Even though I’ve worked in the industry for over 20 years, growing up I never pictured myself in transportation. I was a huge Mizzou fan and got accepted there after high school with a plan to study engineering. After a year, I realized that wasn’t for me. My sister worked at an intermodal trucking company at the time, so she got me a job as a clerk there. After about two years, a friend of mine called me up and told me that his intermodal company had just been bought by ACT. He was going to be terminal manager and said this was an excellent opportunity for me, too. So, I applied and came over to ACT in 2000.
"It’s a challenge to meet our drivers’ needs and our customers’ needs all in the same day, but that’s what we do."
I started out as an intermodal clerk and OTR dispatcher with my first company. Then I came to ACT and worked in intermodal as a Driver Support Manager. Later, I moved over to ACT’s OTR Division and worked there for the next 15 years. In 2015, I became a Regional Planner for ACT and have done that for four years now.
As a planner, I’m in charge of a matching available loads with available trucks for a region that goes from Kansas City to Iowa, Minnesota, West Nebraska and Colorado. That averages about 50 trucks a day. I have to balance what the truck drivers need with what the customers need and find the right mix to satisfy both. My goal each day is to cover as much freight as we’ve got with the drivers we have. And it’s a challenge to meet our drivers’ needs and our customers’ needs all in the same day, but that’s what we do. Plus, I have to take into consideration each driver’s remaining days out, so that I can get them loads that will put them close to their hometowns when they need to take their home time.
I enjoy my job so much! It can be very challenging, but if you like to problem solve like I do, it can be very rewarding. It’s like putting a puzzle together because there are so many factors involved trying to match all available loads and available drivers. When you get everything wrapped up and get everybody covered, that’s a job well done. And then it all starts again tomorrow.
What I like about ACT is the people. It’s easy to enjoy working here. Everyone is really genuine. They put good people in charge and allow them to be themselves. I’ve worked with so many of the same folks for so long that they basically become your friends. The company does a lot for their people and they allow us to have fun and not always be so serious.
Next year I’ll celebrate 20 years at ACT, and I’m satisfied. My plans are to come in and keep trying to do a good job every day. I like what I do and that’s what keeps me coming back here.