Colleen Umbehant Achieving New Levels Of Success With Women-Owned Business Initiative From ES
After years of working with used and refurbished equipment, Colleen Umbehant had been searching for an answer that would position her trucking business for a greater level of success. She had already established her independence, running under the motor carrier authority of Panther Premium Logistics, a Service of ArcBest. A veteran of the trucking industry who started driving in 1996 to support her family, Colleen had found a home with Panther and she has always been open to the new opportunities that Panther presented to the fleet.
When ES announced in November of 2017 the launch of the company’s Women-Owned Business initiative to assist in the creation and growth of women-owned businesses in trucking, Panther, as a partner motor carrier in the ES Community, moved forward to participate in the program. One of the first steps that Panther took was to share the news of the program across the fleet.
“I always knew that having a new truck could make a huge difference for me, and, one day, a friend of mine with Panther asked me if I had seen the email about the new program from ES,” Colleen recalled. “I looked into the program and then I contacted ES.”
By February of 2018, Colleen was climbing aboard her new Class 8 tractor. ES had lined Colleen up with her chosen, make and model of truck, which only had a handful miles in coming fresh off the factory line to the dealership. Colleen utilized ES Equipment Finance to obtain competitive market-rate financing with a truck payment that worked perfectly with her business plan.
“She’s been the best truck that we’ve ever had, and ES made it so easy for us. We came to their offices, signed the paperwork, got the truck and started rolling,” Colleen explained. “That truck is exactly what we needed for our business. We’ve really been able to put our truck to work and I can’t say enough about the support that we have received from Panther and ES.”
Trucking is a family business for Colleen. A mother of five, Colleen was encouraged to consider entering the trucking industry 26 years ago by her oldest daughter. Watching Colleen drive for some over-the-road carriers early in her career, Colleen’s son, James, was inspired to explore opportunities as a professional driver. James earned his CDL, and Colleen assisted in finishing his training at a truckload carrier before finding her way to Panther about 10 years ago. Currently, Colleen and James are team drivers aboard the truck that she now owns.
“I made my final payment in May, and it’s amazing to think that I now own this truck,” said Colleen. “It has served us well and we do everything we can to take good care of it. One of things that has made a difference for me is that ES has always treated me like a business partner. They laid everything out for me from the beginning. Everything they told me was true and they have always stood behind what they said.
“Panther has also treated me like a business partner, and they are the best company that I have ever driven for. I plan to stay here until I retire,” Colleen added. “Looking back on my experience with ES and their truck ownership program, I would highly recommend it for any woman or man who wants to start out on their own with their own truck. It was definitely the right move for me and my business.”
Are you inspired by Colleen’s story and want to grow your trucking business? Contact the ES team or call (877) 349-9303 and let us help support your company with expertise in financial services and technology, relationship lending, and general business support.