Every year for nearly a decade, truck drivers and owner-operators from across the U.S. and Canada call attention to the top fleets in the industry. Through nominations and evaluations, CarriersEdge and Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) identify and honor the carriers providing the best workplaces for their drivers.
Omnitracs is proud to work with the best fleets in the business. As part of series of posts, we’re shining a spotlight on several Omnitracs customers that were recognized as one of the Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For and exploring what makes them great.
Boyle Transportation is a specialized trucking firm that provides exceptional quality, safety, and security to select clients in the life science, defense, and government sectors. Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, this is the company’s fourth consecutive year receiving the “Best Fleets to Drive For” designation.
According to co-president Andrew Boyle, a company culture that focuses on putting top-shelf drivers in excellent equipment and then creating a clear sense of purpose beyond earning a pay check is what places Boyle among the Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For.
When new professional drivers or employees join the company, “I ask them ‘Why did you pursue this opportunity?’ ” Andrew says. The answers he gets back are revealing.
“People want to have a sense of mission, a sense of purpose. Trucking as a whole plays a critical role in our nation’s economy, but we serve an even more important role. The commodities we transport either support military service members or contain life-saving medicine. That’s an awesome responsibility and it instills pride in our people.”
Boyle only hires experienced professional drivers with outstanding road records. As Andrew says, “we don’t hire ‘truck drivers,’ per se. We hire professionals who drive trucks.” In addition, a majority of Boyle’s drivers — who always work in teams — either served in the military or in law enforcement or have family members who served or are currently serving. They then get extensive, specialized training in handling Boyle’s mixture of cargos — hazardous materials, security-sensitive equipment, radioactive materials, and medical supplies and medicines — that require special handling.
“The (hiring) funnel gets very narrow very quickly,” Andrew says. “Our approach to hiring is very selective. In order to qualify to work here, professional drivers have to undergo extensive background checks and demonstrate a record of achievement in their career. The qualifications are quite strict, and that tends to deter a lot of potential applications. It’s counterintuitive, but it attracts the right kind of prospective employee.”
Part of what attracts many of these professional drivers is Boyle’s investment in safe operations. Earlier this year Boyle was awarded the Truckload Carriers Association’s Grand Prize for National Fleet Safety in the “small” carrier category for companies whose trucks cumulatively travel less than 25 million miles a year.
“We try to provide our people with the tools to do their job as safely as possible,” Andrew says. “So, we're big believers and investors in on-board safety systems that are becoming more prevalent now. We also provide our folks the support and ongoing training that enables them to do their job as safely as possible.”
Boyle’s clients, Andrew says, are strongly drawn to the company’s high-quality-focused practices like operating only late-model, company-owned and well-maintained equipment, never contracting loads out to third parties, and relying exclusively on deeply experienced, well-trained, uniformed company drivers.
Those drivers also aren’t paid by the mile. Years ago, Boyle switched to a pay formula that eliminates the stress-inducing motivation to rack up more miles to earn more money.
“Our customers and our clients engage us for superior quality, safety, and security,” Andrew explains. “We need to make sure that the compensation structure is aligned with the objectives of our customer. Mileage pay, in our estimation, often conflicts with the objectives of safety, security, and quality. So, we've shifted the economic risk from the professional driver back on to the company. We reduce the anxiety that is often associated with highly variable pay, which is rampant in our industry. By affording our people that peace of mind associated with very high and consistent income, in turn, they can focus on quality, safety, and security.
“One over-arching statement I always like to make is that in our business we spend a ton of money on equipment; we spend a ton of money on technology; and we spend a ton of money on facilities. But our greatest assets are our people. That's why we make the greatest investment, in dollar terms, in our people.”