Challenger named North America’s Best Fleet to Drive For

Challenger Motor Freight was named North America's overall Best Fleet to Drive For in the large fleet category, at the Truckload Carriers Association's (TCA) annual conference. Jim Peeples, Challenger's president and chief operating officer, told it was a lengthy journey to get there. "We started our initiative probably seven years ago," he said. "It wasn't anything we did in any particular year.

It was a culmination of activities for seven years, to bring it all together." He credited drivers who, for two years in a crisis, continued to deliver loads, thanks to the company's initiatives to make it a good workplace.

Challenger president Jim Peeples accepts the award. (Photo: Best Fleets to Drive For)

"The things we did for our drivers to help make them successful over the past seven years made it easier for them to do the job for us in a crisis situation," Peeples said. "I'm proud of them. They would drive into New York City or Chicago in a crisis situation.

Not everybody wanted to go but the majority of our drivers still went. They believed we had the support system to help them be successful." Peeples acknowledged the company has more work to do to. "We started this seven years ago, but probably need seven more years to get where we need to get to," he said.

However, he added the award couldn't come at a better time, when all fleets are struggling to secure talent. "Having the credibility represented by this fantastic award allows us to promote this as an environment where you want to work, when every company out there is challenged to get not just drivers, but office workers as well. We want to be a green pasture out there where people want to work, an employer of choice in our communities." Challenger wasn't the only Canadian fleet to be recognized.

Bison Transport was an inaugural inductee to the Best Fleets Hall of Fame, established this year to recognize perennial winners.

"The Hall of Fame recognizes fleets demonstrating exceptional performance year after year," said Jane Jazrawy, CEO of Carriers Edge, which administers the program. "The inaugural entrants have continued to raise the bar for years, and their achievements demonstrate an enviable level of excellence."

Other Canadian fleets among the top 20 included: Erb Transport; Fortigo Freight Services; Liberty Linehaul; TransPro Freight Systems; and Wellington Group of Companies.