During Truckload 2023 in Orlando, two for-hire carriers were named overall winners of the 2023 Best Fleets to Drive For.
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge presented the Best Overall Fleet award in the small carrier category to Chief Carriers of Grand Island, Nebraska, and the Best Overall Fleet award in the large carrier category to C.A.T. Inc. of Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada.
Now in its 15th year, Best Fleets to Drive For, is an annual survey and contest that recognizes the North American for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experience for their drivers. To be considered, fleets must be nominated by a company driver or independent contractor working with them, after which they are evaluated across a broad range of categories reflecting current best practices in human resources.
The highest scoring fleets are identified as Best Fleets to Drive For and then grouped according to size. The highest-scoring fleet in each category is named the overall winner.
Both of this year’s overall winners represent firsts for the program. C.A.T is the first fleet in over a decade to winthe overall award in its first year as a Best Fleet.
“Most participants need multiple years to progress from Finalist to Top 20 to Overall Winner," said Jane Jazrawy, CarriersEdge CEO. “For C.A.T. to make it not just into the Top 20, but to the top of the list, is a remarkable achievement. They’ve put a huge effort into their programs this past year, and that effort was evident throughout the evaluation process.”
Chief Carriers represents a first of a different kind. General Manager Andrew Winkler is the first person to win the overall award at two different companies, having previously worked with Hall-of-Famer Grand Island Express.
“Seeing Chief Carriers progress in the past few years, it’s not surprising that they won the overall award," Jazrawy noted. “They clearly have a plan for developing driver support programs, and their scores across all categories show that the plan is working.”
TCA President Jim Ward agrees.
“Year after year, the overall winners are truly changing the game,” he said. “It’s imperative that fleets establish driver-centric offerings which attract and retain a skilled workforce while establishing programs that improve the work-life balance for their employees. Chief Carriers, Inc. and C.A.T. Inc. have done just that and their results show that those efforts pay off.”
The Best Fleets to Drive For survey and contest is open to any for-hire fleet operating 10 or more trucks, regardless of TCA membership status. Nominated fleets are evaluated in areas such as driver compensation, pension and benefits, professional development, driver and community support, and safety record.
The contest accepts nominations from Labor Day to Halloween each year and reveals its Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For winners each January. The highest-scoring fleet in each category is named an Overall Winner during TCA’s Annual Convention.
[Editor's Note: This article was updated on March 10 at 11:50 a.m. CT to correct the headline, which incorrectly listed Chief Carriers as Carrier Chief.]