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What Does It Take to Challenge the Status Quo in Trucking?

Learn about what it takes as an industry to challenge the status quo in the trucking industry, and the importance of doing so.

Episode 183: The trucking industry has seen more changes in the past few years than ever before. Is technology the only driver of all of this change, or is there more going on here than we see on the surface? 

My guest today is Derrick Williams the Host of The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast.  

Derrick Williams the Host of The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast.  In this episode, learn about what it takes as an industry to challenge the status quo in the trucking industry, and the importance of doing so.

The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast is a B2B informational platform curated to showcase dynamic businesses in the trucking and logistics industry.  The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast includes interviews with industry leaders, from sole-proprietor small business owners to the CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies.  

Guest Website: TheTruckingEntrepreneursPodcast.com

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.

The trucking industry has seen more changes in the past few years than ever before. Is technology the only driver of all of this change, or is there more going on here than we see? Maybe just below the surface. My guest today is Derrick Williams, the host of the Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast. Now this podcast is a B2B informational platform, curated to showcase dynamic businesses in the trucking and logistics industry. The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast includes interviews with industry leaders from sole proprietors or solopreneurs all the way up to small business owners and then all the way to CEOs of multimillion dollar companies. So it does cover the entire spectrum of businesses in the trucking industry, Derrick, I’m so happy to have you here. Welcome to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Derrick Williams:

Yeah. Thank you so much Jamie. I appreciate you having me on your show. It’s a real pleasure and honor.

Jamie Irvine:

So your whole podcast is all about interviewing entrepreneurs in that trucking and logistics space. And so you get an opportunity to speak to a lot of thought leaders and people who are really trying to change the industry. Let me ask you this, is technology the only driver of innovation and challenging the status quo in the trucking industry, or are there other elements at play that really play a part in being able to challenge the status quo of the trucking industry and make positive change?

Derrick Williams:

That’s very good question, Jamie. No, I don’t believe so. In my personal opinion, I think technology is a result of a lot of other trends that’s driving the industry. In my personal opinion, I think consumerism is really what’s driving the industry, especially with the havoc that the pandemic has caused, not only in that industry, but, you know, I guess you could say in all industries, you’re looking at the shortages when it comes to supplies drivers, even though it’s other factors that go into it with the drivers and all. But with all that, it calls increase in the demand that this whole situation has created it. And as you know, the pandemic has really been, you know I guess you could say really cruel to all industries, you know, so with these experiences, not only in our country, but in other countries as well, it’s creating an opportunity for technology to become a bigger player in the industry, in my personal opinion.

Jamie Irvine:

So when you interview these entrepreneurs, what kinds of common themes do you see as parts of this move to innovate and to, you know, step up and try to address some of the challenges in the industry? What are some of those commonalities?

Derrick Williams:

Well, I’ll tell you the one thing I’ve noticed that’s common so far is I’ve only been in this since November of last year. And in this short period of time, I’ve noticed that social interaction is huge right now. You know, not only with myself since I’ve started, you know, receiving messages, inbox, you know, from different social media platforms, I’ve noticed by observation that there’s people from all walks within the industry that are networking, associating on every last one of these platforms, I’m not on Twitter, I haven’t got the hang of that one yet, but you know, I even see lately a lot of collaborations, people coming together that once we’re competitors, I guess they’re laying down their pride or whatever, and they’re starting to collaborate and come together for common goals or a goal, whichever one it may be, which I think is good, you know, and I believe with the social interaction, it’s going to cause more ideas to come about changes to take place in the industry.

And as a matter of fact, I believe it’s two companies I believe with social interaction has really caused these two companies to come out. And what I’m referring to is two platforms. One is mytruckerpro.com. The CEO is Mr. Andy Coy. And another is I See Driver’s List. The CEO is Mr. Darnell Alexander, both are tremendous platforms for the trucking, logistics, transportation industry. I think My Trucker Pro they started a couple months before I did last year. And I See Driver’s List.com started, I think they release sometime earlier this year, but those platforms are made specifically for the transportation trucking logistics industry. And as they continue to grow and more and more people come aboard I guess I could say, I think we’ll start seeing more and more ideas getting generated, technology within our industry, possibly improving more, you know, the list goes on and on.

Jamie Irvine:

So it’s interesting really, in some ways, technology has been a great accelerator of some of these trends. But it’s still at the end of the day takes people who are willing to, like you say, to collaborate. That actually was a theme. I was at the Technology and Maintenance Council Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida last week. And I attended one of their sessions where the theme was collaboration. And just to your point, you know, you’ve got manufacturers coming together who are competitors, but they’re collaborating for the benefit of the industry. You’ve got every level of the supply chain pulling together to try to find ways to strengthen the trucking industry. And so what you’ve observed is that this technology has actually accelerated that, has enabled that social interaction and people who are open and willing to do that are the ones who are tackling some of the big problems in the industry. That’s what you’ve seen?

Derrick Williams:

Yes, sir. I agree. Yes, sir. I do. And I think it’s only going to get better as we, you know, I guess you could it’s kind of laying your pride to the side because you know, if someone, as you see as being your competitor, you know, automatically you want to build up a brick wall. I don’t want to share what I know and you know, things of that nature, but sometimes for the greater whole, looking at the bigger picture, sometimes you gotta lay down those arms and be willing to work together for the greater whole of the industry and everyone, right?

Jamie Irvine:

So change is never easy. A lot of people struggle with change. Why do you think we need to keep innovating and challenging the status quo in the trucking industry?

Derrick Williams:

Well, I’ll put it this way. You might not like this answer, but it’s gonna be short if you don’t do it, you’re going to get left behind. It’s just plain and simple because I believe in one thing about it, not only in this industry, but in life period, and as a matter of fact, the pandemic should have taught each of us this. If you are not willing to adapt and pivot, you are gonna get left behind and far behind possibly. That’s the one thing the pandemic should have taught us especially in this industry. And I mean, I saw an article. It may have been about the early part of February and it dealt with, I can’t remember their names, but it was like three big trucking, I guess, manufacturers. And they were talking about change.

I think it was going to battery and hydrogen fuels or what have you, and changing over to that. I think it’s supposed to kick off, I think 2023, and it’s going to start in Texas. Think the east coast and the west coast, if I’m not mistaken. And the reason I’m bringing that up is whenever that does starts and get initiated, I’m just thinking now, I’m pretty sure they’re gonna have some type of tax benefit or some type of incentive to get people to change over to that type of program. So you imagine if you and I had like a fleet or what have you, and you came to me, you know, Derrick, you know, I’m going to jump on this program. They have nice incentives and everything, and I’m going to try it, but I’m gonna say, nah, Jamie, I don’t want to try it, man.

I just like to smell a diesel that just makes me feel good in the morning and you know, I decided to stick with that. So fast forwarding to maybe a little bit over a year later, come to you and we meet up over coffee and you tell me, man, I took advantage of that program and I’ll save my operating expenses just on the fuel costs alone. I saved over $40,000 compared to what I did the previous year. And I may mention to you like, wow, man, I’m here. I’m almost about to lose my business because my operating expenses are so costly and maybe I should have done what you did. That $40,000 difference could keep be keeping me afloat right now. So all that to say is if you’re not aware of technology and the trends and you’re not keeping abreast of it, you could get left behind and possibly to the point you wind up going outta business.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications? Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket. We’re back from our break. And before the break we were talking with Derek Williams about what he has been observing as the host of the Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast. He interviews entrepreneurs in the trucking space and we’ve been talking about what he’s been observing as some of the trends and why we need to be open to change and willing to innovate our companies. So let’s talk a little bit about your podcast, Derrick. Why did you launch the show in the first place? What was the big goal or what was the dream?

Derrick Williams:

Well, my intentions when launching actually my intentions were to become a freight dispatcher. I took two different courses to actually become a freight dispatcher. And you know, I tell everybody this story. Amazingly about two days after I finished the last one, it was like, God just took the taste outta my mouth. I had no interest in it. And that’s unusual for me, Jamie, because normally after I done drop some money, a few hundred dollars or more on something, I don’t just quit. So after much prayer and meditation and talking with my wife, it was like I was led to move into doing a podcast. Now I have a little smidge of experience to doing podcasting with another social media page that I have. So after talking with my wife more, she had came to me, she was like, Derrick, this will be perfect for you. She was like, you love talking with people, you love networking and you always have wanted to deal with small businesses and you always wanted to know the whys. And what I mean by that is, you know, always want to know, you know, why did you become an entrepreneur? What led you to that? Especially people that has had, like one lady I know that was a judge, you know, she put down that career to start a business and I’m like, I didn’t ask her how much money you make. I’m not that bold and crazy, but I’m pretty sure judge makes some good money, man.

Jamie Irvine:

She would’ve put her gavel down and said you’re out of order.

Derrick Williams:

Exactly. So I can imagine you going from up here as a judge, to you starting at ground zero, and you trying to build that up to maybe hopefully replace the income you made as a judge, possibly more, you know, that has to really be a challenge. So I’ve always liked to know the whys, the why entrepreneur started their business, whether it’s small business or a CEO of a mid to large corporation, you know, so with all that, it led me to start this podcast because I wanted to have a platform for entrepreneur to share exactly that, you know, why did you start your business? What do you do a little bit about yourself, what services and products do you offer? You know, things of that nature. And so from there it’s been, you know, all history.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. We’re gonna do a couple rapid fire questions. So how often do you publish new episodes?

Derrick Williams:

Right now, it’s been so far about three episodes a month.

Jamie Irvine:

And what is the best place to tune in and listen to your podcast?

Derrick Williams:

The best place is www.thetruckingentrepreneurspodcast.com.

Jamie Irvine:

Perfect. And who is your ideal listener?

Derrick Williams:

My ideal listener, I would say well with The Trucking Entrepreneur Podcast, it is basically a business to business, informational platform. So my ideal listener would be entrepreneurs and professionals in the trucking and logistics industry.

Jamie Irvine:

Awesome. All right. So here’s, here’s the real foundational question that really is gonna tell me everything I need to know about your show. What do those people in the trucking industry who are ideal listeners for your show, get out of listening to your show?

Derrick Williams:

You know what they get the double i’s, the double i’s, and you probably don’t know what I mean by that, but what I mean….

Jamie Irvine:

I’m all ears.

Derrick Williams:

What I mean by the double i’s is inspiration and information. And with a podcast, I hope with our guests and inspire that whether it’s someone that’s just starting out in the industry or someone that may be currently in the industry, but they may be struggling or a CEO of a mid to large size corporation that with our guests, that they were actually so some type of seeds of providing inspiration to them, that’s saying, you know, Hey, you know, I did it, you can do it too. And also information by the products and services that they offer. So I look at it this way. Jamie, is for example, I think of Mr. John Rediehs, he’s the CEO of Red Dog Logistics, Inc. He actually started out him and two other people with three computers and three telephones. And this was back in 2012 that they started.

Well, I interviewed him, I believe it was this past December. They actually, from back then 2012 up to when I interviewed them, they have over 65 employees working in the US and abroad as well as they have generated over $30 million. So you looking at that short period of time, just with three phones and three computers, you know, they secured freight and built relationships through that period, a short period of time to get to where they are. You know, now that’s phenomenal. And then on the informational side, one of my other guests, Mrs. Desante Morgan with Degrey Trucking and Services by some of the listeners listening to that particular episode, she actually sent me a surprise email. I got it, one morning, I was eating breakfast. It actually almost made me cry. I read the email and she was so happy. And she wanted to share with me that off that episode within the first week, she wound up getting, one partnership offer, two collaborations and four leads just off of people listening to what she offer, you know, far as her information and everything. So to me, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I hope our listeners get is inspiration and information from our guests. That’s my goal.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. We’ve been speaking with Derrick Williams, the host of The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast. We’ve been talking about challenging the status quo in the trucking industry. To learn more about The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast, visit the truckingentrepreneurspodcast.com links are in the show notes. Derrick, thank you so much for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report on this Saturday morning. It’s an unusual time for us to be recording, but I think we did a great job. Thanks for being on the show.

Derrick Williams:

Thank you for having me. You take care of yourself.

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