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TranStewart Trucking: Freight is a People Business

Aug 6, 2010 - 8:38:04 AM | By Jason McGlone, staff writer
Founded in 1996, Osseo, Michigan’s TranStewart Trucking was formed by a father and son partnership.  Jerry Stewart Sr. and Jr. had had experience driving with various carriers, and essentially wanted to form their own carrier that had all the advantages they love about expediting, with a minimal amount of the disadvantages they saw in their varied experience over the years.  

“They weren’t making any money,” says Sarah Stewart, the Chief Operating Officer of TranStewart.  “I understood what it’s like to be the wife of an owner/operator who’s not making any money.  We weren’t getting calls, and were getting further and further behind.  We figured that there’s got to be a better way--a better way to treat drivers, a way to keep them moving, and a way to keep them happy.”

And that’s how TranStewart Trucking has operated for nearly fifteen years: with a focus aimed at the owner/operators who drive for them.  It’s a response in some ways to the experiences that the Stewarts had as owner/operators themselves, and that’s a deeply important part of how TranStewart defines itself; it’s something that informs each and every part of their business.  “A team that’s focused on the owner/operator will be more loyal,” Jerry Stewart says, “and they’ll want to work for you.”  This, of course goes from top to bottom--from the loads getting there on time, right down to the dispatchers knowing the name of the driver without them having to give a number.  

This dynamic also manifests itself through TranStewart’s ability to keep their drivers, to which they attribute their perspective and focus on the owner/operator.  “The annual turnover rate in the trucking industry is well over 100%, and our turnover rate is right around 10%,” Jerry Stewart says.  In sum, this means that TranStewart keep their drivers, and they do this by “Keeping our drivers happy,” he says.  

A major part of their success in doing so is that the Stewarts’ strong emphasis on the company’s dispatch operations.  “We personally train our dispatchers,” Sarah Stewart says, “so that we can keep the focus where we think it should be--on the drivers.”  It’s no secret that the dispatcher is a major cog in the wheel that is an expedite carrier; without a finely-tuned and experienced dispatch crew, a driver’s day could be a complete mess.  In other words, if you’re not moving, nobody’s making money.

Another central reason that TranStewart is proud to say that they keep their drivers happy is how they’re paid.  “Within 48 hours, we pay our drivers,” Jerry Stewart says.  This is, of course, significantly different than many, if not most, other carriers, where it can take several weeks for owner/operators to receive settlements.  Sarah Stewart chimes in, saying, “I remember when Jerry was driving with other carriers, and it’d take weeks to get paid.”  

“We have a lot of happy wives,” Mr. Stewart says.

The bottom line, however, is simple: TranStewart’s primary aim hasn’t wavered one bit--they know how drivers want to be treated, and they therefore strive to do just that.  So far, it’s been a recipe for success.  

As for surviving the most recent economical turbulence, Mr. Stewart says that it’s been tough, but that getting through it is as much about perseverance and keeping things moving than it is anything else.  TranStewart weathered the storm and kept quality in mind as much as quantity, and they’ve certainly come out the better for it; and with rates coming up, things are beginning to look good.  “I see rates stabilizing around the beginning of the year,” he predicts, “and when that happens, you’re going to see a need for more trucks.”  

It could even happen before that, if certain predictions turn out to be correct.  

In the meantime, TranStewart is looking to expand its driver base.  As the company’s recruiter, Mr. Stewart. doesn’t have a long list of requirements for its owner/operators.  He’s looking for a clean driving record with no DUI’s.  Beyond that, TranStewart simply wants to get to know their drivers.  It’s something that makes a refreshing amount of sense, considering they’re in the business of working with people.

TranStewart’s list of leasing advantages includes:

  • NO satellite fees
  • NO fuel tax backcharges
  • NO hidden insurance fees
  • NO paperwork fees
  • NO forced dispatch
  • NO turndown penalties
  • NO permit fees
  • NO silly check call requirements
  • NO lengthy orientation requirement

Click Here to apply now!

TranStewart Trucking
7880 S. Bird Lake Rd.
Osseo, MI 49266

Comments - Tell us what you think below

T.J. Logie
04 Aug 2010, 16:22
Sounds like Utopia to me
Tom Beckham
04 Aug 2010, 18:28
Sounds like somebody finally learned
to do it right. Thanks.
Mike Garrison
04 Aug 2010, 19:48
Sounds like a great company to work for. To bad your transtewart is so far away....
Michael Ratliff
04 Aug 2010, 21:12
It's not really so far away from anywhere. When you are on the road everything is taken care of by phone, fax, or snail mail. The only time face to face is required is during orientation. They really are a great team to work for.
Mike Garrison
05 Aug 2010, 11:39
Thanks Michael Ratliff for response. I have been thinking of driving again. I have been down with blood clots that almost killed me in Oct, of 2008. My health is great now, and about to find a great company to work for. "Michael", can you tell me if Transtewart will do a week training for newer drivers. I have not driven in years, except 4 months in 2008, because of my clots. Being a Contractor (flooring contractor)
in the construction trade, I become a bit rusty on driving,(I do feel that I am a great, and safe driver)
but I do have 7 years experience in driving trucks. Two years over the road, and the rest mostly local driving.
I also work for Jack B Kelley as a tanker driver, back in the early 90's.
I have a clean Class A license with doubles indorsements. My goal would be a Owner Operator. Thank you.
12 Aug 2010, 13:59
I drive for Transtewart and have had vary little problems.The lady's in the office are nice and work with your needs if you don't want to go they will not send you. I'm happy with them, yes small but good. With training I just got my cdl when i started and i left orientation and within two hours i had my first lode so no training.
Michael Ratliff
14 Aug 2010, 14:35
I don't think there is any training with the company. These "Expeditor" trucks are not difficult to operate. Most of them are either using a six speed stick or automatic transmission. Being a straight truck they simply require a larger turning radius. I lost my truck in an accident one black ice and their support following that was greatly appreciated. Give them a call, they will work with you, not against you. They do also work with the big trucks but in my opinion fuel costs and income are better in the smaller truck and don't have so many problems finding a place to park.
27 Aug 2010, 10:31
My truck is leased on to them for over 2 years now ,and i can't be happier !,they simply got it right .
2nd quarter P/L of this year show a great income in all aspect of the business : truck revenue,fuel costs ,fix & variable operations costs,pay to the team,and owner ROI . the 2nd Q ,is the only full quarter in which i had a H/W team in the truck ,and they did very well !.and yes ,i currently looking for a new H/W team for that truck. i recommended Them for any team that like to keep busy and really enjoy the Expedite lifestyle .
Brohammer, LLC
18 Sep 2010, 11:06
Sorry, Guys, but I can't give them a good rating.

First thing they did was have me go and get a $100.00 decal for my truck! Took up most of the side of the vehicle, so I couldn't cover it (if I wanted to drive for another carrier at the same time!)

Worked for them for about six months, and have a friend who worked for them for about two years. They paided really low, some loads at $0.45/mi for cargo van.

Left me sitting alot; really didn't seemed concerned about getting me moving.

Sorry--low pay and not enough loads
L. Shaffer
18 Sep 2010, 21:30
worked with trans stewart for two years. At first they were pretty good to work with. Then things changed for cargo vans, they would only pay .49 cents a mile all in. Deadheaded half way across North carolina to pickup a load for .34 cents a mile. boy did they see me coming they could care less about there drivers. be afraid be very afraid
25 Oct 2010, 01:24
I just signed on about two weeks ago seem to do ok if you got straight truc or tractor.I have heard good hope so for my sake. the only thing is little pushy about east coast.not happen
28 Dec 2011, 10:26
i worked for them they made sure they kept you at leaqse 600 miles from the house did not like for you to go home. they though the truck was your home not your job
matt shaffer
10 Dec 2013, 11:43
Sarah, just wanted to say Merry Christmas!! Hope your doing well.
Matt Shaffer
(your old UPS driver)
13 Mar 2014, 18:37
My husband is considering driving for them. We have put all the money we have into this truck. I'm really afraid that this may have been a bad idea considering he is a new O/O. Things are so different not being a company driver. I only hope this company can help him learn along the way. This is his dream come true, so I have to back his choice.
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