Spotlight News

The Right Path Leads to Truck Ownership

October 18, 2018

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Troy Hawkins grew up in a transportation family and always knew that his destiny would somehow lead to a life on the road. But achieving this goal would take the right opportunity and the right path to achieve Success in Trucking. Read more to see how he came to own his own truck after taking ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) to get his MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance.

Why did you enter the transportation field?
I’ve been interested in trucking all of my life. My dad was a truck driver and I rode with him when I was a child of three or four years old. I’ve always enjoyed it and knew that some day I would get into the business one way or another. In 1991, I went to school and got my CDL and even drove a truck for a few years. I left the business after a short time to pursue my education and to get a Masters in Business Administration, knowing the knowledge I gained would some day help me as an entrepreneur and business owner.

What brought you to Forward Air as your Carrier?
Over the past several years, I’ve been a Human Resources Director for a company and recently I started doing research for a way to get back on the road. I was looking for a way to start a business and become an owner without having a large outlay of cash. I looked at the used trucks on the market, as well some new ones, but I wasn’t really sure about how to get started. As it turns out, Forward Air has a terminal literally right up the street from where I live. I thought that was a good way to start, so I dropped by one day and talked to them. My recruiter gave me a lot of helpful information and it sounded like a great opportunity, so in January of this year I took the plunge and here I am. Forward Air is a great company and I really like hauling airport-to-airport freight. It was a good move for me and I’ve been a Success in Trucking ever since coming on board with them.

Tell us about taking the Path to Ownership?
My recruiter at Forward Air told me about a number of options to get into a truck and I chose ES and their PTO (Path to Ownership) because I could truly own a truck by taking this path. I started out by driving as a Contract Driver in a truck owned by ES in order to prove to them and to myself that I had the aptitude, attitude and work ethic to qualify and become an owner. The truly incredible thing is that the truck provided by ES was a brand new Freightliner Cascadia! ES even flew me up to Fort Wayne, Indiana to pick it up. Think about that — I started my career at Forward Air in a new truck. I knew right then I had made the right decision to go with Forward Air and ES. Things started off right from the very beginning!

I dove right in and hauled whatever Forward Air set up for me to carry. I was determined to make the best of the opportunity. It wasn’t long before I got a call from ES telling me that my numbers were good and asked if I was ready to continue the Path to Ownership and purchase my own truck. And boy was I ready! I got with Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager. He found me the truck I wanted: a brand new 2019 Freightliner Cascadia. Its great! I love everything about it. The truck also has a ThermoKing APU that helps me save on fuel, too. I then submitted my paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance. The approval process was easy and straight forward, and I was approved quickly. And even though I earned an Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in college, I got another MBA — a Much Better Alternative to truck finance from ES. And I was pleasantly surprised at how ES took my work history into account when getting approved. There truly is no other company out there that invests in YOU like ES does.

path to ownership

After the purchasing process was completed, I dropped off the truck I had used as a Contract Driver at the ES offices in Southaven, Mississippi. I then picked up my new truck and hit the road. That was in September. Since then, I’ve been hauling loads and enjoying the fruits of truck ownership. The truck has been dependable and trouble free. Fuel economy is great, too. Add to this the savings from ES’s fuel card and it positively affects my bottom line.

never stand along

I’d like to add that ES and their team have created a structure that helps you be successful. If you’re looking to get into the transportation business or move your career forward, ES is where you should be looking for opportunity because with ES you Never Stand Alone. They provided support when I needed it and as you see, it paid off in a very positive way for me, as well as my business. All you have to do is call ES to get the details of the PTO and MBA programs. I recommend it highly to anyone looking to get into transportation.

What are you plans for the future?
Now that I’ve had some time to experience what its like being an owner, I’d like to expand into fleet ownership sometime in the not-too-distant future. With ES’s support, I can see making this a reality. As for right now, I’m focusing on my business and paying my truck off as quickly as possible. I know that the harder and smarter I work, the more opportunity there will be down the road.


ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

Please visit us on Facebook.

Family Moves Business Forward with Forward Air

October 12, 2018

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With the right opportunity, transportation can be a great way to start and grow a business. Just ask husband and wife expediting team Edwin and Shannon Weisinger, who helped their sons Josh and Dustin join their family business. Together they are all signed on with Forward Air as their carrier, and together they took ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) and got their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance, to move their businesses forward by purchasing a couple of Volvo trucks through Expediter Truck Sales. Read on to see how they made this family affair a Success in Trucking.

ES Recruiter David Withers with Josh & Dustin Weisinger

Edwin, how did you get started in Transportation?
Since I was twelve-years old, I used to sneak out with my mom & dad’s car. I fell in love with driving at a young age. I knew even then that I was destined for a career in transportation. After high school, I joined the US Air Force and retired after a twenty-year career. I began to think about what I wanted to do and naturally came back to my love of driving. I was so serious about a career in trucking that I waited until winter to go to truck driving school so I could be trained to drive on ice and snow. That was in 2014 and I’ve been driving ever since.

I drove for a couple of different companies after graduating from school. I was a successful driver, but there were issues and it just wasn’t a good fit. I knew there had to be something better on the horizon — and as it turned out, I was right!

Tell us how you found Forward Air and ES’s PTO and MBA?
Recently Shannon had retired from her trucking position at another company and began driving with me. She and I began talking about how we wanted a Volvo truck. I had trained on a Volvo, she had driven one in the past and we both love Volvo trucks. Since the company we were with at the time didn’t offer a Volvo, we decided that our next career move must include the opportunity of owning a Volvo truck.

We began talking to other companies that offered Volvos and heard about Forward Air. We spoke with them and they told us about ES and their Path to Ownership and Much Better Alternative to truck finance — and that we could buy any truck we wanted through their program as long as it met certain specifications. That sounded great and we contacted ES because we heard of no other opportunity like it in the industry. We spoke with David Withers (Director of Recruiting at ES) who explained the PTO and MBA program to us. We operated in the PTO program for several months and proved ourselves, proved the motor carrier and the equipment. During this transition time of proving everything, we worked daily with Bobby Gardner (ES Service Coordinator) to make sure we were on the right track. When ready, he put us in touch with Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager. Danny found us just the right Volvo — but there was a catch. Shannon and I have two sons (Dustin and Josh), who are also drivers signed on with Forward Air and they were also looking to purchase a Volvo. Danny sourced both Volvos and we knew it was a great fit. We have to give kudos to Forward Air for giving us the information we needed to choose ES as our source for owning a Volvo truck. They are a great carrier and we have been a success in trucking ever since signing on with them through ES.

Tell us about you Path to Ownership?
path to ownershipOnce we chose a truck through Expediter Truck Sales, we submitted our paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance. We soon got the call from ES telling us that we were approved. It was actually quite easy. ES took our work history, attitude and aptitude into account when it came to getting financed. We were thrilled that finally we had the Volvo truck(s) we had always wanted: two new 2018 Volvo 860’s. Our sons made the trip to ES’s headquarters in Southaven, Mississippi, to pick them up and the rest, as they say is history!

The trucks are fantastic! We get the best of all worlds — a great ride, great fuel economy and support from ES, so we Never Stand Alone.

What are your plans for the future?
With the numbers we’re running, we plan on paying off the truck early. Our sons are doing the same thing. Being true truck owners brings a whole new perspective to your business. Without a doubt, taking the Path to Ownership was a very good move for our family and we are making the most of this opportunity.

A Woman in Transportation’s Perspective

What’s your experience being a woman in transportation?
I’ve been a driver for twenty-two years, this December I will be starting on my twenty third year. I’m proud to say that during my career, I’ve run 4.5 million miles without an accident. When I first began in the business it was very difficult. There weren’t showers for women in the truck stops. In order to take a shower, you had to have the janitor stand in the doorway to keep all of the men out. Even then you only had about ten minutes to finish up before the guys started banging on the door to get you out of there. That’s just one example. But over the years there have been improvements for women (as well as men) like earning potential, better equipment, driver training and some regulations.   

There was the problem of perception when it came to women in transportation. As you know, back then trucking was considered a man’s business and there was a great deal of prejudice towards women drivers. Over the years there has been a lot of good changes to make the industry more equitable and accessible for women. Companies are much more open minded today when it comes to women drivers and studies have shown that women are as good as anybody. So attitudes about women in the industry have slowly changed to allow more opportunity. That’s why I think ES’s 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here) is so important. It helps open the doors to more opportunity for women to own their own business and to be successful. Because of the progress women have made, trucking isn’t considered as much of a man’s business as it is thought of as just a business for anyone who wants to access opportunities.

As a team, how do you and Edwin balance your workload?
We run our truck as much as we absolutely are allowed. That means we sometimes shower every other day and at times, due to freight loads, we shower during our thirty minute breaks. Ed is the nighttime driver and I drive during the day. I deal with dispatch, all of our books and paperwork, shippers, consignees, etc. Because we’re signed on with Forward Air, most of our loads are drop and hook. Since I drive the day shift, I have his duties laid out ready to go when he takes over. Our family runs on a dedicated route and we make an effort to see our family as much as possible. We use technology (tablets, cell phones) to help communicate with each other. At the end of the day, we all work as a team and we’re all onboard when it comes to our business and our family.

What advice would you give to women who are looking at getting into transportation as a career?
I would tell women to never stop dreaming, and never stop doing what you want to do. Before you start doing the business, research it to find out about how it works. Learn as much as you can about the business. Find out about the truck and make the decision if you’re capable of handling it. And women should contact ES for more information and support.

never stand alongI trained my kids to be truck drivers, and I trained my husband. If a woman has a husband or partner who is interested in the business, they should both look into it to see if its something they truly want to do together. Transportation can be a great career and a good way to earn a very good living if you’re dedicated and work hard.

ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

Please visit us on Facebook.

Jeff Tacker Answers Questions about ES’s 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge

October 2, 2018

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Jeff Tacker, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President with Expediter Services

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding ES’s 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge. Since January of this year, the initiative has helped women start 50 new, small businesses and the trend is building to meet the the 150 goal in the very near future. Spotlight News sits down with Jeff Tacker, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President with Expediter Services to get the latest news and to learn even more about the success of the challenge.

How can I qualify for your truck ownership programs and how does your financing work?

First of all, I want you to know that a major focus of our company and the 150 Business Challenge collaboration with the Women In Trucking Association is to provide people the opportunity to enter the trucking industry and to find success by building their own small businesses. Specifically, when we are talking about the 150 Business Challenge, it has been designed primarily to create ownership opportunities for women seeking to become owner-operators. As we launched this specific program, the majority of the interest we have seen has come from professional drivers who already hold a CDL.

When looking at all the opportunities that ES offers, the answer as to how can I qualify for truck ownership programs covers a lot of territory. ES has a Path To Ownership program that is set up to work with professional drivers in a number of ways. We provide opportunities that allow professional drivers to make sure that you like the motor carrier, and that you like us. We also want you to be comfortable with the equipment type, as we offer options with either tractors or straight trucks with DOT-approved sleepers for OTR applications. Our approach allows the participants in the 150 Woman-Owned Business Challenge to get to know the motor carriers in our network and to experience the range of discounts, services and support ES provides the members of our community. ES has programs to give you the opportunity to gain first hand experience while working toward truck ownership. We allow you to try it before you buy it. For professional drivers looking to move into truck ownership, ES provides the chance to get a feel for the lifestyle of being out on the road and working with a leading carrier. On the flip side, this approach allows ES the opportunity to get a sense of your attitude, aptitude and work ethic – all of which serve as significant factors in our decision-making process for financing small businesses and offering the best path to truck ownership.

When it comes to financing, we are a very unique company. We are a relationship lender, and we make our decisions based on someone’s attitude, their aptitude and their work ethic, in addition to their work history with specific motor carriers. We’re not concerned with a credit score. We are concerned with the person who is behind the credit score.

Let’s face it, at times bad things can happen to good people and sometimes their circumstances are out of their control. When their credit rating isn’t optimal, it limits their choices when it comes to financing a truck and they often turn to a lease-purchase agreement seeking pseudo-truck ownership. We also work with a lot of people whose first try at truck ownership was through a lease-purchase or similar type offering. We know that a lease-purchase can put people in a position with an extremely high hill to climb and with a great deal of weight on their back. Most times, being in a lease-purchase means that people are placed in a position where they can never get over the crest of the mountain and find success in order to do better for themselves and their families.

We have found that you can get a really good window on how someone’s small business will succeed or not based on their work history and their work ethic. The simple fact is that good people like to work hard and be successful. But we all know that it rains on the just and the unjust. We live in a world where it seems like we are all just one or two phone calls away from something taking place that could put us in a position where we might not be able to obtain traditional financing.

Now, I want everyone to understand that, while we do use traditional financing instruments, we have chosen to be a relationship lender. For instance, our credit box is different. We don’t place weight on a credit score as a traditional lender does. We buy into the person and we find out who they really are.

The goal of our company has always been to help generate small businesses and service those small businesses. We are an equipment and financial services provider. What we have done is to align ourselves with independent contract drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners. With ES, you will Never Stand Alone!

We have set our program up to be a win-win-win: To be a win for the independent contractor, to be a win for the motor carrier and to be a win for us. All of this in our view creates a big win for the whole industry. This is especially true for anyone who is in a segment, or a class that needs help overcoming obstacles and needs an opportunity to build a business – an opportunity that, in many cases, might not be available through traditional approaches. And that speaks, in part, to what we are doing through the 150 Business Challenge.

never stand alongAt the end of the day, a central goal of our company and the programs we offer is to help people and to service their needs. We want to bring that forth in everything that we do. Our success as a company is directly dependent on the success of the contractors and their small businesses within the ES Community. We have intentionally chosen to align ourselves with the small business owners in the ES Community in ways that will place them in the best position for success within the directions that they have chosen.

The doors of opportunity are always open at ES. If you want to start your own small business in the trucking industry, we can not only help you find the equipment and financing that you need to get started, but we will walk with you every step of the way and provide the kind of support you’ll need to achieve success.

To learn more about program qualifications and financing with ES, please click here.

What is the difference between the truck ownership programs at ES and the other truck ownership programs in the market, including typical lease-purchase programs?

Let me start by saying that the difference is as great as night and day between what people will experience with our programs that offer true truck ownership and the other programs available in the market today. This is particularly true when you compare our truck ownership programs to similar programs in the market. And while the lease-purchase has become familiar across the industry, there are now several other roads that you can take to truck ownership.

At ES, we are continually studying what’s taking place in the new and used truck markets, and we have been able to use our industry knowledge and our experience in building relationships with some of the leading equipment manufacturers in trucking. As a result, we are able to offer professional drivers innovative equipment ownership opportunities. These opportunities afford a lower overall operational cost when compared to other options available in the market today.

In the 150 Business Challenge initiative, you’ll have competitive, market-rate financing with a defined payment schedule over a specified term and you’ll own the truck. (Typically, the participants in the 150 Business Challenge are setting up their payment schedules mainly on a four-year or five-year term).

In a typical lease-purchase, your payments could be extended over an extremely long period of time at high rates and with fees that drive up the total cost of ownership. For those people who can keep up with the payment schedule and make any balloon payments that may exist at the end of the lease, they’ll end up with an older piece of equipment, typically with high miles, with higher repair costs and increased fuel consumption.

We will quite often have conversations with people who are taking a look at the programs ES offers and the other truck ownership programs that are available in today’s market. One of the key points we always stress during these discussions is the need to examine the total cost of ownership. As an owner-operator, you are not just buying or financing a truck. You are running a business, and you have to look at the total cost of what it will take to own the key operational element of your trucking business. Of course, that’s your truck, and that brings us back to the total cost of ownership. One of the things we stress with professional drivers examining our programs at ES is that it’s important to keep in mind that the total cost of ownership goes well beyond the amount of your weekly truck payment. The total cost of ownership involves looking at what it will cost you over the life of the loan. Will you have increased payment costs and higher fees over the life of the loan? How long is the term? Is it an extended period of time? Over the life of the loan, will you see a decrease in the miles per gallon with your truck? Have you budgeted for increased repair and maintenance costs that come with older higher-mileage equipment?

At ES, we have built our ownership programs, our support systems and vendor network along with our ES community with a focus on the total cost of ownership – always working to put the participants in a position where they can best leverage the investment in the truck while maximizing the profitability for their small business.

In addition to the advantages ES offers with financing and equipment, the 150 Business Challenge (and all our ownership programs) offers the kind of business and operational support, as well as network discounts, that are unique to the trucking industry. We are placing the participants with some of the best carriers. We spend time with those carriers to make sure that their operations are set up to provide the best opportunity to achieve consistent profitability in running their businesses. ES is not a motor carrier. The participants in our programs run under the authority of the individual motor carriers within the ES Community. For the 150 Business Challenge, we are proud to be working with Forward Air and Panther Premium Logistics, a Service of Arc Best. As members of our community work with the carriers on an operational level, we are able to support those contractors with tools, benefits and advantages. Each member has access to the discounts in our fuel network, to insurance programs and to maintenance resources as well as to a range of business support and back-office functions.

Here’s one of the most important points you should know about the efforts of ES to create ownership opportunities for professional drivers. We are focused on the success of the participants in the program. We can’t be successful unless you are successful. The bottom line is that we focus on your bottom line.

To learn more about the positive difference you can experience with the truck ownership programs available through ES, please click here.

What types of equipment does ES have available? Can I trade my old truck for a new truck?

Expediter Truck SalesAt ES, we work with Class 8 tractors and straight trucks. The equipment is state-of-the-art, and we work with the leading brand names in the industry. We have established a strong working relationship with several of the leading truck dealers in the country, providing us with a consistent pipeline of equipment available for those joining our community. All the equipment available in our truck ownership programs, including the 150 Business Challenge, features some of the most competitive pricing found in the market today.

We do have a process in place to work with trade trucks through the dealer network in our ES Community. When it comes to trading trucks, there are a number of factors involved that must be considered. We will be glad to discuss those with you when you call us.

For the 150 Business Challenge, as well as the other ownership programs available through ES, we are able to offer new Class 8 tractors featuring automatic transmissions and APUs. We also have straight trucks. ES is able to offer individuals their choice between brand-new tractors or late-model, low-mileage straight trucks.

Our expediter-specific equipment offers access to factory and custom sleepers, including those designed to specialize in dry-freight or refrigerated loads. As I mentioned earlier, the trucks available from the ES Network are backed with a maintenance support program.

Part of the ongoing work at the ES Network is our dedication to testing equipment. We are continually evaluating the specifications of the trucks. By looking at what’s available and what’s possible from an equipment standpoint, we can offer you options that best fit the segment of the industry where you choose to operate.

And don’t forget, The 150 Woman-Owned Business Challenge is just one of many opportunities ES offers. We can help everyone, whether you’re a driver wanting to become an owner, an owner wanting to start a fleet or a fleet owner looking to grow your fleet.

To learn more about the equipment options available through ES, please click here.


ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

Please visit us on Facebook.

Displaced Factory Employees Find Their Path to Ownership and Success In Trucking

September 20, 2018

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When Ernest and Chree Shunn found out that the factory where they had worked for thirty years was closing, they knew they had to find a new path forward in order to make a living. Their solution? Trucking, specifically Expediting!

Follow along as Spotlight News details how they took ES’s PTO (Path to Ownership) to get their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance. Their path followed in the footsteps of Patrick Lee and Eric Hyfield, Fleet Owners who started their careers at ES as Contract Drivers and had taken the Path to Ownership years ago to become successful fleet owners.

What led you to transportation after the loss of a thirty-year career in manufacturing?
Ernest and I had worked for a company that manufactured hand tools. Things had been slow for a while and one day, they decided that the plant would relocate to China. That was in 2015. Fortunately for us, the company had a severance package that included a two-year jobs training program that would pay for any type of re-training we chose.

We had done a lot of research about what we wanted to do and trucking interested us very much. We enrolled in trucking school and got our CDL and began looking for a way to get started. We had heard a lot of good things about FedEx and contacted them. Our goal from the start was to become owners.

After choosing FedEx as your carrier, what was the next step?
We spoke at length to our FedEx recruiter and let him know right away that we wanted to be owners. He said ownership was something that we could definitely achieve, but we would need to get some hands-on experience first, driving as Contract Drivers. That’s when he suggested we drive for a Fleet Owner to learn the ropes. The Fleet Owner(s) happened to be Patrick Lee and Eric Hyfield.

In our very first conversation, we explained to Patrick and Eric that we wanted to become owners. They were fine with this and said there was much to learn about the business and that we could start on one of their trucks. They also explained about ES and their PTO and MBA programs and how ES takes your work history into account when financing a truck. This all sounded like a wonderful opportunity and we soon began driving right a way. They were right, there was a lot to learn about the business and we jumped in with both feet — that was in March of 2016.

The interesting thing about Eric and Patrick is they started off just like us. They took ES’s Path To Ownership to become owners and that’s exactly what we are doing. We were excited to get started and prove to ourselves we have what it takes to become owners. (read Eric and Patrick’s story here)

Tell us about learning the business?
path to ownershipGetting started was a bit of a challenge, but with Eric & Patrick we had good mentors, plus we had tools and advantages being under the ES umbrella. It wasn’t long before we started getting the hang of things and began generating a pretty good income stream. At that point we knew we had chosen the right path and we were on the road to success.

In early 2017, Eric and Patrick suggested that we attend The EGG (ES’s Group Gathering) in Southaven, Mississippi. The EGG was an event tailored for people like us who are interested in learning about the industry and the trends that shape the market. We also learned a lot about ownership opportunities. The EGG re-enforced our desire to become owners. It also gave us the opportunity to meet others within the industry and to get to know the people at ES on a personal level. We learned so much about the ES community, including the fact they have one of the broadest and deepest fuel discounts in the industry. They are also a low cost provider of insurance and provide a national program with vendors for repair and maintenance. And on top of that, we learned that ES offers operational and back office support. All of this support helps Owner Operators be successful.

Tell us about getting financed and purchasing your truck?
At the end of last year, we submitted our paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance. We knew our earnings were good and getting even better as we gained experience. It wasn’t long before we were approved.

never stand along

Patrick helped us spec our truck so we could make sure it would fit our needs for how we run our business. We wound up getting a Kenworth T-680. We operate as a Fedex Custom Critical team, so the truck is a TVAL unit. We’re thrilled with our new truck and the PTO and MBA was such a great opportunity to get into a new truck with very reasonable terms. We could not have gotten a better deal anywhere else. We also like the fact that ES took our attitude, aptitude and work history into account when it came to getting qualified.

We just picked up our truck last week and are in the process of getting the branding applied. We will be hitting the road and taking our first load within the next few days. We’re looking forward to it and appreciate all of the support we get from ES, so we Never Stand Alone.

What does the future hold for your business?
We’ve worked out a three-year plan for our business. If things go the way we anticipate it will, we could see ourselves becoming Fleet Owners. For now, we’re thrilled to be owners and will work hard to be a Success in Trucking!

A Woman in Expediting’s Perspective

What has it been like being a woman in the transportation field?
I have no other transportation experience to compare it to. But so far, my experience has been very good. I haven’t experienced anything that I would personally consider negative in my dealings with people in the industry. However, I think it has a lot to do with what you make of it. I always try to be professional and treat others accordingly.

From what I’ve seen since being on the road, I think women are definitely making headway in the industry. There are so many women now in every aspect of transportation and it’s important that woman take advantage of opportunities like ES’s 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here.)

How do you and Ernest balance your workload?
Our balance comes from helping each other no matter what needs to be done. If I’m working on paperwork and he needs some help working on the truck, I’m always ready and able to help out. He’s the same way. We both got into this business as a team and that’s just the way we operate.

What would you tell women who are looking to start a career in transportation?
I would tell them that transportation can provide a great opportunity as a career. It’s important that you work hard and explore all of the options available, just as we did in order to become owners. This path worked very well for us.


ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

Please visit us on Facebook.

Paying Opportunity Forward with ES’s PTO & MBA

September 18, 2018

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How many times in business and in life have you met someone who knows exactly what they want — probably not that often. But every once in a while, you’ll meet people like Jackie Rocha and Michael Barclay, a husband and wife Expediting team who parlayed ES’s Path to Ownership into a Much Better Alternative to truck finance to become true owners in pursuit of the American dream.

Rocha and Barclay knew from the start that they wanted to become owners. Fortunately, they were introduced to Patrick Lee and Eric Hyfield, Fleet Owners who started their careers at ES as Contract Drivers and had taken the Path to Ownership themselves years ago to become successful fleet owners. Read more to see how all of their paths converged to become a Success in Trucking.

How did you and Michael get into the transportation business?
I was a private investigator in south Florida and Mike was a mixed martial artist teacher. We both felt the need to look for better opportunities and decided to relocate to Atlanta. We both felt like we were in a rut and wanted to do something different. We had talked about getting into trucking in the past and Mike mentioned that we should seriously look into it. We began doing research online. We also visited local truck stops to get a feel for what the industry was truly all about. During that time we talked to a lot of drivers to make sure this was what we really wanted to do. We liked what we saw and heard. We knew right away that transportation was the place for us.

We were motivated to get started. I turned twenty-one on a Sunday back in March of 2015 and on Monday, we were enrolled in trucking school. After graduating and getting our CDL’s we went to work as company drivers for a large carrier and stayed with them for two years.

Tell us about finding a Fleet Owner to drive for, choosing FedEx as your carrier and working with ES?
We knew after our first year as drivers that we wanted to be owners and wanted to make sure that our next move would put us in a position to reach that goal. We wanted to get as close to being owners as possible so we could live the reality and learn in order to prepare for being owners, so we began looking for opportunities as Contract Drivers.

One day I stopped and spoke with a FedEx Custom Critical team at a truck stop about their business. I asked them how they got into being owner operators with FedEx and what it was like. What they told me was exactly what we were looking for. We knew FedEx was a great carrier and that’s what we were looking for. They recommended Patrick Lee and Eric Hyfield as Fleet Owners. They also mentioned a company called ES that was great at support for contractors and owners. We were intrigued by the opportunity.

Right away we contacted Eric and Patrick. Everything the couple told us was true. These guys were great! They explained the ins and outs of being Contract Drivers and helped us get into the groove at FedEx. From the beginning, we made it clear to them that we wanted to be owners. They were cool with that and told us to be patient and to learn the business. That’s when they told us about ES and their Path to Ownership. We knew right away the PTO was our ticket to owning our own truck, but we still had to dive in, learn the business and prove to ourselves (and to ES) that we could generate the revenue and be able to handle being owners.

path to ownership

The truly inspiring thing about Patrick and Eric is the fact that they started out in the business just like we did as Contract Drivers at ES with FedEx as their carrier. They also took ES’s Path to Ownership and built their business from the ground up to become successful fleet owners. That says a lot about their hard work and the support offered by ES! (read Eric and Patrick’s story here)

Tell us about taking your Path to Ownership?
We started by driving a used straight TVAL truck for Patrick and Eric under ES’s umbrella. We drove the truck for about a year and a half. Our numbers were good and we had learned a lot about the business and about ourselves. ES looked at our earnings, our attitude and aptitude and asked if we were ready to become owners and of course we jumped on the opportunity!

never stand along

After submitting our paperwork to Expediter Equipment Finance we were soon approved. We had looked at other financing options in the past and no one even came close to ES. Other finance companies wanted much larger down payments and they didn’t take our work history into account. ES required a much smaller down payment, leaving us more cash that we could use to support our business. We wound up purchasing a 2018 Freightliner Cascadia from Stoops Freightliner.

Have you seen a difference in your bottom line since becoming owners?
We’ve been in our new truck since May and we’re certainly making more revenue. One thing that definitely helps us save money is ES’s fuel card. It’s awesome! Also, ES’s support is wonderful. They’ve been there when we’ve needed them so we Never Stand Alone.

A Woman in Expediting’s Perspective

What is it like being a women in the transportation field?
I’ve had a great experience as a driver and now as an owner. Everyone has always acted professionally towards me. Transportation is such a great opportunity for women. When I talk to women who have been in the business for many years, I’m just in awe at the things they have done and what they did to blaze a trail for women like me. I hope to be able to help other women as I move forward in my career. It’s also great that companies like ES help support women-owned businesses with the 150 Women-Owned business challenge.(Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here.)

How do you and Mike balance your workload?
When it comes to our business, we’re both all in. Whenever anything needs to be done, we support each other. I do just as much driving, backing and anything else as he does and we both do what it takes to be successful. I’m fortunate that we have a great relationship and respect each other.

What would you tell women who are looking to get into the transportation field?
I would tell them
to jump in with both feet. There is lots of opportunity for any woman who is willing to work hard and pursue their dreams. You can be a contract driver, owner or even a fleet owner if you want to. It all depends on you!

What are your future plans?
Just like Eric and Patrick, we plan on becoming Fleet Owners under ES’s support. Once we get into the position as Fleet Owners, then we can help other drivers to become owners through ES’s PTO. In a way, it’s like paying the opportunity forward. We’re looking forward to the challenge of ownership and growing a fleet in the near future.

ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

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