At Bennett, we like to say we’re “large enough to serve, but small enough to care.” As members of the Bennett family, our drivers aren’t just truck numbers. We strive every day to provide drivers not only with great freight, but also with a phenomenal support system that’s one of the best in the industry.
We sat down with a couple of our fleet managers to find out just why drivers stick with us for multiple decades.
Christy Parker, a fleet manager for Bennett Motor Express, has been with the company for 12 years. All those years ago, her mother was delivering paychecks to Bennett as a courier, and kept urging her daughter to inquire about getting a job with the company. Having worked in transportation for quite some time, air freight to be exact, her experience helped get her foot in the door. Eventually, she knew someone who knew someone, and the rest was history.
Bennett Drivers are a Family Within a Family
Over the last 12 years, Christy has developed strong relationships with the 46 drivers she works with. She says, “I’ve dispatched some of these drivers for several years, and I feel like we’re friends. I know how they work and what type of work they’re interested in. We’re in communication almost every single day, and as long and they’re easy going, we get along just fine.”
Christy says the reason she’s stayed at Bennett for the last 12 years is because of the family-oriented culture. “We try to take care of our drivers. They’re the reason we are in business and we have their backs.”
Preston Revelle, who is also a fleet manager for Bennett Motor Express, is going on a year and a half with the company. Although he’s been in the transportation business for a while, he had friends and family who worked for the company and encouraged him to apply. He knew as soon as he started, his experience at Bennett would be different from other companies.
“It’s been really enjoyable,” he says. “The culture is very different than other companies, in a good way. It’s very family oriented and there is a new challenge every day, but the people of Bennett go out of their way to make you feel appreciated. We call it the ‘Spirit of Bennett,’ and it’s a culture in its own.”
Fleet Managers Have Big Plans for their Drivers
We asked Preston what he believes makes a great fleet manager, and his answer was simple: “Being proactive. I watch the load board, call agents, and make sure I’m proactive in helping these drivers plan and reach their business goals. Fleet managers should know there are going to be slow times for these drivers, which is why you keep loads in mind for places that might be empty.”
“My job is to help owner operators understand this mindset. Sometimes they might get stuck when trying to make a hard decision, so I help them decide when to move and when not to move. When to take a risk, and when to sit tight. I also try to encourage my guys to get creative. I tell them, ‘If there’s not a load, let’s create one.’”
Preston recognizes the relationship between fleet managers and drivers is a partnership. He shared once such story as an example.
“One thing I like to express to potential drivers is the importance of having a dispatcher. I had one guy join us from Africa. He had been working for 20 years as his own dispatcher, and he was reluctant to work with me. Well, over the course of the year, we’ve built a trusting relationship and I’ve been able to help him grow his revenue and push him to that next level. He’s been able to find freight he might not have been able to find on his own.”
Preston says drivers should expect their fleet managers to push them and help them succeed. This is why he’s in contact with drivers so often. “I’m working 24/7. My guys know they can text or call me anytime to help them. Even if it’s after hours, I’m here whenever they need me. We never want to force anyone to do anything, but our job is to help them be successful as best we can.”