Followers of Spotlight News already know that success in Expediting can come from anywhere at any time. Just one example is Caleb Harper who went from driving trucks in the Texas oil fields to building a successful Expediting fleet. He compared his journey to “riding a bull”. (read his story here) In this issue, we follow up on Lee Burkhalter from the heart of the Mississippi Delta who is building a fleet of Expediting trucks purchased from Expediter Truck Sales. (read his story from January here)
A farmer and rancher by trade, Burkhalter compares his foray into Expediting to driving a tractor, sometimes called an “iron horse”. “My journey into Expediting has been slow and steady, just like riding an iron horse out in the bean fields. You begin at one end of a field and at the end of the day you’ve accomplished your goal.” And his goal is to grow an Expediting fleet. “I started my trucking career by buying a Sprinter van. I’ve been running it several years now. After realizing the earning potential of owning a straight truck I bought a 2012 Cascadia in January from Expediter Truck Sales and ran it as a solo. This week I will be transitioning this to a team and moving that truck to FedEx.”
That isn’t the only thing Burkhalter accomplished this week. He also obtained a new Cascadia. “I really got motivated to build a fleet after attending the latest EGG (Expediter Group Gathering). I watched all of the presentations and talked with the folks at Expediter Services and other fleet owners who attended about the earning potential of owning multiple trucks. It reenforced my desire to become a fleet owner.”
Burkhalter sees the purchase of his two Cascadias this year as a good start. “In about the next three months I plan on adding another truck to the fleet. Also, I’m talking to a team who is interested in driving a reefer unit and if the opportunity works out I may add that as well at some point. With all of the support I get from Expediter Services, there’s really no telling just how much I’ll be able to grow or how quickly. Their Owner Operator program and all the tools and services it provides, make running a fleet easy. I’m looking forward to seeing where this opportunity takes me.”
Sometimes, the right opportunity is where you least expect it. Just ask Kayelric Wilson, who recently found HIS opportunity in Expediting after years of driving in LTL trucking.
“I’ve been in trucking one way or the other most of my life. And my dream has been to own my own truck. Recently I was talking to a recruiter, asking him what would be my best path to achieve this. To my surprise, he asked if I had thought about Expediting. And to be honest, this had not been part of my game plan. The recruiter then told me about Expediter Services and how they had great programs for helping people get into truck ownership,” said Wilson.
After doing some research and making a phone call, Wilson was on the path to truck ownership and a new career. “I visited Expediter Services’ website to learn about what they’re all about and decided to call Josh Swindoll at Expediter Truck Sales. We talked about the kind of truck I wanted and what I wanted to achieve in my business. Josh right away told me about a 2014 Volvo 780 that they had available on the lot. And that was all I needed to hear.”
But finding the right truck was only part of the deal. “Josh then hooked me up with Steve Kochensparger at Expediter Equipment Finance. He was extremely helpful and was there with me throughout the whole transaction. I can’t say enough about how easy they made the whole process,” said Wilson.
“Now, I’m signed on with FedEx Custom Critical pulling a refrigerated trailer and I’ve been on the road with my brother and driving partner Keiron for about a week. So far the new truck is performing great and we’re looking forward to making even more money as owners! Who knows where this opportunity will lead.”
One of the most alluring characteristics about Expediting is the fact that it’s a career that practically anyone can get into at just about any point in one’s life. If you want to begin your career fresh out of school, it’s a great place to get started. If you’re leaving a previous line of work, but not ready for full retirement, Expediting can be a great second career. Just ask Lisa and Ernest Nix, a couple who saw the opportunity to start a business in Expediting after her husband was winding down a career as an educator.
“I’m a Jill of all Trades,” said Lisa Nix. “I’ve worked a number of jobs over the years, including stints as customer service agent, waitress and nurses aid. You name it and I’ve done it. My husband spent thirty years in education and is now looking to retire, but we weren’t ready to just lay down and quit. We’re too young for that!”
So, what was their next step? Expediting! But it wasn’t their first time on the road as truckers. “Many years ago, Ernest and I were long haul truckers. We worked for a couple of owners during that time, including FedEx Ground. We really loved being on the road and spending time together and we just knew that whatever he did after his retirement, some type of trucking career was to be in our future. That’s when we found Expediting and Expediter Services.”
Lisa heard about the lifestyle advantages and income potential of Expediting through friends and last October, she buckled down and began doing research on the industry. “I had heard so many good things about Expediting, so I began looking into the forums at Expediters Online, which led me to Expediter Services. Ernest and I really wanted to own our own truck and work for ourselves. So, I called Josh Swindoll at Expediter Truck Sales to find out what our options were. He was incredibly helpful and found a great 2012 Cascadia from Expediter Services fleet. He also got us in touch with Jeff Tacker who helped arrange our financing through Expediter Equipment Finance.”
But, according to Lisa, there was one “catch”. “Since Ernest and I live in Utah, we were buying this truck sight unseen. We were totally relying on what Josh was telling us about the truck, which was a little bit scary. But we needn’t have worried. We hopped in our car and drove to ES’s office in Southaven, Mississippi and picked up our new truck, drove it to FedEx orientation in Ohio and so far we’re thrilled. It was everything he said it would be.”
The Nix’s plan on driving their new Cascadia for a year or so to learn about the Expediting business, with the goal of expanding into fleet ownership in the not too distant future. We wish them luck in their new second career!
As with most things in life, getting started is usually the hardest part — and Expediting is no exception. No matter what route you take, the road to success is a journey built one step at a time with valuable experience being gained along the way. Lynn Colebrook’s story of success began in 2012 driving as a contractor with Panther Premium Logistics. As he points out, it was a great leaning experience and his first step into Expediting. “I began my Expediting career at Panther driving vans. It was a great way to learn about the industry, and being a contract driver prepared me to take the next step as a van owner.”
Colebrook’s next step for his business was indeed as the owner of a small fleet of vans, but he soon found out he wanted more. “After gaining experience as a contract driver, I achieved my goal to build a fleet of vans. This made me realize that there was even more opportunity and money to be earned by owning Class 8 trucks, so that was the next logical step. I looked around the marketplace and purchased two Class 8 units, which I would categorize as “starter trucks”, they were both pretty well used, but they did get me started in the direction I wanted to go.”
Soon afterwards, Colebrook ran into Josh Swindoll at the Expedite Expo in July of last year, and a new chapter of truck ownership soon started. “I attended the Expo last summer and began talking to Josh from Expediter Truck Sales. He told me about the used trucks available from Expediter Services fleet; how they were well-cared-for, even having full maintenance records. I started doing research and found a 2012 Cascadia that I bought in January. It was everything they said it would be. I got a great lightly used truck for a fraction of the price of a new one. It has “value” written all over it. I’m really pleased with the purchase. The next time I want to expand my fleet, I will definitely go back to Expediter Truck Sales.”
To top it off, Colebrook took the step to use Expediter Equipment Finance to finance his new truck. “One of the things that made buying a truck so easy was that financing was on the spot from Expediter Equipment Finance. It made the process so much easier. I would recommend anyone needing to expand their fleet to give them a good look.”
What’s the best reason to add a new truck to your fleet? Do you need another unit to expand your business? Will another truck create an economy of scale, allowing greater profits? Or maybe It’s just “time” to add another truck. Every Expediter has his or her own reasons. But Steve Glisson’s reason for adding a new truck to his fleet is for backup and long-term stability.
“Over the past couple of years I’ve built up a fleet, mostly of used equipment. I decided to add a 2012 Cascadia from Expediter Truck Sales as a backup just in case one of my trucks went down.” As many of you may remember, we spoke to Glisson in the July 2014 edition of Spotlight News. (read his story here).
The concept of adding an additional truck as insurance to continue his business may seem a bit like overkill to some owners, but Glisson sees it differently. “When you’re carrying loads for an exacting customer like FedEx Custom Critical, you need to be ready to service that client at all times. This new truck will be earning money just like every other one in the fleet, but it will be good insurance in the event one of our older trucks goes down, my entire business model won’t be jeopardised. I feel it’s money well invested.”
Why does Glisson continue to supplement his fleet with a truck from Expediter Truck Sales? “We’ve relied on Expediter Truck Sales to help us create a redundancy in our fleet. Their inventory of used Class 8 trucks from Expediter Services fleet puts this ability within reach because of the great pricing of these units. It’s a great value all the way around. You combine that with their ability to finance your truck through Expediter Equipment Finance and you have an unbeatable combination. We also utilize all of the resources in ES’s Owner Operator program. It’s still the best business move I’ve ever made.”
In January of 2014, Jimmy Moore and his wife Bobbi purchased a used Kenworth T660 from Expediter Services fleet. Their new purchase was in addition to a truck they already owned — starting them on the path as Fleet Owners. The following June, they purchased another T660 (also from Expediter Truck Sales), bringing the number of trucks in their fleet to three. We reported their success last October in Spotlight News. (read their story here).
Today when we catch up with the Moore’s, we find that they’ve been busy adding even more trucks to their growing fleet! “Back in November of last year we added a Cascadia, giving us a total of four trucks. And as of a couple of weeks ago, we added another 2012 Cascadia, said Moore.”
When asked about why and how they were able to expand their business so quickly, Moore was to the point. “Our ability to grow so much in such a short amount of time is directly attributed to Expediter Services: their confidence in our business and how we work; and our confidence in them. Without their support we would never have been able to grow like we have. Ever since we began using Expediter Services, they have always come through whether it is with their selection of affordable used equipment through Expediter Truck Sales or with financing through Expediter Equipment Finance, they’ve always done what they say they are going to do. Also, the support we get from their Owner Operator program is helpful by letting us concentrate and focus on driving and making money. We don’t worry about settlements or getting paid. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to grow when you have someone in your corner like Expediter Services.”
Even though the Moore’s have grown and achieved much in just over a year, they don’t plan on stopping. “Bobbi and I now have five trucks in our fleet and we don’t plan on resting. We feel like this is just the beginning and with support from Expediter Services there is just no telling how much more we can grow.
Some folks compare the Expediting business to a marathon rather than a sprint. But some people actually get into Expediting from a “sprint” — a Sprinter van that is! Such is the story of Lee Burkhalter who recently made the leap into a slightly used 2012 Cascadia from Expediter Services’ very own fleet.
“I’ve been running a Sprinter van for a couple of years and business has been pretty good, but its hard to ignore the income potential of the Class 8 trucks,’ said Burkhalter. “I decided that in order to take my business to the next level I would need to upgrade. I contacted Josh Swindoll at Expediter Truck Sales who sourced a great used 2012 Cascadia. ES just makes the buying process so easy — they have the inventory readily available that includes maintenance records, so you know the truck has been taken care of. And Expediter Equipment Finance means I can get everything done at one time. The entire process was straight forward and hassle free.”
Burkhalter has big plans for the new unit that includes building a fleet. “I already have a driver in place to run my new truck. I’ve signed on with PTL as our carrier and we should be hitting the road within the next couple of weeks. Short term, my plan is to build a fleet of five trucks by the end of the year and there is no telling how large it will eventually grow over time. Expediter Services’ Owner Operator program definitely factors into our growth plans because of their back office support that lets us focus on driving and generating revenue. The fuel card is also a real plus, too.”
The moral of this story? Even if you’re a “sprinter”, Expediter Services can help you upgrade!
Asif Alidina, the son of East African immigrants from Tanzania, truly understands the American dream and the hard work it takes to bring that dream to fruition.
Growing up in Long Island, New York, Alidina began working for McDonald’s at age fourteen, calling it “his office”. From these humble beginnings, he put himself through college, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Stony Brook University in 2007, graduating one year early in order to save a year’s tuition. At 21, before graduating, Alidina had two job offers from finance companies wanting to use his talent. Soon, he found himself on the West coast working in Investment Banking, but due to the Great Recession and the troubled financial markets, Alidina found himself without a job and literally homeless, living in his car and showering at a local gym where he worked out. It was during this difficult time, Alidina had the inspiration and began dreaming of starting his own freight transportation company. “I’ve always been self supportive and at the age of twenty five, I made the decision to go back east, where I gained acceptance to Penn State University’s MBA program. At the same time, I established EXAM Transport & Co., a Tennessee-based biopharma logistics & trucking firm. When I started my business I had exactly $1.12 in my bank account.”
In the two years and three months his company has been in business, he has generated approximately 1.5 million dollars in revenue and is slated to double that in 2015 — with help from Expediter Services. “I’m always looking for new ways to grow my business . By chance, I ran into someone who was an Expediter and we began talking about the trucking business and that’s how I found out about Expediter Services. I started doing research about the industry and went to ES’s website. Soon, I was in touch with Josh Swindoll at Expediter Truck Sales and purchased a slightly used 2012 Cascadia. I also talked with Jeff Tacker and utilized Expediter Equipment Finance for financing. I signed on with one of the carriers supported by ES’s Owner Operator Program and completed orientation just as the holiday season was kicking into high gear. My driving team and I dove in and learned a lot in a short amount of time. We made it through the crunch and we’ve started the year off well. Without a doubt having gone through such an intense holiday season helped me learn a lot and made me an even better Expediter. I feel like I can handle just about anything!”
As with every other aspect of his life, Alidina isn’t resting on his laurels. “I have an aggressive 5-year growth strategy in place for the years 2015-2020. I’ve placed my Masters program at Penn State on hold in order to focus and build EXAM Transport & Co., and I will definitely continue to utilize the programs and services offered by Expediter Services to reach this goal.”
Alidina has accomplished quite a lot at the age of twenty-eight. “I’ve really been blessed. I married the girl of my dreams. We have an amazing two year old son and another baby on the way! America truly is a country that will let you pursue your dreams if you work hard enough.” Check out EXAM Transport & Co.’s Company Profile at Bloomberg.com.
Husband and wife team Padriaca and Cindy Chau Prude are no strangers to the pages of Spotlight news. The last time we visited with this driving duo was in August of 2013. They were just starting their careers as expediters and deciding that the best path for them was to begin as contractors in order to learn the expediting business. A lot has certainly changed since then! Read their story from 2013
“Cindy and I drove as contractors for about seven months, knowing that we wanted to be independent, have our own business and own our own truck,” said Padriaca. “Once we learned the ropes, we took the plunge and purchased the same refrigerated 2008 Kenworth T660 that we drove as contractors while partnering with Expediter Services. Taking the Path to Ownership was actually an easy step just knowing that Expediter Services support was behind us. We rely on their Owner Operator program to handle the paperwork and minutia that takes time away from driving and making money. On top of that, our track record with Expediter Services helped us when it came time to finance our truck through Expediter Equipment Finance.”
Not content to rest on their laurels as owner operators, the Prudes made plans to expand their business. “We began to see the benefits of truck ownership right away. It really whetted our appetites to expand our business and we knew that purchasing another truck was in our future. In November of this year, Cindy and I purchased a 2012 Cascadia dry box from Expediter Services fleet with about 300,000 well-cared-for miles — and we once again utilized Expediter Equipment Finance for our financing, they just make purchasing a truck so easy. At this point I think I’m going to make Josh Swindoll over at Expediter Truck Sales my permanent go-to guy when it comes to buying trucks,” chuckled Padriaca.
The Prude’s plans as fleet owners involve making money, and providing opportunities for others. “As fleet owners, we want to provide opportunities for others, very much like Expediter Services gave us the opportunity to get into expediting. As a Marine Corps Reservist and combat veteran, I feel its important to reach out to hire military veterans, and we already have a team of drivers in place who are former/retired military. They picked up their first load on December 18th, exactly one year from the day that Cindy and I purchased our first truck.”
The future of their fleet is already in place. “I think its important to have a good mix of refrigerated and dry box units. In 2015, we plan on adding two additional trucks and one truck every quarter in 2016 until we reach twelve trucks. I see lots of opportunity out there for us as fleet owners.”
In June of 2013, Spotlight reported how Patrick Lee and Eric Hyfield, two young men from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, turned to Expediting to escape the effects of the “Great Recession” and the limited economic opportunities in their area. Today, they are successful Fleet Owners who know a thing or two about utilizing Expediter Services’ Circle of Success and taking the Path to Ownership. Click here to read story from June of 2013.
Their journey to Fleet Ownership began in November, 2012, entering the Circle of Success as new Contract Drivers. By June of 2013, they bought their own truck through Expediter Equipment Finance, becoming Owner Operators. And just this month, they became new Fleet Owners with the purchase of a refrigerated 2009 Freightliner Cascadia. “Ever since we began in Expediting, Eric and I dreamed of being Fleet owners,” said Lee. “When we got into the business as Contractors with Expediter Services, we jumped into it with both feet; staying out on the road for long stretches of time, taking lots of loads and learning as much as we could. This helped prepare us for the next step of actually buying our own truck. Now, we’ve learned even more and recently purchased a refrigerated truck — our first step to building a fleet.”
It’s interesting to note that Patrick and Eric’s plans to purchase a new truck were already laid as far back as April — then they visited the EGG the weekend of April 4th & 5th, and things changed! “It’s kind of funny, Eric and I had already found a truck to buy and we were getting ready to talk to Expediter Equipment Finance about it. At about that same time, we learned about the EGG at ES’s offices in Southaven, Mississippi. We went their with the sole purpose to just meet the folks at Expediter Services and get to know other Expediters. But when we got there, we saw this Cascadia for sale, and it was such a better truck than the one we had already picked out. We spoke with Steve Kochensparger who was at the EGG and started the ball rolling to purchase the truck. The EGG was so much better than we expected. It was great meeting so many Expediters and talking to them about their experiences as Contractors, Owner Operator and Fleet Owners. I would recommend anyone interested in this business to visit the EGG.”
The future is looking bright for the new Fleet Owners. “Today, we just locked down a team to drive our new truck. Now we can concentrate on working hard so we can expand our fleet in the near future,” said Lee.