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Strict policies ensure only the best drivers drive for Sentinel.

by  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Fleet Owner, January 2015

Founded nearly 20 years ago, Sentinel Transportation is a national model of exceptionally high safety management standards and operational practices.  The company’s 750 employees, including 650 drivers and 400 tractors, operate out of 40 terminals. Sentinel provides specialized transportation and logistics services, delivering high hazardous chemical and petroleum products exclusively for DuPont and Phillips 66, its parent companies.

Although Sentinel is owned by the parent companies, and the transportation services provided are restricted to only parent company business, the parent companies are not required to use the private fleet.  Therefore, the fleet must compete on either a straight cost-per-mile or cost-per-delivery metric.

Cost is just one of three standards that must be met.  Service is another and is measured by the ease of doing business and consistent delivery dependability.  Safety, of course, ranks first and foremost as the strongest selling point for the private fleet—with a caveat. “Safety failure can get us fired overnight,” says Adam Gregori, president and CEO of Sentinel.

Widely regarded as one of the nation’s top private fleets in the most exacting and demanding of specialized fields in the trucking industry (hazardous bulk tank transport),  Sentinel’s performance record in safety, customer service, and cost efficiencies stands as a benchmark of continuous improvement.

“The legacy hallmark at Sentinel is a deeply embedded safety culture,” says Gregori.  “We are stewards of a corporate tradition and family-like environment where everyone involved feels, lives and talks safety. Our Monday safety call each week reviews and follows up with action as appropriate on every incident of any kind that occurred in the past week.”

Gregori says making this culture work requires an “authentic commitment” as demonstrated in recruiting and retaining the very best class of drivers possible, deploying the best equipment with the latest safety technologies, ongoing training, innovative safety protocols, and a rigorous discipline of performance scorecarding and accountability.

Policies are comparatively strict.  For example, Sentinel has a mandatory 60 mph maximum speed standard for drivers and a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use while driving.  This policy applies to all employees at all levels—and that includes the CEO.

“Our continued relevance as a private fleet is dependent on getting the right kind of professionals behind the wheels of our trucks and playing by our rules,” Gregori notes. “Not every qualified driver is suited for our strict standards and frankly, this does create some challenges for us when we find that a good driver leaves our employment out of fear of termination due to zero-tolerance policies like cell phone use.”

The trade-offs, however, are impressive.  Sentinel promises that a dream career and good retirement benefits await the driver with the right stuff. Driver recruiting at Sentinel is an all-hands-on-deck, around-the-clock campaign.  All prospects are reviewed daily, and provisional employment offers can be made within hours.  “The stakes are high with little margin for shortfall. We must get and keep great drivers,” Gregori concludes.  “Safe as we strive to be, we keep on our toes knowing we’re only as good as our next load.”

Leading private fleet management practitioners and supplier partners will gather in Jacksonville, FL, January 17-21, 2015, for the Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) in what promises to be the best program in the event’s two decade-long history. Since the event has a         read more . . .

Praxair Inc., which traces its roots to 1907 when it became the first company in North America to commercialize cryogenically separated oxygen, is the largest industrial gas supplier in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Its products include           read more . . .

In conjunction with its annual National Safety Conference, NPTC is pleased to recognize a unique group of some of the nation’s top private fleet drivers.  They are recognized as such by being selected as an NPTC National Driver All-Star.  The program, which is now           read more . . .

Started by C. L. George over 90 years ago in a modest country store outside of Springdale, AR, George’s Inc. began as a one-truck operation hauling live poultry to major cities in the Midwest. Today, the fourth-generation, privately held company has grown into a highly successful producer of read more . . .

The annual NPTC National Safety Conference, scheduled for September 11-12, will again be held near the Washington Dulles International Airport at the Dulles Hyatt Hotel. Check out NPTC’s home page at www.nptc.org for details about hotel reservations and conference registration.

Designed to optimize return  read more . . .

Mid South Baking Co., headquartered in Bryan, TX, operates a successful regional commercial bakery, producing and delivering an enormous number of fresh quality products each day to thousands of customer locations and distribution centers throughout read more . . .

Attendees at  NPTC’s 2014 Annual Conference felt that this was perhaps the best overall event in the Council’s history.

“This was a great show and more spectacular than ever. Everyone seemed pleased,”  commented an attendee.

“All the speakers were  phenomenal and the food was incredible,” said another.  “A great job of creating natural…opportunities for vendors and fleets to interact.”   read more . . .

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Ace Hardware began as a small chain of independent hardware retailers that decided to come together to achieve consolidated buying power and market advantage.  Today, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry with more than 4,850 . . .

Alliance Imaging, a division of Alliance HealthCare Services, is the largest premier provider of advanced diagnostic imaging services in the United States, with more than 1,000 hospital partners and other health care clients located in 46 states.  In addition to  read more ....

Privately owned since 1847, Orgill is the world’s largest independent hardware distributor with more than 6,000 customer accounts in all states, 10 Canadian provinces and 50 countries.  Listed in Forbes as one of the ....

The Britt Hunt Co. was founded in 1992 by young entrepreneur and family business visionary Britt Hunt. The company started in the Nashville area as a distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza and has since evolved over the past ....

Planning for the NPTC 2014 Annual Conference scheduled for April 13-14 in Cincinnati, OH, has been in the works since last summer.  More than 1,000 attendees and 175 exhibitors are expected in the world-class exhibit hall, which will be packed  ....

It is rare these days to find a company in America still operating after 160 years, and even more rare for one to still be independently owned and operated as a family  ....

The Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) will break new ground in 2014.  Over the five-day course taking place Jan. 18-22, PFMI will have more speakers and a larger line-up of highly interactive round-table discussions featuring  ....

Millions of golf fans recall Justin Rose on the final-round 18th hole winning golf’s 2013 U.S Open Championship this June at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA, one of the most  ....

Founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter as a family-owned busi­ness and now recently purchased by China-based Shuanghui International Holdings, Smithfield Foods is the largest pro­ducer of pork products in the world. On the way to  ....

The annual National Safety Conference conducted by the National Private Truck Council  is described as an intense, concentrated overview of key issues that are critical to running a private fleet at an exceptionally high safety standard.  This year’s upcoming meeting on ....

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy farmer-owned cooperative in the United States that handles about 30% of the milk produced in the country. In 2012, DFA marketed more than 61 billion lbs. of milk—the equivalent of more than ....

Last year, in conjunction with the National Safety Conference, NPTC recognized 24 of the nation’s top private fleet drivers as the fourth class of NPTC’s National Driver All-Stars. The program was sponsored ....

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