It often takes courage, commitment and belief in yourself to overcome life’s adversities and the burdensome responsibilities that come with it. Veteran transportation professional Travis Graham understands this all too well, as he overcame a number of personal challenges to take ES’s Path To Ownership (PTO). Read below to see how his path led to Success In Trucking.
How did you get started in transportation? I guess you could say that my career in transportation is a family tradition. I’m a third generation truck driver and I’ve been driving professionally for eighteen years. Before the economy tanked in 2008, I drove for myself. But after that, I started looking for opportunities with an established company. I found Panther and for the last ten years I’ve been signed on with them as my motor carrier.
Why did you choose Panther as your motor carrier? After driving for years for myself. I wanted to be associated with a company that was well established and didn’t make me feel like just a cog in their system. A friend of mine who was driving expedited freight suggested that I look at Panther. I contacted them and liked what I saw. Panther gives me the freedom to choose my own loads and they’ve just been a good company to work with. That’s why I’ve been here for ten years.
Tell us about your Path To Ownership? I’ve been driving one of ES’s trucks as a contract driver ever since signing on with Panther. I’ve always had great communications and support from the ES team, and on more than one occasion, ES management mentioned to me that my revenue were good and that I had the aptitude and attitude necessary to become an owner, and that I should consider taking their Path to Ownership.
Truck ownership was something that I’ve always wanted to do, but other responsibilities often took precedence. I’ve been supporting my disabled mother and stepfather for a number of years. I also have a twelve-year old son that I support. With all of these responsibilities there wasn’t the extra cash flow to buy a truck. But when ES’s PTO came along, it gave me the extra boost I needed to finally qualify for my own truck.
Bobby Gardner, my Service Coordinator at ES, was very supportive and encouraged me to take the PTO. Even with all of my family commitments, it sounded like a good opportunity. The fact that ES would take my work history with Panther, as well as my aptitude and attitude into account when it comes to getting financed, gave me the comfort level I needed to pursue the Path To Ownership.
After taking some time off to deal with some family issues, I happened to be visiting in Southaven, Mississippi. I dropped by the ES offices to say hello. I discussed the PTO with the ES team and decided right then to submit my paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance just to see where things would go. It wasn’t long before I got the news that I was approved. I finally got my MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance!
What was your next step along your Path To Ownership? ES encouraged me to take the PTO. Since I’ve known the ES team for so long, they let me know that I shouldn’t have any problems getting qualified due to my work history, aptitude and attitude. So, I got with Danny Vernon and picked out a truck — a low mileage 2015 Cascadia with a seventy-two inch sleeper and a ThermoKing APU, which helps me save on fuel. Danny submitted my paperwork to ES Equipment Finance. ESEF then sent me a list of requirements that they needed, I fulfilled all of these and got my approval quickly! The process was straight forward and easy and I took delivery of my truck in September of 2018.
What is it like being a truck owner? Being a new owner started off great for a few weeks. My driving partner and I were rocking, creating a really good income stream — then disaster hit! On October 23rd, I took a fall from the top step of my truck at a truck stop after stepping in diesel fuel. I fell back and hit my head. It took me six weeks recovering at home before I could get back in the truck. My driving partner helped hold everything together during my recovery.
I’ve been back in the truck since just before Christmas and things are going well again. Being an owner definitely has more of an impact on the bottom line. It gives me flexibility and earning power. The support I get from ES is also a real benefit and I Never Stand Alone.
What are the plans for your business going forward? Now that I’ve experienced the earning power of truck ownership, I’ve gained the knowledge and confidence to build on my success. After paying off this truck, my next purchase will be a custom truck set up just for the way I do business!
My driving partner, David Smid,also desires to set out on his own and take ES’s Path To Ownership in the near future. I’m excited for him and understand the dream of owning your own truck and becoming a Success In Trucking. I encourage anyone wanting to become a truck owner to look into the opportunities that ES has to offer.
ES is pleased to announce the Success In Trucking Expo (SITE) this June. The inaugural expo is set for June 7-8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Complex.
If you’re familiar with our annual EGG (ES’s Group Gathering), you’ll recognize a number of common themes relating to the SITE, including, a tight-knit community, great fellowship,real opportunity and ES’s legendary support. The SITE promises a broader look at the industry, placing a greater concentration on developments in general trucking – recognizing the growth the ES Community has experienced during the past three-plus years in the tractor-related service markets. The SITE is designed to be an annual event that’s impactful, focusing on helping owner-operators and fleet owners upgrade and/or grow their businesses.
The program for the SITE will feature speakers, roundtable discussions and chosen topics designed to share industry knowledge and practical experience to benefit the attendees as they look to build, upgrade and expand their businesses. The motor carriers and vendors participating in the SITE have been hand-picked by ES because of their desire to help the attendees in reaching their goals within the trucking industry.
Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer, a division of Truck Country, will be the title sponsor for the inaugural Success In Trucking Expo. The ES Community motor carriers exclusively participating in the SITE are FedEx Custom Critical, Forward Air and Panther Premium Logistics, a Service of ArcBest. Attending vendors include Daimler Truck Financial, Detroit Diesel, Freightliner, Love’s Travel Stops, TA-Petro, Tvc Pro Driver, Inc. and Western Star. Stay tuned as updates of vendors will be announced as we get closer to the event.
In addition to our outstanding lineup of motor carriers and vendors, the SITE’s inaugural Friday night dinner will feature former Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Entrepreneur Anthony Muñoz as the guest speaker.
Pre-qualified SITE registrants will enjoy FREE hotel accommodations and free meals for the event. A limited number of spots are available, and attendees will be chosen from the registration submitted to ES. So don’t wait, REGISTER NOW! The SITE is the place to be for anyone looking to start or grow a business. Please read below to learn more about the SITE.
The SITE is Open to Current & Prospective Qualified Contractors
Considering a Career in Transportation? Considering Growing Your Business? Wanting to Own a Truck? Looking for Success in Trucking?
Come join us at the inaugural Success In Trucking Expo (SITE), held on the grounds of the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.Enjoy good food and good fellowship. See old friends and make new friends as we share wonderful and timely information. Come join us for real opportunity and community
What is the SITE?
The Success In Trucking Expo (SITE) is a gathering for drivers who want to become owners, owners wanting to upgrade or become fleet owners, and fleet owners looking to grow their fleets in the Expedite and General Trucking markets. ES helps prospective owners achieve Success in Trucking through our unique Path To Ownership (PTO). The SITE is a place to build relationships in order to better help ES serve the community with programs and offerings that create opportunities that help grow businesses.
Why the Success in Trucking Expo (SITE)?
If you are considering entering the transportation industry, growing your business and looking for Success in Trucking, the SITE is the place for you. ES understands that your business is making money. And we’re here to help you achieve this goal with business opportunities backed up by support programs that save you money on fuel, financing, insurance and much more, so you Never Stand Alone. Whether you’re a new or experienced Contract Driver, Owner Operator or Fleet Owner, ES offers you the opportunity to maximize your potential at your level of choice. When you join our proven Circle of Success, we help you succeed Your way. Also, you get the opportunity to create and nurture relationships with motor carriers and vendors in the community.
What to Expect at the SITE?
We feel the best way to tailor programs that support you is to get to know each other on a personal level, and that’s what the Success In Trucking Expo is all about. We want to build relationships in order to better serve you with programs and offerings that create Opportunities to help your business grow.
We hope to see you June 7 & 8, 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Click to register.
Business Opportunities & Success in Trucking
Truck Sales & Financing • Premium Driving Opportunities • Industry Leading Owner Operator Program
–Limited Space Available– Register Now! It’s FREE to Attend! or call 877-349-9303 for more information
The new trucking event on the industry calendar, to be held June 7-8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Complex, will be focused on highlighting truck ownership opportunities and providing insights from experts. They will be discussing the latest trends taking place in the industry and offering strategies for successfully operating small businesses in trucking. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Muñozwill be serving as the keynote speaker for the event. ES will be providing a limited number of free hotel accommodations for expo registrants.Visit the SITE website: SuccessInTruckingExpo.com.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – January 25, 2019 – Expediter Services (ES), a leader in capacity solutions and ownership opportunities within the trucking industry, is pleased to announce the company will present the Success In Trucking Expo (SITE) this June. The inaugural expo is set for June 7-8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Complex.
Powered by the company’s proven track record and expertise, ES is committed to making the SITE a valuable and impactful annual event for professional drivers seeking opportunities in truck ownership. In addition, the event will also be focused on helping owner-operators and fleet owners upgrade and/or grow. The program format is being modeled after the successful series of ES events held during the past several years that focused on trucking’s expedited sector. While the SITE will touch on topics key to expediting, the new event from ES promises to take a broader look at the industry, placing a greater concentration on developments in general trucking – recognizing the growth the ES Community has experienced during the past three-plus years in the tractor-related service markets.
Since it entered the expedited market in 2006, ES has utilized a working model that focuses on removing the barriers that hinder professional drivers from becoming truck owners and operating their own small businesses. Through ES, qualified participants in the company’s programs have access to competitive, market-rate financing with a credit-evaluation process that puts an emphasis on attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history. The ES model has proven to be an effective platform for contract drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners. Today ES is a leading provider of non-asset capacity within the expedited market, and the company’s platform is gaining traction within a general trucking market searching for tractor capacity.
“As ES has grown to gain a presence in general trucking, we began to look at the possibility of expanding the group gatherings we held beyond the expedited sector. As 2019 approached, we felt the timing was right to launch the Success In Trucking Expo,” said Jason Williams, President of ES. “In planning this event, we are being very intentional to give the SITE a feel that is different from the traditional truck shows on the industry calendar. The SITE will be a much more personal, hands-on event that will be focused on connecting with professional contract drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners who are either looking to take the next step in their careers and become truck owners, or they are looking to upgrade or expand their current operations. One of the most important features of the SITE will be the opportunity to meet members of the ES Community, including many of the success stories who have taken the steps to launch small businesses in trucking.”
The program format of the SITE, with its speakers, roundtable discussions and chosen topics, has been designed to share industry knowledge and practical experience to benefit the attendees as they look to build, upgrade and expand their businesses. The motor carriers and vendors participating in the SITE have been hand-picked by ES because of their desire to help the attendees in reaching their goals within the trucking industry.
Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer, a division of Truck Country, will be the title sponsor for the inaugural Success In Trucking Expo. The ES Community motor carriers participating in the SITE are FedEx Custom Critical, Forward Air and Panther Premium Logistics, a Service of ArcBest. These three companies will be the exclusive motor carriers at the SITE. Daimler Truck Financial, Detroit Diesel, Freightliner, Love’s Travel Stops, TA-Petro, Tvc Pro Driver, Inc. and Western Star make up the current list of vendors that will be a part of the SITE. ES company officials note that other ES Community vendors may also be joining this year’s expo.
In addition to being surrounded by the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the kickoff of the SITE will draw additional star power from the sports world with Anthony Muñoz serving as the keynote speaker on the opening night. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame following his 13-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals, Muñoz is considered to be one of the greatest offensive linemen in the history of the National Football League. A former NFL Man of the Year for his commitment to his community, Muñoz launched the Anthony Muñoz Foundation in 2002. The organization has raised over $10 million in support of children’s programs across Cincinnati and the surrounding region.
“We are quite thrilled and very grateful for the support we have received from the motor carriers and vendors in the ES Community participating in the first edition of the SITE. I know everyone who attends will find value in what our fleets and vendors will be sharing with them,” Williams said. “We are really looking forward to hearing the keynote presentation from Anthony Muñoz. We’re confident that everyone in attendance at the kickoff event for the expo will find the hard work and commitment that Anthony has used in becoming a champion both on and off the football field useful in their own lives. There are a lot of relatable lessons from his life experiences that apply to finding success as a business owner in the trucking industry. We also truly admire Anthony’s continued commitment to uplifting his community. At its core, the SITE is truly a gathering of the ES Community. We believe in supporting each other and uplifting our community members toward success.”
One of the unique features about the SITE is that ES is offering free hotel accommodations and free meals for pre-qualified expo registrants. A limited number of those slots are available for the event, and attendees receiving them will be chosen from the registration submissions ES receives. The registration form and complete information on the event are available at S
“We sincerely value the time and effort it takes for people who are involved in the trucking industry to come off the road,” Williams said. “We are looking forward to working with everyone who is interested in attending and going through the registration and pre-qualification process with them. We’re counting the days until June 7th. Our entire team at ES is committed to building the SITE into the place to be this June.” Watch our video to learn more.
Business Opportunities & Success in Trucking
Truck Sales & Financing • Premium Driving Opportunities • Industry Leading Owner Operator Program
–Limited Space Available– Register Now! It’s FREE to Attend! or call 877-349-9303 for more information
Daymond and Rebecca Box each acquired a love for transportation at an early age. Their paths finally came together as husband and wife and as a successful driving team after finding the right carrier and ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO). Read on to see how their path led to Success in Trucking as new truck owners who got their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance.
Daymond, how did you get started in transportation? You could say my love for transportation started when I was eleven years old and my dad grabbed me by the seat of my britches, threw me in the truck and said, “drive”. I grew up driving a truck and it turned into a career that began professionally in 1985. I started out in construction hauling belly dumps, asphalt and fuel. Later I moved into oil field construction and even took a management position for a couple of years after that. But with a growing family, I came back to driving a truck. In the mid-nineties, I bought my own truck and ran it for a number of years. I sold that truck and went another direction after a few bad experiences dealing with some trucking companies that didn’t live up to their promises. I’ve always been the entrepreneurial type and have kept my eyes open for opportunities.
How did you choose Forward Air as your motor carrier? For a number of years, I had been asking my wife to come out on the road with me (she is also a professional driver), but the timing wasn’t right due to family and church commitments. Then after a few years, a contract fell through with a transportation company we had been involved with. Rebecca mentioned that we should go out on the road together, especially since our children were now grown and no longer at home.
We began doing research on trucking companies and carriers to find the best fit for us. After looking around, Forward Air was on the top of our list. After doing our due diligence, we started with them in June of 2018 and we’ve been very pleased, they’re a great company to work for. We really like that our loads are delivered from terminal to terminal. This fits how we like to run our business.
Tell us about your Path to Ownership with ES? After coming on board with Forward Air, we applied to get a loan to buy our own truck. It turned out that there were a couple of things on our credit report that made this a difficult proposition. Our recruiter at Forward Air told us about ES’s Path To Ownership and how they take your work history, aptitude and attitude into account when it came to getting approved to buy a truck. This sounded like a good opportunity, so we got in touch with ES to get more information.
The first person we talked to was ES Director of Recruiting, David Withers. We told him about our desire to become owners and he provided us with information about their Path to Ownership. He explained that we could drive one of the trucks from ES’s fleet and that our performance would be evaluated over a period of time. Once we had proven that we could generate the revenue and run our business effectively, we would then take the next step along the Path by choosing our truck and submitting paperwork to ES Equipment Finance to get our MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance. It’s a great way for us to take the PTO and “try it before we buy it”. It’s also a great opportunity for us to get to know ES, and for them to get to know us.
After only a few months on the road operating under ES’s umbrella, we got the call that our numbers were good. We were excited and ready to take the next step. We spoke with Danny Vernon, ES Truck Sales Manager and he helped us source a 2019 Peterbilt 579 Ultra Loft truck. Danny not only helped us source the tractor, he also helped insure that it was spec’d to perform correctly for the way we operate. We then submitted our paperwork to ES Equipment Finance. After a short period of time, we were approved.
The entire process was straight forward and ES kept us informed every step along the way. I’m certain without ES’s Path to Ownership, we never would have been able to secure a loan. The fact that they take your work history, aptitude and attitude into account when getting financed is truly unique. I would recommend the PTO to anyone looking to prove themselves under ES’s umbrella to get into a truck. ES’s PTO is a great opportunity for anyone looking to be a truck owner.
What are your future plans?We’ve been in our truck for about a month and we’re already starting to see the fruits of being owners. ES’s fuel card discounts are terrific, as well as their discounts on insurance. We have a five-year plan to build a fleet of twenty-five trucks. The goal is to secure the future for our children, and for us to move into managing a fleet. We’re excited about this opportunity! And we feel we can get there with support from ES and their team. It’s true what they say, with ES, you Never Stand Alone.
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
Rebecca, Tell us how you got started in transportation? Like Daymond, I started out young in trucking. As a little girl of eight, I would ride on my step-dad’s lap while he showed me how to drive. By the time I was nine, I was able to drive a five and four split transmission. Ever since I was small, I’ve been around trucks, even washing out cattle trucks. It was great fun back then, but I don’t think I would enjoy doing that so much today! I guess you could say transportation is in my blood.
I started driving professionally back in 2004 after some personal changes happened in my life. My kids were very supportive and told me that I should do what I’ve always wanted to do and I decided to go to truck driving school. I drove as a company driver for a couple of trucking companies over the years until 2008, when I started working with Daymond doing belly dumps in the oil fields. After a loosing a transpiration contract, I was ready to transition and hit the road with him and that’s how we found Forward Air and ES.
What is it like being a woman in the transportation field? Since I grew up in transportation, I already knew what to expect. I’ve even had people tell me that I would never last in this industry because I was a woman, and I was a sweet person, and a Christian. I would explain to them that I grew up in this environment and took everything they told me with a grain of salt because I believed in myself and I knew what I wanted. There are times that you need to have a thick skin, but I think more than anything, I was able to earn respect from the trucking community because I did my job and was a professional. When it comes down to it, I work as hard as anyone out there.
What has chang
ed for you since you first started driving? For me personally, it’s being part of a team. You have someone their with you who has your back. I hardly even notice any negative parts of the business since I have Daymond there with me. We have each other and we support each other like a team should. We play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we do what we have to in order to make our business a success.
What advice would you give to women who want to start a career in transportation? Transportation can be a great career choice for women. If you want to be a Success in Trucking, do your homework, get your credentials, go for it and work hard. It’s so great that companies like ES and Forward Air support have stepped up to provide opportunities for women who want to get into transportation. I think the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge is a wonderful thing for women and the industry. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here)
Spotlight News has featured numerous success stories detailing the path that people take to become truck owners through ES’s PTO (Path to Ownership) and MBA (Much Better Alternative to truck ownership) programs. This week’s issue spotlights the driving team of Randall Coulstring and Denise Malachefski, a FedEx Custom Critical team who took the Path to Ownership to become a Success in Trucking. This is their story.
Randall, how did you get your start in transportation? I was working as a marine mechanic in Florida when the economic downturn of 2008 hit. They started laying people off who didn’t have tenure, so I knew that I needed to make a career change. I decided to get my CDL and started a new career in transportation. I’ve been in the business ever since.
Tell us about how FedEx became your motor carrier? Since I started driving a truck, I’ve worked as a driver for several different trucking companies over the years. I’ve gained knowledge and experience with each different one, but I never felt as if I had found a home. Then about four years ago, I signed on with FedEx driving expedited freight in a tractor-trailer. FedEx is a great company to work with and I definitely feel like I have found a home here.About two years ago, my girlfriend Denise Malachefski, started on the road with me as my driving partner. She was having some difficulty manually shifting gears, so we walked away from the truck we had lease purchased after about two-and-a-half months. So, it actually worked out better because the lease purchase wasn’t a very good deal anyway. There was no beneficial way to pay it off and you have no support whatsoever. We also had the desire to be owners and the lease purchase just wasn’t going to get us to our goal of true ownership.
How did you hear about ES and tell us about your Path to Ownership? While driving around the country I had heard good things about ES over the years from other drivers. In particular, I had heard about their great financing and their PTO program. Denise and I discussed it and decided to contact ES to learn more. I spoke with one of the ES team members and they explained about the Path to Ownership and their Much Better Alternative to truck finance. They went into detail about the program and how they take your work history into account when it came to getting approved. It all sounded great and we knew our numbers were good, so we decided to take the plunge.
We had recently started driving a 2013 Cascadia refrigerated white glove TVAL straight truck with a custom sleeper owned by another fleet owner. He had agreed to sell it to us. We spoke with Expediter Equipment Finance about our desire to buy this truck. They were happy to accommodate us. Wesubmitted the specs on the truck, along with our paperwork and a down payment. It wasn’t long before we heard back from EEF telling us that we were approved. ES took our attitude, aptitude and work history into account when it came to getting financed. It also didn’t hurt that we had outstanding earnings as a FedEx Custom Critical team. We were so happy to become owners at last!
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
Denise, has the truck buying and owning experience been positive for your business? The entire purchasing experience was easy and straightforward. We’ve been in our truck for just over two months and the longer we run, the more we see how ES fuel card and insurance discounts are good for our bottom line. There’s the additional benefit as an owner, because you get all of therevenue. Another positive benefit of ownership is the support we get from the ES team. They are always there for us when we need help, so we Never Stand Alone.
What has it been like for you as a woman in transportation? I have to say it has been different than other businesses I’ve been in. For one thing, I’m part of a team. I do as much driving as Randall, but I also have other duties that I perform as well, like paperwork. He has other responsibilities too, such as looking after the truck. But at the end of the day, when you drive for FedEx Custom Critical, you have to come together to do whatever is needed to make your business successful. I think the level of responsibility is definitely over and above other types of businesses, but so is the reward, that’s why I love it!
I also think it’s wonderful that ES supports women starting their own businesses through the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge. Transportation can be a very good career move, for women and I think ES, serving as s small business generator, is very helpful for anyone looking to get into the business. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here)
What are your plans for the future? Since getting our feet wet with owning our own truck, Randall and I have been discussing the possibility of adding another truck in the not too distant future. That may lead to even more trucks and fleet ownership, too. With support from ES, I can definitely see opportunities to grow our business to the next level in a reasonably short amount of time.