Persistence is a word that can sum up a trait I have had since I was a baby. I look back over the years in everything from showing jumping horses, racing snowmobiles, stock cars, and business and if there is one trait that stands out it is my persistence. Who would think that you could win horse shows in the open jumper division with a Saddlebred horse, or win a championship racing a 73’ Chevy Caprice? Some of these early accomplishments set a tone where if I believe something would work even though it wasn’t mainstream with enough persistence victory was obtainable.
The same level of persistence was employed when I started as an independent owner-operator in the year 1996. Oddly enough I had never driven for a trucking company before starting my own trucking business. All of my trucking experience up to that point had been with private carriers. As I sought out advice from people who were already in the industry I found myself disagreeing with the direction they were sending me. I was constantly pushed towards the idea of needing big horsepower, spread axle trailer, use a load board, and a myriad of other ideas that would have made my operation less efficient.
I still remember hearing from many of my friends in the industry that I was going to be sorry I settled on a brand new 1996 Freightliner FLD 120 70” mid roof with a Detroit 12.7, 350/400hp, 1450 FPT, series 60 engine, Rockwell 9 speed transmission with 3.73 rear axle ratio. The fact of the matter was it took me a while to find this truck without ordering it. I still remember how happy I was upon finding this truck as part of a fleet order. After selling nearly everything I owned I took possession of my Freightliner. Many of my peers kept telling me I needed to have the engine turned up to a higher rating yet I always made it to my destination on time while burning less fuel than these same people did accomplishing the same task. The last area to take note of my truck was for the most part only in the shop for routine service intervals with very little downtime for repairs compared to my peer’s hotrod trucks.
The other area my peers told me would not work was to have my own customers and concentrate on servicing a few cities. All of my contemporaries in the business told me I would need to use brokers and be able to run anywhere in the United States and some of them threw Canada into the mix as well. I believed that my idea of only serving a few cities would allow me to create relationships with customers directly and eliminate my need for a broker to find my loads. I am not going to say that some of the early times of Albert Transport that I did not have doubts that these other people were correct, however, thru perseverance and dedication my theories on how to conduct my business proved out to be correct.
Everybody has their character traits which can prove beneficial and I know perseverance is not the only way to be successful. However, this is one of my core strengths so I use it to the best benefit possible. Currently, I am using a great deal of perseverance in my goals of obtaining double-digit fuel economy averages cruising at speeds greater than 70 mph. Still to this date that goal has proven elusive as I have stayed at this average 9.454. But I am not giving up and I will persevere till the goal has been met.
So as Frank Sinatra sang “I did it my way”.