Carrier Spotlight of the Month: Dutch Maid Logistics.The Road
Editor’s note: This blog post originally ran in April 2015. Since temperature controlled season is upon us, we wanted to share a carrier spotlight featuring one of our refrigerated carriers.
This month’s featured carrier is Dutch Maid Logistics of Willard, OH, a fifth generation, family owned, temperature controlled carrier. Sam Burrer, vice president of operations, gave me some of his time to discuss Dutch Maid’s history and thoughts on the industry.
The Wiers family started the company as a produce farming operation in 1896. In 1977, they split their trucking company away from the farm and had only eight trucks. Today, Dean Wiers—the great, great, great, grandson of the original founder—is the president, and the company has grown to own 120 tractors and 180 trailers, all of which are refrigerated.
What makes your company unique?
The most unique piece of our company is that we have been in business since 1896 and have been owned by the same family for five generations. Because of our family culture, no one is just a number here—both our employees and our customers feel like a part of the family. The majority of our customers are long-term customers and very loyal because of our company’s integrity and our efforts to provide world class service.
How do third party logistics providers (3PLs) impact your business?
The 3PLs we have strong relationships with have evolved into an important part of our business. They help us fill the gaps, whether that’s in areas where we would like to expand or in situations when we are short in our normal operating lanes.
When working with a customer for the first time, what are your expectations?
Communication is critical. Truly working together is a big part of ensuring that everyone knows what to expect. We need to know what the customers want, and they need to know what our needs are, too.
If you could change one thing about the transportation industry, what would it be?
I’d like to see the split sleeper rule come back. Most drivers want flexibility. For example, say a driver is coming into Chicago at 4:00 p.m. Rather than fighting traffic, he could take at least a two hour nap, and it would count toward the ten hour break. This ensures the driver is still rested, but also working on his own schedule—I mean, if you could skip rush hour traffic to take a nap, wouldn’t you?
What should the general public know about the trucking industry?
Drivers make many sacrifices, like being away from their homes and families. They must meet high expectations to not only deliver freight safely, but also to meet critical deadlines. Most people expect it to be a physically demanding job, but don’t always consider how demanding it can be both mentally and emotionally as well.
What industry or technology innovations have improved efficiency within your business?
Oh my. There are so many that have helped! Cell phones, satellite communication, trailer tracking, in cab cameras, and GPS. All these technological advances have been a tremendous help to our efficiency and safety—both for drivers and for planning.
As always, it is great to hear another carrier’s history and perspective on the industry. If you are interested in being featured as a carrier for our spotlight of the month series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.