John McManesse is a veteran driver whose career path has run the gamut of transportation opportunities over the years. Recently, a negative experience with a lease purchase agreement found him searching for a better opportunity that eventually led to ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) and a Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance. Check out his story that leads to Success in Trucking.
How did you get started in transportation? My career in trucking started back in 1994 hauling locally. Over the years I’ve been a company driver, an independent contractor and a lease driver. I’ve been with companies that treat drivers well and with some that don’t have much regard for their drivers. It’s been a long and hard journey from the time I got started to where I am now. My present carrier is Forward Air and they’re just a great place to be. I only wish it hadn’t taken me so long to find them.
Tell us about your experience with a lease purchase agreement? I was in a lease purchase just before coming to Forward Air, but the situation wasn’t good at all. The truck had a lot of miles on it and there just was no beneficial way to pay off the lease. I finally just had to walk away from it. I would never recommend to anyone going that route. Especially since ES’s PTO is now available and such a better alternative when it comes to buying a truck.
Tell us more about working with Forward Air? They treat you great and work with you, not against you. I found Forward Air and the ES opportunity through an online trucking forum that my wife came across. That’s where we heard about how great Forward Air was (especially since they were in the ES community) — that was back in April of this year. Shortly after finding out about them, I decided to contact both Forward Air and ES to learn more. Being in the business as long as I have, I’ve heard just about every offer there is out there and felt that there was nothing to lose by talking to them. I am extremely glad I did.
Can you tell us more about your Path to Ownership? Once I made contact, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the ES recruiter was a good listener. He asked me what my goals were and what I wanted to do with my business. I told him that I heard about the PTO and I wanted to purchase my own truck. After further discussion, I was told in detail about the opportunity to drive with Forward Air. The opportunity sounded great. He explained more about the Path to Ownership — this is how it works: I would drive one of ES’s trucks as a contract driver for a specified amount of time (a minimum of 90 days). During this time, ES would evaluate my aptitude, attitude and performance as an earner and prospective owner operator. Around the end of successfully completing the evaluation period, I would receive a call from ES and continue my Path to Ownership by choosing a truck with help from ES Truck Sales and submitting my paperwork for approval to Expediter Equipment Finance. At least that was the plan, but life got in the way right in the middle of taking my path.
Our family suffered two untimely deaths very close together, just as I began the PTO process. But ES and Forward Air were so sensitive to our loss, they both understood and even helped me and my wife get home to be with family. I can honestly say that I have never seen businesses in the transportation industry show so much compassion and support. I’m truly grateful for the kindness and understanding during this difficult time. I was able to take the time I needed and then continue the Path to Ownership at Forward Air.
What happened after you continued your Path to Ownership following this most difficult time? After being with my family, I continued the Path to Ownership. It wound up taking me about four and a half months, but thank goodness I was able to complete it. Soon, I got the call that my numbers were good and they saw how I would respond during difficult times. I then submitted my paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance. It wasn’t long before I got approved. The process was easy and straight forward. What I was told from the start was all true, including the fact the ES takes your attitude, aptitude and work history and a specific motor carrier into account when it comes to getting approved.
Shortly after approval, I got with Danny Vernon, ES Truck Sales Manager. He helped me source a very nice, brand new 2019 Freightliner Cascadia. The truck has everything you could ever want, including a Thermoking APU that helps me save on fuel. The sleeper is also nice and I’ve been in the truck now for about four weeks.
How has being a true truck owner affected your bottom line? It’s definitely had a positive impact. I’m earning more and I have more earning power and flexibility due to ES’s fuel card and other discounts offered. Also, the support I get from the team is an added benefit. Overall, my experience as an owner has been great, and just as they say, with ES, you Never Stand Alone! I had a good opportunity offered at a great carrier with a brand new truck and the best support system you could ask for. It all works together to help make me a Success in Trucking.
What are your future plans as an owner? I’m extremely happy where I am right now. My goal is to earn as much revenue as I can, while paying this truck off early. I feel I should be able to achieve this in a relatively short amount of time. After that, I will probably get another Freightliner with an even bigger sleeper so my wife Lisa can travel more with me. I’m looking forward to the opportunities ahead for me and my business and the positive impact for my family. ES is a great community to be involved with!
As 2018 winds down and the holidays approach, the folks at ES would like to thank everyone for helping to make this year successful. It’s your involvement, support, and feedback that helps make this community a success with the services and opportunities in transportation. This year has seen the expansion of a number of key initiatives designed with your input to help further broaden opportunities for everyone under our umbrella of services and support. Below we detail these efforts. We also want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year — and we’re excited about serving you in 2019.
Path to Ownership (PTO) and the Much Better Alternative to truck finance (MBA)
In 2018, the PTO and MBA programs began hitting their stride by providing truck ownership opportunities unlike anything offered in transportation. Everyone’s path is different, but the fundamentals are the same and it all leads to Success in Trucking — here’s how it works: ES helps prospective owners sign on with a motor carrier who is affiliated with the PTO program. Once approved by a partner motor carrier, ES will evaluate your attitude, aptitude, work ethic and work history for a period of time.
If the candidates meet the criteria at the end of the the evaluation period, they continue their Path To Ownership by choosing a truck with help from Expediter Truck Sales and submitting their paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance to get a Much Better Alternative to truck finance. It’s that simple! And it’s a tried-and-true process to help insure that owners have the right path and support.
When you add in the deep discounts such as the ES fuel card, great deals on insurance, and the level of support offered by ES, you have a recipe to be a Success in Trucking, so you Never Stand Alone!
And remember, you don’t have to wait until 2019 to take advantage of the opportunities offered by ES, It’s what we do everyday.
150 Women-Owned Business Challenge
Announced at the Women In Trucking Accelerate Conference & Expo in October 2017, the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge developed as part of a strategic partnership with Expediter Services and the Women in Trucking organization, offering accessible financing as well as operational and business support for women interested in starting their own small business in the trucking industry. The program, in utilizing infrastructure developed through the expertise of Expediter Services, offers a proven platform for women who are interested in learning about and growing within the trucking industry. The women in the program will be on a path to establishing their own small businesses as owner-operators and fleet owners in a market that now has a driver shortage approaching 50,000, according to the latest industry estimates.
Panther Premium Logistics and Forward Air have become the first carriers to pledge their support in welcoming the capacity that will be generated by the small businesses produced through the new program. To date, the challenge has helped over 75 women to become business owners and we expect that number to grow as we close in on the goal of 150 Women-Owned Businesses. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here)
Expanding into general trucking In order to serve the greater transportation market, ES expanded its offerings into general trucking. As many people know, we started and developed our innovative programs in the expediting market (which is near and dear to our heart), and we will all take advantage of the increased benefits and efficiencies as our community grows. We’re looking forward to continue serving you in this capacity.
After a catastrophic breakdown, driving partners Jack Roberson and Diana Smith were in a quandary trying to figure out what path to take in order to purchase a new truck. After much research and a heads up from their recruiter at XPO, they found ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) and got their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance. Read more to learn how their experience purchasing a truck from ES changed their business path for the better.
Jack, tell us how you got started in transportation? In 1998, I was working in management for a large electronics firm. They downsized and moved their operations out of Ohio where I live. I started looking around for other opportunities. I have always been interested in trucking and thought I would look into it. In 2000, I went to trucking school and that’s how I got started in transportation as a new career.
How did you wind up at XPO as your motor carrier? Shortly after getting my CDL, I started driving locally for a flatbed company. I really like the physicality of that type of trucking, but I wasn’t used to being dirty all of the time. I did this for about six months and met my fiancé, Diana. She had a friend in Dayton, Ohio, who had four trucks and he was looking for drivers. I drove for him with one of the large overnight transportation companies for about eight months. I eventually wound up buying that truck from him.
It wasn’t long before I convinced Diana to come out on the road with me because she already had her CDL. We drove together as team for about three years. She left the road to help her elderly parents and I began driving for another long haul trucking company. I was there for eleven years. Over these years I had owned four trucks. I thought this was a much better way to do business than to lease.
In 2013, Diana came back out on the road with me. In 2016, we went to XPO and we’ve been very happy there. They’re a great company to work with.
What brought you to ES? The truck we owned at the time’s engine was having tremendous problems and it finally blew. We spoke to the dealer and found out to replace the engine would be much more than the truck was worth. We began doing research to find out what our options were to get another truck. Our recruiter at XPO told us about ES and their PTO and MBA opportunities. It sounded really good, so I checked out the ES website to learn more. I wanted to speak with someone who had actually taken the Path to Ownership. Our recruiter put me in touch with a team who had completed the PTO and gotten a Much Better Alternative to truck finance. They had great things to say about it and recommended ES to us, even providing me with photos and other information about their purchase. I was impressed with what I saw and contacted ES to find out even more.
Tell us about your Path to Ownership? After talking to the people at ES about their PTO and MBA, I found that liked their arrangement — the deal structure turned out to be much much better than going through traditional financing and the weekly payment deduction to be applied to a monthly payment made sense as well, and was beneficial to helping me manage monthly cash flow. We wound up purchasing a 2019 Volvo 860 with a Thermoking APU and a very nice sleeper. Danny Vernon at Expediter Truck Sales did an excellent job finding our truck. We absolutely love it!
After choosing our truck, Diana and I submitted the paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance and got approved quickly. The entire transition from contacting ES, through final approval and purchase was smooth, efficient and timely. The ES staff was very good about keeping us up-to-date about progress of the purchase and the ES programs, as well.
If I had known about ES’s PTO & MBA, I would never have purchased some of the other trucks I’ve owned over the years. The PTO & MBA are truly unique opportunities that make very good business sense because your work history, attitude and aptitude play a part in getting approved. It has been a great experience, and I believe will continue to prove very beneficial for our business.
Tell us more about your experience with ES? We’ve been in our new truck about three weeks and everything is going great. We really like the fuel card, which saves us on fuel. We’ve had good support from Patrick Bertrand our Service Coordinator. With ES, you Never Stand Alone.
What are your future plans? Right now, we’re just enjoying our new truck and concentrating on generating as much revenue as we can. And even though we’re kind of getting up there in years, I’d like to do this again. I have a son that we’re grooming to get into the business and it would be nice to be able to pass on a legacy to him.
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
Diana, what has it been like as a woman in transportation? I started in the transportation field in 1989 as a trainer for a large carrier. In the beginning it was more difficult for women in this business. Men didn’t expect women to really be out here and at times that type of attitude made it more difficult. I had quite a few conversations over the CB with men who weren’t too happy about us being on the road. But today, attitudes have changed. We’re starting to become an integral part of the business. It’s nice to see men become more accepting of our position and contributions in the industry.
What advice would you give to women looking at getting into the business? To me, there really aren’t men and women in the industry — we’re all truck drivers. I think it’s important for women to recognize that if they are going to be in this business, they have a responsibility to do whatever is necessary to be successful, whether it’s driving, backing or doing paperwork. That’s what I do with our business. I do what is necessary for us to become successful. Jack is the same way. Even though we have different talents and perform different duties, we’re in this business together as a team. And it takes both of us to be a success in trucking.
What are your thoughts on ES’s 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge? If I had known about the challenge only a few years ago, we would have made much different decisions concerning buying a truck. I think it’s a wonderful thing for women and the industry. I would encourage women looking for a career in transportation to contact ES to learn how they can benefit from the initiative. (Read more about the WIT/
ES 150 women-owned business initiative here)
Richard and Dixie Cavender are a husband and wife transportation team who know and appreciate the value of a real opportunity. Their journey led them to ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO), resulting in a Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance. Read on to see how they overcame a potentially catastrophic health scare, and resulting financial hardship to become true owners and a Success in Trucking.
Dixie, how did you and Richard get started in transportation? We met while working in a mobile home factory thirty years ago. The company kept going in and out of business over the years. We got tired of all the uncertainty and turmoil and began looking around for a better way to make a living. We found a lot of truck driving opportunities in the newspaper and decided that’s where we should be. We left the mobile home factory in 1990 and went to truck driving school.
Tell us about how you arrived at Forward Air as your carrier? After graduating from school, we drove for a couple of different companies, but always keeping our eyes open for better opportunities. Finally, we landed a steady job hauling carpet from Dalton, Georgia to Los Angeles. We did that for ten years. Our next career move was driving for one of the large overnight carriers for the next twelve years.
We had seen Forward Air trucks on the highway over the years and even knew people who drove for them. Looking for a better opportunity, we contacted the company back in 2016 to see what they had to offer. We liked what we heard right away. They’re a great company to work with even though we took a slight detour away from Forward Air due to a serious health problem involving Richard. But as you’ll see, we found our way back to them through ES a short time later.
Tell us about Richard’s health scare and your resulting financial hardship? We hadn’t been at Forward Air very long, when Richard suffered a heart attack. Because of this, we couldn’t drive or operate our business and wound up almost losing everything, including the truck we were leasing at the time. Richard had quadruple bypass surgery. Shortly after surgery he began feeling much better. It wasn’t long before we were ready to go back to work. We were left without a truck, wondering what our next step would be.
What was the next step in your career following Richard’s illness? We went to work driving for a contractor at an overnight carrier again and knew immediately it wasn’t the right move for us. We discussed it, did some research, and decided to call ES. The recruiter was friendly and knowledgeable. We were so excited to learn that Forward Air was one of the carriers they support. It was great being back in the saddle with Forward Air! But that’s not all we learned.
We were also told about ES’s PTO. We learned that we could drive as a contractor for ES with Forward Air and qualify to become owners. Here’s how it works: over a certain length of time (usually about ninety days), ES would evaluate our aptitude, attitude and earning potential. If we meet their criteria at the end of the evaluation period, we would then continue our Path To Ownership by choosing our truck and submitting our paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance.
Tell us about your Path to Ownership? After driving a few months, we got the call from ES saying that our numbers looked good. They asked if we were ready to continue our Path to Ownership. Our answer was a resounding YES!
We were soon in touch with Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager. He helped us source a grey 2019 Volvo 860 from General Truck Sales, using ES’s fleet pricing. The truck has a Thermoking APU (which helps us save on fuel), and a really nice sleeper. The next step was to submit our paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance. It wasn’t long before we were approved. The whole process was easy and straight forward.
I can honestly say that I thought our career path was over after Richard’s heart attack and the financial trouble we had as a result of his illness. ES’s Path to Ownership restored our faith in ourselves and in others. It’s truly a great feeling to be true truck owners. If there’s anyone out there who works hard, but has had a tough break in your life or career, I encourage you to contact ES to explore the opportunities they offer. With ES, you Never Stand Alone!
What are your plans for the future, now that you’re owners? We’ve been in our truck for about three weeks now. We’re already able to see how being owners is positively effecting our bottom-line. Our goal is to maximize the earning potential of our new truck and pay off our home, as well as the truck as quickly as possible. We’re confident that with ES’s support we can achieve all of the goals we’ve set out to do.
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
What are your thoughts about ES’s 150 Woman-Owned Business Challenge? I think it’s wonderful! ES is definitely ahead of the curve with the 150 Woman-Owned Business initiative. Women are a growing portion of the trucking industry. It makes sense that ES would recognize this fact and help provide opportunities for women looking to start their own business and they’ve made great progress by helping create over 60 woman-owned businesses so far this year. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here)
How has the industry changed since you started in 1990? It has changed a lot since I started. In 1990, there weren’t a lot of options or amenities for women at truck stops. It was hard to find showers, and even then it was difficult to utilize the facilities. Today, more and more truck stops cater to women because there are more women truckers than ever before and that number is growing.
How do you and Richard balance your workloads? Transportation is truly a team effort. There is just too much going on to try and attempt this business alone. We both help each other whenever or wherever it’s needed. For instance, I’m a great backer and Richard is my man on the ground to help me get the job done. We always have each other’s back and we love it!
Diane Beaver and Marvin Lang started their transportation career with the dream of becoming expediters, owning their own truck and building a business and a legacy for their family. They were able to achieve their goals through ES’s PTO (Path to Ownership), and getting a Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance. Read more to see how their path made them a Success In Trucking.
Diane, how did you and Marvin get started in transportation? I drove a truck years ago with my ex-husband, but wound up getting out of the business for various reasons. Most recently, Marvin and I were drivers for Uber and Lyft. We got so tired of the abuse from so many of the passengers that we decided we needed something different and began looking at trucking and transportation; expediting specifically.
What brought you to expediting and ultimately to FedEx as your carrier? After getting our CDL’s in 2016, we started out driving for a couple of large trucking companies and almost went broke at one. The other gave us no support after my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. We knew then and there that we needed to make a change. From the beginning, we wanted to get into expediting, but we were mistakenly told by other people in the industry that we had to get at least a year’s worth of experience under our belt before we could go to FedEx, which ultimately was our goal.
The decision to break free from where we were working at the time was difficult because we had a guarantee of so much money a week. But we knew that to be happy, to be expediters and to someday be owners, we had to leave that company and find a way to make our dreams come true.
A friend who was in expediting told us about ES and how they help people get into the business and become owners through their Path to Ownership (PTO) and MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance programs. The opportunity sounded good, so we gave them a call. The first person I spoke with was ES Recruiter, Kim Smith. We told her about our desire to get into the expediting field. She told us about a number of options and carriers open to us. We knew that FedEx was where we wanted to be and that’s who we chose. To work for FedEx has been a goal of ours since starting in the business. They are a great company and we are extremely pleased to be signed on to them as a White Glove team.
Tell us about taking the Path to Ownership (PTO)? Right away, we told Kim about our desire to become owners — that was the first week in April of this year. She gave us more details about their PTO and MBA. It was unlike anything we had ever heard before in the industry. Kim explained that we could drive as contract drivers using one of ES’s trucks, while being signed on with FedEx as our carrier. Over a short period of time, ES would assess our attitude, aptitude and earning potential, even taking our work history into account when it came to getting financed. We were floored by the opportunity.
We asked a lot of questions and the ES team answered all of them, explaining how the program worked. I even requested information from our Fleet Manager (Patrick Bertrand), about the kind of numbers we would need to generate in order to complete the Path to Ownership. Right away, he shared a spreadsheet outlining the amount of income we would need to generate. It was very useful in helping us prepare, giving us a goal to work towards.
In just over ninety days after hitting the road, we got the call from ES, saying that our numbers were good and asking if we were ready to complete our Path to Ownership. Of course, we said yes! We began the process of finding a truck. ES and Danny Vernon at Expediter Truck Sales was helpful in making sure that whatever truck we got was spec’d correctly. We found just the right one, a 2014 Cascadia with a 100-inch sleeper and a Carrier APU with a shoreline. We then submitted our paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance. The process was easy and straight-forward and it wasn’t long before we were approved.
How has being an owner effected how you earn and operate? We’re still pretty new to being owners, as we’ve been in our truck a few weeks, but we’re already seeing a positive bump in our bottom line. As far as how we operate, I can state categorically that ES has great support. Our Service Coordinator and the entire ES team have been there for us whenever we have questions or if we need anything so we Never Stand Alone. The fuel card has also been a great tool, helping us save money with every fill up. It’s tremendous!
What are the future plans for your business? Without a doubt, our plans include building a fleet. We feel very strongly that our business is an investment in the future of our family. We have a daughter who wants to help build and manage our business, and our son will soon be getting his CDL. He will be in the position to learn the business from the bottom up. We hope to start taking the step as fleet owners within the next year or so. It’s very exciting to think about the opportunities we can pass on.
A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective
What has it been like for you as a woman in transportation?Early on it was difficult. There was one instance in particular that stands out: My very first load required me backing a trailer into a very tight and crowded dock. I was nervous and apprehensive about doing it right and even making the right impression in front of all the men there that were starting to give me a hard time. I started to get a little rattled. One older gentleman saw what was going on and got out of his truck and came up to me and said, “Look, you can let these guys rattle you and they win, or you can ignore them, do what you know how to do and back this trailer in the right way. He was there with me every step of the way and I was successful in backing that trailer. This whole experience has been a metaphor for my entire career. As a woman, I do what I know how to do in this business and I’m a Success In Trucking!