Author Archives: Ginger Whitcher

Best Fleets to Drive For Top 20

Landstar is among the Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For according to a survey by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA).

The release of the Top 20 carriers identified in the seventh annual survey comes after months of nominations, interviews and scoring by the TCA and CarriersEdge. The nomination process began last year, when company drivers and owner-operators were asked to nominate carriers operating 10 or more trucks.

Brad Bentley, president of TCA, said, “Clearly, these fleets are doing something right, and their efforts are paying off on multiple levels.”

Nominees were evaluated in a variety of categories including professional development opportunities (training, coaching programs etc.), commitment to continuous improvement (including dispute resolution processes and inclusion of driver feedback in policymaking), annual turnover rate and the fleet safety record.

A selection of each fleet’s drivers or owner-operators was also surveyed, with its feedback compared to management’s and incorporated into the final score. The results are the Top 20 carriers selected. This is Landstar’s fourth year participating in the survey and fourth consecutive year in the Top 20.

“It’s great to hear that once again Landstar has been recognized by the owner operators who help make Landstar an industry leader by providing excellence in safety and service,” said Landstar Executive Vice President of Capacity Development Rocco Davanzo. “We’re proud that owner operators leased to Landstar feel that they have the freedom, opportunities and support services they need to successfully run their own businesses.”

The two overall winners, Best Overall Fleet for Owner Operators and Best Overall Fleet for Company Drivers, will be announced during the TCA’s Annual Convention March 10. To find out if Landstar is number one again this year, check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/LandstarOwnerOperators, Twitter account @LandstarNow or check back with us at www.leasetolandstar.com.

A Platform for Success

Landstar truly offers a career path for owner/operators looking to move from van to platform freight. You can lease to Landstar with absolutely no platform experience and wind up hauling the big, heavy stuff. To get started, take Landstar’s free two-day securement course. We even pay for your food and lodging while attending the class. No trailer, no problem. Landstar has company platform equipment available to you.

After you haul legal freight, safely and compliantly for a relatively short period of time following securement class, you can move up to 10-foot-wide, over-dimensional loads. Then, once you have safely moved six loads of 10-foot-wide freight, you can upgrade to larger projects, and from there, you can progress to multi-axle trailers and specialized freight as your experience, skills and desire allows.

Roadstar and 2 Million Mile Safe Driver Bruce Bryant is a prime example of a BCO who has taken full advantage of this opportunity. Bryant came to Landstar as van operator, but after roughly two years pulling van freight he wanted more revenue and more of a challenge.

“Once I got into flatbed I enjoyed it and my revenue went up so I said, ‘Maybe I need to look into going into more specialized.’ So I moved up to stepdeck and was able to make even more money there because you have more oversize freight,” says Bryant, who eventually purchased a 4-axle truck and low boy double drop. “I’ve been doing that ever since and the money is great. It opened up a lot more doors.”

He says it was Landstar that provided him the opportunity take his career to this next level.

“Some companies do not provide that. Once you get on as a van operator it’s very hard to move from van to flatbed. Landstar’s not like that,” Bryant says. “I was able to go to flatbed, then progress to stepdeck and ultimately to lowboy and the oversized stuff. That’s one of the great things about Landstar – the freedom to do what you want.”

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

By Pat O’Malley, Landstar Vice President and Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer

We’re now at the midpoint of our financial year and it’s an exciting time to be at Landstar. Coming off a second quarter that saw another successful BCO All-Star Celebration which included a second truck giveaway for the year, the grand opening of our Fort Worth, Texas, Orientation Center and record-setting revenue performance, it’s clear that the “Next 25 Years” of our company is off to an outstanding start.

Agents, BCOs, third-party capacity providers and employees should be confident that the aforementioned are all indicators that Landstar is thriving – tangible signs of a company on the rise. You may be familiar with the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats.” That belief is certainly applicable to Landstar and the symbiotic relationship it has with its constituents, most of whom are also thriving. Our success is a product of the success of the individually-owned businesses that make up Landstar.

What are some of the tangible signs of success in your own business? More loads, new customers, increased pricing? If your business is not experiencing this year’s uptick, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your operations and reach out to take advantage of the many tools and resources that Landstar offers to improve your profitability. We want each and every one of our associating businesses riding the wave of this success. Take pride in knowing that you are affiliated with a financially strong company willing to reinvest in itself. That, along with Landstar’s outstanding capacity pool, gives you a competitive advantage over the competition. Capacity is tight and customers are looking for unique, customized solutions and are coming to Landstar because we can provide what they need. This year’s strong performance thus far is not by chance. It’s a result of the collaboration, expertise and execution between agents, capacity and corporate that allows Landstar to help customers navigate the rough seas of transportation and logistics. Congratulations to all for a job well done. Let’s keep the momentum going as we sail into the second half of the year!

BCO All-Star Celebration

2014All-Star-logo_smallBThe BCO All-Star Celebration is almost upon us. In just days, Landstar Roadstars and Million Mile Safe Drivers will gather for the 3rd annual All-Star event to celebrate the newest class of inductees. This group of elite BCOs and their families will enjoy food, prizes, games, tours of historic Savannah, Georgia, fishing, shopping, and swimming, but even more than all of that, they will enjoy the camaraderie and pride that comes with knowing they have achieved a career milestone.
On average, it takes a truck operator 10 years to travel a million miles. This distance would take the typical driver of a passenger vehicle 67 years – around the time of their 83rd birthday – to complete! And Landstar Roadstars take that career milestone to the next stop. Each Roadstar, previously recognized as a Landstar Million Miler, is chosen for his or her consistently high levels of safety, productivity and excellent customer service.
This All-Star event is our way of acknowledging a highly successful career with Landstar, as well as a way to give back to those who give so much every day. We realize there are a lot of other moments that owner-operators have missed while on the road, and so, this celebration is just for you!

New Orientation Center – Grand Opening

New Landstar Orientation Center - TX
The new Landstar orientation center being built in Fort Worth, Texas

The Grand Opening! The walls are up, the roof has been raised and progress continues daily on the build out of the new Landstar orientation center in Ft. Worth, Texas, as the final stages of construction continue toward the July grand opening.

The new facility will be bigger and better than the current orientation center in Grand Prairie. In fact, the new center will be almost double the current center in square footage, with additional restrooms, computers, and more work and dining space. The new break room will be twice as large as the lunch room in the Grand Prairie center. Plus, there will be four showers instead of just one, and four washing machines and four dryers. The new parking lot will also be bigger and better – completely paved, fenced, lighted and will feature a keypad entry for security, similar to the orientation center in St. Augustine, Florida. There will be 140 tractor-trailer parking spaces at the Ft. Worth center, plus 150 spaces for cars.

The new site is just two miles from the current orientation center, but offers easier access for trucks from Texas Highway 183, near Highway 360 at 4700 Diplomacy Road, Ft. Worth, TX 76155.

Landstar BCOs and agents are invited to Join us on Thursday, July 10th for the grand opening – lunch will be served at 11:30am. See you there!

Expedite Your Career

What’s the best part of being an owner-operator with a straight truck and hauling expedited freight? The parking availability, of course! O.K., all kidding aside, there are plenty of advantages to owning and operating a straight truck, especially when truck parking is at a premium. But it’s more than just the lack of 18 wheels or the smaller size and maneuverability of the truck. It’s the lifestyle that most expeditors say they enjoy – the mobility to take advantage of the sightseeing or tourist opportunities trucking can provide, or the flexibility to stop and visit family and friends who live far from home.
You may have found your niche in the trucking world, but have you found your fit in the expedited world? Choosing the right company to lease onto is just as important. Make sure the trucking company you choose understands that you chose a lifestyle, that you chose freedom – not only from parking hassles, but also from schedules and demands that do not work with your lifestyle choice. Because that should be the best part of owning and operating your own truck. That’s the best way to expedite your career – whether you’re running on 18 wheels or not.

Meeting Customer Expectations

by Joe Beacom, Landstar Vice President and Chief Safety & Operations Officer

Demand is strong! Demand for capacity. For information. For efficiency. For solutions. At the recent Landstar Agent Convention, these customer expectations received well-deserved attention. Across the industries we serve, weather has played havoc with supply chains in the first quarter and beyond. Havoc for some, is opportunity for those prepared to work smart, commit to service and offer flexibility; all strengths of the Landstar asset-light model.

Three key deliverables intended to improve the flow of information, create efficiencies and offer solutions are soon to be realized in 2014: improvements in agency work flow, technology to simplify the shipment tracking process and enhanced reporting capabilities are all operational enhancement priorities in the works.

The concept is simple – allow agents and BCOs to spend as much time as possible doing those things that make them the most productive and most profitable. The concept gets more complicated by the fact that each agent and BCO is an independent business that determines how they operate to meet customer expectations for load acceptance, on-time pick-up, status reporting, claim-free delivery, accurate invoicing and much more.

These enhancements build upon the foundation of dedicated agents understanding customer expectations, working cooperatively with capacity providers to keep customers informed and satisfied while strengthening the Landstar brand. Expect to see more to come on Shipment Manager, GPS Shipment Tracking and Customer Reporting.