Spotlight News drives forward with our online series featuring Women in Expediting. It has been our privilege to show how women have contributed to Expediting, bringing talent, skill and success as drivers and owners to an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men. Women’s talents and abilities are now being recognized as an integral part of what makes Expediting the best lifestyle and business choice in trucking for women and men.
In this issue, we shine the spotlight on Virginia Babcock. She, along with her husband and driving partner Kenny, are contract drivers who love the road, love their career and love each other! Since 2011, they have been a successful part of Expediter Services’ fleet — and they are very good at what they do! (Read their story about receiving the coveted FedEx Custom Critical Four Star award here)
SLN: How did You and Kenny get started in Expediting?
We moved to Las Vegas a few years after the big economic downturn in 2008. Unfortunately, there were no jobs so Kenny and I started driving cabs. Being an over-the-road truck driver in a previous career, It wasn’t long before he decided he wanted to get back into a truck. Since he had taught me to drive, we decided to look around for opportunities in trucking where we could be together. I soon found an Ad for a company looking for Expediting teams. I made the call and wound up talking to a recruiter at Expediter Services. They had openings right away and it wasn’t long before we became independent contract drivers for ES, signed on with FedEx Custom Critical. That was in 2011.
SLN: Tell us what it’s like being a female in this industry?
I started out years ago driving a cement mixer, so I got a taste of what it’s like being a woman in the trucking business even back then. Physically, I’m on the petite side and people were often surprised that I would show up on the job site delivering a load of concrete. But once they saw that I was good at what I do, they were good with it. I think that’s a big part of being a women in this business. It’s more how you do your job than just being a female. There are some differences in the equipment being an Expediter, but it’s really about people skills and being professional when dealing with the shipper and the company. I find that I’m almost always treated well and hardly ever have to open my own door at truck stops. Being a woman in this business definitely has its perks! On the whole, I find that women are welcomed in trucking.
SLN: What is the reaction from people outside of the trucking industry when they find out that you drive a truck?
It’s funny, most people (women often) are surprised that I can drive a vehicle the size of a straight truck. This surprises me sometimes because Expediting trucks aren’t that large when compared to say, an eighteen wheeler. I tell women that driving an Expediting truck is not much different than driving their mini-van. I also tell them they should try it sometime because they might find a whole new career. Seriously, more women should look into Expediting.
SLN: What are the tasks that you perform as a part of your business?
In addition to driving, I take care of a lot of the paperwork and I answer the phone most of the time as well. Over the years, I’ve learned to know the numbers. For instance, when we show up for repair work, I know the truck’s serial number and the important information the maintenance people need in order to get the paperwork done quickly. It’s just something that I’m particularly good at. In general, I take care of most of the inside operations, Kenny takes care of the outside jobs. We compliment each other in the jobs that we do.
A lot of people may not realize it, but it’s a huge job to be organized when driving a truck like this. We stay out for long periods of time and being organized is a large part of being successful.
SLN: Can you expand on that last point. What does it take to be successful spending time with someone on the road?
If you’re going to spend a lot of time with someone in the confines of a truck you can’t be thin skinned. You have to be able to let stuff roll off of your back. Kenny and I have been married for almost twenty years, and we have also worked with each other during that time. And to be honest, there are times that we get annoyed at each other. But you just have to look at the big picture and ask yourself, “will whatever is bothering us matter tomorrow”? We’ve learned to work together and to do what’s good for us personally, as well as the business. It must be working because we’re still at it!
SLN: Tell us about the truck you’re currently driving?
Expediter Services has been very good to us when it comes to equipment. We got a brand new Cascadia in 2014 and we ran it for 300,000 miles. ES called us last October and told us they wanted it back, to make it available at Expediter Truck Sales. They gave us another brand new one. Our new truck is incredible. It has practically everything we need, it has a TV, refrigerator/freezer, microwave and a good amount of room. Being able to cook meals saves us a great deal of money, too.
I can’t tell you just how good ES has been to us. Their support is fantastic. I absolutely wouldn’t drive for anybody else.
SLN: What advice do you have for women looking to get into Expediting?
I think above all, you have to be organized. Also, you have to be able to keep your emotions in check, not just to be able to get along with your team partner, but to be mentally and emotionally able to “go” at a moment’s notice. When the call comes in that there’s a load to pick up, we’re ready to go NOW. Expediting can be a great career and I encourage women to seriously look into it.
SLN: What are your future plans?
We love what we do, and Expediter Services makes it so much easier with their support. Quite honestly, I can’t see us doing anything else for a long, long time.
Thanks Virginia, for sharing your experience about Women in Expediting with us. Stay tuned for another edition of Women in Expediting in a future issue of Spotlight News!
This year was the 16th Expedite Expo and Expediter Services was proud to be the title sponsor!
We feel the annual Expedite Expo is an important event for the industry. It’s also the only show Expediter Services participates in throughout the year. And although attendance was somewhat soft (following freight trends) from previous years, the quality of attendees definitely lived up to expectations and the ES team was excited to meet and greet everyone who visited our booth, as well as our Expediter Truck Sales exhibit in the Manchester parking lot.
We had 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 — regardless of the road ahead. We were also excited to let people know that if you can drive a truck, you can own a truck if you desire, and we we’re pleased to have helped at least two attendees to become new truck owners!
A number of opportunities were realized as we spoke with many new and experienced quality driving teams, and we’re looking forward to assisting them getting into equipment in the near future.
Women in Trucking Seminar
The ES family was well represented at the Women in Trucking seminar with Fleet Owner Donna Sleasman, providing input for women expediters in attendance. Women Expediters have made tremendous strides in the industry, performing a number of important functions, including drivers, owners, fleet owners and management. Keep up the good work, ladies!
It was a Good EGG at the Expo!
Expediter Services hosted it’s third annual EGG at the Expo (Expediter Group Gathering) focusing on the Industry outlook and future growth opportunities. This year’s EGG was a packed house, giving over 120 attendees, as well as the ES team the opportunity to meet, network and get to know each other on a personal basis. The gathering was also a great venue for us to share the Real Support, Real Programs, Real Services and the Real Community offered by Expediter Services, so you Never Stand Alone.
We would also like to give a shout out to the carriers who attended the EGG: FedEx Custom Critical, Panther Premium Logistics, Roadrunner Expedite, V3 Transportation and XPO Logistics.
Stay tuned for the next EGG!
Don’t wait for the Expo or the EGG to access the opportunities offered by Expediter Services. It’s what we do every day!
Expediter Services is once again pleased to be a part of the Expedite Expo 2016, July 15th & 16th, at their new home in Lexington, Kentucky — this time as the Title Sponsor!
What to Expect…
At this year’s event, we continue to offer opportunities to expediters with tried-and-true programs designed to serve Independent Contractors, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners helping them be more efficient. You Never Stand Alone. In addition, we believe that if you can drive a truck, you can own a truck if you so desire, and we’ll be on hand to assist those looking for opportunities through Expediter Contract Driver Services, Expediter Management Services, Expediter Truck Sales, Expediter Insurance Services and Expediter Equipment Finance. Please look us up, we are located in Booth #235 and be sure to visit our Truck Sales Exhibit in the Manchester parking lot. We look forward to seeing you here!
Partner with Expediter Services and Never Stand Alone
Independent Contractors Expediter Services supports New and Experienced Drivers every step of the way with programs that can help you be more productive. Learn more about the Independent Contract Driver program here. We’re available at Booth #235 to answer any questions you may have about our Independent Contract Driver programs. Owner Operators and Fleet Owners At Expediter Services, Owner Operators and Fleet Owners can take advantage of our Owner Operator Program for back office support and savings on fuel, insurance and more. Learn more about the Owner Operator program here. Or stop by booth #235 to see us.
Come and see us at Booth #235! We are always happy to help turn your dream of being a Contract Driver, Owner Operator or Fleet Owner into reality. We look forward to seeing you here.
Get to Know Danny Vernon, ETS Truck Sales Manager
If you don’t already know Danny Vernon, Expediter Truck Sales Manager, the Expedite Expo is your opportunity to meet Danny and to let him help you source a good pre-owned straight truck, straight from Expediter Services’ very own fleet. Please visit him at our ETS Booth in the Manchester Parking Lot and be sure to check out our great selection of trucks.
Expediter Equipment Finance Can Help You Achieve Truck Ownership
Expediter Equipment Finance can help finance your truck, even if you’re a first-time buyer or a non-home owner. We have market competitive rates and terms. Also our Path to Ownership lets your experience with Expediter Services play a key role in helping you get financed. Expediter Equipment Finance Can Help You Buy a Truck
We’re looking forward to meeting you at the Expo. Please stop by Booth #235 and our Truck Sales Exhibit in the Manchester parking lot. We are happy to answer any of your questions.
The EGG at the Expo
Expediter Services is excited to host the 3rd annual EGG at the Expo, Friday, July 15th! The EGG (Expediter Group Gathering) is an opportunity for Expediters to meet, network and get to know each other. We believe in personal relationships, and want to learn about you, your business, and your hopes & dreams. This year’s EGG at the Expo will focus on the industry outlook and future growth opportunities. We will also discuss the Real Support, Real Programs, Real Services and the Real Community offered by Expediter Services, so you Never Stand Alone. Register now for the EGG, its FREE!
Don’t wait for the Expo or the EGG to access the opportunities offered by Expediter Services. It’s what we do every day!
Welcome to the latest installment of our online series Women in Expediting. As you may have noticed, a common thread runs throughout our stories: women are taking on the roles traditionally undertaken by men in the Expediting industry. They are not merely taking on these roles, they are becoming successful drivers and owners in the process. Women bring much needed talents and abilities to the industry that compliment the team environment, helping to ensure success.
We introduce Linda Polk, who is one-half of the driving team with her husband and business partner Andy Dixon. Since 2011, they have built a successful fleet of four trucks that has helped them pursue other interests that are near and dear to their hearts: Linda is a successful author, while Andy has crafted a successful career as a songwriter, with many songs recorded by various artists and credits on movie soundtracks.
SLN: How did You and Andy get started in Expediting?
Our journey into Expediting began in 2011. Andy was working for a company that didn’t have much integrity. Things got so bad, he finally wound up quitting. He began looking around for a better way to make a living and answered a Craigslist ad as a driver. He and his brother started off driving together but unfortunately, his brother became ill and couldn’t drive any longer. Andy got another partner but that also didn’t last.
As it turns out, the non-profit agency that I worked for at the time offers bus transportation as part of their ministry. They also offered classes that help people get a free CDL in order to drive the buses. This turned out to be a great opportunity and I got my CDL and became Andy’s full-time driving partner on Christmas day 2012. We had always wanted to work together and this just seemed like a great way to achieve this goal.
SLN: Tell us about your other goals?
We started off as contract drivers with Expediter Services, signed on with FedEx as our carrier. We set a goal to drive for a year and save as much money as we could and buy a truck right out. Andy and I had a five year plan to buy a truck every year for five years. Our original plan got side-stepped when we got a call from Jeff Tacker saying that our numbers were very good and that we should consider buying a refurbished truck from Expediter Services’ fleet. The offer made a lot of sense to us and we purchased a refurbished 2008 KW T660, utilizing Expediter Equipment Finance. We got a great deal on that truck. There were a few teething pains at first (read their story here), but ES stood behind us and our truck. We got a lot of good service from that unit and made a success out of that initial investment.
To make a long story short, after a couple of productive years, we sold that original T660 and since 2013, we’ve purchased four slightly used Cascadias (including two custom dry units) from ES’s fleet through Expediter Truck Sales, utilizing Expediter Equipment Finance. This has been a successful formula for us and I recommend this approach to anyone who is looking to grow a fleet of trucks. So, you could say we actually achieved our goal of five trucks within five years. It’s very exciting!
SLN: What are your responsibilities as a team member and business partner?
I drive as much as Andy does. I’m probably not as good at some things, such as pre-truck inspection and maintenance issues, but I’m better at other things like dealing with dock personnel. It just seems to work better that way. Also, we both work on managing the fleet, Andy usually gets the settlements and I make sure they get paid. We compliment each other and we each do whatever it takes to make sure everything that needs to get done is taken care of. Being an Expediting partner is a give and take, and being successful means knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and building a business together as a team.
SLN: How do people react when they find out your are a Women in Expediting?
There have been a number of women who have told me that they are afraid to drive a truck. But I tell them to do their research and take a class to learn about getting a CDL and to just do it. There’s really no reason to be afraid. Driving a straight truck in Expediting is great way to make a living and to have a career that will let you do the things you want to do.
SLN: What is important about relationships in this business?
When it comes to being a couple (whether you’re married or not), if you have issues in your relationship, they are going to come out. This business is intense and there are a lot of decisions to be made. When you couple that with the amount of time you spend together, there’s always the opportunity for conflict. If you don’t love and respect your partner, then Expediting can become a tough job. It’s important to know your boundaries and assume responsibilities that are complimentary to each other.
Although we aren’t driving at the moment, we still work to keep our fleet happy and productive. The fleet that Andy and I have built gives us the opportunity to do the things we want to do. It gives me the flexibility to visit with family and to pursue my interest in writing. Expediting has given Andy the ability to further his career in music. We’re so blessed to be doing what we love.
With support from Expediter Services, we’re looking forward to seeing where the next five years takes us.
Thanks Linda, for sharing your experience about Women in Expediting with us. Stay tuned for another edition of Women in Expediting in a future issue of Spotlight News!
Visit our Women in Expediting page to learn about how you can get started today with your new career.
Anyone who has been around trucking knows that the state of freight fluctuates as business cycles move up and down — it’s just a part of doing business. Currently, trends are indicating that freight is in a down cycle. Should you be concerned? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure: no matter the state of freight, you Never Stand Alone when you partner with Expediter Services. Here’s why:
We’ve Been There Before Expediter Services was born in 2006, but expanded and matured its services during the economic downturn of 2009. During this tumultuous freight environment, ES began the process of building an umbrella of support, services and programs based on input from a concerned Expediting community looking for answers. The road wasn’t always smooth as we developed the discounts and programs now enjoyed by Expediters who utilize our many offerings. At times, our attempts to satisfy customer’s needs led to a dead end. But one thing is certain, our trial by fire resulted in tried-and-true support services and programs that can help you succeed when the road best traveled gets bumpy.
Real Support. Real Service. A Real Community. ES can provide you with real support including discounts on fuel, insurance and more. We also provide comprehensive freight history information, along with back office support and programs to help you through the good times as well as the bad.
When you join the Expediter Services family, you are a part of a community of support that’s second to none, helping you weather the storm, regardless of the volatility of freight.
Taking Steps to Mitigate Risk and Costs When the road ahead is rough and freight becomes tough, it’s important to know that your carrier and/or service provider will be there for you today and in the future. Do you have the support you need? Are you paid on time or even at all? Is your equipment good enough to carry you through a tough freight cycle economically and efficiently? Is there a community of support that you can turn to when business is soft? Expediter Services has proven support programs to help answer YES to all of these questions.
Experience has taught us that upgrading your equipment is a great way to control fuel and maintenance expenses. Expediter Truck Sales has available the industry’s best and largest inventory of pre-owned class 8 straight trucks that are fuel efficient, well maintained and offer a tremendous value. Contact Danny Vernon at Expediter Truck Sales to see how a good pre-owned truck can actually save you money.
To help finance your truck quickly with little or no hassle, rely on Expediter Equipment Finance. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time buyer, non-home owner or fleet owner, we can help you upgrade to mitigate costs no matter the business environment.
Opportunity for New Drivers There’s always room and opportunity for new hardworking drivers in Expediting, and you are definitely wanted and needed. Expediter Services is here to help, so you Never Stand Alone, with Owner Operator and Contract Driver programs to save you money and help you build your business. Let our community of support make your dreams of being a successful Expediter a reality. We’re excited about the opportunity to serve you, please give us a call to get started today.