Truckers name 'Best Fleets to Drive For'

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024:

Top 20 ‘Best Fleets’ for drivers named

CarriersEdge last week announced its 2024 Best Fleets to Drive For, a program intended to highlight for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experiences for company drivers and independent contractor owner-operators.

To be considered, for-hire carriers operating 10 tractor-trailers or more were nominated by a company driver or owner-operator currently working with them. The fleets were then evaluated across a range of categories, including compensation and benefits, HR strategies, operations, professional development, and work-life balance. Each fleet collected surveys from their drivers to measure levels of satisfaction. Results were compiled and scored to identify the top performers.

Noting that the past year has been exceptionally difficult for trucking broadly, CarriersEdge CEO Jane Jazrawy said the Best Fleets continued to find new ways to improve the work experience for drivers and independents, "once again raising the bar on what’s possible. The Hall of Fame took that even further, with all 10 of last year’s Hall of Famers re-qualifying through a range of innovative programs and driver supports.”

The fleets with the highest overall scores are recognized as Best Fleets to Drive For. Fleets receiving the distinction for 10 consecutive years (or 7 consecutive years plus an overall winner award) are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For for 2024

  • American Central Transport, Inc. – Kansas City, Missouri
  • Brenny Specialized, Inc. – Saint Joseph, Minnesota
  • C.A.T. Inc. – Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec
  • Challenger Motor Freight, Inc. – Cambridge, Ontario
  • Chief Carriers, Inc. – Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Continental Express, Inc. – Sidney, Ohio
  • Crawford Trucking, Inc. – Des Moines, Iowa
  • Decker Truck Line, Inc. – Fort Dodge, Iowa
  • Erb Transport – New Hamburg, Ontario
  • Fortigo Freight Services, Inc. – Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Fremont Contract Carriers, Inc. – Fremont, Nebraska
  • K & J Trucking, Inc. – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Kriska Holdings Limited – Prescott, Ontario
  • Leonard's Express, Inc. – Farmington, New York
  • Nick Strimbu, Inc. – Brookfield, Ohio
  • PGT Trucking, Inc. – Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas E. Keller Trucking Inc. – Defiance, Ohio
  • TLD Logistics Services, Inc. – Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Transland – Strafford, Missouri
  • Wellington Group of Companies – Aberfoyle, Ontario

Fleets re-qualifying for the Best Fleets to Drive For Hall of Fame

Five Fleets to Watch (honorable mentions)

  • Ippolito Transportation, Inc. – Burlington, Ontario
  • Magnum Companies, Ltd. – Fargo, North Dakota
  • Mill Creek Motor Freight LTD – Ayr, Ontario
  • Peninsula Truck Lines, Inc. – Federal Way, Washington
  • Stokes Trucking, LLC. – Tremonton, Utah

From the Top 20, two overall winners will be unveiled, in large and small fleet categories, at the Best Fleets Education & Awards Conference, April 8-9 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

[Related: Are leased owner-operators truly trucking as 'independent contractors' under new reg?]

FMCSA in planning stages of study on sexual assault, harassment

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working on a study to understand and quantify the prevalence and severity of sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) experienced across the trucking and bus industries, particularly among drivers. The agency's seeking information on how best to design and conduct the study to identify, categorize and assess context and trends.

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This study builds on recommendations from FMCSA’s Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB) to better understand problems of SASH among drivers, thereby helping identify possible countermeasures. A new request for information (RFI) seeks feedback on how best to approach the study, with particular interest ultimately in ways to support women currently in trucking and those seeking to enter the business. 

FMCSA will use the results of the study to understand any potential regulatory or policy measures needed to improve driver safety and mitigate SASH; work with industry partners on outreach and other efforts to improve driver safety through SASH prevention; and support the participation of women in the CMV industry. 

The new RFI asks for comments on 10 specific questions -- find them all in the Federal Register docket here. The comment period will be open for 30 days beginning Thursday, Feb. 8. Comments can be filed here through March 11.

[Related: FMCSA's Hutcheson updates enforcement policy on sexual assault]

C.H. Robinson launches ‘touchless appointments’

Broker/3PL C.H. Robinson announced Wednesday it has developed new technology to improve efficiency in loading: removing the work of scheduling an appointment at a load pick-up location and scheduling another appointment where the load needs to be delivered.

Across trucking, more than 1 billion of these appointments are made each year, commonly through phone calls and emails, the company said. With so-called "touchless appointments," Robinson's attempting to automate the entire process 24/7, with no manual intervention. The technology uses artificial intelligence to determine the optimal appointment -- based on transit-time data from the broker’s millions of managed moves across 300,000 lanes, facility data such as peak dwell time, and the most convenient time windows for carriers. 

[Related: Will broker negligence suit ripple out to limit owner-operator opportunity?]

When C.H. Robinson first approached the issue, the company’s research showed that 74% of shippers wanted greater automation in their supply chains. In a 2024 customer survey, shippers indicate that more-efficient appointment scheduling is their second-biggest tech priority for the  year.  

The company's now implemented the "touchless appointment" system for 2,545 customers so far, representing all told more than 25,000 facilities. Retailers and food companies are among the biggest beneficiaries, the company noted.

[Related: ELDs/location tracking apps making broker more annoying? Or more efficient]