I am really looking forward to this cause! Please join with me!
I am being jailed! I have volunteered to help raise funds and awareness for the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association). My "job" is that I will be "jailed" on September 25th until I reach a donation goal of $3,200. I am starting now to ask if people would like to donate to a great organization that is fighting a horrible disease. Please consider donating to the fund that I have set up to allow me to get out on bond:
I am really looking forward to this cause! Please join with me!
Taken from the Commercial Carrier Journal on January 28th, 2014.
I received an email from the Commercial Carrier Journal this morning. For some reason I usually don't open these emails, however, this morning I did and saw this as one of the articles. As it appeared on my screen, I began to think about what are some of the biggest challenges we are facing as a company. I think this is a pretty good indication, but I think there is a lot in each category that can be elaborated upon. I am not going to do that, but give a brief view on what I see from our small trucking company.
Driver Availability: This is challenging for us really for one reason: we want the best. This is one of our biggest selling points, we have great drivers. When hiring, we only want to hire great drivers. I think this is an issue with most industries when a company is looking for great talent. For us, it is not just about getting behind a wheel and driving, but are you somebody who represents Lori's Trucking in a way we want presented to the public? Our interviews deal much less with actual driving, and more on getting to know the person and their philosophy on life and work. Do we trust you to drive around with a Lori's Trucking logo on the side of your vehicle?
Freight Pricing: This is fairly challenging. We are a medium sized trucking company, which bring on many challenges in this area. We are big enough to where we have some overhead with non-driving employees, office space, and normal office items. We are also too small to really compete in some of the bigger trucking accounts that are in our area of expertise. With this in mind, it really takes working with our customers to develop relationships that benefit both parties. With us, our customers really appreciate our customer service. This is something that is of GREAT importance for our company. This alone allows a little more flexibility when it comes to rates with our customers.
Regulation: As we have grown over the past 2 years, this has become more of an issue. We ALWAYS want to do the right thing when it comes to regulation and doing what is safe. We have lost out on work and some profit due to making sure we do what is safe and within regulations. We now have essentially a full-time compliance director who goes through all our safety and regulation material. The cost and time is quite significant, really effecting our bottom line and somewhat postponing some of our growth ideas. This is also an issue that if it is dealt with in the proper way and taken seriously, can bring about great increase in the near future. I encourage all small, medium, and large trucking companies to really focus on this aspect o their business.
Political Climate in Washington: This topic is of GREAT debate. I don't consider myself an expert by any means, so I will somewhat stay away from this. I will say that taxes, stronger regulations, and the such has really made it difficult to continue in our journey of growth. If a company grows in this kind of environment, they are definitely doing things the right way.
That is just a little bit of my input on some of the specific challenges the trucking industry is facing. Ultimately, all industries go through challenges. As a leader, I have learned to not focus on challenges, but to focus on myself and objects that are within my control. That is not saying to be ignorant of what is going on, but the focus should be on how to make yourself and your company the best it can be without focusing on other distractions that keep you from fulfilling your purposes. What purposes do you and your company have? My advice is to focus on these, and not on challenges outside your control.
Part of our Vision Statement is to "Be an organization that encourages and helps our drivers/employees to live a successful, fulfilling, healthy life". We take that statement very serious. With that said, we have teamed up with the YMCA to offer our employees a YMCA membership at no cost to them. It is our hope these memberships will be utilized, which can play a vital part in living a healthy life. We all understand that getting exercise regularly has many benefits to having a healthy life. It is our goal to be continually implementing practices to better see this part of our Vision Statement be a reality.
As most Washington State people are aware, the state voted to legalize marijuana use in our state. With this, it made me think of what kind of issues this could bring up as a trucking company with drivers. We do random drug testing for all our drivers, and pre-employment testing as well. These are required to be a motor carrier in the United States. So how does the legalization of Marijuana effect our drivers? Well plainly put, it shouldn't change anything. The drug testing is a federal requirement, which means if any commercial vehicle driver smokes marijuana, there will be a failed drug test, that driver will no longer be able to drive for us. We sent out a reminder to all our drivers that drug testing is federal requirement, not state.
For anybody in the transportation industry (or just trying to network with others), I would highly recommend getting involved in your local Transportation Club. It has been extremely valuable to me, not only making contacts within the industry, but also learning from other members and the guest speakers. With that said, I was recently informed I will be joining the board of Directors for the Transportation Club of Tacoma. I am really excited and humbled at the opportunity to serve along side some great people in the industry. Expect to hear plenty about what is going on and why you should join the club in the coming months.
It is after business hours, and I am at home thinking about why I have been struggling the last week or so with being productive at the office. While in thought I realized something very important. I realized I have been focused so much on growing a business and ways to help it make money, I lost what we are really in business for. I have heard it said if you are in business, doesn't matter what kind, you are in the business of people. If you don't like people, then don't go into business. I LOVE people, but somewhere between payroll and dispatching and any other thing going on in the office, that important aspect was unfortunately lost. I am thankful I was reminded of that, and can now focus on why we are truly in business. We have great drivers, who we care for very much. We have great customers, who we also care very much for. We also have something called competitors, who, believe it or not, we care for. Me personally, I have been in the industry for about 3 years, and I have met some amazing people. Some of them do exactly what we do, and I wish them great success.
With all that said, this is a reminder and a future reminder (for me anyways) of why we are in business. I encourage you if you own a business, or are in management of some kind, be in the business of people. It takes the monotony out of the day to day work. When you invest in people, you invest in something greater than money.
It has been quite some time since we last posted a blog. There has been a lot going on here at Lori's Trucking. Here is a brief rundown:
1. We finally officially changed the name to Lori's Trucking, Inc. (It was not the smoothest transition, but we did it)
2. We moved into our new office. We are now at:
917 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
3. We were able to be generous through donating a sponsorship to TCT (Transportation Club of Tacoma, great club if you do not know about them) for their annual Hi Jinks Golf Tournament, as well as donating a sponsorship to the Duwamish River Festival (supporting the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition).
4. We are working on a number of things that are going to continue to the growth and future of the company!
Watch out for more to come on each of these topics including photos!
Last week, the company held a safety meeting at the Tukwila Community Center for each of our employees. This setting enabled everyone to enjoy the sunshine and a bountiful BBQ lunch. Most of the group spent the first half of the meeting playing a friendly game of soccer and socializing. What a fantastic day it was!
Fresh air, exercise, teamwork, and energizing food made for a great combination in light of the main subject of the meeting: driver's health. The nature of the the job for most truck drivers is very sedimentary. Due to this, Lori's Trucking is serious about helping our employees partake in a healthy lifestyle. One of the key points in our company vision is to "be an organization that encourages and helps our drivers/employees to have a successful, fulfilling, and healthy life.
Meetings like this one aid in our ability to educate our employees and to offer reminders about maintaining a healthy lifestyle through eating right and staying active. We greatly appreciated the time that Mr. Kyle O'Malley from RGIA took to come speak with us about such strategies.
Overall, the meeting was a great way for employees to interact outside of the typical work environment and to strengthen the company morale.
So this blog post is a little different. It is something I have been thinking about lately, and even though it involves a topic many people are uncomfortable with, I believe it to be something that could be of value to many of you. George Washington Carver, Matt McPherson, and Barry and Julie Schaffer have/had something in common. These four individuals have discovered something in their profession that changed whole concepts in what they do. George Washington Carver was a very successful scientist who is credited with 108 ways to utilize what the peanut has to offer. Matt McPherson is an engineer/musician who discovered a new way to create a bow for bow hunting/recreation. Finally, Barry and Julie Shaffer spent years trying to discover a new product for stripping/polishing/finishing wood products that is non-toxic while still as high quality as the more toxic versions. They did succeed in this. The commonality with these three individuals is they give credit to God for the discovery, and each has a very interesting story as to how they came to their successes.
Mr. Carver was said to go on walks “with” God, and while on these walks he would ask God questions. He started with very big questions like “God, why did you create the Universe?” and “God, why did you create mankind?”. God responded with telling Mr. Carver he was thinking too big. So then while on one of his “walks”, Mr. Carver asked him a very small question: “Why did you create the peanut?” With that question God responded with teaching him 108 ways to utilize the peanut.
Matt McPherson, likewise, asked God questions. His first question was much simpler than Mr. Carver’s. Matt had a love for bow hunting, and simply asked God how to build a better bow. God responded by showing Matt a new concept for a bow. I am not a hunter or archer, so I don’t know much about this, but until God showed Matt this concept, bows had two cams that must synchronize perfectly together. Matt's design however, was a single cam bow. Matt ‘s company now sells more bows and charges more for their bows than any other company in the world.
Barry and Julie Schaffer again have a similar story. They tried for years to create a new kind of polish/stripper/finisher that would be non-toxic, but they did not succeed. It wasn’t until one day they decided they would ask God. It was sometime later God gave Julie a random group of numbers and letters. She told Barry what they were, and he thought it sounded like a formula. He went to the shop and put it together, and it turned out to be the perfect formula for a polish/stripper/finishing product for wood without involving harsh toxic chemicals.
What is your peanut? Do you have a “design” problem that you just cannot get your mind wrapped around? Ask God. My hope is this is encouraging to you, it is encouraging to me.
We are proud to announce we have joined the Green Gateway program. This is very important to us, bringing us closer to our vision of giving back to the environment by doing what we can to reduce waste. Here is a brief statement from the program on what their goals are, as well as our part in reaching those goals.
For Immediate Release Contact: Warren Drew
May 11th, 2012
Lori’s Trucking Joins U.S. EPA SmartWay® Transport Partnership
Seattle, WA – Lori’s Trucking today announced that it joined the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, a innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry which provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.
Lori’s Trucking will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 215,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 8,000 tons of particulate matter. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog. By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, Lori’s Trucking demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.
“Being in the industry we are, we cannot take away all the pollution and environmental waste we create, but we want to do all we can to reduce our waste. As part of our vision statement, we believe giving back to the environment is extremely important to not only the current generation, but for generations to come.” said Warren Drew[Lori’s Trucking, Vice President].
Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program was launched in 2004. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement.
The Partnership currently has over 3000 Partners.
Lori’s Trucking was founded by Lori in 2002. They specialize in container delivery in the Puget Sound region. For more information about Lori’s Trucking, visit www.loristrucking.com or call253.857.8735.
For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.