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Carrier Profiles

Premium puts PRIORITY on treating Owner-Operators right!

By Scott Loftis/Staff Writer
Posted Jan 12th 2012 5:22AM
As the trucking industry reshapes itself following the recession of 2008-2009, many companies are experiencing tremendous growth.  Managing that growth while continually maintaining a positive and close relationship with owner-operators can be a challenge.  Premium Transportation Logistics continues to strive forward and pull it off.

Based in Toledo, OH, Premium (also known as PTL) started with a single owner-operator in 2003.  The company weathered the rough economic times and has grown steadily, especially since it joined the Sylectus alliance a year ago.

Still, treating owner-operators the right way is a Premium priority.

“We’re still pretty small and tight-knit with our core owner-operators,” said Adam Scuralli, Premium’s Director of Operations. “They aren’t just trucks; they’re people and part of the family. That’s the way we do business here and remembering that is very important.”

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One way Premium makes sure its owner-operators feel appreciated is by making the company’s top officials easily accessible.

“We have annual driver safety meetings, where owner-operators can come and learn and have provide us input and feedback,” Scuralli said. “We always have an open-door policy. Owner-operators can always contact us, or drop in and say hi. Owner-operators really do have good access to upper management, which is nice. The dispatchers are very focused on customer service, not just with customers but with drivers. We try to build those relationships and maintain those relationships. Starting with the initial phone call to recruiting, most of these people become some kind of friend or family. The main goal is to ensure the owner-operators know they are a part of the team.  If they can provide us with ideas to better the company, that’s better for all of us.”

Premium operates throughout the continental United States, with its strongest expediting lanes in the Midwest.

“We have a mix of cargo vans, sprinters, and straight trucks which we run in our expedited division, but we also have a truckload division where our tractor-trailers reside,” said John Mueller, Premium’s safety director.
Currently, Premium is seeking single and team owner-operators to help handle a growing volume of freight.

“We’re looking for large straight trucks right now and tractors,” Mueller said. “Those are probably our main focus right now, but we’re quite selective as well. We want to make sure that when we bring somebody to the team that they’re a good fit for Premium and that we’re a good fit for them as well. We’re looking for the elite and the good owner-operators out there that know how to run a business and be on-time and communicate those types of things.”

Of course, every owner-operator isn’t a fit for Premium and vice versa, but those who are don’t want to leave.  Premium’s annual turnover rate is around 20 percent, which is unusually low for the industry.

“We’re a little more selective than some companies as far as qualifications, standards and things like that, but the drivers we bring on here, they do tend to stay,” said Premium recruiter Scott Holcomb.

“We’re looking for two years verifiable experience in the type of vehicle you’re looking to sign on,” Holcomb said. “And we take every applicant case by case. Some just flat-out don’t qualify because of experience or MVRs or things like that. We’ve also had a couple of guys that were maybe just a little bit under the normal criteria that we took a chance on and they ended up being great guys because you get a feel for somebody a lot of times just talking to them on the phone.”

Another way that Premium makes its owner-operators feel appreciated is by paying them weekly, with no holdback week, and without a flurry of complicated deductions.

“It’s a very straightforward, simple operation here,” Holcomb said. “We don’t have a lot of a nickel and dime deductions we’re taking out of an owner-operator.”

Another reason Premium should be attractive to hardworking owner-operators is because the company offers plenty of freight and plenty of miles.

“We have very aggressive dispatchers here,” Scuralli said. “They’re grinding in the trenches working hard to find those loads that pay well. I know sometimes as owner-operators you get to a company and there are people just sitting around; we have very aggressive dispatchers who are working hard for the drivers.”

Owner-operators who are interested in learning more about Premium can find more information on the company’s new website at http://www.ptlllc.com or speak with a recruiter at 419-861-3430, option 3.

6 Comments

  • - January 25, 2012
    Dean Galbraith-=|=-Best company I've ever driven for!!!!
  • - January 25, 2012
    Dean Galbraith-=|=-Best company I've ever driven for!!!!
  • - January 28, 2012
    RonJon-=|=-Been with PTL going on three years. Very good people to partner with. You really are a part of the family. PTL sets high standards for themselves and the drivers and it shows in the perfomance and pride of both. Very glad to be a part of the team.
  • - January 28, 2012
    RonJon-=|=-Been with PTL going on three years. Very good people to partner with. You really are a part of the family. PTL sets high standards for themselves and the drivers and it shows in the perfomance and pride of both. Very glad to be a part of the team.
  • - April 15, 2012
    Paul J. Veres-=|=-I have been with PTLLLC for over 2 years, and I find everybody from the top down to be extremely helpful and friendly. I have never had any thoughts about leaving and going to another company.
  • - April 15, 2012
    Paul J. Veres-=|=-I have been with PTLLLC for over 2 years, and I find everybody from the top down to be extremely helpful and friendly. I have never had any thoughts about leaving and going to another company.

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