As most fleets know, the biggest factor contributing to reduced fuel usage is drivers. At Veritable Vegetable, the quest for the ideal driver training system is still ongoing, but Adams says she’s found the company’s best system so far is a pair of driving veterans.
“We’re looking for the right program but haven’t found a good fit yet,” she says. “I have two drivers now that do the training, acting as mentors. What I’ve found is that if I have a new driver and they’re trained by a good driver, then I have two good drivers.”
Adams and Howard are also exploring potential driverincentive programs and systems that provide drivers instant feedback on their actions and driving behaviors. “We’re trying to figure out the best way to train people, and it’s becoming an area that is [increasingly] difficult with CSA and other regulatory hurdles,” Adams says.
Despite being a relatively small fleet as measured by some standards, there is nothing small about how Veritable Vegetable attacks the challenges facing its truck fleet. “We put our financial resources towards these kinds of things,” Adams says. “We’re not a public company, we don’t have to answer to shareholders. We want to return the highest price we can to the grower” and the best way to do that is to operate efficiently.
And with all it has accomplished, Veritable Vegetable’s fleet is a source of pride for the organization. “We are embracing the truck fleet and trying to educate people on how important it is in moving the food,” Evans says.