At Tyson Foods, Inc., trucking is in our blood. Our founder, John Tyson, was a trucker. He drove a truckload of Arkansas chickens from Northwest Arkansas to Chicago, Illinois, in 1935 to earn a profit of $235. John promptly bought another load of birds, at the same time founding what would eventually become a multibillion-dollar company and the world's largest meat processor in the nation: Tyson Foods, Inc.
Since then, our private fleet has grown from John's single truck to approximately 977 company trucks and 2,159 refrigerated trailers.
Tyson Foods prides itself on being a family company and, of course, that includes our family of professional drivers. When you become a company driver, you have the power of the largest protein provider in the world - Tyson Foods - behind you.
Tyson Foods ships approximately 15,500 company loads per week. With that load base, our drivers are usually pulling Tyson freight about 98 percent of the time. Tyson Foods has a distribution network second to none. When you tie our distribution with our load base, it gives our drivers stable freight and dependability in a way that no other company can match.
Professional company drivers coming into the family are proud to call Tyson home. With one of the lowest turnover rates in the trucking industry, which translates into an average of eight years of seniority per driver, you can see why professional drivers make a career with Tyson Foods' private fleet.
Company drivers for our private fleet receive a competitive pay package, along with our generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, plus optional life and disability coverage. As low as $29.00 per week, our health plan has one of the lowest premiums in the industry. We also help our company drivers in planning for their futures with an excellent stock purchase program and 401(k) plan.
Company drivers are usually out on the road for an average of 10 to 12 days at a time. We know home time is important, and we strive to meet this goal so our drivers can get back to those they care about on a regular basis. In order to meet this goal, we normally hire within a 150-mile radius of our terminals. Tyson has company terminals in Springdale, Arkansas; Russellville, Arkansas; Center, Texas; Wilkesboro, North Carolina; and New Holland, Pennsylvania.