Truck Driving Companies: The Story of Chester England
The Story of Chester England
Quick, name three truck driving companies off the top of your head. Chances are good that CR England was among the companies you named. CR England is one of the oldest truck driving companies in the United States, and it is also one of the most successful. The story of Chester England's rise from solo truck driver to founder of a huge trucking company can really motivate those looking into starting a small trucking company.
The Beginning of CR England
Back in 1920, Chester England got started on his entrepreneurial path by opening the doors of CR England. In those days, the company was just Chester England and his Model T truck (, 2016). He found his own customers, closed his own deals, delivered his own hauls, and put in hours upon hours to get the company off the ground.
The Role of Family in Business
Something you may notice about small trucking companies is that they tend to be family businesses. This is considered taboo in some industries, but in the case of trucking, families are responsible for some of the biggest companies in transportation. Chester England got his whole family involved while starting a small trucking business.
Even now, almost 100 years after the company was first founded, you'll find many of his descendants in administrative positions. Dan England, Chester England's grandson, is the company chairman. Some of the third and fourth generation Englands working for this company include Gene England, Dean England, Todd England, and Corey England.
Keeping it in the family may be a secret of success for small fleet trucking companies. If you hire great drivers, of course they'll work hard for you and do what they need to keep the company going. With family, though, you have people who are investing their efforts in a brand and a company that may someday benefit their children and grandchildren.
C.R. England Today
As CR England gets close to 100 years of business, it's important to look back and see what has positively or negatively affected the organization's growth. Clearly, in the course of 100 years, CR England has seen just about every major change to hit the trucking industry. They navigated the long and difficult time of federal trucking regulation and stayed in business. Now, there are over 3000 CR England trucks on roads all over the country. The company is headquartered in Salt Lake City.
Dan England, chairman, is a huge advocate for higher pay for drivers. This is an important part of the company’s reputation and its future. Focusing on subjects like driver pay shows that the England family is truly part of the trucking community, not just making money from it. England attributes his family's success to their ability to establish a pool of skilled, competent drivers.
The Secret to Success
What can owner-operators and owners of small truck companies learn from Chester England? The focus on fair pay for CR England jobs is obviously crucial, since paying your drivers well builds loyalty and minimizes struggles with high turnover rates.
Additionally, the company has functioned under the same principles and values since 1920. They engage with their drivers and foster a positive corporate community. In the past, company executives have led to movements encouraging drivers to sign up as organ donors. They also provide tons of driver amenities at headquarters, such as a barbershop, great restaurants, and shopping.
Something else to recognize is the fact that CR England executives have never rested on their laurels when their company was “good enough.” Instead, they constantly use research and data to make changes to their policies and protocols that benefit drivers. Four times per year, the company conducts driver surveys through an outside research firm. They use the information gained from these surveys to find out what's important to drivers, make changes in management, and retain loyal drivers.
On top of this, company executives know that getting drivers is tough during a driver shortage. In response to the growing driver shortage, they built their own truck driving training program. 80% of graduates go on to accept CR England trucking jobs.
If you're interested in starting a small trucking company, it's important to take it one step at a time. Chester England didn't expect to be one of the largest truck driving companies in the United States by the end of his first year in business. Even though it took time and it would have been easier to keep working as a company driver, he kept his goals in mind and stuck to them, creating the CR England that you know today.