December 2023

Leadership Message

VP of Safety and HR, Lisa Mason, VP at Melton Truck Lines, VP Headshot

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the OpenLine.

 This month, I have the pleasure of writing to all the new Owners of our Melton Companies. As we continue to learn more about what it means to be an owner, I thought I’d share some helpful information on our ESOP for further education.

But first, let’s recognize our Driver and Rookie of the Month. Our Driver of the Month for October is Chris, and our Rookie of the Month is Joshua. Congratulations to both drivers for earning this prestigious title. We are thankful for your work ethic, consistent productivity, servicing our customers, and the safety-conscious behaviors you both display. Thank you for your hard work! We are grateful to have you both on our team!

As a reminder, we are using WorkHound as a primary source of information for our newfound ownership. If you are not receiving those notifications, please contact Matt Kennedy or Nisha Cremeans to be added to this weekly text message. This is also where we ask your opinions, and those opinions are very important to us.

We know that everyone has questions, some of which are general and others that are specific to that employee. As we continue to learn about this wonderful new benefit ourselves, we will continue to educate everyone along the way. For those that missed the WorkHound broadcasts, I’ll share the questions and answers we have published, but before I do that, I’d like to address the two things that I think everyone really wants to know.

How many shares am I getting?

What are they worth?

I wish we could answer these two questions for everyone, but until we complete our first valuation, we have no way of answering either of these questions. That valuation process will begin during the first quarter of 2024. Once that is finished, shares will be awarded based on your salary and tenure. In late spring, each of us will receive our first statement explaining how much the shares are worth. At that time, we’ll provide additional explanation on how to read your statement.

I think it is important for everyone to understand that all shares will have minimal value. We have incurred debt that must be paid back, and we anticipate that to happen over the next 5-7 years. We believe that each year, providing freight returns, we continue to be mindful of our business and expenses, and pay down this debt, the shares will increase in value.  The idea with this new benefit is that in that 5–7-year timeframe, you will have the equivalent of your ‘then’ salary built up towards your retirement.

As promised, here are the questions and answers we have published thus far.


Q: Will our base pay change? Will it affect any other Melton benefits like 401k or bonuses?

This does not replace our current pay structure, our 401k, or any other benefits! This is an added no-cost benefit to you!  We hope this will inspire every employee to think carefully about how to minimize costs and maximize business growth because the daily decisions you make will affect your and every other employee’s retirement.

Q: Can I buy more shares? How are shares allocated to each employee?

We love that you want to invest further in the company! That is an excellent business owner attitude. However, this ESOP is set up to allocate shares based on tenure, compensation, and role. No one can purchase additional shares. This means we all have a similar stake in the company’s success.

Q: How much are my shares worth?

Share value is determined on an annual basis by our third-party trustee working with a qualified, independent appraiser. Under federal law, the trustee has a fiduciary (that is financial and legal) obligation to act in the best interests of all ESOP participants. No one at the company determines ESOP share value.

Because we borrowed money to start the ESOP, please note that the share value will most likely be low at the beginning. As Bob explained, there’s nothing unusual about this. It’s like a home mortgage where your equity value is low at the beginning. But as you pay off your mortgage, your equity value in the house increases. We anticipate the same will happen with ESOP stock value as the company successfully pays off the ESOP debt.

Q: I’m a new hire, what does this mean for me?

First, welcome to the Melton Truck Lines team, we are glad to have you! If you were an active employee on August 4, 2023, the good news: you are already an ESOP participant. If you weren’t an employee, you’ll join our ESOP after you meet the plan’s participation rules (at least age 18 and one year of service). To earn vesting credit for 2023, you’ll need to work at least 1,000 hours this year. So, if you started on or before July 1, 2023, you’ll probably earn vesting credit for this year.

The other thing to know is that you are part of a special company. Because we are 100% employee-owned, we are all working for each other. The benefits of your efforts, both short-term and long-term, go to you and your fellow employee-owners. Let’s make the most of this opportunity.

Q: Is it possible for the share price to decline?

Just like the stock market, it is likely we will have up-and-down fluctuations in our share value over the coming years. Right now, we are in a tough market for moving freight. However, our leadership is still in place, and an ESOP allows us to operate “business as usual”. This is great news because we have a nearly 65-year history of overcoming market downturns, including the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of our excellent track record, ESOPs have been shown to have better productivity, profitability, and retention because employees begin thinking like business owners in their day-to-day decisions. Each of you impacts our share value going up or down in the choices you make every day. The market has yet to destroy us in 65 years, and this decision makes us stronger than ever.

Disclaimer – “Materials are designed for communication and education purposes. Every effort has been made to ensure their accuracy. If, however, there are conflicts between this and the plan documents, the plan documents will govern.”

In closing, I wanted to remind everyone of a new monthly program we are implementing to go along with our new ownership.  This monthly program will ask our drivers and non-driver employees to thoughtfully share any cost-saving ideas they have.  We will have two drawings each month for those driver and non-driver employees who participate by submitting a suggestion.  We are looking for practical and actionable items that we can implement.  These first prizes are big ones (2 airline tickets for our drivers and a big screen TV for our non-drivers), so make sure you submit your suggestion!

Let’s continue to work and drive safely!


Lisa Mason

VP of Safety & HR

Driver & Rookie of the Month

Driver of the Month

Congratulations to October’s Driver of the Month, Chris! Chris has been with Melton since November of 2021, making this month his two-year anniversary with us. Melton is Chris’ first driving..see more

Rookie of the Month

Congratulations to October’s Rookie of the Month, Joshua! Joshua has been with Melton since March of 2023, and this is his first driving job since graduating from TDI Standford in Florida. He…see more


Every month we receieve lots of amazing photos from our drivers from their time on the road. If you have a photo you’d like to share, send an email to [email protected].

Wellness & Safety Articles

Why You Should Enjoy Thanksgiving

Hello from Melton Wellness! We are happy to report that over 900 of our employees and spouses completed their…see more

Tips for Driving in Winter Weather

Winter weather is once again upon us, and it brings safety to the forefront of our thoughts. With winter comes the…see more

Monthly Poll

When do your holiday decorations go up? 🎄

Leave us a review!

We’re always looking for feedback from our employees who know us the best. Please leave us a review on Glassdoor and tell us what you like about Melton and what we could improve!


Here’s some positive messages we receieved about both office staff and drivers for this month!

I have a great DM, Katrina! This is my first trucking job, but so far so good! She kept me running when I was out. When it comes to hometime, she made me get home on time! Melton is great so far! I’ve been trying to get people to work for this company, it’s my first trucking company and I plan on staying here for the long run!

Anonymous, Workhound

So far so good, I’ve asked for more miles and my DM, Ms. Karen, has been giving me exactly that. She’s always a big help and always gets me home on time, if not earlier sometimes!

Anonymous, Workhound

I’d like to give kudos to Connie in our Accounting Billing group. She organizes our potlucks, makes sure our birthdays are remembered with cake and decorations, organizes our Christmas Party and Gift Exchange, and just so many other things to keep our department feeling like a family. She is definitely the glue that keeps us all together and makes us feel special. And a bonus is she makes the BEST Christmas cookies known to man!

Lisa, Payroll manager

Just passing on a compliment to our driver Austin in truck 15846, from an industry friend, who said he did a great job maintaining space and driving in some difficult traffic in Arizona this past weekend!

Vallie, Claims

I want to let you guys know how amazing Mike in truck 13794 is! He made that repower as smooth and easy as possible and he was so nice and respectful! He is an awesome driver. He called me when he got there, he already had all the straps that he had to give me up on my new trailer. He said that when he went to switch the dunnage over, he saw that I only had three and he had nine, so he left me with six so we were both set up perfectly. He just made that whole experience amazing and easy!

Jacqulyn, Melton Driver

We truly have some real heroes at Melton that can’t be matched, hands down, with the knowledge and real field experience. From Kevin, Albert, Ty, and the safety staff. I learned a lot and definitely filled my notebook up, but one thing I know is no matter what the situation is, or even if the question doesn’t seem like it’s good enough to call and ask and check on something, do it…you all have a great day and drive safe.

Ron, Melton Driver

Thank you to our ambassador, Bernarus, for coming to the rescue with an extra tarp for one of our drivers who needed it for a load. We are so glad that drivers are willing to help each other out when they need it!

Brianne, Driver Manager

I’ve always heard people say, “I wouldn’t say anything if I won the lottery, but there would be signs.” And I never understood that until today. I thought about it, and I absolutely won the lottery coming to work for Melton. I definitely wouldn’t be as happy with another company, I wouldn’t be able to do some of the things I’m doing now, I would not be as focused on my health with any other company, and I wouldn’t have as good of a support system as I do here. Things that people have done here to add small personal touches have absolutely brought me to tears because of how thoughtful my family can be — and I say family, because that’s what Melton told me they were in orientation, and they haven’t let that sentiment go over my whole time here. From other drivers to the dispatch team, to the safety department, this company absolutely showed me what it’s like to have a work family. I want to thank everyone I’ve worked with so far and everyone I’ll work with in the future.

Phillip, Melton Driver

Get Involved

We’re excited to share all of the activities that have been happening at Melton during the month!


Be sure to congratulate these staff members who have hit tenure milestones with Melton!

Top Fleets & Top 100

It’s time to recognize and congratulate the top fleets and our top 100 drivers for this month!

New Hires & Movement

Congratulations to all of the new hires and promotions this month! Meet the newest members of the team here.