Britton Transport

Britton Transport President Jim Stockeland recognizes that most trucking companies tout their safety programs and truck driver benefits as a reason to work with or for them, but he explains that a safety program is so much more than just words on paper. Safety and driver appreciation are truly the embodiment of Britton Transport’s culture.

“Every trucking company has a safety program and one in print because they have to have it to follow regulated outlines,” Stockeland explains. “Actually doing it and having a safety culture is completely different than just having it in print. We are very purposeful in how we treat our drivers and in safety.” 

Dave Britton founded the Grand Forks, N.D.-based company in 1980 and provided truck brokerage services from the basement of his home. Today, Britton Transport offers van, reefer and flatbed service to haul commodities, including machinery, metals, lumber and building materials, construction equipment, oversize shipments and communications equipment. 

Its mission is to provide on-time, crash-free and innovative transportation services so its customers are confident in relying on Britton Transport for their transportation needs. 

“We are an on-time, flexible and safety conscious company and those are the ingredients that make our customers enthusiastically rely on Britton Transport,” Stockeland adds.

Safety Standards

At Britton Transport, safety is more than a goal the company hopes to achieve – it’s a way of life for everyone that works there. Safety not only keeps its operation strong, but is an important aspect of customer service. 

“Our customers are most proud of our safety record and attention to safety,” Stockeland explains. “We have been recognized several times in our industry for our tremendous results in the area of safety. Customers like to know they have a quality carrier hauling their freight.”

Although the company has received many safety awards, its strong record has not been easily achieved. Britton Transport developed a robust safety culture where every employee is in the mindset of protecting others. 

“Safety is always a challenge and we don’t take our achievements for granted,” Stockeland says. “The award recognitions we have are not by chance. There is a healthy tension between safety and operations from the driver to the administrative staff to the leadership and we are all committed to that.” 

Britton Transport acknowledges its staff of 140 employees is the reason the company stands apart from its competitors. “When I accepted the Volvo Trucks Fleet Safety Award in October, I was extremely humbled to be accepting an award knowing it’s our drivers on the road and staff in the office that are making that happen,” Stockeland says. 

Driver Appreciation

One of the ways Britton Transport ensures safe transportation services is by hiring experienced drivers. At a time when the pool of drivers is small, the company says it has even further narrowed the number of applicants because of its stringent requirements. “Hiring qualified, safe drivers is probably the largest and most publicized challenge and because we put priority on safety, it’s a little tougher,” Stockeland says. 

New drivers arrive at Britton Transport by word-of-mouth because its seasoned drivers are enthusiastic. The drivers’ pay ranks in the top-10 percent in the industry, and Britton Transport offers free health insurance, paid life insurance, holidays and vacation. 

“This is not a quick-fix strategy to find more truck drivers, but we believe it’s a better strategy and solid plan for the long-term,” Stockeland notes. “If we treat our drivers right, word will travel across the country. We strive to do what we say and we treat the truck driver with the respect he deserves.”

Britton Transport shows it cares about what its truck drivers care about, including their desire to be home more frequently. To meet that desire, Britton Transport has begun concentrating on shorter, regional hauls to attract more quality drivers.  “The driver of today is much different than 10 years go,” Stockeland notes. “Drivers are more connected to home time, maintaining family and social responsibilities.” 

The company is opening a new facility in Des Moines, Iowa, that it plans to have operational next year. “The regulatory trend is not adding hours to the work week for drivers, as a result the miles driven are going to get less and less,” Stockeland explains. 

Britton Transport plans to grow aggressively in the market through organic growth and acquisition. Stockeland plans to continue double-digit growth, which he says is the epitome of aggressive growth. “Our customers are requiring us to grow, offer more service and that’s what we are doing,” he adds. 

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