend. Remaining dates include: Toronto, May 29; Calgary, June 3; Edmonton, June 4; Vancouver, June 5; and Moncton, June 12. All seminars will run from 9:00am till noon, with refreshments provided. To register, contact Judi at 905-530-2430 or email@example.com.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies