Overdrive, published by CCJ publisher Randall-Reilly, has launched a new program intended to recognize successful small fleets. Overdrive‘s Small Fleet Champ award, sponsored by the Pilot Company’s One9 Fuel Network, will be announced in late August at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
The championship belt will go to a small-fleet owner who has demonstrated effective business practices and positioned the fleet for long-term financial stability and capacity for growth.
Three finalists will be profiled in Overdrive, a sister publication of CCJ, this summer. Each will receive free lodging and $1,000 toward expenses to attend GATS, Aug. 27-29, where they will participate in business panels.
The competition is open to fleets that operated three to 30 Class 8 trucks during 2019 and meet other criteria detailed on the contest entry website. Entries can be made through May 10.
“We’re excited to recognize the skills and effort it takes to build a successful small fleet,” says Overdrive Editorial Director Max Heine. “Recent years in particular have provided excellent conditions for many operators to start or expand their fleets.”
Comparing 2012 with 2019, the number of for-hire fleets of one to six trucks grew from 109,009 to 204,554, an increase of 88%, based on federal data compiled by the Tucker Company Worldwide brokerage. That far outpaced growth in every larger category of fleet size.
Even more pronounced was the growth in drivers for those very small fleets. Over the seven years, their driver rolls went from 223,709 to 564,880, a jump of 153%.