By Jim A. Luff
Since LCT Magazine distributed the August issue containing the annual Top 100 Fleets list, there has been much industry discussion. Blog posts and forum posts have sprouted while numerous private e-mails have been exchanged about a mix of allegations -- some plausible, many unbelievable.
It made me think about the whole issue of the Top 100. Why do we do it? I think the only two things it accomplishes is providing bragging rights and giving the industry something to talk about. The whole thing smacks of comparing the size of paychecks. One guy brags; the other guy is left feeling totally inadequate. What is the point?
I am not going to make my decisions on whom to farm out jobs to based simply on the fleet size of a company. In fact, if I was to take that into consideration, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the smaller company would take better care of my client and provide more personalized service.
It is also unlikely that retail clients are reading LCT Magazine so the general public sure isn’t going to rush to do business with the guy at the top of the list. Although I am sure being at the top of the list will indeed give that company the opportunity to scream in a Yellow Page advertisement, “Named #1 in the Top 100 by LCT Magazine”. Whoa! That should make the clients come out of the woodwork and want to do business with them.
There are those that allege that insurance companies are doctoring up documents and fibbing to LCT editors about how many cars their clients actually insure. I find this to be a ludicrous assumption. Insurance companies have such high ethical standards and I find it preposterous to think that an operator would dump their insurance company for not lying for them. I find it equally preposterous to believe that an insurance company would lie for a client to win a silly little “contest” that provides no reward other than bragging rights.
Then, there are those that allege it is some sort of conspiracy that LCT has to “showcase” the so-called “big boys”. Again, what would be the point? What would LCT to gain? Is the guy in the number one spot going to buy 100 extra copies? The cost of a single magazine does not even cover the cost of the production of the magazine. Advertising is what really pays for the production of the magazine so even if the Top 100 collectively bought extra issues, the extra money LCT would receive would barely cover the postage.
As I conclude, my personal thought is, who cares who has the biggest fleet? I don’t. I may not be in the Top 100 but I know I do a good job. It is not about the size of the pencil, it is all about how you write your name.
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