Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the OpenLine newsletter.

I would like to begin by recognizing our Driver of the Month, Nathaniel Virgil, and our Rookie of the Month, Eric Ansley. Congratulations to these great drivers and we look forward to celebrating future milestones with them.

Also, a special shout out to Jestin Tappenden for sending in this month’s cover photo for the newsletter!

In addition, I would like to give a shout out to our 2019 Rookie of the Year, William Adkins! William joined our team in December of 2018 straight from his Class A CDL school, Advanced Career Institute of Fresno, California. William excelled in his first year with us and is well-deserving of this special recognition. When asked what makes him successful in trucking, he states, “I personally believe I have excelled in this job because of time management skills. If you can manage your time, you can certainly make money.” When William is not on the road, he likes spending time with his family, playing basketball, and grabbing a bite to eat at his favorite restaurant, Steak N Shake.

As for a company update, the impact of the coronavirus on our company has certainly presented challenges. Our freight levels have slowed and our rates are under pressure. However, as businesses open up, we anticipate a meaningful sign of recovery in our freight markets. To prepare, we reassigned resources to business development, and launched fresh customer marketing campaigns to solicit more freight. It is critical that we all work efficiently and cost-effectively during these tough economic times.

Our Operations and Sales folks are working hard to book loads. It’s all hands-on deck to keep you moving. As we work to find freight, please focus on precise trip planning for on-time delivery. In addition, read all load notes, communicate early and often with your Driver Manager, report defects on dropped trailers, and update your advanced credentials. All these details matter.

On a positive note, I have been especially grateful for our drivers’ leadership and dedication during this time of uncertainty. Your hard work in keeping America moving has reached national attention and even recognition from the President. While everyone at Melton and in our industry knows the importance of your job, it is refreshing to everyone notice the irreplaceable value of truck drivers.  

As for Safety news, please be aware of increasing traffic on roadways in the coming weeks. With some states easing restrictions on stay-at-home orders, you’re likely to see more vehicles out on the road. Remember your Smith System 5 Keys and anticipate the actions of others. Your safety training for the month goes into detail on how you can avoid a collision in heavier-traffic situations.

As Bob mentioned in his company update at the end of April, we have received 5,000 masks that we ordered last month. These are available for our drivers and people who wish to wear them in the office. We continue to provide care packages to drivers at our Tulsa terminal as well. Lastly, we have begun temperature testing at our facilities to ensure everyone entering is in good health.

In closing, I have heard from several of our drivers expressing their loyalty to our company over the last few weeks. Many of you who reached out were with us during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and have since earned Ambassador status. It is heartwarming to know that we have such a dedicated fleet.

Thank you for your hard work. Together, we will be fine.

Angie Buchanan

Vice President of Operations