First, I would like to congratulate our November and December Drivers of the Month Ronald Harrison and Brian Dickert. Our Rookies of the Month are Geoff Chausse and. Matt Oliver. Congratulations to these fine professionals. As we approach the end of year, I thought it would be a good idea to update you about 2013 and our plans for next year.
As I’ve said throughout the year, freight levels have been mediocre. The general economy simply has not grown fast enough for us to keep you as busy as we’d like. As I’ve mentioned before, we added two field sales professionals in 2013. No matter what economic cycle, we are always pounding the pavement to find freight to keep you busy. Melton drivers and Melton get paid the same way – when we’re safely hauling as much freight as possible.
To keep you in the safest and most dependable equipment, we purchased 280 new trucks this year and are in the process of selling about 175. We also purchased 100 new 53’ trailers.
Our plans for next year are to purchase 125 Kenworth T680 condos for our training fleet. We plan to sell a like number of our oldest trucks. We will continue to buy the Iteris lane departure systems and outfit our new trucks with DriveCam systems. I know some of you aren’t excited about the DriveCam systems, but they have already saved us money and protected our drivers from false accusations. Many drivers have said that the Iteris and DriveCam systems make a big difference in their habits.
Nearly 100% of our fleet has electronic logs and most drivers enjoy having them once they get used to them. We will continue to invest in technology that assists our drivers in safely operating their trucks. We plan to move into our new building by mid-summer of 2014. Our three story building includes an expanded wellness area with a 3,500 sq ft. fitness facility, on-site healthy food-service, upgraded driver amenities, and an outdoor walking/jogging/workout station trail. Click here to follow our progress.
We’ve had many victories this year in accidents, claims, fuel efficient driving and many other areas. However, we’ve had a challenging year in injury prevention. Too many of our drivers were careless and suffered serious injuries due to lifting improperly, and not being vigilant while maneuvering around loads. Safety is our highest priority, so slow down, think and be deliberate.
As a friendly reminder, I encourage you to pursue your age appropriate health screenings. If you’re uncertain of what those are, please call Compass at 800-513-1667 x 601. Every year at this time, I often think about the many terrific men and women, who worked hard for us throughout the years, but unfortunately passed away or were no longer able to drive a truck due to a preventable illnesses. We have invested in several tools to help you stay heathly for yourself, and your loved ones.
Our iCARE program, medical providers in Tulsa and Laredo, as well as our IMWell clinics, are just some of the tools that you can use to stay healthy. We believe that these programs enable us to keep our valuable drivers informed and well treated. Please call Bret in Wellness, 918.270.9611, or contact our Benefits Department if you have any questions or need more information. The new health benefit rates go into effect January 1, 2014.
With improving business levels and excellent cost controls, our 12 month financial results will exceed the 4.5% return on sales hurdle that triggers a bonus for qualified Ambassador and Blue Knights. To qualify, drivers must be: safe, compliant, fuel efficient, productive, MAC-qualified, and iCare compliant. Ambassadors and Blue Knights, please do not miss the opportunity for a sizable bonus by not participating in iCare. Last year we paid out over $450,000 to our Blue Knights and Ambassadors.
Our Christmas bonus is $25 for each full year that you have worked for Melton on a continuous basis, with a minimum of $25 for each full-time, active employee. The actual amount of the bonus is larger than $25 each year. We “gross it up” so the amount you receive after taxes is $25 per year. The Christmas bonus was distributed on Friday, December 12th.
Thank you for being an important part of our company. Have a safe Holiday Season, and have Happy New Year.
– Bob Peterson