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Landstar System, Grand Island Express named 'Best Fleets' in TCA contest

Mark Murrell, president of CarriersEdge presents the Best Fleets to Drive For owner-operator award to Rocco Davanzo, executive vice president, capacity development at Landstar System. (Courtesy: TRUCKLOAD CARRIERS ASSOCIATION)

The Trucker News Services

3/12/2013

LAS VEGAS — Two fleets have risen above the competition to be named the overall winners of Best Fleets to Drive For, an annual survey and contest produced by the Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge.

Grand Island Express of Grand Island, Neb., was selected as the Best Overall Fleet for Company Drivers and Landstar System, of Jacksonville, Fla., was selected as the Best Overall Fleet for Owner-Operators.

Best Fleets to Drive For, now in its fifth year, identifies North American for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experiences for their drivers.

Nominated carriers are evaluated on the range and depth of offered programs, the overall effectiveness of those programs across key metrics, and the responses of surveyed drivers.

The top finishers are identified as Best Fleets to Drive For, and the highest scoring fleet in each category is named overall winner.

The awards were presented March 5 as part of the TCA annual convention.

Grand Island Express scored high marks from its drivers, who note that the company is very safety conscious and seems to care deeply about its people.

It utilizes several special programs to retain drivers and keep them happy.

A common theme that emerged from interviews with GIX drivers was the company’s open door policy and the sincerity of the office staff.

“This company has so much to offer drivers,” said one professional truck driver. “They are constantly improving and upgrading their fleet, and they treat their employees with respect.”

At Landstar, contractors receive excellent training and pay, and many said they feel “at home” with the company, the survey reported.

The company’s MUST (Mutual Understanding of Safety Together) and CABS (Continuing Awareness of Business and Safety) programs received numerous positive comments.

“Had I known 10 years ago how and what Landstar had to offer, I would have leased on then. This has been the best move I’ve made,” said one contractor.

“There may be a better company out there, but I haven't found it. I would be more than satisfied to finish up my working life here,” another said.

Mark Murrell, president of CarriersEdge, was impressed by the statements that drivers made about each overall category winner.

“It’s clear that both these fleets run a range of innovative and effective programs. The results, in terms of driver satisfaction, speak for themselves,” he said.

Chris Burruss, TCA’s president, agreed.

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“Everyone knows the trucking industry has been dealing with a shortage of professional truck drivers for some time. If all carriers could get their drivers to feel as passionate about their companies as Grand Island Express and Landstar System, I bet that driver shortage would disappear pretty quickly.”

The Best Fleets to Drive For survey and contest was open to any fleet operating 10 trucks or more, regardless of TCA membership status.

Fleets had to be nominated by at least one of their drivers (either a company driver or an owner operator). Nominated fleets were evaluated against a broad range of criteria reflecting current human resources best practices, such as driver compensation, pension and benefits, professional development, driver and community support, and safety record.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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