When it comes to owning a transportation business, it pays to be flexible and forward thinking. In this issue of Spotlight News, we shine the light on Robin Edmonds and her husband and business/driving partner, Randy.
The Edmonds are experienced transportation professionals who left a lease purchase agreement to access the opportunities provided by ES. They moved their business forward and took the Path to Ownership (PTO) and got their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance. Read how they made the transition to true truck ownership below!
How did you and Randy get started in transportation?
Randy was driving a truck when I met him. He’s been driving since the 80’s, so he’s been in the business a long time. I started riding with him and decided that if I’m going to be riding in the truck, then I’m going to learn how to drive. He taught and trained me. That was in 2003 and we’ve been together ever since.
Tell us how you chose Forward Air as your carrier?
Our history with Forward Air actually has two parts. We owned a truck straight out and worked for a company pulling really heavy loads. We were looking for a way to transition into hauling lighter loads because the truck was older and had a lot of miles on it. We did research and found Forward Air. They offered a lot of things that appealed to us, such as better rates, better freight lanes and lighter loads. They were just what we were looking for in a carrier. We started in 2013 and stayed with them for a couple of years and left to pursue another opportunity hauling the mail. But as you’ll see, we wound up coming back to Forward Air and taking ES’s Path to Ownership & MBA (more on that later). They’re a great company to work with and they’re a good fit for our business.
How did you wind up in a lease purchase agreement?
The truck we owned had over a million miles on it and it was time to let it go. At the time we were hauling mail and needed another truck. We decided to get into a lease purchase. It was easy to get into — but believe me, it was not easy once we started driving that truck. It had over a five hundred thousand miles on it and it was always having problems. Whenever we tried to contact the lease company for help, they would not even talk to us on the phone. And even though we were paying money weekly into a maintenance escrow account, we wound up spending our own money to get the truck fixed. They left us no choice, it was either pay the maintenance costs ourselves or be down and not make any money. The situation got so bad that we eventually had to walk a way from the lease and the truck. Dealing with our lease purchase was a fiasco. On top of that, there’s just no beneficial way to pay off the lease.
Since we had a good experience before driving with Forward Air in the past, we contacted them about driving for them again. Our recruiter told us about several options for getting into a truck and we chose ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) and their Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance. Since we didn’t want to get back into a lease purchase again, the PTO and MBA seemed like a great choice.
Tell us about your experience taking the Path to Ownership and getting your MBA?
We called ES and spoke with Danny Vernon and told him about our desire to own our own truck. But we didn’t want to own just any truck, we wanted a truck that wasn’t white! Danny worked with us and the Volvo dealer to find a blue truck that the factory calls “smokey mountain blue”, it’s beautiful! The process took a little longer because of our color request, but this is what we wanted. Danny sourced a 2019 Volvo 860. It has a lot of amenities: a large sleeper that we can even stand up in, a large refrigerator and a Thermoking APU that helps us save money on fuel. In case you haven’t already guessed, we love the truck!
Once we sourced our truck, Danny put us in touch with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance. We submitted our paperwork and before long we were approved. I can’t tell you just how impressed we were with ES taking our earning ability, work history, aptitude and attitude into account when it came to getting our approval. Throughout the entire transaction, the folks at ES were open and truthful. They kept us informed about the PTO/MBA programs and even helped us learn about their support services and discounts, too, so we Never Stand Alone.
There’s another part of our story that I want people to know. When we first approached ES about taking the Path to Ownership — we didn’t have a truck at the time because we had just turned in our lease. ES stepped up and let us drive one of their trucks (utilizing a revenue split) until our new Volvo was ready. You meet a lot of people in the trucking business who will tell you anything to get you to come on board with them and most of the time what they tell you isn’t true. But ES is definitely the exception to the rule. Everything they told us was true and they kept their word. That’s something you just don’t find everyday in this business.
Are you seeing any changes to your bottom line?
Absolutely! We’ve been in our truck since July eighth and we’re already seeing savings. Our note on this truck is lower than the note we had on our lease purchase, so we’ll be pocketing that money every month now. Also, the truck gets excellent fuel mileage and ES’s fuel card helps us save even more. Our new truck has a 500,000 mile warranty, so we’re covered on maintenance costs for a while, too. Overall, our decision to become true owners through ES’s Path to Ownership is a very good thing for our business.
A Women in Expediting’s Perspective
What’s it like being a women in the transportation field? When I first got started in the business, you didn’t see just a whole lot of women. Over the years I’ve seen that number grow quite a bit. More women are seeking the excellent opportunities that transportation has to offer. I think ES’s support of the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge is the kind of message and opportunity women can utilize to become self reliant and independent. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here.)
How do you and Randy share tasks associated with your business?
Randy and I both drive. I drive the
day shift and he drives at night. We both prefer driving during these times. I do most of the paperwork and he takes care of the truck. Everything we do is a balance.
What advice would you give to women who want to get into transportation?
I would encourage women to look at the opportunities transportation has to offer. Do you research and access those opportunities. Women have a different skill set and talents to bring to this business, which I think are a real asset.
What about the future?
Randy and I are working to generate an income that will allow us to pay for our new house with cash. We will then focus on paying off this truck and then expand into purchasing a couple more trucks. I think being a small fleet owner would give us the income and flexibility to do the things we want to do as our business goes forward.
It takes a strong commitment, a belief in yourself and the right opportunity to become a Success in Trucking. As you’ll see in this issue of Spotlight News, Diana Jorgensen and her husband Ed recently took ES’s PTO (Path to Ownership) to get their MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance in order to drive their business away from a problematic lease purchase agreement.
We also get Diana’s thoughts on being a woman in trucking and the support they get from ES as they take their business to the next level as true owners.
How did you get into transportation?
Ed has been driving for twenty-one years and I started driving with him eleven years ago. He actually trained me when I was first starting out. At the time we were driving for another company and we’ve been out here together ever since.
Tell us about your decision to choose Panther Premium Logistics – ArcBest as your carrier?
We had been driving for a company in a lease purchase and the truck was having a lot of problems. It literally died on us, so we walked away and became company drivers for another company we had worked for in the past. We worked for that company for about a year when it got bought out. We knew then that we needed to find a company that was more stable where we could generate a good income, so we contacted Panther. It was a good move. We love it here and can’t see driving for anyone else. They are a great company to work with. They have good freight and the people are friendly and helpful.
What was your experience like dealing with a lease purchase?
Dealing with a lease purchase is a pain! We got absolutely no support at all and communicating with them was next to impossible. We were on our own. When our truck was having problems, they wouldn’t lift a finger to help us. It seemed that no matter what we did, there were strings attached. The lease purchase company we were with also got bought out and because of that, the “walk away” lease wasn’t truly a walk away proposition. They even kept our maintenance escrow. Add to that there’s no beneficial way to pay off a lease purchase and you’ve got a real mess that makes it difficult to drive your business to success.
What was your next step after leaving your lease purchase agreement? We contacted our recruiter at Panther and told him about our desire to own our own truck. He told us about several options available to us and we decided to contact ES about their Path to Ownership (PTO) and their Much Better Alternative (MBA) to truck finance. It sounded like a good opportunity to finally become true truck owners, so we made the call.
The first person we spoke with was Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager. He helped us find a 2019 Volvo 860 with a Thermoking APU, which helps us save on fuel. It also has a nice sleeper. We were thrilled with it! The next step was to get with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance. We submitted our paperwork and soon we were approved. We made the trip from our home in Montana to the ES offices in Southaven, Mississippi and picked up the truck. The ES staff was very accommodating as our schedule was really hectic during the transition into getting our new truck. The entire purchasing process was easy and a great experience all around.
I’d also like to give a special mention to how ES was able to take our work history, attitude, aptitude and earning ability into account when getting approved. This was nothing like what we had experienced when getting into a lease purchase agreement. This time ownership is real and the truck is truly ours.
What is it like being a true owner? Being a true owner is great. We’re out on the road working hard as usual (now just working smarter as well) and we’ve just made our first payment. The truck is getting great fuel mileage and we’ve already seen a bump in our bottom-line because of the better fuel economy and the discount we get from the ES fuel card. We’re looking forward to even greater income potential too as we move forward with our business. And unlike our lease purchase agreement, we actually get support from ES and their team. We Never Stand Alone because they are always behind us when we need help.
A Woman in Expediting’s Point of View
What is it like being a woman business owner in transportation?
Before getting into transportation, I was in the medical field. It’s really feels great being a part of this industry. It truly is the business of moving America and it’s exciting. Every day is different with different challenges and it’s truly rewarding. Also, I get to build a business with my husband, which I enjoy!
How do you and Ed structure your daily tasks?
There are definitely things that each of us do better than the other. I do all of the paperwork he takes care of the truck. It’s a give and take. But in the end, we support each other and that’s how we’ve been successful in our business.
What advice do you have for women looking into getting in to the transportation field?
Well, it helps to have support. I think it’s great that Panther and ES are supporters of the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge. (Read more about the WIT/ES 150 women-owned business initiative here.) More and more women are getting into the business and it’s important that they are encouraged and made to feel like they belong. For women who are looking at a career in transportation, I would tell them to be confident, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this business — just go for it. There are some good opportunities out there, so call ES and Panther, they can help you.
What are yours and Ed’s future plans? Since we’ve become true owners, we’ve been thinking that in the future we may want to build a fleet. We have family members who’ve shown interest in the business and we’d like to encourage them to pursue their dreams. We’d like to help them and ES’s Path to Ownership and Much Better Alternative to truck finance is a good way to get there!
Pregunte a cualquiera que haya tenido éxito en la industria de transportación y le dirán que puede ser un camino difícil para encontrar la mejor oportunidad y apoyo a su negocio.¡Pero eso fue antes – este es ahora!Expediter Services (ES) ha sido en el mero frente de crear un cambio en el paradigma en el mercado para profesionales de transportación buscando un alternativo mucho mejor (MBA) y un camino a ser dueño (PTO) que es real – con apoyo real.
El equipo Expediter de esposos y asociados en el negocio, William y Sol Correa (firmaron con XPO como su transportista), recientemente siguieron el camino a ser dueño (PTO por sus siglas en inglés) de ES y consiguieron el alternativo mucho mejor (MBA por sus siglas en inglés) al salir de un contrato de compra de alquiler muy desagradable.Lea más abajo para ver como llegaron ser dueños verdaderos con apoyo de ES.
¿Cómo llegó a trabajar en transportación? Estaba investigando otros negocios y transportación me pareció como una industria en edad de crecimiento con muchas oportunidades.Nunca había manejado un camión antes, pero me gustaba la idea de ser mi propio jefe.El campo de transportación también me dio la oportunidad de trabajar y viajar con mi esposa, Sol.Lo bueno de nuestro viaje es que, después de cuatro años de trabajar en este negocio, ¡tantos de nuestros sueños que hemos tenido de tener nuestro propio negocio se están realizando!Llegar a ser un dueño verdadero, y dejar esa compra de alquiler son una gran parte de eso, gracias a ES.
¿Cómo escogieron a XPO como su transportista preferido? Un amigo mío estaba manejando con XPO y me explicó su modelo de negocio y que trataron muy bien a sus choferes.Investigué la compañía y hablé con ellos y me gustó lo que tenían para ofrecer.Hicimos el cambio a XPO hace más que un año.Todo lo que me contó mi amigo acerca de la compañía fue la verdad.A XPO le importamos mucho nosotros y nuestro negocio (no como otras compañías por quienes hemos trabajado a través de los años) Verdaderamente es una buena compañía y nos da la oportunidad de ser muy productivos también.Es una opción excelente según hacemos el negocio.
Mencionaron previamente que dejaron un contrato de compra de alquiler, cuéntenos acerca de eso: ¡Nuestra experiencia con la compra de alquiler (Lease Purchase) fue horrible!El camión que tuvimos fue viejo y constantemente necesitaba mantenimiento y reparaciones no programadas.Si eso no fuera bastante mal, cuando llamamos a la compañía de alquilamientos pidiendo ayuda, ellos nos dijeron que estuvimos solos y muchas veces tuvimos que usar partes que escogieron ellos para arreglarlo.Perdimos mucho dinero haciendo arreglos en ese camión.Había otras desventajas también. Los pagos fueron muy altos y cuando se hace todas las calculaciones, realmente no hay ninguna manera de completar los pagos beneficialmente.Al mirarlo de casi cualquier punto de vista, la opción de comprar de alquiler no es buena y no debería de ser parte de su plan de negocios.
Cuéntenos acerca de su experiencia con el PTO y de conseguir su MBA: ¡Eso es fácil, así como financiar el camión!Tenemos un amigo que está manejando en equipo con XPO que nos contó acerca del programa de ES – el camino a ser dueño (PTO) y su programa del alternativo mucho mejor (MBA).Sonó como una gran oportunidad.Empezamos contactando al gerente de Expediter Truck Sales, Danny Vernon.Le dijimos de nuestro deseo de salir de nuestro contrato de compra de alquiler y de ser dueños verdaderos de nuestro propio camión.El empezó el proceso inmediatamente y encontró un Kenworth 680 del año (2019).¡El camión es fantástico! Tiene una cabina de dormir muy fina, un ThermoKing Tri-Pack APU y muchas otras comodidades que nos encantan.Luego que ya habíamos escogido el camión, pronto estábamos en contacto con Steve Kochensparger en Expediter Equipment Finance.Sol ha hecho un trabajo maravilloso de mantener todo nuestro papeleo actualizado – podíamos entregarlo todo de inmediato que les ayudó a aprobar nuestra solicitud rápidamente.
Sol y yo hemos trabajado tan duro durante los años para tener éxito. Fue una maravilla encontrar una compañía como ES que comparte nuestros valores.Cuando nos financiaron, aún tomaron en cuenta nuestra historia laboral, nuestra actitud, y nuestra aptitud.No se puede decir eso de los bancos normales cuando viene a pedir financiamiento.Estamos entusiasmados por la oportunidad de hacer lo más de ser dueños verdaderos.
La perspectiva de Sol como una mujer en “Expediting”
¿Qué le hizo querer entrar en el negocio de transportación?
Es muy interesante que Spotlight News está preguntando acerca de mujeres en transportación, siendo que yo soy un miembro de la asociación ´Women in Trucking´ (Mujeres en Transportación).Estoy familiar con su reto de negocios de haber 150 negocios que son propiedad de mujeres.Pienso que es bueno que ES está respaldando esta esfuerza.
Para contestar su pregunta, transportación me parecía como una gran oportunidad para emprender un negocio, especialmente como mujer.Me ha dado la oportunidad de ser independiente y para trabajar con mi esposo y ganar una buena vida.(Read more about the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge).
¿Nos puede contar acerca de su experiencia como una mujer en “Expediting”? Puede ser difícil para aprender todo cuando viene a ciertos aspectos del negocio.El papeleo es un área en particular que puede ser difícil para dominar, ya que algunos estados pueden requerir más papeleo que otros.He sido particularmente diligente en mis esfuerzos para aprender esta parte del negocio y manejar todo el papeleo, la documentación, y la nómina de nuestra empresa.¡También manejo el camión!Pero más importante es que trabajamos como equipo y nos apoyamos uno al otro según nuestras fortalezas.
Sobre todo, mi experiencia ha sido buena.Es importante hacer su trabajo y que siempre se comporte como profesional.Todo lo demás se cuidará de si mismo si cuida usted de los básicos.Yo quiero que las mujeres sepan que hay oportunidades en transportación y no deberían de ser intimidadas. Usted puede hacer esto como carrera y tener éxito – especialmente con una compañía como ES apoyándole, porque con ellos en su esquina, nunca anda sola.
Preguntamos a William acerca de sus planes por el futuro: Desde que empezamos, ha sido nuestra meta a crecer nuestra empresa.Ahora que hemos pasado por el camino a ser dueño (PTO) y conseguido nuestro alternativo mucho mejor (MBA), hay un camino claro que podemos tomar para crecer una flota.Nuestro plan es comprar más camiones en el futuro cercano.Estamos entusiasmados por poder participar en aún más oportunidades y crecer con ES.
Opportunity has a way of changing our lives (and businesses) in ways we never expect. One great example of this is Tim Costa, a lifelong transportation professional who never in his career longed to become a truck owner, until one day a chance encounter about an ownership opportunity piqued his interest. Today, Costa and his business partner and co-owner Dwayne Gray are enjoying the fruits of truck ownership after taking ES’s PTO (Path to Ownership) and MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance. Read more to see how his path to ownership led straight to becoming a Success in Trucking.
How did you get started in Transportation?
I’ve been driving for forty years. I was always the kid in the family car trying to get the big rigs on the highway to blow their horns. It just always fascinated me. When I graduated from high school, I started driving a truck and I’ve been doing it every since. After driving for many years, I even took off about a year so I could teach at a truck driving school. It was a great opportunity to work with kids and teach them about the transportation industry.
How did you become interested in becoming a truck owner?
My driving partner and I were delivering a load and we backed in right next to a Panther truck. The driver rolled down his window and we started talking. One thing led to another and he asked me if I had ever considered owning my own truck and doing my own thing. We talked a little more and he actually took the time to come over to our truck and talked more about his experience taking ES’s Path to Ownership (PTO) and getting an MBA (Much Better Alternative) to truck finance. He even showed us a couple of his statements since buying his truck. His numbers looked very good. My partner and I looked at each other and said: “we’re doing the wrong thing here”!
Have you ever owned a truck?
Throughout my career I always swore that I would never own my own truck and I’ve always only wanted to be a driver. But after talking with the gentleman from Panther, truck ownership sounded extremely appealing, especially after looking at his bottom line and learning how ES has programs and discounts to support your business. He was very complimentary about ES’s PTO and their MBA.
How did you get on board with Panther Premium Logistics – ArcBest?
I was driving with a friend who was in a lease purchase. The truck went down last November and was out of commission for about a month. Since we were unable to work, I started driving with a Panther driver who ran under ES’s umbrella. To make a long story short, my old driving partner finally got his truck fixed and signed on with Panther and began running under the ES umbrella, too. He told me it was the best thing he ever did. That was all the incentive I needed and I called Panther right away and told them I wanted to be with them and Expediter Services. Panther truly is a great carrier to work with, especially when its linked with ES. That’s when I began my Path to Ownership.
Tell us about taking ES’s Path to Ownership? I called ES and spoke with Bobby Gardner and told him about my desire to be a truck owner. He was friendly and extremely knowledgeable and helpful. He explained about ES’s PTO and MBA and the process of becoming an owner under the ES umbrella.
The next step was getting with Danny Vernon, Sales Manager at Expediter Truck Sales.He found me a 2019 Western Star with a ThermoKing Tri-Pac APU, an automatic transmission (which saves on fuel) and a whole lot more. It’s awesome! I was then in touch with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance. Since I had never been an owner, ES looked at my work history, aptitude, attitude and earning ability and I got approved quickly based on all of that information. The entire process was just as painless as everyone said it would be and becoming an owner was an easy transition for me, and my business partner and co-owner.
Have you seen a difference in your business since becoming an owner?
That’s a good question. Being an owner is definitely different than when I was a driver. You have to be more aware of expenses, paperwork and things like that. But from an earnings standpoint, I’m definitely seeing a positive net result. ES’s fuel discounts are extremely helpful when it comes to your bottom line. Their insurance discounts also help. I’ve been in my own truck now for about seven weeks and without a doubt, becoming an owner was the right decision. I only wish I had done it sooner!
Expediter Services was once again the Title Sponsor of the Expedite Expo 2018 held at its home in Lexington, Kentucky. 2018 marked the seventeenth year for the event, and this year’s exposition didn’t disappoint.
The annual Expedite Expo has grown to become an important event for the Expediting industry. This year, the quality of attendees once again made the Expo an unqualified success as the anticipation of a continued strong freight environment made for a lively crowd looking for opportunities. The ES team was excited to meet and greet everyone who visited our booth. We would also like to thank everyone who dropped by our Expediter Truck Sales exhibit in the Manchester parking lot.
The Expo gave us the opportunity to share the solutions of tried-and-true programs created to make Independent Contractors, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners more efficient and profitable. It also allowed us the opportunity to highlight our expanded services for our existing partner carriers and introduce our new carrier partners — our stable of carriers includes: All State Express, FedEx Custom Critical, Panther Premium Logistics, Premium Transportation Logistics (PTL), Forward Air, V3 Transportation, XPO Logistics and Bolt Express.
We were also excited to let people know that through our Much Better Alternative (MBA Program), if you can drive a truck, you can own the truck if — and we’re pleased to have helped a few attendees to become new truck owners at the event. We’re also pleased that some Contract drivers chose to join our program to start their Path to Ownership (PTO), while other contractors continued their PTO and became owners. There were also Fleet Owners who decided to grow their fleets at the Expo!
A number of opportunities were realized as we spoke with many new and experienced quality driving teams at our Driver Recruitment Center, and we’re looking forward to assisting them getting into equipment in the near future.
We also had a great turnout for our annual EGG at the The Expo! Read more about The EGG (Expediter Group Gathering) further down the page.
It was a Great EGG at the Expo!
Expediter Services is excited to have hosted its fifth annual EGG at the Expo, as we once again greeted those we know, and got to know those we don’t. At this year’s EGG (ES’s Group Gathering), everyone enjoyed a great meal and fellowship, as we gave thanks to the community and reflected on the outstanding history of the EGG. We also focused on growth opportunities for Contractors (Contract Drivers, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners). We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who attended.
ES would also like to give a heartfelt shout out to the Carriers who attended the EGG: All State Express, FedEx Custom Critical, Panther Premium Logistics – ArcBest, Premium Transportation Logistics (PTL), Forward Air, V3 Transportation and XPO Logistics and Bolt Express. We look forward to seeing you at the next EGG! Remember, you don’t have to wait for the EGG to buy a truck. It’s what we do every day!
Don’t wait for the Expo or the EGG to access the opportunities offered by Expediter Services. Call us now at 1-877-349-9303. It’s what we do every day!