150 Women-Owned Business Challenge
Women Have Real Opportunity at ES
In 2018, ES partnered with the Women In Trucking Association in announcing the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge to provide opportunity to help create women-owned businesses in transportation through its proven business model. Since its launch, the 150 initiative has already reached the half-way mark of helping generate 75 new start-ups.
If you are interested in fulfilling your dream as a female business owner in transpiration, please contact our team at 877-349-9303.
The Success In Trucking Expo Returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June for SITE 2020
Following a strong opening in 2019 as one of the most impactful events within the trucking industry, the Success In Trucking Expo (SITE) presented by ES will be returning in June to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Complex. The SITE 2020 takes place June 5-6.
Through the efforts of ES, the participating carriers, sponsors and vendors, the SITE features an atmosphere and structure that stands out as unique when compared to the traditional truck shows currently on the calendar. The SITE, as evidenced by the inaugural event in 2019, is a much more personal, hands-on event. The focus of the SITE 2020 will once again be placed upon connecting with professional drivers who are looking to take the next step in their careers and become truck owners. The SITE is also designed to help address the needs of contract drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners.
“The response from everyone who attended the first edition of the SITE in 2019 and the response that ES and our participating carriers have seen in the months since the event made a compelling case to hold the SITE 2020,” said ES Chief Operating Officer Jeff Tacker. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Complex. We are looking forward to being back at the speedway working with our community of participating carriers, vendors and sponsors. We are already working on plans for this year’s event, and it promises to have a greater impact than what we did in our first year.”
Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer, a division of Truck Country, will be returning as the title sponsor for the Success In Trucking Expo. ES will make an official announcement with a press release in January that will highlight the participating carriers, sponsors and vendors that will be a part of the SITE 2020.
Those attending the SITE 2020 will have the opportunity to become acquainted with and enjoy the fellowship of the ES Community. Attendees will get a sense of the deep commitment and the comprehensive support provided to ES ownership program participants. The fleets and vendors participating in the SITE program have been hand-picked by ES because of their desire to help the attendees in reaching their goals within the trucking industry.
CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT SITE 2020
Who Should Consider Attending The SITE?
- Professional drivers who have an interest or desire to become truck owners.
- Current owner-operators looking to upgrade or who are considering expanding their operation to become fleet owners.
- Fleet owners looking to grow their current fleets in either the Expedited or General Trucking markets.
The program format of SITE 2020, with its speakers, roundtable discussions and chosen topics, will be designed to share the industry knowledge and the practical experience to benefit the attendees as they look to build, upgrade and expand their businesses.
The 150 Business Challenge, the collaborative initiative by ES and the Women In Trucking Association to create 150 women-owned businesses in transportation, will be among the featured programs discussed during the SITE 2020. To date, the 150 Business Challenge is more than halfway toward reaching its initial goal.
Whether or not the next step is taken toward truck ownership, attendees will leave the SITE 2020 with a deeper understanding of what is taking place in the trucking industry and the opportunities available on the road ahead.
Free Hotel Stay For Pre-Qualified Registrants
Once again this year, one of the most unique features about the SITE 2020 is that ES is offering free hotel accommodations for a select group of pre-qualified Expo registrants. There are a limited number free hotel slots available for the event, and ES recommends that anyone interested in attending the SITE complete the online registration form. Attendees receiving a free hotel stay for the SITE will be chosen from the registration submissions received by ES. You can go directly to the SITE registration form by clicking here.
To learn more about the SITE 2020, please visit SuccessInTruckingExpo.com.
Women Helping Women Achieve Success In Trucking
Considering the growth in the number of women participating in the truck ownership and support programs offered through ES during the past several years, it’s quite fitting that Kelly Faller and April Holland can be found in the work spaces that are closest to the front door at the ES Headquarters building just outside of Memphis.
Kelly, who is part of the ES Sales Team, is most often the person visitors to the headquarters first see as she also works in the front-desk reception area for the company. Meanwhile, April, who is the Owner-Operator Program Coordinator at ES, works in the office located a few feet from the spot where Kelly greets everyone walking through the front door. One of the highlights of April’s position with ES is the opportunity to extend an official welcome and complete the paperwork for the newest members of the continually expanding ES Community.
Over the past few years, the number of women starting trucking businesses and utilizing the comprehensive services offered through ES has been steadily rising. In addition to launching and advancing their trucking careers through ES as independent contract drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners, a growing number of women are leveraging the strong network of essential services including industry-leading fuel discounts, maintenance, insurance coverage, business advisory and back office support.
CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT WOMEN HELPING WOMEN ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN TRUCKING
In the latter part of 2017, ES and the Women In Trucking Association announced the 150 Business Challenge, a collaborative initiative between the organizations to create 150 women-owned businesses in transportation. Over the past two years, the 150 Business Challenge has made an impact within the industry. Today, the program stands more than halfway toward achieving its initial goal.
The popularity of what ES has to offer aspiring women entrepreneurs within the trucking industry is best reflected in the fact that 38 percent of the owner-operators, independent contract drivers and fleet owners in the ES Community are women. By comparison, the national average for women in the driver’s seat of a truck has been running at seven to eight percent over the past few years. To place a finer point on the reputation that programs from ES are gaining among women either in the industry or thinking about trucking as a career, consider the following: Nearly four out of every 10 members of the ES Community is a woman.
“I joined ES after the company’s first year, and I’ve had the opportunity to see the growth and be a part of it. I really enjoy being able to tell people this is what my company does, and it makes me quite proud to know that ES has become one of the leaders in the trucking industry in providing opportunities for women,” said April. “After all the paperwork is done and someone is out in their new truck for the first time, I’ll try to call them after they have delivered their first load. I’ll ask them how does it feel to become a truck owner, to be running your own business? To hear their reaction and to know I have been a part of that process is one of the most satisfying parts of my job.”
April and Kelly are just part of an accomplished ES office staff that features a group of talented women who are focused on supporting all the members of the ES Community. Unlike April who had previously worked with a moving company, Kelly had no experience in transportation when she joined ES five years ago.
“I came from retail and I knew nothing about the trucking industry when I was hired at ES,” she explained. “It was a total career switch for me, and I love seeing the progression that can happen with people in the ES program. I have seen so many people come to ES as an independent contractor and then get the opportunity to realize their dream to become a truck owner. It’s really something to be involved in handling the paperwork and to see the hard work people put into the program to make a dream come true. I’ve seen the truck ownership opportunities available through ES change lives for both women and men, and it’s always neat to be a part of the big day when someone gets their new truck.”
One of Kelly’s favorite experiences during her time at ES took place in the late Spring this year, just weeks prior to the inaugural edition of the Success In Trucking Expo (SITE). Kelly had watched Angela Bowen progress through the ES Path To Ownership Program. Kelly could see the strong desire that Angela had to become a truck owner. Angela had worked diligently as an independent contractor within the program, positioning herself to have an opportunity to buy her own truck from ES.
“Angela really wanted to become a truck owner, and it was a thrill to see her be able to achieve that dream,” said Kelly. “We were getting ready for the SITE when Angela got her truck. And it was a real special moment for me to see Angela come to the SITE in Indianapolis with her mom. They were both overjoyed that Angela had become a truck owner. What ES does for people interested in this industry is amazing. A lot of people don’t see women as truck drivers or truck owners. I know that I didn’t before I got into the industry and joined ES. More and more women are taking advantage of the opportunities and programs that ES provides, and it’s been fun to see the growth happen.”
April began her career at ES as a Service Coordinator working directly with the people behind the wheel in the ES Community, serving as a liaison between the carrier utilizing the capacity and the professionals aboard the truck. She was the second Service Coordinator hired by ES, and she eventually oversaw 75 trucks.
When ES expanded its ownership offerings and launched the Path To Ownership Program, the company saw the need to create the Owner-Operator Program Coordinator position. Having joined the company following its first year, April believed there was a strong value for the Owner-Operator Program Coordinator to understand the history of ES and how the company works to support people accessing the programs and services available from ES. April discussed how this type of experience could help the person in the new position with ES Chief Operating Officer Jeff Tacker. The next question Jeff asked of April changed her career path within the company.
“Jeff asked me if I would like to be involved in the program and do that job. I immediately said yes, and it’s been very rewarding for me,” said April. “I like helping people, and ES gave me the opportunity. They trusted me to work with every owner-operator who comes into the program. There is a great family atmosphere at ES. They will take their time in finding the right people for the job. I’ve seen through the years that it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. They look for the best person who can do the job. It’s the same way with ownership opportunities. Can you do what it takes to run a successful trucking business? Over the past few years, we have seen a lot of women show that they can step up and operate stable and profitable trucking businesses.”
When April is away from the office and traveling for vacation, she passes part of the time on the trip looking for members of the ES Community working on the road to help to move the American economy one mile at a time. In those moments when she identifies a truck from the ES Community, April immediately begins to think about who is behind the wheel. And with the growth of participation by women in the programs offered through ES, April knows the odds of who she might see driving the truck.
“There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll see a woman in the driver’s seat,” said April. “And when I see any of the women or men we have helped over the years, it gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. I have a lot of respect for all the professional drivers out on the road. I have really enjoyed working with the people in our programs. There’s nothing like the feeling of watching someone find a better life and having the opportunity to help them make the most of their opportunity.”
ONE QUESTION, ONE ANSWER: OBSERVATIONS OF THE WOMEN TEAM MEMBERS ON THE ES STAFF
In addition to speaking with April and Kelly for this story, we talked with a few of the women who are part of the staff supporting the members of the ES Community. To feature their observations about the industry and ES, we now present the following Q&A…
What do you like most about your role at ES?
Natasha Thomas, Settlement Coordinator: “I just love the environment and the vibe you get from everyone here. Everyone’s really nice, really looking out for each other. With our owners and our contractors, we’re really trying to make sure that everybody’s successful. I really like how ES looks out for everyone in the ES Community. Seeing all the women in the program is awesome. They are getting the opportunity to start their companies. It’s a great thing to see.”
What do like most about the trucking industry?
Sandra Bechel, Owner-Operator Settlements: “I like working with the people who are out on the road. I like talking to them. I like just making sure everything runs smoothly on their settlement so that they do not have to worry about their settlement checks. I try to take care of everything so that they don’t have to. It’s always impressed me with just how much the leadership of ES cares about their employees. That same type of care and concern is also very present in the way that they work with everyone in the ES Community.”
What impresses you about the programs that ES offers for truck ownership?
Debbie Acker, Accounts Payable: “I had my CDL and I drove over the road earlier in my career. If ES had been around when I was driving, I would probably still be out there and owning my own truck. I have always been impressed with how they really work with you to get you into the ownership program. And what ES has done to promote opportunities for women to become truck owners is wonderful. You have the opportunity to make a lot of money as a truck owner, and the support that ES provides definitely positions you for success. ES stands with you and, while it requires a commitment from the people in the program, ES makes becoming a successful truck owner about as simple as possible.”
What makes ES stand out from other companies working in transportation?
Kim Chambers, Recruiting Administration: “I have worked in transportation now for 28 years, and I could tell from the minute I walked in the door that ES was different than any other company where I had worked. I’ve always felt like I was in a family here. I learned very quickly that most of the people who join ES have been here a long time, which says a whole lot about a company working in transportation. I think what ES is doing with the Women In Trucking Association and the 150 Business Challenge is terrific. ES has made the commitment to expand ownership opportunities for women, and ES is making a difference in the industry.”
What has been one of your more rewarding experiences during your time at ES?
Alicia Leslie, Service Coordinator: “I’ve been with the company for 12 years, and I would have to say it’s been great to see the people behind the wheel in the ES Community progress from entering the program as an independent contract driver to eventually owning their own truck, with some even owning a fleet of trucks. It really makes you feel good to know that you’re a part of that because there are some fleet owners who started out in my fleet. Now, they’re back with me again. And, you just help them grow, and grow, and grow. What ES has done to promote opportunities for women is just amazing. Over my 12 years here, I have not been surprised to see the growth of the company and the growth of the programs offered by ES. It’s a wonderful company with wonderful people.”
Listen Up! NTI COO & SiriusXM Radio Host Leah Shaver Discusses Trucking Market
In this edition of the podcast, Leah Shaver will be joining us to talk about a range of topics that we know will be of interest for all professional drivers, fleet owners and anyone involved in the business of trucking. Leah is the Chief Operating Officer of the National Transportation Institute, and she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Women In Trucking Association. Regular listeners to SiriusXM radio and the Road Dog Trucking Radio have likely heard Leah as a host on Channel 146 or through the SiriusXM app. Leah is one of the trucking industry’s leading experts on compensation for professional drivers and owner-operators. Through her work at NTI, Leah studies market trends in the trucking industry and she is a strong advocate for promoting opportunities for women in all roles across the trucking industry.
. To listen, click on the SoundCloud icon below.
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added… No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People, I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” – President Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation of Thanksgiving
During this season of Thanksgiving, ES would like to give thanks to YOU, the independent contractors, owner-operators, fleet owners, motor carriers and vendors, who are the backbone of everything we do as a community. You are the reason ES continues to invest in support services, programs, technologies, people and office space in order serve you better by providing opportunities for business generation — through good freight and bad.
We have much to be thankful for in 2019, and we’re looking forward to 2020 in order to serve you even better. Please read below to learn more.
The SITE 2020
The SITE is a truly unique trucking event that’s unlike any other gathering in transportation — and next year’s Success In Trucking Expo 2020 will continue and expand upon opportunities to help drivers become owners, owners become fleet owners, and fleet owners expand their fleets. Proving once again that with the opportunities offered by ES: If you can drive a truck, you can own the truck!
Building upon the success of last year’s SITE, Stoops Freightliner will once again be our Title Sponsor. The ES community will feature a gathering of top motor carriers including: Panther Premium Logistics, Forward Air and FedEx Custom Critical. In addition, our roster of vendors, guest speakers and ES team members will be on hand to answer questions and get to know you on a personal level, so you Never Stand Alone.
More About The SITE
• The SITE (Success in Trucking Expo) 2020 takes place June 5 – 6 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest permanent sport facility in the world. At the SITE, your dreams of truck ownership can become a reality.
• Join us for food and fellowship! We look forward to dining with you and getting to know you better as we eat together with meals provided by the Success In Trucking Expo. Our wonderful venue located at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway will overlook a selection of new trucks for you to review and test drive.
We’re excited about the SITE 2020 and hope to see you there!
If you have questions or if you’d like to register now, please contact our team at 877-349-9303.
It’s our desire to provide opportunities to help you become a success in trucking, so you Never Stand Alone. Our team is behind you every step of the way through our family of affiliated companies, including: ES Management Services, ES Equipment Finance, ES Insurance Services, and ES Truck Sales.
ES is an industry leader, going the extra mile to provide ownership opportunities through our groundbreaking Path To Ownership. We are the only transportation company that takes your attitude, aptitude, work ethic and earning power into account when it comes to getting financed. In addition, ES provides opportunities for women through our 150Women-Owned Business Challenge. Since it’s inception, ES had helped generate over 85 women-owned businesses. Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative by clicking here.
We recently completed the current phase of its operational headquarters expansion with the addition of new office space specifically designed for the ES Recruiting Department. The decision to move forward with the development of a larger space for the recruiting department within the ES operational headquarters is part of an overall strategic plan focused on supporting the continued growth of the company’s truck ownership opportunities and expanding its business support programs for the members of the ES Community.
As a company, ES provides safe, stable and profitable capacity to our partner carriers by connecting carriers with our community of small business owners consisting of independent contractor drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners. The success of ES is directly tied to the success of the motor carriers and the members of the ES community, and we believe it is essential to continue to invest in the infrastructure and programs that will further open the doors for success in trucking.
New Upstairs Office Space
In anticipation of future growth, the entire upper floor of the ES headquarters has been expanded to include additional office space. We’re looking forward to the road ahead as we gear up to serve you now and into the future!
Never Stand Alone! Contact us for more opportunities at 877-349-9303.
The addition of the HUB, ES’s contractor’s lounge, in 2017 has proven to be a hit! The Hub brings together a number of amenities to help make contractors feel at home. The common area is clean, spacious and well-lit, with a large flat-screen TV, comfortable lounge chairs where you can put your feet up, and a kitchen area featuring free coffee. In addition, The Hub also provides a free shower and a washer & dryer. And if the mood strikes, you can sit outside on our patio. Access to The Hub is monitored and controlled, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted “guests” hassling you the moment you step out of your cab — so you can simply enjoy your visit. Click to learn more about The Hub
VIEW OUR INVENTORY BELOW
ES Truck Sales helps you unlock the door to future success with Real Trucks, Real Programs and Real Opportunity. For many new expedited contractors, buying a reliable used truck is the sensible way to enter the transportation business as an owner-operator. ES Truck Sales is here to help you with one of your most important business decisions – the purchase of your truck.
Contact us today to see why more transportation professionals rely on ES Truck Sales for the best value in late model trucks than anyone else in the industry.
Call our team 877-349-9303, ext. 120
ES Truck Sales has an Outstanding Selection of Trucks Available
Several 2015 Cascadia Dry Box ST with 72″ Factory Sleeper, DD13,
Auto, Fridge, Inverter, and APU.
Miles 235K to 401K – Low to Mid $70Ks
A Few 2016 Cascadia Dry Box ST with Bolt SST100 Custom Sleeper & Lift Axle, DD13,
Auto, Full Fridge, Microwave, Running Water, Inverter, APU.
Good Miles starting at $124K
Multiple 2014-15 Cascadia Refer ST with Bolt SST100 Custom Sleeper, Lift Axle,
Lift Gate, DD13, Auto, Full Fridge, Microwave, Running Water, Inverter, APU.
Miles 400K To 600K Range – Starting at $85K
Bargain Price Trucks Available
2013 Cascadia Dry Box ST with 72″ Factory Sleeper – 765K Mi
On Consignment – $28,500
2013 Cascadia Dry Box ST with 72″ Factory Sleeper – 734K Mi
Fully Refurbed – $32,500
2014 Cascadia Refer ST with AA 98″ Custom Sleeper – 576K Mi
On Consignment – $97,500
2014 Cascadia Refer ST with SST100 Custom Sleeper – 633K Mi
On Consignment – $83,000
2014 Cascadia Dry Box ST with SST100 Custom Sleeper – 917K Mi
On Consignment – $40,000
Late Model Pre-Owned Tractors Available
Several On Consignment and Available Now!
2018 & 19 Volvo 780 & 860 Nice Specs with Auto, Fridge, Inverter, Workstation, & APU
Miles 66K To 278K – Starting at $121,000
ETS also has Access To New Tractors!
Contact Danny Vernon, or David Morquecho in Truck Sales at 877-349-9303
When Jeffrey and Valerie Welborn made the decision to change careers and enter the field of transportation, they were hopeful that their new path would lead to opportunity and success. Little did they know that a chance encounter at a truck stop would bring their path to ES’s Path To Ownership (PTO) and to FedEx as their new motor carrier. Learn more about how they are building a fleet by choosing their own path for ownership and success.
Jeffery, how did you and Valerie get started in transportation?
It all started in 2013. Up until that time, I had always worked for myself as a building contractor and the market just wasn’t supporting my business. I had always wanted to drive a truck. I discussed it with Valerie, and since she had recently been laid off from her job, we decided it would be a good career move.
After looking at several trucking opportunities, we started driving long haul for a large trucking company. After about nine months, we found ourselves broken down at a truck stop waiting on a tow truck. We began talking to an ES team signed on with FedEx as their motor carrier. They told us about ES and their support, as well as what a great company FedEx is to drive for. We asked a lot of questions and It sounded like a much better opportunity than where we were at present. We made up our minds that when our current contract was complete (in about 3 months) that we would make the switch to ES and Fedex as a team.
Soon afterwards, we were in touch with ES Recruiter, Kim Smith. She spent a lot of time on the phone with us explaining how the various ES programs work. We also told her that we wanted to become truck owners and she was very informative about the ES Path To Ownership (PTO). She was up front about everything and explained about how we could drive a truck from the ES fleet while running under FedEx’s authority. During this time, our attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history would be evaluated, along with our ability to generate revenue. And if we met all of the criteria, we could qualify to buy our own truck. It all sounded great — but we saw another opportunity within the ES umbrella and took another path to ownership, as you’ll see, it worked out very well for our business.
Can you tell us about the different path to ownership that you took?
The folks at ES encouraged us to attend their annual EGG (ES’s Group Gathering) — this was in 2015. It gave us the opportunity to get to know the people at ES on a personal basis. It also gave us the opportunity to network with other people in the business. The whole EGG experience was terrific! Not only did we get to meet a lot of knowledgeable people, we got to learn more about the transportation business in general. I would recommend to anyone to attend an EGG, it’s that good.
The EGG was the tipping point that reinforced our desire to become owners. Shortly afterwards, we met a fleet owner who gave us the opportunity to drive for him and purchase one of his trucks as a type of lease purchase agreement. We drove for him for about a year and a half as we were buying the truck and decided that we wanted to start our own fleet and buy a second truck. FedEx recommended several options and we chose to speak with ES because they represented the best opportunity to make a purchase while we were still paying for our first truck.
Back in August, we contacted ES about our desire to buy this second truck and spoke with Steve Kochensparger at ES Equipment Finance. I provided him with all of the paperwork and EEF evaluated it. At this point it was recommended that our best course of action was to purchase the current truck that we had been making payments on and own it flat out. This would make the process easier having that truck in our name when purchasing a second truck — which we should be able to do in about ninety days, through ES’s Path To Ownership.
We’re excited about the opportunity to add a second truck in a short amount of time and start building a fleet. I like the fact that ES is flexible with their Path To Ownership and lets us qualify for a truck using available data from the motor carrier that is provided to ES Equipment Finance. Our longterm plan is to add more trucks to our fleet in the future. The PTO makes the process easy and streamlined and we know what we’re getting. It’s a great opportunity to start our fleet off on the right foot.
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
What was it like starting a new career in transportation?
I love the fact that in transportation you are doing something different everyday. There really isn’t such a thing as “routine”. Yes, you’re performing a task where you haul freight on a routine basis, but it’s always a challenge and it’s almost always in a different place. Before getting into trucking, I had not seen many parts of this country. Transportation gives you the opportunity to travel and experience things you would never get to do in a more sedentary occupation.
I always tell women who want to get into transportation to keep an open mind. It’s not a business for everyone, but there is so much opportunity for women. I’m grateful that ES supports women-owned businesses with the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge. Women should know that there are real careers to be made in the trucking field. It helps to have the right kind of business partner and I’m lucky to have Jeffrey. We always work well together as a team, and that’s what it takes to be a success in trucking — and it doesn’t hurt to have ES in your corner, so you never stand alone! Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative by clicking here.
Blair and Diane Seigle are a veteran husband and wife trucking team who started a new career in transportation after their children left home. Their desire to become owners was realized after learning about ES’s Path To Ownership. Learn how they leveraged their attitude, aptitude, work ethic and earning power to be a Success In Trucking.
Diane, how did you and Blair get started in transportation?
Blair has been a company driver, driving tractor-trailers for about thirty years. It’s been about ten years since I drove and I had been working in a factory, which wasn’t exactly my number one career choice. I much prefer to be on the road! So, after our children left home, we both felt it was time to do something together and that’s when we chose a new career in transportation — but this time, we chose expediting and straight trucks and we wanted to become owners.
How did you get started on your path to truck ownership?
We were looking for something that was easier to drive than a tractor-trailer that offered a better lifestyle. We did some research and called Panther because we knew their fleet included straight trucks, and they are a great company with a very good reputation. After contacting our recruiter, we told them about our desire to be owners. Since Panther doesn’t actually sell trucks, they told us about ES and their Path to Ownership (PTO). It wasn’t long before I got a call from ES Recruiter, Kim Smith. She went into more detail about the PTO, explaining that we could drive one of ES’s trucks (while running for Panther), for a specified amount of time. During that time period, our attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history would be evaluated, along with our ability to generate revenue. And if we met all of the criteria, we could qualify to buy our own truck.
The opportunity sounded really good! We soon made the trip to ES headquarters in Southaven, Mississippi and picked up a late model Cascadia from ES’s fleet and began our new business as contract drivers. We also met the ES team and got to know them on a personal basis — that was in January of this year. There was a learning curve to being expediters and driving a straight truck, but our Service Coordinator, Bobby Gardner was with us every step of the way as we settled into what turned out to be a profitable endeavor.
Blair, can you tell us about continuing the Path to Ownership?
As Diane stated earlier, we had a lot of support from the ES team. There was a lot to learn and we had a great deal of questions. One of the things we learned was to listen to the advice from our Service Coordinator about loads, maintenance and many other aspects of running a successful expediting business. We soon found out that by following their proven strategies and working hard, you have a great opportunity to build a profitable business. By June of this year, we got the call from Bobby telling us that our revenue was good. He asked if we’d like to continue our Path to Ownership by taking the next step. We felt confident in our ability to actually become owners and said “YES”!
We were soon in touch with ES Truck Sales Representative, David Morquecho. Although we had been driving a Freightliner Cascadia, we opted for a truck with a larger sleeper and more amenities, including a ThermoKing APU, which helps us save on fuel. He sourced us a very nice low mileage 2016 Volvo 780 ST from the ES fleet. Purchasing a used truck represented a great value and there’s plenty of service life left in the vehicle. It’s a very nice truck and a great place to spend time on the road with Diane. We’re very pleased with our choice.
The next step was to submit our paperwork to ES Equipment Finance, and it wasn’t long before we were approved. We’ve now been in the truck for about a month and our business is doing well. As an owner you truly have more control over your destiny. It’s true what they say at ES: If you can drive the truck, you can own the truck!
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
What has it been like being a woman in the transportation business?
Back when I started in transportation, there was push back from men in the industry. Many men felt that women shouldn’t be driving a truck. Also, trucks were built for a man’s physique. I’m a short woman and in the past it was difficult for me to physically drive a truck because they just aren’t built with women’s body types in mind. But today, more and more women are now driving trucks and we’re more respected, which is a good thing. Another good thing is that truck manufacturers are building trucks that make it easier for women to drive.
For any woman looking to start a career in trucking, I would tell them to go for it. Blair and I have been successful and we’re working hard to provide for a good retirement. It helps to have someone on your side supporting you like the ES Team, so you Never Stand Alone. When it’s all said and done, I think there’s more opportunity for women than ever before, and I’m thankful to companies like ES for providing opportunities through the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge. Women should seek out opportunities like this. Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative by clicking here.
Everyone knows 2019 has been a tough year for trucking. But take heart, the sky isn’t falling and the big bad wolf isn’t baying at the door!
As a matter of course, business and freight cycles are a fact of life in the trucking environment — you can count on it. You can also count on the fact that ES has created a Community of Support to mitigate the ups and downs that take place in the market.
ES is optimistic about the trucking industry and YOU! That’s why we’ve invested heavily in expanding infrastructure, people and technology to enhance our platform of support in order to create stability, so you Never Stand Alone. (Click here to learn more about our expansion). ES has created groundbreaking programs to help expand opportunity, including the 150 women-owned business challenge that has helped women come to represent 38% of the ES fleet; one of the highest in the industry and growing. In addition, ES has created the industry leading PTO (Path To Ownership) that takes your attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history into account when it comes to financing a truck. ES believes that If You Can Drive a Truck, You Can Own the Truck! ES brings You and our Community together to help you become a Success In Trucking.
We invite you to watch our video below from the recent Success In Trucking Expo (click to learn more about the SITE) detailing the ES community of support created to help you through good market conditions, as well as bad.
How can ES help you today? Contact our team at 877-349-9303.
ES will be attending the annual Accelerate! Conference & Expo, sponsored by the Women in Trucking Association, September 30 thru October 2, at the Sheraton Dallas. The conference brings transportation, logistics, and supply chain peers together to educate and discuss critical issues and trends in transportation, along with perspectives of women in the industry.
In 2017, The Accelerate! Conference was the springboard where ES and the Women in Trucking Association introduced the 150 Women-Owned business challenge, a strategic partnership with the goal of providing more opportunity for women-owned small businesses (owner-operators). Since the introduction of the “challenge”, over eighty five women-owned businesses have been created, helping women who operate under the ES umbrella break through the glass ceiling of truck ownership. Women now represent 38% of the ES fleet (one of the highest in the industry) — once again proving that with ES, If You Can Drive a Truck, You Can Own the Truck!
In addition to ES being a business incubator for women-owned businesses, we’ve invested heavily in expanding infrastructure, people and technology to enhance our platform of support in order to create stability, so you Never Stand Alone. (Click here to learn more about our expansion). ES has created groundbreaking programs to help expand opportunity for women, including the industry leading PTO (Path To Ownership) that takes your attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history into account when it comes to financing a truck.
Another way ES has helped to support women-owned businesses is through the launch of the inaugural SITE (Success in Trucking Expo) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 6 & 7 of this year. (Click to see what happened at the SITE) It was an invitation only event designed to continue and expand opportunities to help drivers become owners, owners become fleet owners, and fleet owners expand their fleets. Many women attended the SITE resulting in successful outcomes as owner-operators. The SITE was such a success, we’re doing it again next year on June 5 & 6, once again at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Click to learn more and save the date for SITE 2020).
Please visit us at Booth 104. We look forward to seeing you here!
Never Stand Alone! Contact us for more opportunities at 877-349-9303.
In July, the Women In Trucking Association selected Donna as one of the honorees for the organization’s Top Women-Owned Business Award
For Donna Sleasman, the road she took in being recognized by the Women In Trucking Association as one of the industry’s top women business owners has been both rewarding and challenging. Earning acknowledgement as a trailblazing entrepreneur never entered Donna’s thoughts as she considered her career options in 1980 while working at a gas station in West Sacramento, California.
Today, Donna is the business owner of an expedited fleet that delivered $1.8 million in revenue in 2018. Donna’s company is on track to expand to 10 units before the end of 2019, and she is seeking to reach the goal of 20 trucks by the end of 2020. Part of Donna’s fleet growth has been achieved through the 150 Business Challenge, the collaborative initiative between ES and the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) to create 150 women-owned businesses in transportation. Donna’s relationship with ES dates back more than seven years when she began utilizing the discounts and support services available to the participants in the ES Community.
“ES has become a valued business partner, and they have helped me become more successful as a business owner. The discounts ES provides are some of the best in the trucking industry, and the support they offer to me and to everyone in their program is first-rate,” explained Donna. “I can walk right into (ES President) Jason Williams’ office and ask him a question. He will take the time to listen and to get me with the right people who can address what I need.
“ES backs up what they tell you and they truly care about your success as a business owner,” she added. “The biggest thing is that they have been there when I have needed them, and that’s the way they work with everyone in their program. If ES had been in business and with the program they have today back when I started, it would have been incredible. It’s been a long road to get to where I am today.”
The Long Road To Success In Trucking
Looking back to 1980 and her days in West Sacramento, Donna knew there was a better life available to her when she started to take a greater interest in the trucks that went past the filling station. As Donna did her research on entering the industry, she was also inspired by the memory of a family connection to trucking. During her childhood, Donna had to the opportunity to ride with her father back in the days when he drove a truck in the oil fields.
“I was always ‘Daddy’s Girl,’ and I loved spending time with him wherever he went,” said Donna, who would name the company she founded in 1983 Daddy’s Girl Trucking in honor of her father.
Donna understood that getting started in trucking as a woman in the early 1980s would not be easy, but she was determined to succeed by finding the right opportunity. Rather than enter a driving school and pay $3,000, Donna found an opportunity through the commercial transport division of North American Van Lines in which she could take the same $3,000 and put a down payment on a truck she would own.
At the time that Donna went through orientation with North American, she was the only woman in a class of 35 people. And while she met a few women professional drivers during the early days of her career (mostly wives who had gotten their CDLs to team with their husbands), Donna recalls only meeting one other woman who was running as a solo owner-operator at that time.
“The industry has changed so much since I started, and it has changed for the better,” Donna observed. “There just weren’t a lot of us out on the road back then. Now women have all kinds of opportunities.”
A New Day: Discovering & Entering The Expedited Sector
The expedited sector of trucking was barely in its infancy when Donna entered the industry. As she continued to work as an owner-operator in the world of big trucks, Donna kept her eye on what was happening within expedite. By 1999, the opportunities began to look more attractive on the expedited side of the fence, and Donna, having met so many husband-and-wife teams over her long-haul years on the road, had an idea that would eventually change the course of her career in trucking and her time as an entrepreneur.
Donna’s husband had been looking to possibly make a career change toward the end of the 1990s. Donna clearly understood the earning potential for an expedited team, and she shared a plan with her husband, who then obtained his Class B license. And while they achieved some early success when they started in expedite in 1999, Donna and her husband realized team trucking was not something that they wanted to pursue together long term. At the same time, the experience in expedite was a revelation for Donna, who began looking for the best solo opportunity within the sector that could fit her needs. FedEx opened a new door for Donna in 2000. Today, Donna and her fleet are part of the FedEx Custom Critical operation.
Enjoying a nearly 20-year association with FedEx, Donna’s approach to trucking is a stark contrast to the high turnover rates that are a part of the trucking industry’s landscape. Donna believes in the value of building relationships and finding a home.
“I have been able build a pretty good rapport with the people at FedEx over the years. I learned a long time ago in this industry it can cost you a lot of money to simply cut and run when something goes wrong,” said Donna. “If you leave some place because of an issue, you have to start somewhere else. You lose money in between carriers and you can lose money learning a new system. The learning curve can take up to three months, and that’s where people fall deeper into a (financial) hole. It’s much better if you can stick around and try to work things out when you have an issue.
“With FedEx, you have the brand recognition of the FedEx name. I have learned their system and I know what to expect,” added Donna. “They have kept my trucks running and their rates have always been pretty good.”
Earning WIT’s Recognition as a Top Women-Owned Business Owner
Donna was aware that ES had nominated her six-truck operation at the time for consideration by WIT for the association’s Top Women-Owned Business Award. ES had also submitted additional nominations for the WIT honor from the group of participants in the 150 Business Challenge program. While the other ES nominees had strong credentials in what amounted to the start-ups of their small businesses, Donna’s results with a year-over-year growth of more than 30 percent, the company’s 2018 revenue total and her experience of nearly 40 years in trucking presented a compelling case to the WIT panel choosing the honorees.
Though she remained hopeful that she might be recognized by WIT for the award, Donna admits that she was quite stunned when she learned that her Daddy’s Girl Trucking Company had been included among WIT’s list of Top Women-Owned Business Award winners for 2019.
“I was very shocked, I really was,” said Donna. “There are some really big companies out there that got recognized on this list. To think that someone like me who has a company with five or six trucks (at the time) could be on this list is quite flattering. It’s a tremendous honor, and I am very grateful to ES for the time and effort they took to nominate me for the award.”
“We were proud to nominate Donna for WIT’s Top Women-Owned Business Award, and we are thrilled that the association selected her company as one of this year’s honorees,” said ES President Jason Williams. “What Donna has accomplished during her career in the trucking industry is truly inspiring. To be an owner-operator and successful business owner in this industry for nearly 40 years makes Donna not only deserving of the award she received from WIT, but, in looking at her achievements, she should be considered as a real trailblazer.
“We are very grateful that Donna is part of the ES Community. She has been a mentor to a number of the owner-operators and independent contractors in our ownership programs,” Jason added. “Donna is someone you can look up to in this industry, and she is an example of what is possible with hard work and a determination to succeed.”
Inspiring Continued Growth of Ownership Opportunities for Women
Long before the collaboration with WIT on the 150 Business Challenge, ES had established a reputation in the industry for opening doors for women who are seeking to become business owners in trucking. Today, the number of women within the ES Community who are fleet owners, owner-operators or independent contractors involved in the programs offered by the company now exceeds 38 percent of the ES fleet. When compared to the overall industry average of women behind the wheel, the percentage of women participating in the ES truck ownership programs and utilizing the company’s support services is nearly five times greater than the current national average.
Having worked with ES for the past seven years and having witnessed the change that has occurred in the industry over the past four decades, Donna has not been surprised to see an increasing number of women use the truck ownership programs from ES to launch their respective businesses.
“You can come across a lot of empty promises in this industry, but ES is the real deal. They stand behind everything that they tell you,” observed Donna. “ES has always been there for me. They are good, honest people who, if you can show that you have a good work ethic, will provide you with an opportunity to start your own business and they will support you in your efforts to be successful. I have been doing this for a long time, and I’m glad that ES is on my side.”
Staying Humble on the Road Ahead
While earning a well-deserved place on WIT’s Top-Women Owned Business List stands as one of the high points of her career in trucking, Donna is not allowing the recognition to take her focus away from the goals of running her fleet and growing her business. Amid all the congratulations she has received since the award was announced in late July, she has remained humble by never forgetting her roots and the route that brought her to this level of success.
“This is a great award and it still amazes me that I am a part of a list recognizing the top women-owned businesses in the trucking industry,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of people ask me about it, and I try to stay humble. I don’t look at myself as a big-time business owner who is in an office. I still see myself as a truck driver, because I am a truck driver. If I need to get out there and take one of my trucks wherever it needs to go, I know that I can do that. I am willing to do the work that needs to be done for my business. But, no matter what I do or where I go, I’m still a truck driver.”
ES’s growth over the years is a direct result of the support we’ve gotten from you: the drivers, owner-operators, fleet owners and motor carriers. Our commitment to the community manifests itself in the ongoing investment in the infrastructure, people and resources necessary to provide opportunities for you and your business to become a Success in Trucking. As a result ES enjoys one of the highest owner-operator retention rates in the industry, as well as a fleet comprised of 38% women. We’re anticipating even more growth and success as we gear up for the future!
NEW ES Recruiting Offices
We’re excited to announce that the ES recruiting team moved into their new offices this week! Recruiting is an important service that we offer and we wanted to make the recruiting process as streamlined as possible. According to David Withers, ES Recruiting Director, the move will help make ES recruiting services better. “We’re pleased about the move. The new office gives our recruiting team more space and capabilities that will make the entire recruiting process more efficient. The new offices also gives us space to grow as we add more members to our team.”
The new recruiting office is located just off of the HUB contractor lounge, so it’s easy to get to and its accessible to anyone who visits. Click to learn more about The Hub
Our recruiting team is ready to serve you! Contact us at 877-349-9303, ext. 4
New Upstairs Office Space
In anticipation of future growth, the entire upper floor of the ES headquarters has been expanded to include additional office space. We’re looking forward to the road ahead as we gear up to serve you now and into the future!
Never Stand Alone! Contact us for more opportunities at 877-349-9303.
The SITE 2019 & 2020
June 6 & 7, we launched the inaugural SITE (Success in Trucking Expo) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was an invitation only event designed to continue and expand opportunities to help drivers become owners, owners become fleet owners, and fleet owners expand their fleets. Proving once again, with ES: If you can drive a truck, you can own the truck! Click to see what happened at the SITE 2019.
Site 2019 was so successful, we’re doing it again next year on June 5 & 6, once again at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Click to learn more and save the date for SITE 2020.
The addition of the HUB, ES’s contractor’s lounge, in 2017 has proven to be a hit! The Hub brings together a number of amenities to help make contractors feel at home. The common area is clean, spacious and well-lit, with a large flat-screen TV, comfortable lounge chairs where you can put your feet up, and a kitchen area featuring free coffee. In addition, The Hub also provides a free shower and a washer & dryer. And if the mood strikes, you can sit outside on our patio. Access to The Hub is monitored and controlled, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted “guests” hassling you the moment you step out of your cab — so you can simply enjoy your visit. Click to learn more about The Hub.
Husband and wife transportation team Norris and Zakiya Simmons’ background started in the warehousing industry, when a chance discussion with a co-worker made them question their current profession and look into the opportunities offered in transportation. Ride along with us as we tell their story of Success In Trucking.
Norris, how did you and Zakiya get started in transportation?
We both worked in the warehousing industry. One day I was training a new employee at the company where we worked and he asked me if I had ever been a truck driver. I hadn’t really thought about driving a truck before, even though my mother was a truck driver. But the more I thought about it and started doing research, I began to realize just what a great opportunity transportation could be. I mentioned it to my wife and she was onboard with the idea as well. We immediately started making plans, packed up our things and began pursuing our dreams on the road. That was in 2016.
I went to work for a trucking company and got my CDL. I drove for them for about eighteen months, but I just wasn’t happy with the way things were going. I had entered into a traditional lease purchase agreement during this time and didn’t get the loads I needed to maintain it, so I walked away from the lease. By this time, Zakiya was driving for a chemical company and I started driving there. Things were going great until her contract got cancelled. We approached the company about letting us drive as a team, but they wouldn’t agree to it. That’s when we began looking for other opportunities.
What was your next move?
We did a lot of research online and talked to a lot of other drivers. Many of them had good things to say about Forward Air, so I contacted them. We told the recruiter about our past experiences as company drivers and that we wanted to do more with our careers and become owner-operators. The recruiter told us about ES and their Path to Ownership (PTO) — that we could drive one of their trucks, while running under Forward Air’s authority and after a specified amount of time, if we qualified, we could get our own truck. The opportunity sounded great and it was a way for us to become owners in a much shorter time period. I called ES right away.
Tell us about your experience with ES’s Path to Ownership?
I contacted ES and spoke to recruiter EJ Jackson. He went into even more details about the PTO — that we could drive one of ES’s trucks (while running for Forward Air), for a specified amount of time. During that time period, our attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history would be evaluated, along with our ability to generate revenue. And if we met all of the criteria, we could qualify to buy our own truck.
In May, we started our Path to Ownership driving a very nice 2018 Kenworth T680 from ES’s fleet. During this time, we drove hard and learned as much as we could. The ES team was very helpful during this time supporting us with advice on loads and how to run our business more efficiently. After about three months, we got the word that our revenue was good. Our ES Service Coordinator asked if we’d like to continue our Path to Ownership by taking the next step. Of course, we said YES!!!
A visit to the SITE and Seeing our truck
Along with the fantastic news about our taking the next step in our Path to Ownership, we were invited to the Success In Trucking Expo at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 7 & 8. We were thrilled to be invited to the SITE! We really didn’t know what to expect, but once we got there, we were extremely impressed. The food was outstanding and their speakers were interesting and informative. We learned a lot about ES as a company and got to know them personally. On top of that, we got to actually see and drive the type of truck we wanted: a 2020 Volvo VNL 860. Being able to see this truck in person really helped us know that this was the type of truck for us. We even got to drive it on the Indy infield track! How many people can say that? Overall, the SITE was very helpful to us. We also got to meet Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz. His message of positivity and spirituality touched our hearts. We knew were were amongst good people.
Tell us about finding your truck and your experience with ES Equipment Finance?
Shortly after returning from the SITE, we got with Danny Vernon at ES Truck Sales. We all discussed what Zakiya and I wanted in a truck and he helped us spec a 2020 Volvo VNL 860 (just like the one we drove at the SITE). It’s an awesome truck and is equipped just the way we wanted it, including a Carrier APU that helps us save on fuel. We then submitted our paperwork to ES Equipment Finance and it wasn’t long before we were approved! We’ve been in our truck since July10th and our business as truck owners is already starting to show signs of success. This is where our aptitude, attitude and work ethic begins to pay off, and the ES team is behind us all the way, so we Never Stand Alone.
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
What has your experience been like in the transportation business?
I’ve had a good experience, especially since coming on board with ES. Being a truck owner has its own challenges compared to being a company driver. You have more responsibility, but you also have much more opportunity and the rewards are that much greater. That’s why it’s important to have someone standing in your corner with you, like the ES team. It also means a lot to me that ES backs women in this industry with the 150 woman-owned business challenge. Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative by clicking here.
How do you and Norris balance work priorities?
I think it all comes down to being a team. Even though we both drive, I’m very good at keeping up with the paperwork and finances. Norris is good at keeping up with the many tasks involved with keeping the equipment running properly. We feel blessed to have such a great opportunity and we’re going to work hard in order to have something to build upon in the future. We hope to build a fleet in the not too distant future.