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What makes a fleet one of the best to drive for?

MILTON, Ont. - Whether you're looking for a great trucking company to drive for or you're hungry for tips to make your fleet the best it can be, the Best Fleets to Drive For seminar series may be right up your alley. Founded by CarriersEdge...


MILTON, Ont. – Whether you’re looking for a great trucking company to drive for or you’re hungry for tips to make your fleet the best it can be, the Best Fleets to Drive For seminar series may be right up your alley. Founded by CarriersEdge back in 2008, the Best Fleets competition ranks the top Canadian and US fleets based on driver evaluations on a wide range of criteria.

The current cross-country tour showcases the best practices of the winning fleets (see story pg 32).

While most drivers would say pay rates would top their list of desires when searching for an employer, Truck News went to the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Milton, Ont. to find out what other attributes they think define a “Best Fleet.”

Brent (last name withheld), a driver with Valley Express in Woodstock, N.B. says that an honest employer is a great starting point for a “Best Fleet.”

“Honest people to work for…to work with your fellow man and get along (is ideal). This company here is great.  (My boss) is just a great guy to work for,” he told Truck News, adding that the company’s equipment is also a plus at Valley
Express.

Rob Tehkumnah, a driver with Canada Cartage out of Milton, Ont. says steady work, decent equipment, reasonable benefits, cover costs, pension, good supervisors, and flexible hours are the marks of a great fleet.

As for what his current employer does particularly well, Tehkumnah says the company has a variety of contracts available and will work with their drivers to find out what suits their individual needs.

“If you don’t like one contract, they have enough work where they can find work for you at another contract. If one job is too physical for whatever reason then they can find you other work that is not as physical that will meet your needs,” he says.

Arnold Jakob, a driver with Nexio Solutions in Mississauga, Ont., says proper communication from management and dispatch is very important to drivers because, “when you leave drivers in the dark they are going to get very frustrated,” he says.

He says well-kept facilities are also a perk for drivers (“You don’t want to work in a place that is always dirty and grungy”) and having “good people” as fellow drivers make the job much more enjoyable.

As for his current employer, Jakob says that after 20 years, his familiarity with customers and Nexio’s flexibility with his hours make it a “comfortable atmosphere” for him.

Jimmy Moar, a driver with M&M Resources out of Village Green, P.E.I., has been with his current employer for more than 29 years. What’s kept him around all these years?

“Pension plans, dental, bonuses and stuff like that,” he says, adding that good equipment is a bonus, as he usually hauls dump trailers out East.

Don Richard, a driver with TNT Enterprise out of Calgary, Alta., says respect should be the number one factor in determining whether a company qualifies as a “Best Fleet.”

“Treat them like people and like employees,” he says. “There is very, very little of that in this industry.”

But Richard admits that pay would still be number two on his list. “We are grossly underpaid. They don’t pay us for hours, and that’s where it boils down to respect. If I sit on a loading dock for four hours waiting for a shipper, I have to eat that.”

– Have an idea in mind for a future Truck Stop Question topic? Send a message via Twitter to @adamledlow or e-mail adam@transportationmedia.ca.


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