America's Top Private Fleets
Since the Fleet Owner Top 500 was created in 2004, the names of the private trucking operations identified as the country's largest haven't changed much. And growth in the number of trucks and tractors run by those fleets has also been a consistent characteristic of the annual report. Only once since the ranking was created has the equipment number dropped, and that was in 2009 when the entire economy was mired in deep recession.
True to form, the 2012 Fleet Owner Top 500 welcomes the return of 463 companies to the list of America's largest private fleets. And after that brief pause in 2009, the upward trend in equipment continues with a total of 1.18 million vehicles operated by the Top 500 fleets for a gain of 5.5% over 2011's numbers. America's private fleets seem to have weathered the worst of the economic storm and returned to their crucial role supporting the growth and profitability of their parent companies.
The Top 500 rankings are based on total power units controlled by a fleet, which we break down by tractors and straight trucks. Trailer numbers are also provided, but do not factor into the rankings. The list is compiled by FleetSeek, a collector of fleet data, which combs through a broad range of public and proprietary sources, then verifies that information through electronic, print and telephone follow-ups.
Year-to-year comparisons must be made with some caution since the information gathered is essentially new with each Top 500 report. But general trends such as the relative stability of fleet names, especially at the top of the list, and the steady growth of the overall equipment pool can be taken as indications that private fleets continue to occupy a major role in the activities of the American economy.
To bring a bit more definition to the picture painted by the Top 500, we've divided the fleets into nine general categories representing the businesses of their parent companies: concrete/cement, construction, food and beverage, manufacturing/processing, petroleum/gases, retail/wholesale, sanitation, business/home services, and utilities. Charts at the end of the Top 500 provide total vehicle counts for each segment and the top five company fleets within each category. A final chart lists the top 10 tractor and top 10 straight truck fleets.
In addition to this print version, you can find the 2012 Fleet Owner Top 500 rankings on our website (www.fleetowner.com). Reprints are also available, as is a database version with more detailed fleet information. For ordering and price information, contact Reggie Lawrence at [email protected]. If you would like to have your fleet considered for next year's Top 500, send contact info to Ron Roth at [email protected]