What Really Matters

September 8, 2014

What really matters?

What is the difference between a good trucking company which you would like to call “home” and a bad one?

All trucking companies have similarities.  We all have trucks, trailers and shops.  We all have customers we have to take care of, some of which are easy and some of which are not.  We all have the same regulatory burden.  The job of the truck driver is not easy…so let’s not sugar coat it.  We most all get paid by the mile, which means that our paycheck is not the same every week, although our bills are.  We are away from home for days at a time, while the spouse at home is paying the bills and doing the work of two parents.  There are many things outside of our control, shippers, weather, traffic, freight patterns and too much time to think about it.  Often a driver feels forgotten as he waits for his name to be called for a shower after being in a truck stop way too long.  The truck stops breed negativity from other drivers, which is very contagious and can bring our mood down.  These are things that all trucking jobs have in common.

How are we at ACT different from the others?  We have top industry pay, good trucks and three trailers for each truck but the real difference is in our culture.  What is culture, you say?  Sounds like a CEO word.  Well, to simplify, culture is the values that people in the company share.  Like people have different personalities, so do trucking companies.  Perhaps you’ve seen that in different places you have worked.  The personality really flows from the core values and principals we conduct ourselves by.

We have recently gone through an exercise where we have defined our values so that every driver, associate, and mechanic understands what they are.  These values are the thread woven through our organization defining how we do business and how we treat each other.  We want all of our drivers and contractors to understand these…because this is how we do business.  We believe this is what sets ACT apart from other trucking companies.  At the end of the day, getting our work done is important, but so is how we got the work done.

Here are our values:

AMERICAN CENTRAL TRANSPORT

CORE VALUES

SAFETY – “Going above and beyond what the law requires.”

We will never require or imply that an employee or contractor do anything that they believe violates a law, regulation or that is unsafe; nor will that  employee or contractor suffer any consequences from this action.
ACCOUNTABILITY – “Saying what you’ll do. Doing what you say with no excuses.”

We accept our individual and team responsibilities for our performance in all of our decisions and actions in order to meet our commitments.
INTEGRITY – “Doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”

We are committed to doing business with customers, vendors, associates, and contractors by the book.  We conduct ourselves and do business within the law…no kidding and with no exceptions.
RESPECTABILITY – “Treating others the way you want to be treated.”

We value individual differences and the unique strengths, skills, expertise and background of our associates and contractors.  We treat others in a polite and courteous manner.
FAMILY – “Caring, committing, communicating and appreciating.”

We care for each other and strive to maintain an environment that is positive and that encourages open communication where everyone is heard and valued.   We understand and value the importance of hard work, a healthy family life and fun.

 

These are what matter and they do make a real difference.  If you are looking for a new job in trucking, ask the recruiter about that company’s values.  If they hedge or can’t tell you, they’ve likely never thought them out and what you will get is a grab bag.  But if you are a person of values and if you share ours, you could be an important part of our team.  This could be the place you find that you can call “home.”

 

Tom Kretsinger, Jr.

President, Chief Example & Value Custodian