EP. #3

#3- Drivers, Dispatch, and Customer Relations

The essence of a successful trucking company starts with the relationships drivers build with their dispatchers and their customers.


Tanner Bowman Load Planner
Nick Meyer Recruiting and HR Specialist
Beau Hanke Onboarding and Orientation Specialist
Jason Eisenman VP of Safety and HR
Matt Jackman Professional Driver


The essence of a successful trucking company starts with the relationships drivers build with their dispatchers and their customers.  On episode 3 of The Liquid Trucking Podcast, we’ll hear from Load Planner Tanner Bowman, Recruiting and HR Specialist Nick Meyer, Onboarding and Orientation Specialist Beau Hanke and Vice President of Safety and HR Jason Eisenman to discuss these relationships.  Liquid driver Matt Jackman also joins us for a Driver Profile.


What’s good Liquid Trucking Nation? Thank you so much for joining me today on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. I am your host, Marcus Bridges and uh we have a real doozy for you today. Super excited about this episode. We are talking about drivers, dispatch and customer relations today. Uh There are some very special relationships formed in this industry. Maybe there are customer relationships. Maybe there are relationships like between Josh Schmidt and Mike Bynes that formulate a company. But one of the most special relationships that can be formed is between a driver and a dispatcher 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These people have to be in touch with one another just in case. Maybe it’s a world, maybe it’s a, a broken down truck right in the middle of the route. It’s going to play hell with planning from here on out. Maybe it’s a blown tire. Maybe you’re just trying to get to your drop off a little bit earlier so that you can get home and get with your family a little bit earlier and without a good relationship with your dispatcher as a driver, that’s something that might not happen now, I don’t have a lot of experience in this industry, but I have enough to know that not every dispatcher and not every driver has that good relationship. But I also know that here at Liquid Trucking, we’re looking to formulate those relationships and make them last because the trust that comes from that work environment is the trust that makes it possible to do what you all do at Liquid Trucking. I’m super stoked on this episode today because we’re going to talk to Bo Hankey. We’re gonna talk to Nick Meyer. We’re gonna talk to Jason Eisenman. We’re gonna talk to driver Matt Jackman and we’re also gonna talk to dispatcher Tanner Bowman. This is awesome, right? These are, these are great conversations to have because these are the guys that can talk to us about how we formulate these relationships, how they last and a little bit on the customer service side, how we can take the best care of our liquid customers to make sure that they keep coming back for more. Don’t forget to share this podcast with your Liquid Truck driving friends or any friends that might be interested in hearing about what Liquid Trucking has to offer and what makes this company so great. We depend on word of mouth for podcasts and uh we’re not here to make sure that we’ve got 10 million people listening to this podcast. That’s not what it’s for. It’s for the drivers and the staff of Liquid Truck, but there will be some content in this podcast that goes beyond that and makes it something that would be entertaining and fun and educational to listen to for other people. So if you’ve got anybody like that in your life, be sure to share it, we’ll be eternally grateful for you in that. Right? Without further ado, let’s get to the first interview. Welcome to the Gold Standard of podcast for the Gold Standard of Drivers. This is the Liquid Trucking podcast with your host Marcus Bridges. I’m here with orientation and onboarding specialist, Bo Hanky from Liquid Trucking Bo. So good to have you here. It’s the first time we’re doing this man. Welcome to the podcast now. Uh I mean, let’s start with the obvious bow. Liquid Trucking has a podcast. I, I’m excited about it, but that’s kind of my job. How do you feel about it? I feel good about it. I mean, it’s gonna get more information out to drivers. Hopefully they start listening to it comes a big thing here. That’s the goal and uh that all rides on my shoulders. It’s, it’s my job to make it interesting. So, uh let’s hope that I can do my job. All right, be. All right, let’s do it. Talk to me a little bit about your position, orientation and onboarding specialist. Well, normally what we do is we bring guys in, you know, for two weeks at a time. That’s how long, our training is basically get them ready for the road. So they come in, they do two days of, of class training and then they move on to a little bit of field training. They’ll get to kind of go over each shop, truck shop, trailer shop, how everything operates here. Wash bay. A lot more things going on with, with tanking than there is box band or reefer flatbed. We like to bring in flatbed guys. They, they seem to know a little bit more, uh, a little bit more hands on work and have a little bit more mechanical aptitude. So then they’re out in the field for a week with a trainer doing everything they can to learn as much as they can crammed, you know, down their throat basically for two weeks. And it’s a lot too. I understand that. I mean, when I was out there in, uh, in Plattsmouth, talking to you guys meeting the staff, that was one thing that came up a lot is that, listen, this is a lot, we need drivers that are kind of at the apex of, of tax talent in their field because it’s not only just a driving job, but it’s kind of a plumbing job as well. And, uh, there’s a lot of different customers that you see high likelihood that, uh, that no two drops are the same. Am I correct there? Yeah, I mean, the old thing is, uh, or not really the old thing, the new thing I, I should say is uh it’s the same but different product has to go from point A to point B. How do I get it there? What’s in between? Right. Right. Now we are talking a little bit about customer relations today and I kinda wanna touch on that. How important is the customer service aspect of Liquid’s business model? 100% 100%. We, uh we operate kind of off of an old school handshake kind of place, you know, not a whole lot of contract loads. And how does that, how would that change uh between or for the drivers if there were a lot of contract loads? Like give me a little bit of insight into, into what that means. Well, I mean, normally when you show up at a customer, you know, they barely know who you are when you’re a contract customer, you know, you’re bringing in something that they might not know you, most of these customers that we go to, we’ve been going to for 30 years, you know, they know most of our drivers when they go to Westway say they know them on a first name basis half the time. I mean, unless you’re a new driver, it’s very important for them to keep that customer relation happy. Basically. Now I I’m, I’m not trying to put you on the spot here, but I am gonna tell you this because hopefully it makes you feel better. Uh Starting out your week here when I was down there, I would ask everybody that I would interview like, who’s the guy that’s got the most knowledge, who’s the guy that’s just, uh, knows the industry in and out, knows our business in and out. Uh Most of the people said, Bo Hanky. OK. So I’m gonna ask you, what important advice could you give to drivers when it comes to customer relations? Not all customers are, are, you know, smiles and, and happy to see you when you show up. Uh I would say get out, go to work, you know, build that trust when you get there, a lot of it is trust, you know, they have to trust in you to know that you can get the job done. And if they don’t trust you, things get things get a little shaky or weird, shaky and weird, not what we want to have happen when we’re out hauling liquid, I assume. Uh And you know, it’s kind of, I feel like that if you zoom out a little bit from that, that trust thing is a big part of the whole ball of wax out there liquid because um drivers have to be trusted that they can, like you said, show up to a same but different drop every single time and know their stuff and not miss any of the little intricate steps. And so building trust with the customer is is a lot, the same as building trust within the organization, I would assume. And it’s just monumentally important for what you guys do. Right. I mean, even dispatchers, you know, I hate to say it, but if they trust that a guy can get the job done, I’m not gonna say faster. But, you know, without any issue, they’re gonna trust in him to do, you know, maybe a longer haul or a better load or sometimes a worse load depending on what it is. Yeah. Right. I mean, even the good guys are gonna get the bad loads once in a while and that’s because they can trust that they’re gonna get done efficiently. Well, be, uh, this has been great. I mean, there you go. Like it’s, it’s not that tough, but there’s your first foray into the Liquid Trucking Podcast, like loosen the shoulders a little bit. How do you feel? Um, I don’t know, it’s a bit awkward but, uh, I’m sure it’ll get better as we, as we progress. It, it will, it is a little bit awkward but, uh, the more that you do it, the better it’ll be. And, uh, you know, I’m just kind of like a fly that won’t stop buzzing around your ear when you’re trying to focus on something. I, I’ll be around, you’ll see me, uh, eventually you might swat at me once or twice. I’m totally ok with that bow. I want to thank you. So much for coming on today. Uh You did a great job and we’re gonna be talking to you a lot in the future. It, I appreciate it. Yeah, take care be. Thank you. Have a good one joining me now on the Liquid Trucking Podcast from recruiting business development and hr is Nick Meyer. Nick. Thank you so much for joining us today. Yeah, it’s good to be here. Thank you. Well, it’s great to have you, man. As we get this podcast kicked off, I’m really excited about the prospects of it, you know, had a great time in Plattsmouth meeting the Liquid staff getting to know you guys. We had a lot of great conversations there, but I figure it’s a good idea to ask you, uh, just like I’m gonna ask some of the other guests on today’s podcast. What do you hope that the drivers and the staff at Liquid can get out of this podcast? Well, I think the biggest thing is to stay connected with their drivers. They’re all over the lower 48 states and into Canada and, and we all don’t get to see each other each week. And so I think it’s important that they understand what’s going on within our company and this gives them an opportunity to maybe speak with us about things they wouldn’t normally talk with us about. And I get these, this, uh really, really big inkling that you guys have a giant trust built with your drivers, uh, between the staff and the drivers and also between the drivers and the customers. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of that trust within the company? Yeah, I think the biggest thing is, is, uh, we, we don’t micromanage or drive. We hire grown men to go out there and manage their own routes and manage their truck and make sure that they communicate properly whenever something is needed or help is needed. So, there’s a huge amount of trust. I mean, we have guys that we might not see for two or three months and, uh, so that takes a lot of trust right there. Yeah, that, and the fact that it, uh, you know, it seems like none of the deliveries are the same or, or as, uh, be told us they’re the same but different. So you have to have trust that you can, uh, prob, that these guys can problem solve out there on the road and, and make sure that the customer gets taken care of in the best possible way. Correct. Correct. I mean, uh, you know, the line and orientation and training is, is you aren’t really going to experience most all of our loads until you’ve driven for us for a year. And, and that’s pretty true. You know, a guy can’t just hop in here and be a pro, it takes years to be a professional tanker driver. So you’re always learning, you know, those first few years, it’s always something new. How does that affect you from a recruiting standpoint, Nick? Uh Obviously you guys are looking for accomplished drivers in a certain, right? And guys that are, are top of the line as far as their career path is concerned. Um Does that provide some challenges in the recruiting department, finding enough drivers to fill the trucks and finding the right drivers to fill the trucks? Yeah. You know, I mean, we have been incredibly blessed to have a low turnover rate to be very attractive, pay wise. And the fact that we’re a family owned company and we get to know our drivers, get to know their families plays a huge part in us having a decent amount of applicants to choose from. But finding the quality applicants, I mean, you have to want to do the challenging work and drive a truck, it’s still driving a truck, but you have to learn plumbing, you have to pay attention to detail. Um So that is a difficult part is to narrow down guys who have the right motivation to want to do such a difficult job. It’s not an easy job at all. I can’t imagine. I, I installed a toilet in my bathroom once I became a homeowner and let’s just say, uh that was a disaster and it had disaster written all over it. I feel like that’s a pretty rudimentary plumbing project. And uh I had no business being in there, uh, gloves on or off, either one. So I’ve got a tremendous degree of respect for these guys and all of you there at the, uh, at, at the front office because, uh, I heard some of the stories and, and we’ll get into them as this podcast takes shape. Obviously, we’re gonna tell a lot of stories. We’re going to talk to a lot of liquid drivers, but there’s some hairy things that can happen, including all the way to the collapse of an entire tanker trailer. If all these minute details are really paid close attention to correct. I mean, it is a situation to where some of these outfits will train for a couple days and let guys learn by their own mistakes out there on the road and that just seems crazy. Uh You know, we, we have a two week training course for a reason. We, we, we want these guys to be put in front of every scenario that we possibly can prior to getting into a truck. Um, so that they have to know how and the confidence to go out there, you know, and make things work. Uh There’s about 1000 ways for something to go wrong in this industry. And uh most of our drivers are very efficient at fixing those on the fly without having to be here. That’s key to it all. Uh But then again, it goes back to making sure that we hire the right minded individuals that are wanting to learn that, that are wanting, uh, to be the best of the best driver out there on the road. Uh, that can also fix things on the fly and make things work at different customers, whether it’s a mom and pop farm to, to a large, uh, you know, Tyson or conagra, I mean, you know, it’s important that our guys are professional and are confident and have the ability uh to take care of our customers and to get home back safely. Absolutely, you mentioned confidence there. If my golf game is any indication, confidence is a huge part of the job. And, uh, man, I wish that I could replicate some of the confidence that your drivers have when I’m on the putting green. But that’s another conversation for another time. Well, there you go, man. It’s your first interview with me on the podcast. I really appreciate you being here. We’re up against the clock a little bit here, but I’m, I’m gonna ask you because why not? What did you think? How did it go? You know, it’s exciting. It’s good. It’s good for a company to get out there and to get in front of our drivers. And I’m really excited to get our drivers on here to get some of their stories, their feedback, their experience with our company. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about our drivers. Uh, you know, it’s time to get them a platform to speak on. So, absolutely, Nick. Well, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate the insight. Uh That’s Nick Meyer recruiting business development at Hr for Liquid Trucking. You be safe out there and we’ll talk to you again soon. All right, Nick. Alright, buddy. Thank you. We’re off and rolling on this episode of the Liquid Trucking Podcast already, some great interviews in the can and we got a couple more around the corner. But first before I got to that, I wanted to get to a, a few kind of mind-blowing stats. You see, it’s my job here as the host of the Liquid Trucking podcast to not only educate in any way that I can tell your story from the road, tell the company stories from the front office and the road. Uh but it’s, it’s my job to understand the trucking industry as best as I possibly can. So, as I was starting to put this podcast together and working with all of the great people at Liquid Trucking, I was just reading, reading everything I can trying to soak up all the information possible. And I came across a couple of stats that really kind of blew my hat off of my head. Now, fortunately, I have this very nice uh custom Liquid Trucking hat that we made for this podcast because I, I’m just a lucky guy. I get to have one of the coolest Liquid Trucking podcast hats that there is. So I picked that hat up off the ground. I dusted it off and made sure that it was still in pristine condition before I came on camera here to tell you about these stats. And we all know that there’s 3.5 million drivers out there, professional truck drivers, the people that haul every good that you consume, whether it be computer parts, uh your electronics, every piece of food that you’ve ever put into your belly. All the things that are attached to your car, whether it be that nice set of glass packs that you got, so you can annoy your neighbors or the computer parts, the filters, all of it. Ok. I don’t need to sit here and, and go on, drone on forever about this. But it was these numbers that really told the story for me. I’m getting this, uh, from a CNET article that was published back in September of 2021. Collectively, you 3.5 million truck drivers drive 450 BBB billion miles every single year and you carry 11 BBB billion tons of merchandise, all those electronics supplies and produce to consumers. So the article explores a little bit about what would happen if we didn’t have all of you. 3.5 million truck drivers out there. Well, it wouldn’t take America very long to look like, I don’t know, Mad Max or Dune. Um, it, it would be an apocalyptic hellscape out there. Ok. All of the grocery stores would dry up. You know how that happened back in COVID where, like, people were rushing the stores and buying water. Like they were gonna have to live outside for a few days. Well, if the 3.5 million truck drivers in this country shut down for just three days, that’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Uh, by Thursday you’re gonna be going after a lot more than just bottles of Dasani. Ok. I’m talking medical supplies, dry up. Hospitals can’t help people. Fuel goes away. Don’t forget the fuel that you need to make your car go has to get to the place that pumps it into your tank. And that is a truck driver. You think about those shortages that we experienced during COVID kind of across the board? That’s like a, a drop in the bucket compared to what would have happened. Maybe not even a drop in the bucket. Let’s call it a drop in the ocean. Should all of a sudden truck drivers decide, you know, we’re not doing this anymore. And thank God that they haven’t at this point. Here’s a quote from a guy named Long Haul Paul. He has a eight part podcast called Over the Road that you can listen to. Uh, he says, quote, the world would come to a stop. The biggest effect would be on the psyche of the nation. And I think that’s very telling what truck drivers do for this nation is underappreciated from the word go. And I’m not just talking about the, the labor aspect, the long hours on the road, all that windshield time, the log books, the way stations, the 30 fours, the tens, that stuff. Yeah. Ok. It, it, it was, it all go away and it would be very tragic. But what would happen to our country as far as the way we view our country? We’re a world power, right? We might be the quintessential world power and 73% of every single consumer good out there finds its way to you on a truck. I’m willing to argue. It’s a lot closer than 100%. But let’s call that somewhere around 27%. Semantics. Ok. Yeah, some of it comes on a ship and then they grab it directly from the ship. How does it get to the store? I don’t know, probably a damn truck. Uh Trucks are the linchpin of the economy responsible for that. 72% of goods we consume. They’re a critical link in the supply chain for both goods, arriving in ships from abroad and those made in the US, every product from an American port or factory team. Your doorstep rides on a truck at some point. Now, here’s a quote from Chris Speer, president and CEO of the American trucking associations. Quote, trucks will continue to be the dominant freight transportation mode for the foreseeable future. Buy now, can’t happen without trucks, right. Buy it now. Amazon Prime, get it here. Sorry, that doesn’t happen unless you’re willing to put on your lamb graffitis and take a nice long walk across the country. We don’t grow corn out here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ll tell you where they grow a lot of corn out there in Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, these places, Ohio. And guess what? It’s a long damn way away from me. That’s like a five hour flight. I don’t even want to know how long it would take to walk it. So, online shopping is adding to this whole thing and really at this point, I’m just rambling. So apologies, but I want to really drive home the idea behind this podcast. Yes, we are here for liquid trucking. We want to help communication between the front office and the drivers. We want to help educate on safety. We want to help get important company announcements out there so that everybody can hear it. But at the end of the day, we are here to tip our caps to these trucks companies that make our world go round. If it wasn’t for you all, we would not be doing what we’re doing. This microphone wouldn’t be here because damn sure. Right. I wasn’t gonna walk to Sweetwater in Indiana and pick it up myself. Thank you all. Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for being there, day in day out and working harder than most Americans will ever know how to work. This podcast is for you. Liquid truck drivers. So, share it with your friends. Let them know what we’re here doing and, uh, again, take a bow because America needs you. We need you. And, uh, we are grateful to the ends of the earth for you doing what you do. Let’s get back to some interviews from some Liquid Trucking, staff members, knowledge and stories from coast to coast. This is your driver profile. Joining me. Now on the Liquid Trucking podcast is Liquid Driver, Matt Jackman Matt. You’re here for our very first driver profile on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining us today. Not a problem. I like to start these out just because this is the very first one. I’m gonna kind of give a little bit of an explanation here, but I like to find out a little bit about who I’m talking to and how you got started, how you got to where you are today. So one of the questions that always seems to hit, where are you at today? And where are you headed? Um I’m in part of L A and headed north, get washed out and reloaded with Brandy yesterday up in Northern California. Ok. Now, uh in my experience talking to drivers, uh there is a, a pretty consistent fact and that is that drivers either hate driving in L A or they hate driving in Atlanta. Are you one of those guys or are you ok with it? Um, I’m not too bad with it. I just try to plan where I’m coming in before the rush starts and I didn’t quite get it done this morning. You get caught up in a little traffic there in L A. Did you under a two hour drive? And it took three hours to get to where I was going a little bit. Yeah. It’s either the traffic or the, uh, excess regulation in California that seems to get under driver’s skin. But it is what it is. And if there was anything you could change about the laws in California would, is there anything that stands out to you that you would switch up? Probably the truck speed one? And it’s, what is it? 60 or 65? 55. 0, wow. 55. Even slower. Ok. Well, I’m with you on that 100% man. I can’t, I’m like that eighties song. I can’t drive 55. Yeah. So, how long have you been driving as a professional Matt? Um, I’ve been with liquid trucking for 5.5 years. I did just part time Reef for Holly in the winter time, years ago and loved it. Uh, went from Central Nebraska down into Georgia. Dedicated run one run a week, did underground construction for 15 years and saw the way that the company was moving and bail, uh, went and tried some other stuff, all the equipment plows for installing telephone cable and just decided I wanted to be in a truck and the jump to here, I was at a job plumbing HV, ac, electrical hauling equipment, job trailers and knew the writing on the wall. There was no room for real advancement anytime in the near future and the money is just not stable enough. So I hooked up with liquid trucking. And how do you feel about Liquid? I mean, obviously you’ve been here for 5.5 years. So you, you must be a happy employee. What, what is attractive to you about uh Liquid trucking as a company? Um The pay for the most part, the pay is you can push your, push your logbook and maximize your hours and you can make some dang good, take home retirement plans. Good. I haven’t had any problems with the insurance, the health insurance other guys have, I know how to play their game. So, so from a driver’s standpoint, what about your relationships with the front office? Staff, your dispatchers, everybody that you have to deal with. Um How’s the company in that? Right. Not too bad. I try to not deal with anybody in the office. And is that just out of respect for, for the time in their day or just that if you’re dealing with them, something’s probably wrong. Yeah. Yeah. Uh Dispatch, I try not to call and bug him all the time. I just go do what I can do if there is a problem for all the attacks. If we have to go to a phone call, we will got it. Well, I mean, that’s good. Right. It’s, it’s a sign of a well oiled machine that, uh, there’s, there’s not a lot of hiccups and if you don’t have to contact dispatch that means that everything’s going off without a hitch. And that’s a good day. I would assume. Now, I, I hear a lot as I, I was in Plattsmouth, I got to meet the staff. I got to see the front office and, and tour the shop and everything like that. Sit down with a lot of people. One thing that was kind of a recurring theme of all of my meetings there with both drivers and office staff is that your guys’ drop offs and, and load ins are always kind of the same but different. Can you talk to me a little bit about that and how each drop differs from the last? We’ve got a lot of, a lot of loads that are the same repetitious over and over and over again. Like clockwork you get out of here and some of these loads. I just did this load two weeks ago that I’m going to pick up. So I know the ins and the outs. I don’t even got it stored in my gps already. I know where to go scale in. I know where to go to get loaded, know what my hours of operations are that they will load me. Sometimes you don’t get the right information and so you do get stuck and it, it does tend to frustrate people a lot when even dispatched isn’t given the right information. So that kind of highlights the importance of note taking at these, at these certain stops. I imagine you could probably uh take some pretty good notes and not only help yourself at a future drop off or load in but also help other drivers that might go to that same spot. Oh, yeah. And we’ve got group calls that a lot of the guys do, they’ll get three or four guys on a, on a phone call and one of them will ask, have you been to this location? Yes. And one guy might start rattling off the directions. Oh, turn up this street and don’t go past there or you’re gonna be in trouble. It’s a car only street quite restricted. Got it. Yeah. And a lot of times it sounds like it’s what not to do rather than what to do. You guys know what to do. It’s, it’s where you don’t want to be. Right. Right. And then looking at aerial view on Google Maps is a big Godsend because you can look around, you can see where tanks are at. You can see where the, where you’re supposed to kind of be run down the street. View and see if the road signs say anything funky or, or what it does. And how hard was the, uh, the plumbing aspect of the job for you to learn? Matt plumbing wasn’t too bad. It all runs downhill. Just, just like, uh, some problems in, uh, in, in various companies. Right? They say, uh, there’s that adage there. I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna break the swear, uh, ice right now because we’ve, we’ve gotten through this podcast this far without dropping an F bomb or anything like that. But, yeah, it runs downhill. Right. Yep. Yep. I use my inside boy. There you go. Got it. I got it. How important are, uh, the customer relations to your job? Matt? I, I know that there’s, there’s, uh, a few times where, you know, you might be at like a big Tyson chicken plant or something like that or going to pick up Bourbon from a big distillery. But there’s also some times when you’re dropping off at like a farm. Right. So, how important are the relationships that you build at these various, uh, pickup and drop off points? They, they’re very important. If they get a bad taste in their mouth, it may be as much as we don’t get to load there anymore. Yeah, it’s real crucial to tie your tongue a little bit. Try and be nice and in return 95% of the time they’ll be nice right back and then you’ve got that 5% of the time when you catch somebody just on a terrible day and they weren’t going to be nice to anybody. Right. We’ve got a long time customer that at the farm drop and he just requests that everybody call him so they know what time or he knows what time he needs to be around so we can get unloaded. And I’ve pulled in there numerous times and I’ve always called him, love talking with him and he had somebody else there that did not call in and I proceeded to get my tail and shoot off. And I’m like, I’m sorry, but here’s my phone, there’s your number. I did call you. I’m sorry that the other guy did not. So it, it just, it does get frustrating at times, but just kind of go with the flow and, and see if you just can’t get it done and get on your way. Absolutely. And, and what types of uh what types of things do you do to help manage that stress? Because that, you know, we haven’t even talked about the stress of just driving with a bunch of liquid attached to your back down a freeway where nobody cares that you’re uh loaded is heavy as you are and uh they’re dipping in and out in traffic and everything that’s stressful, in and of itself. But when you have a customer like that, that’s also stressful. How can you kind of uh like, what are some, I guess techniques that you use to just kind of make that stress melt away so you can get on with your day. I would love to tell you that. I like to drink a lot, but I, I just can’t quite do that. Yeah, that’s uh II, I understand that. And that’s kind of why I ask is, is it you’re in a unique position where you can’t necessarily deal uh with some of the, the stress like some other people can. I mean, I, you know, you’re in a state right now for instance, where uh cannabis is legal and everybody except for people that drive professionally or maybe medical professionals will tend in California to just burn one down and feel a little bit better. But your drivers can’t do that and you can’t be drinking yourself uh into a stupor either. So, you know, you, you’ve got to have some techniques where you just breathe, I guess. And, and you said you wanted to be in a truck earlier in our conversation. I have to assume that being alone is something that doesn’t really bother you that much. It doesn’t bother me that much. What else are you gonna do for a 9 to 5 job? Do you get paid to drive around and see different stuff? I love stopping if I have time to make it to Louisiana or Southern Texas, picking up Cajun food, hauling all kinds of food home stuff that we don’t have in Nebraska. Um, my family loves Cajun food. Perfect. I grab it whenever I go down there. I get a hold of them and let them know. Hey, this is where I’m headed. What do you want me to bring home this time and get the tubs ready? Right. You know, it hasn’t been that bad yet. Um, good. I do love to cook. I actually have a smoker setting on my passenger seat. Really? And so do you smoke some meat there on the road? Like from time to time when you get, when you’re stopped for long enough. I, last night I met up with another driver and we grilled steaks and veggies and all kinds of stuff. That’s awesome. I mean, it, it’s, it’s a big deal. You know, it’s a big topic in the industry. Obviously, driver, uh, you guys don’t have the access to a full kitchen all the time. So, any little steps like that that you can take, I mean, I’ve heard drivers that, uh, have slow cookers. I once interviewed a, a lady that cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner in the cab of her truck to share with other drivers at the truck stop when she got stopped over Thanksgiving. I, I think that type of stuff is amazing because I love to cook too. I love my time in the kitchen. Um, so to know that you’re having steak and grilled vegetables out on the road that’s, that’s tough, man. Oh, yeah, it’s awesome. So, what other type of stuff have you cooked out there on the road? I gotta know, I just actually just threw my smoker back in to the truck. I’ve owned it for three years and this is the first time I’ve ever hauled it. So, normally I’ve got like a, uh, George Foreman grill grill, Este grill hamburgers. I’ve actually done vegetables and like parts of paper on that George Foreman. So I, I do try to eat, I would say less expensive and everything. Yeah, a little more healthy too when you make it at home. At least that, or make it in your truck, at least, you know what’s going into it. Yeah. And those George Foreman girls will make a hell of a panini or a grilled cheese too. I was, I lived on those things in college. I wasn’t even supposed to have one of those in my dorm room. I guess they were afraid I was gonna burn the place down, but I hid it under my bed and I made use of it often. Great little tool there. Um, do you have any advice for any drivers that are kind of thinking about maybe starting to cook a little bit more from the cab of their truck. Any, any tips or tricks of the trade that you’ve learned along the way? The easiest thing to help keep a mess cleaned up. There you go. Instead of having to scrub that grill all the time. You just throw some parchment paper down and put your drip stand underneath and let it go. You’re good to go pull the parchment paper off. It’s a light wipe and you’re done. That’s perfect. That, see, that’s a great tip. I never would have thought of that. And those, those grills, they’re, they’re easy to clean if you have like a full sink bay and everything brushes and everything like that. They’re kind of a pain in the ass if you don’t have that. I used to try to clean mine in the drinking fountain in the dorms and it never worked well. That’s awesome. Well, I, I’m kind of excited now knowing that you just added your smoker to the repertoire in the truck because that means that we get to go on this journey with you. I can’t wait to talk to you the next time we have you on the podcast in the future and hear about all the amazing stuff that you’ve cooked up on that smoker. Well, just ask like Nick or some of those guys about the smoked gold fish. I actually did a batch of those last night. That sounds good. You’re just, you’re pressing all my buttons right now. Matt, you and I are gonna be friends. I can tell already. Like I said, I love, you. Also mentioned that you like to see a lot of the places in the country Where’s your favorite place to drive in? All? Honesty. I love being up in Montana. It’s wide open. Yeah, it’s a popular one. Wide open and beautiful. I mean, there’s a reason that it’s called Big Sky Country, right? So, you’re, you’re more of a, it sounds like you’re more of a mountains guy than a, than a plains guy. Um, do the passes bother you at all or you’re, you’re well experienced enough now that you kind of just get on those and get past them. Yeah. Pedal, pedal, pedal and ride the brake going down. I hear you. That’s awesome. Well, uh, Matt, before I let you go, we’re up against the clock here. Uh, we really appreciate the time that you’ve given us today while you’re out on your route. I’ll give you the floor. Is there anything that you would like to say to any of your fellow drivers at Liquid or any of the office staff or anything like that? Oh, not at this time? All right. Well, we’ll let you think about it. We’ll get you back on here some of the recipes and, uh, tell some of the great stories that you have out there on the road again. I really appreciate the time. Just be safe out there. Keep the shiny side up. All right, great. Thank you. That’s Matt Jackman, Liquid Trucking Driver. Thank you so much. No problem. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. We’ve got Jason Eisenman. Vice President of Safety and Human Resources for Liquid Trucking. Thank you so much for being here today, Jason. How’s it going out there? Doing good. Thank you so much. Hey, no problem. The company has a podcast. Now, how do you feel about it? Are you excited? Are you nervous? What’s going through your head as we uh do this for the very first time? Well, I think both because you always want to do something new and connect in ways that we haven’t connected before. So that’s the exciting part. The scary part is, you know, do you do it right? Do you mess up along the way? And the answer is probably, yes, we’ll learn from it, but we’ll have some fun too. And, uh, you know what, I’ve been doing this for so long now that, uh, messing up is just part of my job. I, I’ve kind of tried to own that a little bit and, uh, it’s hard sometimes, you know, I don’t always want to look at myself in the mirror after a long day at work. But, uh, so far so good with Liquid. Uh, we’ve had some awesome interviews. We’ve got a lot of good information coming from a bunch of people at the company and, uh, I’m really looking forward to, to how this whole thing is going to, to shape out, uh, over the course of the next, uh, however long we do it. So, again, I just wanna Thank you for your time. I know you’re a busy guy. So I wanna get right to it. One of the things that we’ve kind of been chatting about a little bit today is the importance of, of customer relations with the drivers and also uh the drivers, uh relations with their dispatchers. Can you speak to that a little bit from your perspective on how important it is. First off that the drivers establish a good connection with their dispatcher. Yeah. Um, it is, you know, think about what we do. We’re a trucking company and uh, we sell service and just like when we go, you know, you and I go eat at a restaurant, you know, we, we expect a certain level of service and we wanna be the most professional folks we can, you know, uh family friendly is what we are, you know what we, we were grown by a family and started by a family and we want to keep that kind of persona. But uh service today is, is pretty hard to teach, you know, the world is changing and, and so keeping the dispatcher and driver in a good working relationship ultimately leads to better service when the driver is with the customer. It’s kind of like a, a big eco circle cycle if you will. And, and the more they get along as a dispatcher and driver, the better the customer is gonna have the experience at the end of the day and, and speaking to that, um, you know, I, I had, uh, Driver Matt Jackman on the podcast earlier and something that, uh, I thought was really cool is he, he talked about how he builds relationships with customers and how, even if things don’t go right? Or even if you might get chewed out by the customer or, or something like that for, you know, one thing going, you never really know what that person’s gone through that day before you get there. And so, uh, I, it’s kind of a real kill them with kindness type environment there. You really have to, to just be all smiles and present that service as if it’s top notch every single time. Uh, it seems like your drivers do a pretty good job of that from the customer service standpoint. Would you agree? I do agree. And, and they, they are tasked with one of the hardest jobs ever because they’re live and in person right there in front of the customer for whatever is going on in their life. At that time. There could be personal things, work things, uh, you name it and, and, and the driver, like Matt who’s, uh, a phenomenal driver for the company when they’re there staring down the customer doing their job in the heat of the moment for whether it’s good or bad or whatever they are dealt the, the, the cards and they gotta, they gotta play them right. And they and they do a great job at it. They do, they really do. Now, you, you mentioned something uh just a couple of seconds ago that I want to touch on uh while we still have some time here. And that’s the company culture at Liquid. It, it is, it feels like a very family oriented environment. Like you said I was there. I got to meet a lot of the people uh yourself included. You gave me a truck to drive around when I was there one day. So I didn’t have to be always hitching rides. And, um, I, I felt like a part of the family. Can you talk a little bit about how you guys foster that environment and also what it does for the company at the end of the day? Yeah, it’s not easy. Like every single day you gotta sit down and think about we are all people and we’re all on the same planet and, and yes, we’re at work together for a common goal but treating each other like people is kind of first and foremost, aside from any other difference you might have. So that’s kind of priority one. And then I’m gonna quote an old coach in Iowa for the football buffs coach Joe had AK gave a, um speech years ago out in Chicago quoted, who can you make feel important today? And that’s that kind of like serving mentality. Um You know, I get to serve all the drivers and folks that work here at liquor trucking every day, you know, I get to have that opportunity for whatever’s going on in their day and, and make it, you know, maybe a little bit better when they leave work. And so those are some of the tools I use to try and make things better from my perspective and how I interact with our, our employee base. And you can, you can definitely feel it. It, it seems like everybody that’s working, their liquid is happy and, and they, at the end of the day, they go home feeling good about what they’ve done. And II I have to tip my cap to you guys because you did touch on it. It’s not easy. Um There’s a lot of companies out there that don’t have even a fraction of the family oriented environment that lick wood has. And I, I, like I said, a huge tip of the cap to you guys. Uh It’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about getting this podcast moving, but you, I did move my needle a little bit when you talked about football. Uh for those of you that don’t know that are listening right now. I reside out here in the Pacific Northwest. Uh I am, I’m an Oregon grad. I’m an Oregon Duck fanatic. Uh and we’re coming to Big 10 country next year. Jason, are you an Iowa fan? Are you a Nebraska fan? And, and are we gonna trade punches over the next year, do you think? Yeah, that’s, that’s good stuff because being a border city here in Blacksmith, we border Iowa and Nebraska. So our employee base is pretty split. Then we have drivers that live in, you know, averaging around 14 different states. So, sports and football is definitely a fun topic. It keeps the camaraderie light on good days and bad, you know. So, I’m a Steelers fan and that’s been up and down already this year and I’m a Husker fan, uh, having, uh, grown up in Lincoln. So that’d be really cool to see, uh, the Ducks play the Huskers. But, um, you know, I don’t know how it’s gonna come out. We’ve got a lot of work to do in Husker country. Well, I’ll tell you what, we’ve got. The Colorado Buffaloes coming to town, uh, this weekend and we’re gonna go ahead and put a pop knot on their head, uh, for Nebraska. That’s just, you know, that’s what a good conference mate would do. I, I tell you what, I don’t want to play them again. They’re a great team. And from, if you, if you look at anything about, you know, the same topical that we’re talking about how you treat people, there’s a lot to be said about Dion and, you know, I’ve, I’ve watched a lot of videos, not for a single single ounce of football knowledge, but there’s a lot you can learn from how he just interacts with people and talks to people. Um you know, you hope it’s all true in person as well. But I, I really have enjoyed just learning and listening to some of his approach about that whole people perspective. Absolutely. It is a unique approach in, in the college football sphere. And, and as you said, you can tell that you learn from people like him because of the culture that resides there at, at Liquid Trucking. So, uh but we’re up against the clock. I will say this and, and I’m so sorry that I have to say it, but I, I my 49er got your Steelers in week one. and, and I’m OK with that. That was, that was bad. I look forward to talking more. I hope all of our employees have a lot of fun with this. We plan on having a lot of folks on the show and uh all across the company, not just truck drivers. So we appreciate all the hard work on your end and it’s gonna be a lot of fun listening to a wide variety of topics over the years ago. That’s Jason Eisenman, Vice President of Safety and Human Resources for Liquid Trucking. Thank you so much again for being here, Jason. We’ll talk to you soon. Ok. Thank you. Time to welcome another first timer here to the Liquid Trucking Podcast. His name is Tanner Bowman Dispatch and account manager for Liquid Trucking Tanner. Really appreciate you being here today with us. Of course. Thanks for having me. Of course, man. Now, um it’s, it’s official. I’ve been asking everybody this. You have a podcast. Now, the company that you work for uh Liquid Trucking has got its own podcast. Are you excited? Are you shaking your head in the background? Are you sick of me already? These are some questions I want to hear from you real quick. Yeah. No, it sounds, sounds great. I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows over time and, and where we take it. I am too and, uh, we just really appreciate Liquid going on board with us here and, uh, and, and hopefully we can get the drivers bought in and get some, uh, some ears on this thing because I feel like there’s a lot of good stuff that we can cover and, uh, we can kinda increase communication between the guys on the road and those of you at the front office. Now, uh, today’s episode has to do with drivers dispatch and customer relations. You obviously being a dispatcher yourself. You are the, uh, you, you’re a very important piece to that puzzle. Can you talk to me a little bit about how you establish good lasting relationships with your drivers there at Liquid Well, you know, here, Liquid Trucking, we like to imagine that. Well, we don’t imagine all the drivers, you know, they’re not just a number, they they have faces, they have families, they have friends, they, they like, you know, having their time off at home and, and they like showing up and making money when it’s time. So, you know, we, we try to treat everybody with respect and like, we’re, you know, a big family. It sounds cheesy. But, you know, this is still a family company and I think when, when you treat guys with respect and, and not just a number, uh, that goes a long way for him and making him feel at home and, and part of the company. Absolutely. And, and you’re not the first person to tell me that. Yeah, the family thing, it kind of sounds a little bit cheesy. It only sounds cheesy until it doesn’t actually show up and then everybody’s upset that it’s not there. You know, it’s like it’s a little bit of hyperbole for sure. But at the same time, we always see this as one of the most important things in successful fleets which liquid is. And I see that I can tell you guys made me feel like I was part of the family, uh, when I was there and I was only there for a few days. So I can only imagine what it’s like being a career truck driver, uh, and coming to a place like Liquid and finally feeling that after hearing time and time again that that was gonna be the way it was. And then seeing that not be the case that so many other companies, what’s one of the biggest hurdles that you guys face at dispatch with trying to keep the drivers happy and trying to make sure that the customers are happy and all that. Um What are some challenges there? You know, everything is a balancing act. You know, the the drivers, they, they want their, they want their time off and, and they want to feel respected. So, you know, in the tanker industry, everything’s very niche. It’s very specialized. So, so matching up guys with the right loads, uh making sure they get home for their time off and not, uh deviating too far from that, at least without a conversation to make sure it’ll be acceptable for them. Uh It’s all part of the balancing act, uh that we do every single day. So it, it’s all just a big puzzle and you, you have to focus and bear down on it every day and, and make sure you’re getting the pieces put together correctly. Absolutely. Uh What’s some advice you can offer all the drivers that are listening right now as far as the customer relations side of things go obviously keeping the customer happy and making sure that they’re having a good experience, uh is, is also paramount to the whole pie coming together. Uh What would you tell your drivers the ones listening right now about their uh, customer relations? That’s a good question. I think that the, the key to any driver customer relationship is uh trying to have all the information ready to go when you show up somewhere, whether that be a pickup number, po number, delivery number, stuff like that, knowing how your equipment works goes a long way if you show up to a customer and you don’t have a clue how the pump on board you have works or how, you know, you should back in or anything like that. That that’s gonna set the wrong image for the customer right off the bat. So trying to be as prepared as possible when you show up is, you know, it seems like 90% of the battle most of the time. And then, you know, if, if you’re dealing with a grouchy customer just do your best to handle it professionally because they, they don’t have a problem picking up the phone and let us letting us know when there’s a problem. If you show up somewhere and you’re having issues, you know, don’t take it out on a customer call, your dispatcher and, and see what, see what we can do to help. A lot of times it’s just a simple miscommunication that, you know, a few, few emails or a phone call can take care of pretty quickly. Absolutely. And you mentioned when you and I were talking all the way back when I was out there in Platts Smith, visiting with the staff. Uh One thing that you were, was a key point for you was like, calling the right person at the right time. Uh, it’s not gonna help Dispatch if you’ve got a TV, that’s not working at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Uh, dispatch isn’t gonna be able to help you, but maybe the shop will probably the same thing for, uh, you know, customer relations, calling the shop when you’ve got a grumpy customer or something’s not working out, isn’t gonna help you at all either. Right. Right. Yeah, knowing, knowing who to call and when is, is gonna be a huge hurdle to clear, especially for the new guys. We’ve got a lot of, a lot of people on staff here that, that wanna help, but sometimes it can seem tricky to get to those people. So, you know, if they ever have a question on, on who to call, the dispatch is a great place to start and they can get you pointed in the right direction. But, you know, if it’s not a mission critical question that you have like a tire blowout or a breakdown, you know, it’s just a, hey, I’m gonna be there at nine o’clock for my, for my noon appointment tomorrow. Can you see if I can get in earlier, you know, try to make those phone calls during normal business hours versus 78 o’clock at night because the customers might not be around to help at those times for sure. It sounds like communication is absolutely perfect when it comes to uh driver and Dispatch relations and same with the customer. Uh I appreciate you coming on today, Tanner to uh give us a little insight into this. Don’t get sick of me yet, man, because we’re gonna be having you on this podcast a lot. You did great on your first one. And I really look forward to what the future holds for the Liquid Trucking Podcast. Thank you. Yeah, I’m excited to listen. I appreciate you having me on. Thank you. No problem. That’s Tanner Bowman, dispatch and account manager for Liquid Trucking. That’s gonna do it for us here on this episode of the Liquid Trucking Podcast. I wanna say a huge thank you to everyone that came in and, uh, took part in this show today. That’s Tanner Tanner Bowman, excuse me, Nick Meyer, Matt Jackman, Jason Eisenman and Bo Hanky. I love talking to these guys and I absolutely love talking to the drivers as well. So if you’re a driver, listen into this right now and you’re thinking, hey, I wanna be on that damn podcast. Do it? Tell somebody? Tell your dispatcher, get in touch with Bo, get in touch with Jason. Anybody that you think can get you to me, get in touch with them because I’m gonna be looking for drivers to talk to and, uh, I’m always looking for staff members to talk to as well. If you’re in the shop checking it out or you’re in the front office, you want to be on the podcast, we will find a spot for you, ok, interact with us wherever you see this on any social media and make sure that you tell all of your industry friends about it. If they’re in the truck driving industry, there’s a reason that they would want to listen to this podcast. Check it out because we’re here telling the story behind Liquid Trucking, teaching lessons, hopefully making people safe and giving you something to listen to. That’s at least entertaining enough to knock out an hour or so of that long drive. You’ve got ahead of you. So thanks once again to everybody that took part today and thanks to Liquid Trucking for having me here, I’m having so much fun already and we are not very many episodes into this thing. We’ve got a lot in store for you. Just stay tuned. All right. That’s, that’s the best thing I can tell you. Liquid drivers stay tuned. We’ll be back next week. Thanks again for being here. This is the Liquid Trucking podcast. Thanks for tuning in and being the gold standard of drivers on the road. Be sure to like and subscribe to the channel and tune in next week for another episode of the Liquid Trucking podcast.