The newest event on the trucking industry calendar in 2024 will celebrate the best-run carrier operations and share trends, innovative ideas, and educational programs for fleets of all sizes.
For 16 years, the Best Fleets to Drive For program has shown how fleets that create a superb workplace are among the top operators in the freight industry. Mark Murrell, who has overseen the awards contest since its inception, wants to share insights from the best of the best with fleet leaders across North America through a different trucking industry gathering.
The new Best Fleets to Drive For Education & Awards Conference is an expanded celebration of the 16-year-old annual survey and contest recognizing for-hire carriers that offer the best workplace experience for their drivers. The program produced by driver training company CarriersEdge is open to all for-hire fleets operating 10 tractor-trailers or more in the U.S. or Canada.
“I expect everybody to leave with multiple pages of notes on things that they can be doing within their companies—regardless of what segment they’re in or how big they are,” Murrell, president of CarriersEdge, told FleetOwner. “We’re going to have people that have 20 trucks, and we’re going to have people that have thousands of trucks. There are things that all of them are doing that can be adapted by fleets in different segments and different sizes.”
The previous awards were presented during the Truckload Carriers Association's annual conference. The first Best Fleets to Drive For conference will be held at the Nascar Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 8-9. Now, the contest is open to fleets beyond truckload carriers. EpicVue, TruckRight, and Netradyne are sponsoring the show and awards.
“We wanted to do something a bit different” than other industry conferences, Murrell said. “And we wanted to highlight that we are really celebrating greatness within the industry. We’re celebrating the innovators, the people that really push the envelope. And we thought, if we’re going to do that, what better way to do it than go to a Hall of Fame—a place where greatness is always being celebrated.”
What you can expect out of the Best Fleets to Drive For conference
The event will celebrate the 20 winning fleets from the 2024 Best Fleets to Drive For program, along with carriers in the Best Fleet to Drive For Hall of Fame and several Fleets to Watch. After being nominated by a driver or owner-operator, participating fleets are evaluated across various categories, including HR practices, operational strategy, professional development, and work/life balance. A comprehensive driver survey is also included, with company responses and driver feedback compiled to identify the winners.
A big part of the two-day event will be education. Best Fleets to Drive publishes a book detailing its results and findings, writes stories, and hosts webinars to educate the industry on what makes a fleet a great place to work. But Murrell feels like these only scratch the surface.
“We collect so much data every year—and the challenge that we always have is feeling like we’re sufficiently sharing all that information,” Murrell said. “There’s so much we want to share about what these fleets are doing. Now we’re going to really take advantage of this extended time to dig into it more deeply. Our objective is to fill the time with useful educational content from the program.”
That will include details on what the top fleets are doing well, industry trends, and ways for fleets of all sizes to assess their operations critically. “Whether or not they participate in the program at all, we want somebody who’s never been involved with Best Fleets to come out of the conference with a lot of valuable information,” Murrell said.
The Top 20 Best Fleets, Fleets to Watch, and those entering the organization’s Hall of Fame will be announced on Jan. 30. The winning fleets will be recognized during the April conference.