This week’s Spotlight News caught up with new truck owners Tom MacDermott, and his wife and driving partner Hope, in Maine delivering parts to a windmill factory. Their Expediting journey has brought them a long way from starting out as contract drivers with Expediter Services, signed on with FedEx Custom Critical in 2013.
“My career in trucking actually began back in 2009 when the economy took its big nose dive,” said MacDermott. I was in the construction business and that industry went away practically overnight. It was a tough thing to have to go through and it left me looking for a career that wasn’t so volatile — that’s when I turned to trucking.”
But the MacDermott’s, always ones to keep up with the latest transportation trends and opportunities, eventually made their way to Expediting. “After a few years of driving and talking to people in the industry, we found out about the improved lifestyle and income potential offered by Expediting. We looked around and found out about Expediter Services and became contract drivers about two years ago. We signed on to FedEx Custom Critical and we haven’t looked back since.” And a large part of their looking forward was their desire to own their own truck. “Ever since the day we started as contract drivers, we always knew that some day we would be owners, it was just a matter of when,” said MacDermott. “We started the process last year by talking to the folks at Expediter Truck Sales, but life has a way of throwing you a curveball, and that curveball just happened to be my daughter’s wedding. We were excited about her starting a new life, and knew that a new truck could wait just a little longer.”
Then there was the spring EGG (Expediter Group Gathering). “Having started the process of looking for a truck earlier last year, we knew we were ahead of the game. So, when the spring EGG event was announced at Expediter Services’ home office in Southaven, Mississippi, we thought this would be a good opportunity to learn more about the business and to look into getting a new truck all at the same time. The EGG was a great experience. We got to meet other Expediters who have the same experiences and challenges that we face in our business. We also got to meet the folks at Expediter Services. Overall, it was a great learning experience — and we bought our first truck. We picked out a 2013 Cascadia from ES’s fleet and utilized Expediter Equipment Finance. They made the whole buying experience so easy.”
Once the MacDermott’s hit the road, there were a couple of hiccups that had to be ironed out. “We love our new truck, but we had a problem with the APU. We told Expediter Services about it and they went above and beyond to fix it. They also fixed a couple of other smaller things too. ES standing behind their product reinforced our trust in the people and the company. When we get ready to expand our fleet, we’ll definitely be coming back to Expediter Truck Sales.”
And speaking of expanding his fleet, when we asked about their future plans, MacDermott didn’t mince words when it came to planning for his business. “There’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into purchasing a truck or trucks. My goal is to have five trucks in our fleet by 2020. And any variable in the price of equipment or freight can make or break your plans. Take for instance the new FedEx flat rate structure they now have in place. The fact that I can now plan my business around a fixed rate makes this process easier. I’ve already calculated that the new flat rate has increased my income by about $10,000 a year because they now pay .75 cents per mile on deadhead. We plan on building a business that we can leave to our children, and being able to plan using this new pricing structure and the opportunities provided by Expediter Services will definitely help us get there.”