These fleet executives were chosen for their dedication to growing their companies through innovative operations and technologies to make their fleets more safe, efficient and profitable.
Innovators talk about regulations, technology and drivers
At a time when industry analysts are predicting the worst driver shortage trucking has ever seen, thanks in large part due to the unprecedented shifting regulatory environment, some of trucking's most innovative leaders are embracing some of those changes but doing battle on other fronts.
That was evident during a panel discussion at the 2011 Fleet Summit, presented by Heavy Duty Trucking and Heavy Duty ManuÂfacturers Association the day before the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in late March.
About Our 2011 Innovators:
The Efficient Shop
Sometimes, innovation is in the details. Take Terry Clouser's invention to help technicians save time and effort when checking to make sure all the lights on the front of the truck work: a mirror.
Mounted in the front of the service bay where the technician pulls the truck in, the mirror allows the tech to look at the reflection and make sure low beams, high beams, turn signals, etc., are working - before he ever climbs down from the truck.
It's one of those ideas where you say to yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Practical Trucking, Predictive Modeling
C.R. England has always been a company that relies on the practical solution. Back in the 1940s, mechanical refrigeration was new and unreliable, so England cooled its trailers by blowing air across a pile of ice with a belt-driven fan.
That was before England's current president, Chad England, was born, but he inherited the instinct for methods that work.
Making Sure It Works
All trucking is competitive, but the corner occupied by Cardinal Logistics Management Corp. is particularly tough.
Cardinal's dedicated logistics business calls for a highly customized, hands-on, top-level service that few can provide, says industry analyst John Larkin. There's not a lot of room for failure in customer relations, he said.
Or, as Cardinal Chairman Vin McLoughlin puts it, "We try and do the hard stuff."