A fleet legacy to enjoy life

Fleet Manager

Jun 10, 2014

Boyd Brothers has a heritage of working hard, working smart and enjoying life. James Watkins, the fleet's communications manager, explains how EpicVue sustains a driving culture focused on quality of life.


Boyd Brothers,  headquartered in Clayton, Alabama, is a flatbed truckload carrier that operates throughout the eastern two-thirds of the United States, hauling primarily steel products and building materials. In these markets, Boyd Brothers serves high-volume, time-sensitive shippers that demand time-definite delivery.


We asked James Watkins, the fleet's communications manager, what makes Boyd Brothers a special fleet to work and drive hard for. His words outline a industry-wide need to focus on driver quality of life.


"I've been with a lot of fleets over the years, but Boyd Brothers treats everyone like family. With over 800 trucks, we may look our drivers up with a number, but they aren't just a number." It's clear that in focusing on what matters, Boyd Brothers has created a culture that helps their drivers stick around. "For one, all our drivers have personalized business cards. It's a community of camaraderie where every driver counts."


Another Boyd Brothers driver just became a Million Miler. "It's always a celebration. We get everyone involved. Being a Million Miler—it's like entering the Hall of Fame in our fleet."


We asked what EpicVue is doing to enhance or complement the overall Boyd Brothers culture.


"We try to get our drivers home on the weekends. But if you know this industry, you know that's not always possible. Initially, we ordered a few EpicVue units to see how our drivers would respond."

The driver's response has been exciting. "EpicVue is all our drivers are talking about," said James. "As of today, we have over 50 cabs installed with EpicVue and I'm ordering another 200 today. It's the next big step for Boyd Brothers to show our drivers that we care."


Because of their relationship with shippers, Boyd Brothers can't promise that every one of their drivers will make it home for the weekend. But James describes that their drivers have a lot character and they understand the industry.


"What we can promise," said James, "is that we'll do everything we can to get drivers home for Saturday, and now with EpicVue we can also promise they'll be more connected to home when we call to inform them of a shipper delay."

Quality truck fleet management with a good strategy is a vital element for success in the trucking industry. These systems are necessary for communication, and processes are sure to succeed. There’s no doubt that the best semi-truck fleet teams are those that are effectively and efficiently managed, making a great fleet manager worth their weight in gold — and then some!  But what is it exactly that makes a fleet manager great? It all comes down to a solid fleet management strategy and reliable semi-fleet processes. In fact, these are essential to finding both short- and long-term success. If you’re in charge of a semi-truck fleet and are looking to build a fail-proof truck fleet management strategy, you’re in the right place. We’re here to give you some tried-and-true tips and tricks for developing a solid plan. With a little hard work and the right strategy, you will surely see increased profits, fleet growth, and a happier, healthier, and more productive crew. Keep scrolling to learn more.

5 Things to Consider When Developing Your Truck Fleet Management Strategy

If you want to develop a quality truck fleet management strategy, make sure to consider the following:
  1. Invest in a Fleet Management System — You could be the most experienced and focused manager, but you will still have difficulties staying organized and productive without a quality truck fleet management system in place. Managers of old used to rely on elaborate systems involving paper spreadsheets, filing cabinets, and more to run their business, but there are simpler ways to get the job done. Join the digital age by digitizing your workflow and operations; you’ll find that processes are optimized, and your team’s performance is improved! A good system will allow you to keep track of the best routes, maintenance schedules, driver and vehicle efficiency, automating various tasks (such as routing and scheduling deliveries, billing and invoicing, sending jobs to drivers, etc.) and more so you can maximize the potential of your fleet.
  2. Find Ways to Cut Maintenance Costs — It’s no secret that the economy is in an exciting place right now. Inflation is on the rise, and maintenance costs are not exempt. A solid semi-truck fleet manager must prioritize finding ways to reduce costs. Taking a defensive, preventive approach to maintenance is key. Improving fleet efficiency and ensuring that your rigs and necessary equipment are in tip-top shape and ready to go can help you stay ahead of maintenance issues. Consider utilizing a good fleet management system that can tell you about the vehicles’ engines and other diagnostic features to help extend the life of your trucks. These tools can help you quickly identify any problems with your trucks and avoid issues down the road when they become more serious, thus cutting maintenance costs. Another way to reduce maintenance costs is to base your trucks’ service schedule on accurate engine usage hours instead of an arbitrary calendar. This helps to eliminate unnecessary repairs and potential hours and revenue lost, allowing you to make the most of your fleet while still taking great care of them.
  3. Find Ways to Save Money on Fuel — As a fleet manager, it almost always comes down to budget. And one of the biggest portions (we’re talking between 50% and 65%) of overall operating costs is dedicated to fueling costs. As mentioned above, having a good management system and GPS tracking in place can help you develop an excellent management strategy. You’ll be able to monitor your drivers’ driving performance, habits, and behavior and monitor fuel usage, which directly affects fuel consumption. By tracking and analyzing this information, you’ll be alerted to issues sooner than you may have been otherwise. Moreover, tracking this info will keep you apprised of any safety concerns, such as aggressive driving. Addressing these issues will help you reduce operational costs associated with your fuel budget.
  4. Perfect and Optimize Your Drivers’ Routes — Customers and clients demand quick and on-time deliveries, so taking the perfect and optimal route is absolutely crucial. Your business’ reputation counts on it! Inaccurate arrival time estimates, delays, and inefficient routes will only lead to frustration. Hiccups and issues along the way are bound to happen and are an inevitable part of any industry, including trucking. But, by automating customer notifications and other processes, fleet managers can experience a lot less stress, allowing them to spend time and put their focus elsewhere.
  5. Prioritize Your Drivers’ Health and Wellness — One of the biggest parts of developing a good truck fleet management strategy is prioritizing your team’s health and wellness. Feeling isolated on the road comes with being a truck driver; it’s part of the territory. So fleet managers who promote a healthy work-life balance and positive mental health are typically much more successful.

Here are some ways managers can prioritize employees’ health:

Include EpicVue in Your Truck Fleet Management Strategy

Developing a truck fleet management strategy is essential to the success of your business, and EpicVue is here to help make it happen. EpicVue will outfit your fleet with premium in-cab television so your drivers can enjoy a bit of home on the road and catch up on their favorite shows. Contact EpicVue today to learn more.