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The 2014 Fleet Owner 500

Feb. 12, 2014
The FleetOwner 500 1-99 100-199 200-299 300-399 400-500 A breakdown of the Fleet Owner 500

If anyone doubts the importance of private fleets, all they have to do is compare our first Fleet Owner 500 in 2004 with this, our 11th annual report on the country’s top private fleets. In the last decade, the number of trucks and tractors operated by the 500 largest private fleets has grown by over 50%. And while our rankings are based on the total number of power units operated by each fleet, we also track trailer population, and that number, too, has risen over 50%. By any measure, the expansion witnessed in the Fleet Owner Top 500 is a testament to the vital roles private fleets play in supporting the primary businesses of their parent companies as they distribute products, deliver services, keep supply chains moving and perform other essential jobs.

Compared to 2013’s report, this year’s Top 500 reflects the slow, but steady economic growth and the overall cautious business climate. Total number of power units operated by 2014’s Top 500 grew by less than 9,000 to 1.193 million for a 1% gain, with the tractor numbers actually shrinking 1.1% (176,216 vs. 178,255 in 2013). Despite the drop in tractors, the trailer total was up by 10,500 units (2.2%).  Though it would be complete speculation, some might attribute that to productivity losses driven by HOS changes or perhaps greater reliance on intermodal and for-hire carriage.

With certain segments showing good growth and others remaining stagnant, the lumpy economic recovery in 2013 is also clearly evident in the equipment totals by business categories. Construction, manufacturing, sanitation, services and petroleum—all strong industrial performers last year—showed increases in equipment numbers, while concrete/cement, food/beverage and utilities recorded a decrease and retail/wholesale remained flat. Strength in the oil patch in particular was evident, with three oil field service providers jumping into the top 10 of the tractor fleet chart this year. Overall, 250 of the Top 500 showed gains in vehicle numbers that averaged 16%, while 146 had a decline that averaged 17% and 65 showed no change.

The remaining 39 private fleets were new to the Top 500 this year or have returned after a few years’ absence. Among the new entries were Mission Petroleum (131), Mobile USA (223), Robertson’s Ready Mix (244), Burrtec Waste & EDCO Disposal (248), and Mission Linen Supply (385).

The Fleet Owner Top 500 is put together by our sister operation, FleetSeek, which starts with a broad range of public and proprietary sources, then verifies and updates that information through electronic, print and telephone follow-ups.

In addition to this print version, you can find the 2014 Fleet Owner 500 rankings on our website. 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].

In addition to this print version, you can find the 2013 Fleet Owner 500 rankings on our website. Reprints are also available, as is a database version with more detailed fleet information.

About the Author

Jim Mele

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999.

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