I would like to congratulate our July and August Drivers of the Month – Nathan Virgil and Charles Setliff. Our Rookies of the month are Jonathan Deshane and Scott Humphreys. Congratulations to these fine drivers.
I would describe our freight levels as “OK”, as most of our customers describe their business levels the same way. We are
not booming, but no one should be sitting very long between loads. The economy has just not returned as quickly as most predicted. Balancing North and Southbound freight in Laredo has been a challenge. Currently, we have more Northbound than Southbound. We have added two new field sales people. The efforts of our West Coast Sales Manager, Kyle Burchart are already starting to pay off. We received 180 loads from new customers as a result of Kyle’s efforts, and we look forward to more West Coast Freight. As I know, most drivers prefer going West.
We’ve also just hired a new Midwest Regional Sales Rep. Kathryn Griffith. We anticipate more freight options in the upper Midwest as we add this talent to our already excellent field sales team. The sales department continues to tells me that Canada and Hazmat loads are still good freight opportunities. Remember, hauling Canada and Hazmat loads pay an extra 3 cpm and OD freight pays drivers an extra 8 cpm.
I am pleased to announce your pay increase was effective as of August 6th, and the tarp pay for extra stops started on August 27th. All of our surveys show that our drivers remain in the top 1% pay nationwide. You deserve every penny you earn. Speaking of freight, I have been asked to clarify how freight is assigned. This question usually only arises when freight is slow, so I am surprised to be hearing it now.
Over the years, I’ve had countless phone calls with drivers over how freight is assigned, and if favoritism influences freight assignments. “The rule of thumb is: the first empty truck in a territory is the first to be assigned the next load.” There are some exceptions though. Guaranteed home and flagged drivers take priority and are given loads that meet their needs. Drivers who are low on hours may be moved down the board to another load that doesn’t have restrictions. Truck repairs, family emergencies, health issues, MAC credentials, customer needs, and license or physical issues can also affect the assignment of freight.
Basically, it’s first come, first serve. Things move very quickly in operations. We simply do not have time to be concerned about Melton tenure or driver pay when we are booking and assigning freight. It’s all just great drivers and blue trucks to us. The Operations folks would be glad to host you the next time you are in Tulsa. Just contact your DM ahead of time and set up an appointment to listen in and see how things run. All we ask is that you are serious about learning, and prepared to spend a couple of hours in Operations.
Safety asked me to announce the new Qualcomm training feature. Check out the Media Manager button on your QC unit. You can view our latest company policies, procedures, and some of our ‘how-to’ videos. If you have other ideas about what training info that would be helpful, please call Safety.
In closing, you know how important your health is to me. This month, you and your spouse will get a call from me introducing you to Compass. This is the company we have hired to help you navigate the complex world of healthcare. You will be connected to Compass to discuss our ICARE program for 2014, ways to save you money, and age-appropriate screenings that you should consider. A Compass call recently saved one of our senior drivers over $4,000 after researching an issue. Recently, I received a another letter from a spouse thanking me for letting Compass help audit her family’s medical bill that saved them significant money. Please take the call and take steps to get your covered spouse in touch with Compass. If you don’t get the call, please call them directly at 800-513-1667. Don’t wait!
Until next time, drive and work safely, and thank you for being part of our terrific company
– Bob Peterson