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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

a dog called kitty

tim welcome to the show, it is great to haveyou back on, first and foremost, happy new year to you sir, welcome. thank you, it is great to be on again, andyes happy new year to you too. it is amazing we are into another year already, but yougot to be ready. absolutely, it is going to be a good one,a lot of things going on in the trucking industry, a lot of activity and we are going to covera lot of that today. but the story i want to bring up with you that i found quite fascinating,we are going to get into the specifics of that in just a second but we do have a lotof new listeners to the program. set this up for us good sir, what do you do for shafferand crete?

thank you, as you mentioned, i am the presidentof shaffer trucking and shaffer trucking is a refrigerated division of crete carrier corporation.crete carrier is our dry van division and i am the chief operating officer of i pretty much get the job of doing what ever is need on any given day and trying toset some guidance for our teams and leading our departments and certainly try to createthat right balance a trucking company needs, the right customers and the right freight,and obviously the right drivers that we all need to pick up and deliver on that is a great job and a great industry to be in. you meet so many great people and certainlywe have had an opportunity to meet a few times, not from people just like you but certainlythe biggest part of our industry are the drivers.

that is one of the things i do enjoy mostis the opportunity to meet people from so many different walks of life that are nowout on the road really moving america. you know what was really interesting and alot of fun when i was reading your post on facebook on social media just before the christmasholidays, you were out and about and i think this is going to be a very unique perspectivefor the listeners and for the drivers out there. you were doing a ride along with oneof the drivers out there and you were on your way to a shipper, correct in that? that is correct, actually it started as avery practical thing. i was out visiting some of our customers in the midwest and had afew visits scheduled and needed to get from

point a to point b. i said well what is themost effective and efficient way to do that while also being able to get a true feel forwhat is going on out there for our drivers so i thought well a good way to do that isto hop on a truck and go along with the driver. i needed to get from cincinnati over to indianaand there was an opportunity to get with one of our good long time drivers that has beenwith us for seven years and he happened to be on a load going to one of our good customersthat just built a newer facility that we were fortunate enough to have some input on froma drivers perspective— so i was very anxious to see what it was like from a drivers perspective.they didn’t know i was coming and i sat in that right seat there to see what it waslike, entering the gate to getting to where

we needed to go to dropping and hooking andgetting out of there. it gave me a very good perspective. absolutely, and thats why i wanted to haveyou on to talk about this to give drivers the perspective from the bosses viewpoint.a lot of times we hear what is going on from the drivers perspective, but it is interestingbecause you are in a position where you can make changes or offer input to the shippersand cosignsease. what were you expecting to find once you got onboard with the ride? whatwere you expecting to come away with? well i was hoping some of the input providedyou our great customers were taken to heart. you know over the last couple of years wehave done a lot to provide some efficiencies

in the supply chains system that really wouldhelp better use drivers time. drivers, most of them are out there getting paid by themile and if you are sitting or if your time is used for anything outside of driving, youare not making any money. so the was a big piece of it so what is the efficiency. alsoa part of that is what is the respect they show for drivers. how do they treat the driverswhen they arrive, what types of facilities are they, are they well maintained lots, arethey easy to understand where to go, are there driver amenities? from just the basics, arethey able to use the bathroom to that, and taking it to the next level in adding efficienciesfor the drivers day. so is there overnight parking, that driver maybe gets to a placewhere he needs to unload but he may have ran

out of hours so he needs to stay overnightso he doesn’t have to go in early or not go in until the next day after he takes a10 hour break. then is there a scale on site? those things where we can save time and i’llsay out of the route miles are unproductive miles for a driver. so i wanted to see, becausewe had been asked by a shipper for that input and to see how do they put it in action? ok did they know you were coming, did thatshipper know you were coming? they did not. they did not, oh okay. and when you arrivedat the gate, did you guys go right in or did you have to wait for somebody out to comeout and get you guys?

no they had set this up very well, they hada two lane guard shack there and we arrived at the gate and we were making a later inthe evening delivery—were were delivering at around 11pm so there were only a coupleof trucks in front of us. they processed those efficiently, we got up there, we providedwe were bringing in an inbound load in and then picking up an outbound load so we hadthe bills and other paperwork for the inbound load and they went into the process of checkingthat in as well as doing the paperwork for the outbound load and doing that all at thesame time so on the way out we did not have to spend a lot of time on the way out otherthan verifying we had the right trailer and those types of things. from right on the beginningit was a very good experience.

so very smooth eh? so you were allowed tobump the dock right away? yep we were doing a drop and hook, so whatwe were doing was we were given a spot to drop the trailer and given guidance on whereit was on the lot because this is a huge facility and had clear direction where to go and giventhat right away so we were able to do that. the key a lot of times from talking to driversis that pickup load, is it ready, is it parked where they are saying it is parked, or isit at the dock or has it been released from the dock and those types of things. fortunatelywe had a good experience there too, it was ready and was where they said it was. we wereable to go right to it—driver hookup on it, we did our pre trip inspection and thingswent so smoothly the driver said here, lets

go take a little time and let me show youthe facility because he had been in there a few times. as i mentioned it is a biggercustomer of ours so he had been there a few times. got the opportunity to look at thetwo driver lounges, one on each side of the facility to make it easy enough for the driversto go there. they had a place for overnight parking—we happened to have a few othertrucks there actually parked there. so i got a little chance to do that, and then theyhad a scale, and we were able to hit the scale on the way out. fortunately the load was loadedlegally on all axils and even with the time of the tour we took, we were out in 42 minutesfrom the time we hit the gate to the time we left.

that’s excellent! really pretty efficient. what was the driver telling you about allof this, the operational procedures, was he offering some thoughts and observations, describesome of the communication between the two of you. i had been talking to him on the way therebecause i had known he had been there, as the facility is relatively new. he had toldme its one thing, the drivers were a little skeptical at first. it is one thing for afacility or a company to say they are going to do things and to even put those thingsin place, it is another thing to operate that

way. of course when anything is new you havesome challenges, he had mentioned there were a few challenges—it was a little longergetting through the line as you had to maneuver people and how they were loading. maybe wehad some overweight on some axils so they had to get loads adjusted but he saw thatevolve over the four or five months until i was there last month and was very pleasedto see it going smoothly now. the shipper was really achieving what they set out toget, again it was one thing to just have the facilities to set it up it was another torun it that way. so he was pleased he had seen that continuous improvement because ashe said, he had been to other shippers and companies that they have three gates at theentrance but they only man one of them, or

they have drop and hook but its not in thespace it is supposed to be. so that type of progress is really helpful and makes thatshipper a shipper of choice for that driver. that is another topic i was going to bringup because when you get favorable reports back like that, that the driver has been treatedwell, the operational efficiencies are operating on all cylinders out there, this is a shipperby choice correct in that? this becomes a favorable win-win situation for both involvedhere. absolutely, when i did get back and actuallygot back to thee office here in lincoln the next week, i sent notes to a couple of thepeople that are our contacts at the shipper and told them about my experience and appreciatewhat they had done. one of the things i did

tell them as we were leaving and heading toindianapolis we were talking to the driver about the whole experience, his comment tome was those were the kinds of shippers we need, make sure we don’t lose that i wanted to get back to the shipper to show them they did create value in what theydid. because as i had mentioned, part of my job is making sure we have the right driversand the right shippers to make sure our business works together and satisfy both needs so thatwas great valuable input it was certainly for me to see first hand was a valuable experience. i would also have to imagine when you sentout that email to the shipper management they were probably like why didn’t you call usbefore?!

a little bit, they were very grateful thatsomebody took the time to go out and check it out and do that. because they did wantand create a shipper of choice. and obviously that is an investment for them, not only forthe facility but to operate it that way. at the end they probably would liked to haveknown that but they were pleased at least, they had asked for our input and we had givenit to them, but to actually see it instead of hearing an anecdote from a driver. it is interesting you mentioned that, thedriver was the one that took you on a tour of the facility. that sounds like the dockstaff are very friendly, that makes a world of difference in helping out the drivers ifthey have a friendly staff to deal with.

yes and they have that level of respect tothe driver that they can respect the drivers know what they are doing and they are apartof that companies team and trust them to obviously to trust them to their freight when they areoutside of the facility but while they are on the facility they generally know what theyare doing and following directions that they had been given on the load. i think that isjust part of the welcoming environment that they have created. one of the other things,i just heard your weather report, but the day we got that delivered they just set upa new snow scraper for trailers because that can be a challenge out there. so they thoughtthey needed to anticipate the weather for the drivers.

alright drivers, jump into the conversation,drivers it is great to welcome tim aschoff, who is the president of shaffer trucking andthe vp and coo of crete carrier corporation, tim has a very unique perspective, as he wenton a ride along with one of the drivers and saw the whole experience from arriving atthe shipper, how is the driver treated, the efficiency of either drop and hook or simplyloading or unloading, what was your last experience like at a shipper, did it go that smoothly?are things getting better, when it comes to working with the shippers or consignees, thereis a lot of give and take on both sides of the relationship and the business communitybetween the trucking and shipping, it has to go hand in hand. obviously there are someproblems that do need to be worked out, i

have got a lot more questions for tim, againif you want to jump in here is the number. hi drivers, the number to call in is 888-876-2336,and if you want to talk to tim ashoff with shaffer and crete trucking. i’d love toget you on board if you got a question or two for him, he has a very interesting storyto tell drivers as he went on a ride along with one of the drivers recently to one ofthe shippers out there. sounds like it went smoothly, again thanks for joining us tim,where can drivers find you, websites, social media? sure, as you mentioned you found me on facebook,we have a crete carrier and shaffer trucking facebook page, or you can go to, and we have a lot

of information for what he have to offer onthere. also we have information to how to contact one of our recruiters. alright outstanding sir, thank you for doingthis, very interesting story to say the least, i bet this is not the last ride along forthis year, have a lot planned for this year? well and it is actually not the first, i haveactually done this before as i mentioned. part of my job is to travel, i have gone tocustomer meeting or driver meetings at different facilities and a good way to get there isto just jump into a truck and go. you got travel time anyways, my thought was why notsee what other parts of the teams are doing and seeing going down the road. it also givesme a great opportunity for one on one time

with a driver, to get their real perspective.i must admit they are pretty apprehensive at first, its always a little different toride out there with somebody from the management of the company but as i tell them, i am justa farm boy from nebraska, and want to just see how are things going and have a greatconversation on what is the positives and negatives that they see out there and whatwe can do as a company to improve. you know there are a lot of great driversout there, no question about that, safety is top of the list for everyone and we allcan agree to that right? oh absolutely, what i find is from our driversare how appreciative we are and safety—we have seven principles for safety first andforemost. we have a great csa record amongst

the best of the large truckload company thatwe value that. from our owner and ceo who tells everyone at training that no freightis more valuable than your life or those we share on the road. we are committed to if there is something they feel they cant do safely, that is their decision and i reallyrespect that. going out on the road and seeing things, we came into indy at dusk with a littlebit of rush hour traffic and a little bit of rain, our driver did a great job and itwas a great experience doing that. but i was sitting there thinking, man i would be nervousabout maneuvering through this traffic and it is not even snow or ice but it is rain.that is still just enough to make it different than dry conditions.

and to that point, great feedback form thedrivers because they are the ones out there. they see it everyday day in and day out. whenthey offer you recommendations on maybe how to improve the relationship between the shipperand the consignee this is great information that these recommendations help improve theoperational efficiency and then you take that information and share it with the shipperand consignee and it is a win for everyone. from the trucking industries perspective,what can the trucking industry do on our end to improve from truckers and shippers? i think we have to not be afraid to talk toshippers and receivers, we all want to get it better. the shippers and receivers thegood ones, that understand it, which is a

big part of it, we all have a tendency toremember the bad times instead of the good, but ultimately they want an efficient supplychain, and if they don’t know what is causing some concern or delays that drivers have wecan’t expect them to improve. sometimes as a company they are our customer, and sowe naturally want to be respectful and we want to maintain their business. we have beenable to do that with our customers and show them how we are improving the efficienciesand loading and have tracked that closely and over the last 18 months we have been ableto reduce downtime at shippers by about 21 percent, so that helps the shippers and receiversbecause it puts more tuckers on the road. certainly we know the market goes up and down,like 12 months ago all shippers needed more

capacity. now it is a little bit more evenout there, but it is going to cycle and it get to a point where shippers need more trucksout there. absolutely and from those terms, it soundslike the due diligence on both sides of the relationship really do pay off. it really does, when ever we see or hear abouta place that is not efficient is we look at ourselves and look to see if we can improveon anything. are we communicating correctly and those types of things, so the first thingis we look at ourselves, then if we are doing it right we reach out to those shippers andsay look here is what we have done, and here is what we are seeing, there are ways to worktogether to make it better for everyone. it

really is a team effort, you can’t be afraidto look at yourself. because you don’t want to be out there saying someone is not doingit right when you yourself are not doing it right. break we are back with tim ashoff from shaffer truckingand crete carrier, who has an interesting story as he went on a ride along with oneof his drivers to see the relationship between the drivers and the shippers. there are alot of things coming down that are affecting the trucking industry and tim ashoff is onthe phone with me. never a dull moment in trucking huh?

it certainly keeps your life interesting anda fun industry to be apart of. thanks again tim for sharing your story withthe truckers on you ride along, i think it is important perspective from the bosses pointof view of how things can improve when it comes to those deliveries that are so critical.when you look at the relationship[ from the shipping industry to the trucking industryis to look at the technology moving forward and how those help each other out betweensay the shipper and the trucking partner. maybe in reducing the roles both play, doyou think technology is going to play a role in that? it certainly does, technology is ever changingand hard to keep up. we often have a difficult

time trying to determine what technology willwork for us, but then we have to also view the hundreds of customers doing the same thing—adoptingtechnologies and the key is to make it work together. anymore we are an interconnectedworld. how we deal with customers now is all electronic. sometimes we got to make surethe technologies are not competing against each other and we are synched up and connectingthe dots so to speak going back to the more non electronic world. absolutely, some drivers have mentioned withsome of the tech that is now in play like speed limiters, for example, or the electroniclog system, is the industry just in general would take a look at the hours of serviceat a whole, maybe giving drivers the flexibility

to stop the clock when needed when they aretired or the weather gets bad. what are your thoughts on that? well i have two kinds of points of views onthat. first of all, i think having a regular cycle for drivers are very important and beneficial.when the hours of service need to go to 10 hours continuous break, i think that providedsome consistency to drivers and added some safety and health for them. i still thinkthere can be some flexibility to that. i think one thing about going to e-logs, is gov. agencieshave to have supportive reasoning for their rules. what e-logs will give is data for that.what happens in a day and where can we add some flexibility to that. i don’t know ifthat will happen right away but i think down

the road a year or two we will be able tosee there are compliance with the e-logs, and when we are not concerned with that wecan show what we can approve with driver awareness. some of that might be different times of theday, different traffic times, when you are going into big cities and we can provide thatflexibility to be able to stop that clock and move forward. i think we were so scaredof the unknown in the past that we were not able to allow that. i hope that e-logs willallow the regulators a chance to say hey yeah we can provide some flexibility because wecan control it. a follow up to that, when you look at thehours of service, in variably that is going to result in the truck parking system as aproblem. the growing scare is the parking

situation for drivers who are often forcedto drive farther the allowed time in an unsafe area. so as for truck parking, do you thinkthat should be a top five priority moving forward in the trucking industry at this point? oh i think so, i even saw it as i said earlier,we were making a later delivery that night—we were on the interstate and were going by someplaces like rest stops and at 9pm they were already overflowing. so it was evident therethat in front us. providing more parking will provide more efficiency because not only likewhat you mentioned that drivers are having to go over their hours to find a place topark, we have drivers that just also the opposite to be compliance and safe. they shut down2 to 3 hours before they need to just so they

have a safe spot to park. so i think thereis definitely a huge benefit to having more parking and safe parking for the drivers. does this also mean making more private partnershipsthat allow additional truck parking. i know a lot of travel centers are doing that, dothe public sector need to get involved with the private sector. you know i don’t know if i have a good answerfor you on that, what concerns me is we have sorta created this problem from a public standpoint,but limiting the regulations by putting more trucks on the road during the day insteadof the night. so when ever you are asking the public sector for that, are you addingcost? that is one thing you would have to

evaluate and sometimes you have to add costto make something efficient in the end. but it is almost the unknown right now so we wouldbe pulling it a bit that would have some consequences to that. alright lets go to strawberry in oregon. welcometo the program, you are one with tim ashoff. yes, great i didn’t know if you were talkingto me or someone else. my most recent run in at a shipper is i arrived and the brokerdid not have all the information needed for my dispatcher, and it was after hours so theshipper held over two loaders so they could get me loaded up. but the broker had not sentover the information yet so they could not find the product or order. so as it turnedout they had me backed in to the dock and

first thing the next morning they arrivedand got me loaded. how long did you have to wait all night oh goodness sakes so that made me late for my next pickup andthen after that, that made me late for my delivery so i wound up not able to pick upmy next load so i winded up sitting there all weekend. yeah not making money. what was the end resultwith that, what did your company do? well i called my company, i can’t do this,get me another one and get me out of here.

they said they couldn’t get me another load,so had i left that load and went and picked up my next load i would be sitting there fora day instead of the whole weekend. tim what would you recommend if the brokerdid not have the right paperwork for the driver for the delivery and lost out on some moneylike she did. yeah that is an unfortunate situation. i thinkshe brings up two very important things when we are working with our customers. one isobviously off hours. we have our drivers out there at all hours of the day and we haveour operations working and all that. but when something like that does happen, when theright information is not passed to the driver or deliver, we have to be able to contactsomebody and keep that moving. otherwise you

will have situation like strawberry had withthe delay of the next load and for subsequent loads. that is one of the things we have triedto develop with our customers, you have high expectations out of us so ignorer to makethat happen is we need to make sure we are in contact 24/7. it might not work as wellduring after hours but we want to help them out to avoid an overnight or over weekend.the second thing is, if you have a problem at one location, that gives problems to thenext three, four or five loads that a driver may have. because you put a dominos effectin place. that is why we have that talk with customers, hey look you are really causingissues for yourself and for others and slowing everything down. that ultimately does comeback to haunt you. it is tough when you get

in that situation, i gotta be honest withyou, i don’t have as much experience on the broker side, but i can say that is whywe try and get a direct relationship with the customer. alright hold that thought tim, we have moredrivers on the line that have questions for you. a couple of minutes left, on the phone withtim aschoff, he is with crete and shaffer trucking. again if you are just joining us,tim was out on the holiday on a ride along. i was reading it tim, i thought what a greatperspective to share on the air, with the great feedback you got from the driver. butnow lets go to tim in maryland, tim you are

on with tim. mine was good, i really enjoyed it. i wentin there, talk to them good and get good stuff out of them. yeah we are talking about them needing totreat you drivers with a good attitude and help you all out. yeah exactly, i went in there with a goodattitude and the last couple times i had been to this shipper they treated me like a dog.40 minutes at most, in and out. wow in and out, nice turn time. how were thefacilities? they were great, bathrooms were clean theforklift drivers got off and helped me out.

tim, i am almost out of time but could i getyou to comment on that? describing from that standpoint that would be a shipper of choice? treating the driver welland turn time. yeah, as he also mentioned he had earned therespect he had got there. that was what we were talking about here, respect isn’t givenit is earned so hats off to tim because we here that from our shippers and receiversas we are all just trying to do our job keeping america moving. alright tim, i would like to send a sincerethank you for joining me on the program, how can they find you guys? yeah once again you can find us on cretecarrierjobs.comor you can find links

and information about us. we all stay so connectedso well out here, we also have a new website if you are trying to see how we compare toother companies. where you can see how much money you could makeif you worked at one of our companies. alrighty sir, again thank you for our time and i will get in contact with yousoon and lets do it again! thanks again and best wishes in 2016.

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