Sharp rise in carriers with 20-50 trucks utilizing in-cab satellite TV systems to attract drivers

American Journal of Transportation

May 14, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY - EpicVue, providers of premium in-cab satellite TV packaged exclusively for the trucking industry, today announced that a growing number of carriers with 20 to 50 trucks are using EpicVue as a key part of their driver recruitment and retention capability. “Smaller and specialized carriers are experiencing a driver shortage much like their larger counterparts,” said Lance Platt, CEO of EpicVue. “It’s costly and difficult to attract and retain quality drivers. What we’re hearing from smaller carriers is that EpicVue provides comfort and convenience. It’s an affordable satellite TV system that makes truck cabs feel more like home, and is proving to be a key factor when drivers decide to work for and stay with these companies.”   Here’s what three smaller trucking companies are saying about their decision to add EpicVue in-cab satellite TV systems to their equipment:   Nagle Companies   Walbridge, Ohio   “We’re looking for drivers like everyone else,” said Ed Nagle, president, CEO of Nagle Companies. “In food hauling operations, especially on the east coast, we can experience a lot of operational and traffic related delays. While our drivers may have DVD players in their trucks, with satellite TV they can turn on the news, or watch a movie or sports to help pass the time. EpicVue provides a tremendous quality of life improvement for our drivers.”   Family-owned Nagle Companies offers a variety of truckload food distribution solutions, including temperature controlled, dry van, local cartage, and dedicated services, primarily to states east of the Mississippi. For the past month, the company’s shop has been installing EpicVue in the carrier’s 22 over the road trucks. Plans also call for adding the satellite TV systems to the 15 new trucks the company has on order.   “We value our drivers as professionals,” Nagle stated. “For example, we pay them a salary, not a per mile rate. EpicVue requires only a small investment that goes a long way. I can’t think of an easier way to give a driver something that costs just $50 per month and is worth a lot more.   “We’ve had nothing but good driver feedback about EpicVue,” Nagle added, “and drivers that are waiting for systems keep asking how soon it will be installed. I’ve been in the trucking business for 37 years and to me, EpicVue brings an improvement to a driver’s quality of life that is equal to that realized in the past with things like power steering, air conditioning and air ride suspensions. Like those, I believe in-cab satellite TV will become standard within ten years.”   Stageline Express   Coopersville, Michigan   “Anything we can do to enhance life for our drivers is something we will do,” said Tom Freeland, president and owner of Stageline Express, Inc. “EpicVue appealed to us because the life of a driver on the road is hard. Their time is structured, parking, truck stop and shipper facilities are often limited, and when they have a rest period there’s not much to do. The quality of life that EpicVue provides, whether it’s watching a movie they recorded or following their team on NFL Sunday Ticket, is very valuable.”   Stageline Express became the first carrier in Michigan to install EpicVue and is currently putting the in-cab satellite TV systems in 40 trucks, including about 20 driven by dedicated owner-operators. The installations, at a rate of about three per day, are being handled by a local Direct TV installer. The process, Freeland noted, is sometimes simpler than that for a house or an RV.   As an irregular route truckload carrier, Stageline Express hauls time and temperature sensitive food, pharmaceutical and produce shipments from the Midwest to the all points west. “Our drivers are usually out for two to three weeks and then home for only three to four days, so they have some 34-hour restarts on the road,” Freeland related. “We can provide nice equipment but away from home is still away from home, and EpicVue goes a long way toward filling that void.   “It’s also a very effective recruiting tool,” Freeland added. “The most frustrating thing is to have an empty seat when you have loads to haul. EpicVue easily helps us attract drivers and eliminate that cost by retaining them. For anyone who’s driven before, EpicVue is a no brainer.”   JMJ Equipment Transport   Yuma, Arizona   “It’s very difficult for us to find drivers because we haul heavy and oversize loads of agricultural and construction equipment on specialized trailers,” said Jasen Jones, owner and CEO of JMJ Equipment Transport Inc. “We need drivers who are qualified to handle, load and unload equipment, and when we find them we absolutely need to retain drivers with those qualifications. That’s why we’ve installed EpicVue in all but the two trucks we keep as spares.”   Founded in 1997 by Jones as a single owner-operator, JMJ Equipment Transport has grown to include 23 trucks, including seven added last year and one new unit so far in 2015. “We usually need two drivers, although with our recent growth we are now looking to find four drivers,” Jones stated. “We offer late-model equipment, good pay and benefits to help attract and retain them, and now we have EpicVue to offer as well.   “In our specialized operation,” Jones continued, “it can cost $12,000 to $15,000 to find and train a driver. That makes the rate of return on EpicVue as a recruiting and retention tool very good.   “In addition to regular rest periods to comply with Hours Of Service regulations, our drivers usually have one 34-hour restart while they’re on the road,” Jones noted. “With EpicVue, they can watch the same things they would at home. EpicVue is a great way to give any over the road driver a more regular life. We won’t hesitate to install it in every truck in our fleet.”   EpicVue has packaged satellite TV for fleets with 20 or more vehicles for $49 per month under a five-year contract, or $59 monthly for a three-year contract. The in-cab satellite TV systems, including an antenna, DVR and 24-inch flat screen TV, can be installed in less than two hours per vehicle. The service provides more than 100 channels of programming, including premium TV services such as HBO, Showtime and NFL Sunday Ticket, for a monthly subscription fee and without any hardware costs. See Original Article
Nussbaum Transportation and Prime Inc., were named the Best Overall Fleet in their respective categories in the Truckload Carriers Associations’ 2019 Best Fleets to Drive For Contest.   Hudson, Illinois-based Nussbaum took top honors in the small carrier category and Springfield, Missouri-based Prime received the honor for the large carrier category. Prime and Nussbaum have both been named to the Best Fleets Top 20 multiple times, but are winning the overall award for the first time.   Nussbaum operates a fleet of 400 tractors, combining both high- and low-tech solutions to create a balance across its programs. The company scored high in several categories including having an industry leading scorecard and mobile app, a simple, effective driver outreach schedule and a formal career path and certification program.   Prime’s fleet includes 7,200 tractors, but was noted for maintaining a personal touch despite it’s size. The company hosts a variety of committees, social groups and educational offerings, providing contractors with a range of options for personal and professional development. New for this year, the company implemented a new program in partnership with Missouri Good Dads, to help drivers build and strengthen family connections while away on the road.   Both companies were also noted for their safety and retention numbers as well as satisfaction scores well above 90%.   “For several years, these fleets have been catching our eye with their range of creative programs,” said Jane Jazrawy, CarriersEdge chief executive officer. “Each year they continue to expand on those offerings, so it’s easy to see why their drivers speak so highly of them, and why they’re achieving such stellar results.”   Best Fleets to Drive For is an annual survey, now in its 11th year, that recognizes North American for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experience for their drivers. To participate, fleets must be nominated by a company driver or independent contractor working with them, after which they are evaluated across a broad range of categories reflecting current best practices in human resources.   From the nominated fleets, the top 20 finishers are identified as the Best Fleets to Drive For and are then categorized according to size. The highest scoring fleet in each category is named the overall winner.   The Best Fleets to Drive For survey and contest is open to any fleet operating 10 or more trucks, regardless of TCA membership status. Nominated fleets are evaluated in areas such as: Driver compensation, pension and benefits, professional development, driver and community support, and safety record. The award is offered in partnership with CarriersEdge and is co-sponsored by DMC Insurance and EpicVue.   “Year after year, the overall winners are truly changing the game,” said John Lyboldt, TCA president. “It’s imperative that fleets establish driver-centric offerings which attract and retain a skilled workforce, while establishing programs that improve the work-life balance for their employees. Prime Inc. and Nussbaum Transportation have done just that. Congratulations to both winners on this well-deserved honor.”