The Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge have selected Boyd Bros. Transportation of Clayton, Ala., and Dart Transit Company of Eagan, Minn., as the overall winners of its Best Fleets to Drive For survey and contest.
Boyd Bros. was chosen as the Best Fleet for Company Drivers, while Dart was named the Best Fleet for Owner Operators.

Best Fleets to Drive For is an annual survey and contest identifying the 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.

Both companies received their awards at the TCA Annual Convention on Feb. 28-March 3, 2010, at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

Boyd Bros. Transportation won in its category for demonstrating solid and consistent results across a variety of areas. The company has invested in a simulator to help drivers learn and/or improve safe driving techniques, developed a mentoring program tied to the usage of the simulator and established a benchmarking program to track and manage driver performance on the road. It uses structured performance reviews to ensure that new hires transition smoothly, consults with a driver advisory board to guide company policy, and offers a variety of educational and career development opportunities. It also maintains a formal wellness program and provides the services of a company chaplain, who conveniently doubles as a certified financial planner.

"The Boyd family has always listened to our drivers," said Richard Bailey, president. "We want to address their needs in every possible aspect of their lives, from instilling safe driving habits, to helping maintain their health, to ensuring their financial stability."

Dart Transit Company was honored for its commitment to helping owner-operators do the right thing and do it profitably. The company has arranged a large selection of different insurance options for their owner-operators and has used its size to arrange group discounts. It uses the same approach for fuel, parts, and maintenance discounts, making it easier for Dart operators to keep costs down and profits up. To ensure that owner-operators understand the importance of those fundamentals, Dart offers a "Keys to Profitability and Success" workshop that teaches new independent contractors about the business side of trucking. Dart has also patented a new trailer design that allows each truck to haul 10 percent more by weight, improving fleet fuel efficiency and reducing the overall carbon footprint.

"At Dart, everyone who comes in contact with our owner operators-not just fleet managers, but accountants, permit people, you name it-has genuine respect for them," said Don Oren, Dart Transit chairman. "Actually, I'd say it's beyond respect; it's really more like admiration. So we're thrilled to hear that our efforts are succeeding. We will continue to do everything possible to maintain a strong working relationship with each and every one of our contractors."

The Best Fleet to Drive For survey and contest was open to any fleet operating 10 trucks or more. Fleets had to be nominated by at least one of their drivers (either a company driver or an owner-operator). Nominated fleets were evaluated in areas such as driver compensation, pension and benefits, professional development, driver and community support, and safety record.