Fleet Owner

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Success of fleet is helping set the stage for future company growth.

by  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Fleet Owner, September 2014

Started by C. L. George over 90 years ago in a modest country store outside of Springdale, AR, George’s Inc. began as a one-truck operation hauling live poultry to major cities in the Midwest. Today, the fourth-generation, privately held company has grown into a highly successful producer of fresh chicken products employing 4,700 people and providing premium delivery service to customers across the nation.

“There is no substitute for your own driver in the truck,” says Jeff Overstreet, CTP, corporate transportation director.  “Having the same quality drivers every day on every run makes a huge difference in providing top-notch delivery services to our customers.”  The fleet, representing 50% of a total transportation budget, consists of 42 company-owned trucks and 60 employee drivers who average nine to ten years of company service tenure. For store deliveries, team drivers are deployed while shipments to DCs are handled by individual drivers. Achieving the highest possible standards of customer service is the goal of every driver. Drivers average 3.6 trips per week, are usually home every other night, and average 650 mi. per run.

Fulfilling exceptional standards of customer service requires close attention to operating costs like equipment and fuel.  In recent years, the private fleet has chosen an equipment lifecycle system of three to five years, replacing the old, long-term “buy and hold” method.  The newer trucks are outfitted with active safety technologies, including roll stability and lane departure/collision avoidance sensors.

With this new equipment, the fleet has improved fuel economy from a 5.5 mpg average to 7.5-8.0 mpg.  This is aided by an innovative driver fuel incentive program wherein benchmark performance standards when exceeded will add bonus dollars, or take-away when they don’t.

“Forty percent of fuel mileage gains are in the driver’s hands,” says Overstreet. “Our trucks also have automatic transmissions which increase both miles per gallon and add safety margins; however, the daily care and attention to fuel management by the driver keeps overall fleet miles-per-gallon averages at optimal levels.”

Involvement with the NPTC has been an important way to help keep the fleet at the leading edge of operational best practices, national benchmarks, and technological enhancements. Overstreet, who earned his Certified Transportation Professional credential, participated in the Private Fleet Management Institute, and has been a frequent speaker at NPTC events including the annual conference, credits NPTC as a resourceful partner.

Overstreet believes that operating a successful private fleet is a significant competitive advantage in today’s market, given the current restraints of shrinking, more expensive outside carrier capacity, and the overall driver shortage in trucking.  “We feel the case for our private fleet has never been better—and may well put us on a further growth track in the coming years.”  The good news is the company has a seasoned, in-house team of professionals already on board to make this growth happen.

The company’s vision statement says it best:  “Our people set the standard…”

The annual NPTC National Safety Conference, scheduled for September 11-12, will again be held near the Washington Dulles International Airport at the Dulles Hyatt Hotel. Check out NPTC’s home page at www.nptc.org for details about hotel reservations and conference registration.

Designed to optimize return . . .

Mid South Baking Co., headquartered in Bryan, TX, operates a successful regional commercial bakery, producing and delivering an enormous number of fresh quality products each day to thousands of customer locations and distribution centers throughout read more . . .

Attendees at  NPTC’s 2014 Annual Conference felt that this was perhaps the best overall event in the Council’s history.

“This was a great show and more spectacular than ever. Everyone seemed pleased,”  commented an attendee.

“All the speakers were  phenomenal and the food was incredible,” said another.  “A great job of creating natural…opportunities for vendors and fleets to interact.”   read more . . .

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Ace Hardware began as a small chain of independent hardware retailers that decided to come together to achieve consolidated buying power and market advantage.  Today, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry with more than 4,850 . . .

Alliance Imaging, a division of Alliance HealthCare Services, is the largest premier provider of advanced diagnostic imaging services in the United States, with more than 1,000 hospital partners and other health care clients located in 46 states.  In addition to  ....

Privately owned since 1847, Orgill is the world’s largest independent hardware distributor with more than 6,000 customer accounts in all states, 10 Canadian provinces and 50 countries.  Listed in Forbes as one of the ....

The Britt Hunt Co. was founded in 1992 by young entrepreneur and family business visionary Britt Hunt. The company started in the Nashville area as a distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza and has since evolved over the past ....

Planning for the NPTC 2014 Annual Conference scheduled for April 13-14 in Cincinnati, OH, has been in the works since last summer.  More than 1,000 attendees and 175 exhibitors are expected in the world-class exhibit hall, which will be packed  ....

It is rare these days to find a company in America still operating after 160 years, and even more rare for one to still be independently owned and operated as a family  ....

The Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) will break new ground in 2014.  Over the five-day course taking place Jan. 18-22, PFMI will have more speakers and a larger line-up of highly interactive round-table discussions featuring  ....

Millions of golf fans recall Justin Rose on the final-round 18th hole winning golf’s 2013 U.S Open Championship this June at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA, one of the most  ....

Founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter as a family-owned busi­ness and now recently purchased by China-based Shuanghui International Holdings, Smithfield Foods is the largest pro­ducer of pork products in the world. On the way to  ....

The annual National Safety Conference conducted by the National Private Truck Council  is described as an intense, concentrated overview of key issues that are critical to running a private fleet at an exceptionally high safety standard.  This year’s upcoming meeting on ....

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy farmer-owned cooperative in the United States that handles about 30% of the milk produced in the country. In 2012, DFA marketed more than 61 billion lbs. of milk—the equivalent of more than ....

Last year, in conjunction with the National Safety Conference, NPTC recognized 24 of the nation’s top private fleet drivers as the fourth class of NPTC’s National Driver All-Stars. The program was sponsored ....

New South Express Inc., a Canfor company based in Myrtle Beach, SC, is a highly successful private fleet with a reputation for premium customer service combined with an outstanding safety record. The fleet moves finished ....

Valley Proteins is a successful company specializing in a unique type of freight.  Used restaurant cooking grease, fats, oils, restaurant grease traps, inedible meat, fat, and bone by-products—all of these are part of the ....

Back in 1925, brothers William and Otto Brakebush started hauling calves, cows and pigs with their single truck, envisioning service and reliability as the foundation of their company. They soon began collecting eggs from farmers and taking them to market. William and Otto grew that simple ....

Benjamin Moore & Company is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of paint products in North America with more than 4,000 independently owned retail locations. Performing roughly half of its transportation requirements, the company’s private fleet consists ....

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