By Al Muskewitz
Who ever said there’s never a cop around when you need one? If you are a single-truck owner-operator or the owner of a small trucking fleet looking for a little help finding good-paying loads or with back office and administrative responsibilities, this one is just a phone call or email away.
Michael Webb spent 12 years on the Anniston, Ala., police force before shifting gears to get his new company, Blue Line Truck Dispatching, off the ground. In doing so, he is coming back to a business that had had been part of his upbringing.
Webb grew up in the trucking business as his parents were team drivers for one of the country’s major poultry producers. It was his experience in law enforcement that led him back to the industry.
Part of his duties as a Special Operations Sergeant was investigating and supervising fatal traffic accidents, including those involving commercial vehicles. The conversations he had through the access he gained to industry insiders led him to believe the time was right to launch his venture.
“I’ve always been intrigued by the industry and then I just got to understand more about it,” Webb said. “In talking with a lot of the trucking companies I saw the need.
“There are a lot of guys who buy their own truck, they start their company, and they like the independence, but they hate the back-office work. So, I saw an opportunity to go in and do a lot of that back-office paperwork, take that headache of the DOT compliance, all the laws and regulations, and helping them get that stuff organized while still finding them loads.”
The service caters to individual owner-operators and fleets up to 10 trucks in flatbed, dry van, reefer and hot shots. They find the load, provide 24/7 dedicated dispatching, do all the contracting, negotiate higher load rates, trip map to find the lowest fuel and track all the expenses.
“What we’re doing is taking all the headache away so the driver can just drive,” Webb said. “Through the contacts that we have and just the time we spend finding and booking the best loads, 90 percent of the companies we’ve brought on we’ve raised their rates more than what they’re paying us, so they end up losing all the headaches with the contracts, finding loads and all that stuff while raising their take-home pay.”
He agreed the career change was a “big leap of faith." He left the police department with a good business plan and strong organizational skills, but zero dispatch clients.
But it didn’t take long to build a base. The company’s current client list is evenly split between single truck owners and small fleets mostly in Alabama and Georgia, but it does have a presence in the Midwest and will expand that footprint as the business continues to grow.
Blue Line is currently a three-man operation based out of Anniston, Ala., a city on I-20 between Birmingham and Atlanta. Webb meets with all potential clients to establish the consistent level of service they will receive during their relationship and the other two serve in dispatch roles.
The company is currently upgrading its website. The best points of contact are through email (email@example.com), Facebook (@Blue Line Truck Dispatching) or phone (256-452-4404).
Al Muskewitz is the Editor at Wright Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org