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Setting high standards and paying respect to drivers sets the tone at Walmart.
By reputation within the industry, working as a truck driver for Walmart’s private fleet has always been viewed as one of the best jobs to have – a company with outstanding pay and benefits, an industry-leading safety record, an employer to stick with and call home. Today, this is true more than ever.
Walmart has over 7,700 private fleet drivers serving 158 distribution centers and over 5,100 stores as of December 31, 2014. Walmart plans to hire 600 to 800 drivers in 2015. Once hired, Walmart drivers stay in their jobs an average of 12 years; annual turnover is in the single digits and that’s mostly due to retirement. A significant number of senior drivers make in excess of $100,000 annually. Operating in a drop and hook network of runs, drivers do not handle freight, which increases the company’s ability to get shipments to Walmart stores and better serve customers.
Safety is a core value and a key advantage to driving for the company. Walmart operates one of the safest fleets in the U.S., earns numerous safety awards each year from industry trade groups, and its CSA scores are consistently at or near the top in every safety category. The fleet traveled over 678 million miles last year and drivers average about 90,000 miles annually. There are about 100 active drivers who have achieved 3 million miles of accident-free service, and two drivers who have achieved 4 million miles of accident-free service. These elite drivers are recognized by getting customized trucks exclusively for their use until they leave the company.
Often credited as the founder of the modern private fleet, Sam Walton believed that Walmart drivers provided a great competitive advantage – their professionalism, loyalty and attitude was a differentiating plus for the company. Sam often showed up regularly in the drivers’ breakroom early in the morning with a box of donuts. He would hang out for a couple of hours just talking to drivers about what they saw and heard in the stores.
Sam’s legacy of respecting drivers as valued associates continues to this day, says Jeff Hammonds, vice president of transportation. “Our drivers are respected and honored. Wearing our prestigious blue and white uniform means something special. Our open-door policy encourages our drivers to communicate with senior management. We seek out their opinions; in fact, some of the best ideas come from our drivers.”
Hammonds notes that Walmart is passionate about keeping its driver jobs among the most sought after in the industry. “Our drivers enjoy various schedule options, regular home time, and resetting their hours at home. We have advanced safety technologies and innovative features in our trucks,” he says.
Walmart has its own Road Team and its own national Rodeo program with extensive participation from industry and law enforcement personnel as judges. The company’s driver-led grassroots pilot program on driver well-being helps drivers make optimized lifestyle choices; nutritional menus are available at Walmart stores.
“At Walmart, a driver is offered the opportunity for a premium job and a quality place to work,” explains Hammonds. “We proudly believe this welcoming, uplifting message will continue to bring great drivers to our company.”
And Sam Walton would definitely agree. In his own immortal words taken from his book titled Made In America, “I’ll just say it: We have the best truck drivers in America.”
This year’s NPTC Annual Conference scheduled for April 26-28 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and Duke Energy Convention Center is on track to be the largest, best-attended, and greatest read more . . .
The National Private Truck Council has joined the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of shippers, motor carriers and their associations seeking to increase truck weight limits. read more . . .
Founded nearly 20 years ago, Sentinel Transportation is a national model of exceptionally high safety management standards and operational practices. The company’s 750 employees, including 650 drivers and 400 tractors, operate out of 40 terminals. Sentinel provides specialized read more . . .
Leading private fleet management practitioners and supplier partners will gather in Jacksonville, FL, January 17-21, 2015, for the Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) in what promises to be the best program in the event’s two decade-long history. Since the event has a read more . . .
Praxair Inc., which traces its roots to 1907 when it became the first company in North America to commercialize cryogenically separated oxygen, is the largest industrial gas supplier in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Its products include read more . . .
In conjunction with its annual National Safety Conference, NPTC is pleased to recognize a unique group of some of the nation’s top private fleet drivers. They are recognized as such by being selected as an NPTC National Driver All-Star. The program, which is now read more . . .
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 read more . . .
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 read more . . .
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 read more ....
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 ....
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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 ....
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