Despite a recent dip seen in long-haul driver churn, key signals that the economy is on the move going into 2014 indicate the driver shortage/turnover issue will only become more acute in the months ahead.
As it happens, the latest Trucking Activity Report issued by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) found that the annualized driver-turnover rate at large truckload fleets dropped two percentage points to 97% in the third quarter of 2013.
On the following pages are revealed the three winners of our 12th Annual Fleet of the Year Awards—one each from the for-hire, private and vocational segments of trucking.
Fleet Owner honors these outstanding fleets for a specific type of excellence. In selecting our winners, the editors of Fleet Owner seek above all to recognize fleets whose executives have concretely applied innovative thinking to substantially enhance key aspects of their respective trucking operations.
Of the 203,000 jobs added to the economy last month, as reported today by the Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some 8,400 were for positions in for-hire trucking— notching the best employment month for the segment since April.
A federal judge in Little Rock yesterday approved an $84.9- million settlement of the class-action suit brought against Pilot Flying J by trucking customers that alleged the nation’s largest diesel retailer had defrauded them through a diesel-rebate scheme.
Operating under the current federal Hours of Service (HOS) regs for nearly four-and-half months now has been plenty long enough for motor carriers, logistics providers and truck drivers to all report being hit hard by operational impacts that are both causing financial pain and reducing highway safely.
Anyone this side of the border who might picture Mexican trucking operations as slipshod if not downright unsafe outfits content to hire incompetent drivers to rocket about in worn-out rigs would certainly come away with a very different view of trucking in Mexico.
GUADALAJARA, MEXICO. Underscoring its commitment to all three of North America´s commercial-truck markets, Volvo Truck executives briefed U.S. journalists here this week on its strategy to gain market share in Mexico. What's more, they asserted that the OEM will be pushing its Class 8 numbers up both in Canada and the U.S. as well.
The life of a truck driver is no Sunday drive in the park. Nor is it any picnic for the fleet owner who must stay on top of the rules that affect how that driver makes his or her living and how that impacts the trucking operation.
Industry experts who closely track regulatory matters report there are significant changes in driver-related rules in the works. And the next spate of federal regs could include some rules that will be more onerous for fleet executives than for the drivers they manage.
While in Columbus, IN, last month for the rollout of Cummins Inc.’s ISV5.0 5L V8 diesel (see page 44), I was once again struck by the architectural wonderland that is the engine maker’s hometown. I’ve been to that tidy little city, located roughly midway between Indianapolis and Louisville, quite a few times over my career. But so far I’ve never been in town long enough to have time to take the two-hour guided tour of its astonishing collection of architectural standouts.
To be sure, every business is represented—if not outright personified—by a brand. The beauty of a brand is in the eye, the ear, even the emotions of those of its intended audience whenever they engage with it. That’s why businesspersons ignore the power of the brand at their peril.
Brands have been around since the first head of cattle got scorched with one. Over time, branding morphed from marking ownership to representing a commercial venture.
Knight Transportation, Inc. is continuing to press the campaign it launched in late August to take over USA Truck (USAT) by buying up outstanding shares of the Van Buren, AR-based provider of truckload and dedicated freight services.