Cavallo Bus Lines: Building a client- and employee-centric business

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Nancy Kirk, Assistant Editor

Family-founded Cavallo Bus Lines LLC is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. What started as a two-bus motorcoach operation has grown into a company with 220 employees and 110 motorcoaches that operate out of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri, with services throughout North America. Originally ran by the Cavallo family, the company was recently purchased by Bennett Capital Partners, a transition that has provided a continued enhancement and growth for the company, according to CEO David Warren.

“We’re a client and employee centric business, which has allowed us to grow into the company we are today. With the change in new leadership, we have a path to really move the company forward in many faucets,” Warren said.

Warren emphasizes the company’s focus on safety, as well as catering to their clients’ needs due to the breadth of client types that the company serves, from military personnel to student athletes to corporations and professional athletes.

“We have a very dynamic client base. Some clients just want to quickly get from point A to point B, while others need to have more flexibility, so we manage very fluid schedules with our clients,” Warren said.

To ensure the highest quality of safety and service for clients, Cavallo uses an internal training program for their drivers to teach and reinforce the company’s expectations. Drivers are trained at the point of hire concerning safety, maintenance and customer service components, as well as how to communicate with clients and co-workers. Cavallo readdresses the training multiple times per year throughout their employee’s careers with the company. 

“As for the training aspect, we’ve implemented these training programs not only for new hires or drivers, but to reinforce training to existing drivers so there is always new development and constant strengthening,” Warren said.

As another way to encourage Cavallo staff, the company offers financial incentives like sign-on and referral bonuses to reinforce the dedication of its work force. The company has also started offer what Warren calls “soft” programs in addition to financial incentives.

“Soft programs serve as a token of appreciation and recognition for our team members, such things like awards and employee appreciation events,” he said. “These are events to celebrate all team members throughout our organization.  For example, this past fall we held cook outs for all employees, where I was able to man the grilling and each of our locations’ management participated.”  

Cavallo makes its commitment to the safety of its team members and clients known by carrying $10 million in liability insurance, which is double the legal mandate. The company also purchases new buses each year, either for growth or simply to replenish busses and ensure their quality. For Cavallo, it comes down to making sure the clients are served at the highest level, whether its regarding legal insurance capabilities or the speed of their Wi-Fi.  

“Our focus is to be a best in class operator,” he said. “Safety and servicing are our paramount focuses.”

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