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

I would like to begin by recognizing our Driver of the Month, Dale Gregory, and our Rookie of the Month, Joseph Melchor. Congratulations to these fine drivers!

Initially, the impact of the coronavirus on our company certainly presented it’s challenges. However, looking at our half-full glass, we were able to tighten up processes, pull together as a team, trim unnecessary expenses, and double down on our freight acquisition efforts.

Looking back to May, I am shocked at how freight levels and pricing stabilized amidst the pandemic. The economic indicators and customer feedback show we are poised for a strong winter, weather permitting.   

With business demand strong, we are taking advantage of the opportunities by focusing on several productivity and driver satisfaction initiatives. Our projects revolve around the following subjects:

    1. Replacing customers drivers find unsatisfactory with new business. (We need your Rate My Load surveys!)
    2. Prioritizing weekend freight by longer lengths of haul.
    3. Reducing Repowers.
    4. Identifying unproductive freight for drivers – detention, long waits, difficult securement to keep you on a MWF loading schedule.
    5. Preplanning loads and communicating plans early.
    6. Central/Eastern Time Zone test Fleet, which may get drivers ‘through the house’ more often.

We intend to make some real process changes that should benefit you, so keep the feedback flowing through weekly WorkHound notes and Rate My Load. And, if you want an old-fashioned phone call to give us feedback, call your DM, Sr. DM, Dustin Dennis, or myself.  

It’s month-end, and our Operations and Sales folks are working hard to book just the right loads. It’s all hands on deck to keep you moving and get you home as requested – without a repower. As we work to find freight, please focus on precise trip planning for on-time delivery. Additionally, 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.

As you trip plan, note the weather where you are and where you are going. If there is a safer route that may avoid weather delays, speak up! Keep in mind, it could be 75° and sunny in Laredo, but 29° and snowing once you arrive in Denver. Ensure you are treating your fuel with anti-gel before arriving in these freezing temperatures. You can pick some up at any terminal location or major truck stops. Also, now is the time to stock up on winter gear/supplies you might need. Lastly, no load is worth your life or someone else’s. If you are required to chain up and weather conditions are too dangerous, find a safe place to park and communicate with your DM when necessary.

Thank you for your hard work. 

Angie Buchanan

Vice President of Operations