Private Fleet Editor,
Fleet Owner Magazine
President & CEO, NPTC
Hillyard: The Cleaning Resource
Company’s EPA-approved products protect against COVID-19
Founded in 1907, Saint Joseph, Mo.-based Hillyard Inc. was an early pioneer in cleaning and maintenance products and most famously known for wood floor finishes that were field-tested on a company gym floor, the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi. To showcase its high-quality products, founder Newton S. Hillyard organized a company basketball team, which won back-to-back national Amateur Athletic Union championships in the 1920s.
A hundred years on, Hillyard is the official sports floor care provider for the Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s official floor coating and maintenance products provider. Today, the company manufactures a wide range of premium commercial and industrial products and is recording solid annual growth via new product lines, acquisitions, and increased market share.
Hillyard has been a part of the cleaning industry for over 113 years, with the mission of helping organizations improve outcomes, lower cleaning costs, and deliver results that ensure clean, safe, healthy facilities. In March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified Hillyard as part of the essential critical infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company pro-duces EPA-approved cleaning disinfectants, along with hygiene solutions such as soaps and hand sanitizer. To date, Hillyard has 14 EPA-approved products to protect against COVID-19.
With these products in extremely high demand, especially among healthcare workers, first responders, custodians, and critical and essential infrastructure workers, Hillyard relies heavily on its over-the-road drivers. While other companies are having to shut down and cancel deliveries, as a privately-owned fleet, Hillyard is able to get these critical products to its customers.
The company’s private fleet began in the early 1900s with a single horse and enclosed wagon with its name “Hillyard Disinfectant Company” painted on the side. Its purpose was to provide unique customer service while advertising the company brand. After more than a century of operating a private fleet, Hillyard’s trucks continue a long-standing tradition of personalized customer service through top-notch drivers and beautiful fleet-side advertising.
“Our drivers are great ambassadors for our company,” said Chuck Amen, CTP, manager of transportation operations. Amen was driver number eight hired in 2001. Since moving into fleet management a few years later, he earned his Certified Transportation Professional credential with the National Private Truck Council and earlier this year was elected vice chair/chair elect to the council’s Board of Directors.
“Our customers and drivers have a great relationship, which is crucial in times of a pandemic where sometimes a friendly face is what the customer really needs,” Amen said.
Hillyard drivers are the faces and personalities of the company and are an important part of the customer’s cul-ture. “We treat our drivers with special care and attention,” Amen said. “I have the best job in the world, and the drivers feel the same way about their roles with the company.”
While high-volume demand is nothing new for Hillyard drivers, they have had to get used to the changes brought on by COVID-19. “Our main goal is to keep our drivers safe. We have sup-plied them with ready-to-use disinfectants, gloves and masks, and hand sanitizer,” Amen said. All the drivers have received instructions on how to properly use these items to keep them as healthy and safe as possible.
“They have their routine down,” Amen said, acknowledging that the drivers wipe down everything in their cabins after a delivery. Not only did the Hillyard drivers receive all the necessary supplies to keep them healthy, Amen also surprised the drivers with goodie bags to thank them for their service on the front lines.
Hillyard drivers are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, such as practicing social distancing and limiting contact with customers, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The company has also implemented a “no signature required” on deliveries.
While the circumstances with COVID-19 are ever-changing, Hillyard will continue to evaluate the situation and make sure the health and safety of its drivers is always a top priority.