Tribe Express to outfit fleet with in-cab satellite TV

Tribe Express to outfit fleet with in-cab satellite TV

EpicVue, providers of premium in-cab satellite television packaged exclusively for the trucking industry, announced that Tribe Express is equipping its entire fleet with satellite TV to help retain drivers for its rapidly expanding operation.

After ordering 200 EpicVue systems in late 2015, Tribe Express committed to another 100 in-cab satellite TV systems for new tractors being added to its fleet in 2016.

Tribe Express, an asset-based truckload carrier, specializes in hauling temperature-controlled freight, including refrigerated and deep frozen goods as well as pharmaceuticals. A division of minority carrier Tribe Transportation, it is headquartered in Gainesville GA. Other parts of the operation offer logistics, expedited, dedicated, floral, and intermodal services.

“While our driver turnover rate is generally as low as 33%, if we continue to show our employees how important they are to us and how much we value their efforts, it will help keep them here,” said Matt Handte, executive vice-president of Tribe Express. “EpicVue offers the kind of value and comfort we try to provide drivers by giving them the ability to watch a game, movie, or program they might watch at home. In this business you only usually get graded on what you do wrong. With EpicVue, we got it right.”

Founded in 2010, Tribe Express has grown from 60 trucks in 2012 to a planned 350 by the end of 2016. Adding 100 company tractors along with 50 more Cherokee National owner-operators to its operation in 2016 means the truckload carrier needs about 450 drivers, including teams. The company’s driver roster includes veterans, averaging between 50 and 60 years old with many years of over the road experience. The “Native American Woman-Owned Business” has seen significant growth in the number of female and younger drivers.

Extending its commitment to drivers with EpicVue is expected to quickly pay driver retention dividends for Tribe Express.

“It can cost us $2,000 to recruit, train, and orient a new driver,” said Handte, “and when we have an empty seat, it can cost $5,000 per week in lost revenue. That makes the payback on EpicVue for installation and subscription costs very fast, and based on how positively our drivers have reacted to our decision to equip the entire fleet with satellite TV, we believe the systems will lower our turnover rate even further.”

Based on driver seniority, the Tribe Express shop is now beginning to install EpicVue in its existing 200 tractors, and expects to complete the installations in six months. The in-cab satellite TV systems will also be installed in new trucks as they are placed in service in 2016.

The EpicVue package includes more than 100 channels of DIRECTV programming, including premium channels such as HBO/Cinemax, Showtime, and the NFL Sunday Ticket. In-cab satellite TV systems are offered to fleets with 20 or more vehicles for a monthly subscription fee of $49 under a five-year contract or $59 monthly for a three-year contract.

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