ALEXANDRIA, Va. and MARKHAM, Ontario — In the modern trucking industry, it is not enough for a company to transport goods from one place to another — every company does that. What distinguishes the top tier, best-of-the-best companies from the rest of the pack, are the exceptional cultures they cultivate, enticing every member of their workforces to buy into their missions.
Since 2008, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge have sought to identify and recognize these top tier carriers and exactly what makes them so successful, and have opened the 2018 Best Fleets to Drive For contest and survey for nominations.
“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. The nomination period is open between September 5 and October 31, 2017.
Once a company accepts their driver’s nomination, CarriersEdge will contact them and have them 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.
Part of what has propelled Best Fleets to Drive For to grow and thrive is that each year’s findings provide new information and best practices that can be explored in the following year’s program, and this year’s is no different. According to Jane Jazrawy, CEO of CarriersEdge, “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?”
“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, Florida.
In late-October, companies that have been nominated (or believe they will be nominated) and are considering participating are invited to learn more about the survey requirements through a free webinar outlining the questions that surveyors will ask, data requirements, and methods for collecting better information.
To view best practices from last year’s survey and profiles of the overall winners, visit BestFleetsToDriveFor.com. To view the program’s Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/BestFleetsToDriveFor. Use the hashtag #BestFleets18 to join the conversation.