EP. #5

#5- What Are We Hauling?

So what’s in the tank right now?  We’ll hear from Chris Baltushis, Payton Rockwell and Cory Liles to answer that question.


Chris Baltushis Terminal Manager - South Sioux City
Brian "Polar Bear" Elmquist Professional Driver
Payton Rockwell Dispatcher
Robert Cory Liles Dispatcher


So what’s in the tank right now?  We’ll hear from Barto Terminal Manager Chris Baltushis, Dispatchers Payton Rockwell and Cory Liles to answer that question.  Then we have a great driver profile with the man you all know as Polar Bear, Liquid driver Brian Elmquist.


Liquid Ofc Schmidt and Barto. What is good out there? Welcome in to the Liquid Trucking Podcast episode five. I am your host, Marcus. Thank you so much for being here today. Something you’re gonna hear me say a lot as these podcast episodes continue to roll out is that you will do us a huge favor by subs subscribing to the podcast feed wherever you get it. If you’re a Spotify person, Apple Google, it doesn’t matter. We need those subscribers and those likes and those shares. Uh They do great things for us as a podcast team, helps us get the podcast out there and share the great brand that is Liquid Trucking with anybody that wants to hear it. So if you see us on social media comment, I will see all those comments. I would love to know what you want to hear on this podcast or who you want to hear on this podcast. Is there a driver out there that you would really like to have do a driver profile? Are you that driver? Excellent. Just let us know and uh last ditch effort. If you don’t want to get on the socials, you don’t want to let us know that way. I totally understand. Just let Jason Eisenman know. Let Bo Hanky know, let Nick Meyer know. Let your dispatcher know anybody that you want to tell back at the home office. Uh As long as they can get that information to me, I can definitely make it happen, get you on the podcast or get whoever you think should be on the podcast on the podcast and that goes for office staff as well. Ok, enough homework for the day. What are we getting into? Well, we’re a trucking fleet. We’re, we’re doing trucking fleet things out here, which means we’re hauling goods and today’s episode is going to concentrate on what we’re hauling currently and what we see coming up in the future a little bit for that information. I’m gonna talk to Peyton Rockwell from dispatch. I’m gonna talk to Cory Liles from dispatch and I’m gonna hear from Chris Baltushis for the first time, the manager of the Bartow terminal. Also, we’re gonna talk to one of everybody’s favorite drivers. He goes by polar bear. You might know him as Brian Elmquist. Look, I’m stoked to get this podcast moving. So let’s get into it. Welcome to the Gold standard of podcast for the gold standard of drivers. This is the Liquid Trucking podcast with your host, Marcus Bridges. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. It’s dispatcher Peyton Rockwell Peyton. Thanks for joining us today, man. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. Now, uh, as a dispatcher, I feel like you’ve probably got your finger on the pulse of what liquid is currently hauling. Can you talk to me about any trends that you’ve seen recently in, uh, the freight that you guys are tugging around out there? Yeah. Uh definitely, you know, I’ve been, uh, I’ve been with the company almost five years and I’ve definitely noticed a big trend. Um, over that time, we’ve been focused a lot more primarily on food grade type stuff that we’ve been hauling. I know our, our saving grace during COVID times is definitely hauling the alcohol and things and the like, and that’s certainly never slowed down since I know we’re looking at a lot of different places that are producing stuff for food production, uh, whether it be different kind of oils or different kind of chemicals that we didn’t know were going into our food and even finding stuff in our own backyard that we didn’t know about. Uh, up until the last couple of years. It’s been really nice to get in with them. Uh, we’re shipping a lot more out of places like Blair and Craig than, uh, we ever saw going forward. And do you know, do you see anything that’s maybe behind the uptick in food grade, uh, products or is that just kind of, you’re, you’re in the ocean that is the freight market and you’re just gonna follow where the waves take you with the market. We’re, uh, we’re riding the ship wherever, wherever the water will take us, for sure to get us, uh, get us loads so we can keep everybody moving. Is there anything that you’ve ever dispatched that you look at as food grade? And it gives you pause because you didn’t know that that was a food grade material. Yeah, specifically, uh, the load we do to Calexico, California that goes down into Mexico propionic acid and that goes into making tortillas? Really? And is that a, is that like a hazmat material or anything like that? Like what’s is there? Ok. Wow. Interesting. So our tortillas are potentially hazardous is what you’re saying? Yes. As delicious as they are, man, I eat a ton of them. I’m probably good for 10 tortillas a week at minimum, man. So, yeah, that’s given me pause as well. What else do you see out there? Any other, any other market trends? Are you seeing a dip in any uh any segment that is normally pretty busy at this time of year? You know, we’re still waiting for some of that kind of seasonal and fertilizers and stuff um that we would normally see folks just putting into the ground one last time before everything starts to freeze over. I haven’t really seen a big rush of that come through but I know we’ve been uh filling in elsewhere where we can for sure. And what types of things have you been filling in with? Oh, not anything we can get offered. I mentioned that, uh, facility out of Blair Pure. We’re probably doing about five or six loads a day out of there. They’re giving us loads pretty consistently for sure. That’s great. Uh, can you talk just a little bit about the, uh, the customer relations side of your job? I mean, obviously you’re on with the drivers all day. Uh, you’re, you’re probably on with a lot of customers as well. How do you build strong relationships? And what does that do for you? Uh, as a dispatcher? Oh, we have, uh, we have some pretty great customers here at Liquid Trucking. I know one that I personally have gotten a pretty good relationship is, uh, CJ, BIO in Fort Dodge, Iowa. We call Liz out of there for feed, use generally for pigs and cows. And we, at one point when I was working here we’re doing about five or six loads a day out of there. Then that business tapered off. But in the last couple of years that, that business has grown to anywhere from 10 to 20 loads a day depending on which customers are needing food products and seeing as how they were. Uh, my direct customer, I got to know the guys over there pretty well. I’ve formed some personal relationships with them. They all have my cell number and reach out to me if they ever have any issues after hours or whatnot. And they’re, they’re goofballs and a couple of them will send me a trucking names every now and again. Uh, just, uh, just for fun too. So it’s always really good to have a relationship with the customers so that I, not only will, they know that we’re always there to help them out, but also they can give us a hard time and we can give them a hard time back. It kinda makes the camaraderie a little bit better for the faceless people that you’re seeming to do work with. Absolutely. I mean, if we can’t share memes with one another, what are we really doing? That’s my question. Right. I would agree. Top form of communication. Absolutely. Now, uh, I just got one last question for you here. Um, is there, is there anything to that? Just the Liquid Trucking name, uh, with some of your customers, like just carrying the Liquid trucking name into, uh, some of these pickups and drop offs, get you guys maybe bumped up, moved forward in the line or, or any special treatment that you guys have earned over the years. And before you answer, you don’t have to mention these customers by name. I just wonder if, uh, you know, II I talked to a lot of you guys, I’ve, I’ve worked with a lot of the staff so far. I’m starting to check drivers off and getting to talk to a lot of drivers and what I realize is that you guys are all very friendly. You’re very personable. You’re very easy to work with. I have to figure that buys you guys some, uh, some, some good praise and also maybe some good fortune. Some of your customers. Am I correct in that? Yeah, for sure. I know. I know. Not only, you know, our customers in terms of shippers and receivers, but also a big one of tank washes. You know, they, they see our guys come in and, um, those businesses really like our business. We have a good person relationship with a lot of those guys too. So all they will prioritize some of our stuff in certain places where the markets are just over that with tank washes and they value the relationship that we have with them by choosing them primarily and, you know, maybe putting a couple of our tankers in their yard so that we always have something available there and never once question anything, they’ll just get the job done for us all the time. We hear a lot of customer compliments about our drivers as well that they do feel a sigh of relief sometimes when they see, uh, liquid trucking pull in because they know we’ve got, we’ve got good quality drivers. We’ve got friendly drivers and we have drivers that know what they’re doing when it comes to getting the job done. And now you have a podcast that they can listen to too. So look at that. We’re just knocking it out of the park here. Liquid Trucking. Awesome. Well, Peyton, I really appreciate you sharing the time with us today. We’ll definitely get you back in here again sometime in the future. Uh, but I’ll give you the floor real quick if there’s anything that you have to say to any of your drivers out there that might be listening. Oh, yeah, I just want to say keep up the excellent work. You know, everybody in the dispatch team is doing everything we can moving hell and high water to try to keep everybody moving and keep everybody happy. I know uh being in the new building, we haven’t seen uh everybody come through yet because it’s a little bit separated, but just know that we’re, we’re always out through there. We’re always a friendly face waiting to say hi and we wish everyone the best. That’s Peyton Rockwell out of the dispatch department at Liquid Trucking. Thanks for being here, Peyton. You bet. Thank you, sir. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast, it’s dispatcher, Cory Liles Cory. Thank you so much for joining us today, man. Thanks for having me. No problem. Now, uh We’re talking of course about what liquid is hauling today and uh I’ve got a little bit of insight on it, but I love having the dispatchers on because I feel like you guys have a very unique perspective. Uh As far as you know what drivers have got going on and what you’re tugging around out there. What are some highlights of what your guys’ most popular freight is right now? You know, up here at our location, we’re hauling a lot of chemical, just sulfuric acid caustic soda. Uh We’re coming into bee harvest even now that the weather’s cooling down. So we’re gonna haul, hopefully we’re gonna haul quite a bit of beet molasses around the state and several other state southerner. So, yeah, it’s, uh, we do a lot of chemical. That’s kind of what we uh specialize in up here. Part of. Sure. Do you see a lot of change in the freight that you’re hauling seasonally? Cory? Not necessarily, it speeds up, it slows down, you know, some of the places the ethanol plants that we deliver to, they go through shutdown. So, I mean, you have busy times and not so busy times throughout the year, I think with any business, but I mean, it stays pretty consistent with most of the part, most of the year. Anyway. Uh What kind of trends are you seeing out on the road with drivers right now? Anything, anything crazy or are they seeing a lot of, uh, wildlife on the road this time of year? Are the, the roads starting to get a little bit inclement with the weather change? No, not here yet. I mean, you know, this, this week it’s supposed to dip down into the thirties So, you know, we haul a lot out of Minnesota, South Dakota, up north, North Dakota and stuff. So I’m expecting the roads to kind of take a turn for the worst year, sooner rather than later. But, you know, this weather turning, there’s a lot of deer. So, II I know from experience they’re out moving. Trust me, I’ve hit a few myself here in the last year and especially the last two months. So, you know, it’s something we certainly got to keep an eye out for turkeys. You know, I’ve had turkeys fly through the windshield of trucks before. So, I mean, there’s things out there that, uh, you know, you just gotta be careful to watch for be vigilant for while you’re driving. You guys have had turkeys actually go through the windshield of a truck. I have. Yes. Um, there’s been owls flying through the windshield. Yeah, there’s, you know, I didn’t realize turkeys could to see one sticking through a windshield. So that’s nuts. I’ve only ever seen them. I mean, I’ve seen them take off running and try to get off the ground but they never do a very good job. I wouldn’t ever expect them to be high enough in the air to go through a windshield. But that, I, I imagine that’s pretty daunting. And that happened to you. Were you driving a, a long haul truck or were you just driving a personal rig? No, no, it was a driver of mine. It wasn’t me driving. I get the II, I get the, uh, the fortunate, you know, I sit here and look at it through a computer through camera, things like that. So, um, I mean, I’ve, I’ve hit owls because, you know, I live out near Indian reservations and stuff. So some of the drives I have coming in and on the way home from work you get a lot of bus up and wants to jump out in front of you and try to beat you. But yeah, I’ve, I’ve, uh, I’ve not had a turkey in my personal windshield because my insurance company already doesn’t like me because I seem to find all the deer. But, uh, yeah, you, you, you gotta keep an eye open for sure. You get me sleeping. Now, do you have a Bambi basher or, uh, I guess they call it a grill guard on your personal vehicle because you’re so good at finding deer. No, I figure if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna, you know, I gotta pay a $500 deductible. I’m gonna get some deer meat out of it. I don’t, you know, um, I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna get it. Do not have a guard on it. That’s a, that’s a great, uh, great little point there because there are a lot of states that will let you take that roadkill home if there’s anything salvageable. Um, I, I’m a, I’m a hunter myself. And I never have even thought about that way. But you, you can bet your ass if I hit a deer, I’d be out there trying to salvage a backstrap or something off of it. 0 100%. I’ve had my share of road tag kill pack. So road kill kill, I’ve had deputy sheriffs help me throw them in the truck and everything else. So, yeah, man, Matt take what you get. Well, uh back to the topic at hand. Uh what are you expecting as the end of the year approaches uh to pick up as far as you guys’, freights concerned? Are there any certain categories that really start to, to uh run smooth and run heavy towards the end of the year. Black Friday that whole lot. You know, being my second year, this time of year with the company, I didn’t experience a lot of the pickup in, in, in the end of the year, third quarter, fourth quarter type stuff like, you know, traditionally where I come from, uh you know, drive ans, we’ve seen a huge pickup in fourth quarter for that type of stuff. But, you know, it’s like I said, it stays pretty consistent with tanker. I mean, you have the biggest thing that we see and hopefully we start seeing a more noticeable difference that the freight on is uh the beet molasses cause the beet harvest is coming in. You know, we’re getting uh notifications from customers that they’re gonna start having, uh, some overflow issues. So, yeah, we, we do a lot of beat Molasses CS B by products from the sugar companies up north. So that usually picks up this time of year pretty heavy. But for the most part, you know, chemicals pretty consistent year-round. We deliver to a lot of the ethanol plants, you know, things like that for the chemicals that we go to some of the, uh, you know, Python and things of that nature. So the chemicals that they use, it stays pretty consistent throughout the year. Gotcha. Well, uh, I wanna tell you, thanks again, Cory for coming on here. We’re running up against the clock a little bit. But as a dispatcher, I wanna give you the opportunity to say anything to, uh, any of those truckers that are out there listening. You have the floor, sir, guys know that we appreciate your efforts. We appreciate your time. We certainly appreciate your safety. Pay attention, get home safe and thanks for everything that you guys do. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Cory. Thank you so much for taking the time. We’ll get you back on here soon. All right, sounds good. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Take care, Cory. All right. Liquid trucking. It’s time to get to a little bit of breaking news. I really love that button. Just so you guys know I used to do a little bit of work in news and AM radio. And, uh, that just reminds me of those, like top of the hour news updates. So if you hear me hit this button, like more than I should, that’s why it’s because I really enjoy the sound of it. But let’s get on to the breaking news. And now it’s important to remember here in the Liquid Trucking Podcast, we do record these episodes uh, in the neighborhood of about a week in advance and sometimes we’re recording them a little bit further out in advance just so we can make sure and always have an episode ready for you. So this news might not be in a sense breaking. Sorry, I had to try it again. It, it might not be quite breaking like fresh news off the press that day that you listen to it, but I try to keep it as current as I possibly can and especially with news like this. That’s kind of more long term news than short term news. I’m getting this from the trucker dot com. Two companies with special class eight tractor projects dealing with emissions and aerodynamics have issued important reports on their progress. The Shell starship 3.0 has completed a US West coast demonstration run once again. And company officials say the rig showcases quote, the art of the possible for efficiency and carbon reduction in commercial road transport. End quote. I don’t know if you’ve seen this starship 3.0 from Shell, but it looks like a damn spaceship. It’s crazy. Just smooth edges all the way around. Like it, it comes kind of tapers from the top of the cab right down to where it meets the ground and what looks like super low clearance on this truck. I don’t know. I’m just seeing pictures of it that look like they were taken by a professional. So who knows if that’s exactly what it looks like. But let, let’s get back to this article. Uh The third generation Starship truck equipped with a Cummins X 15 N natural gas engine and powered by renewable natural gas, ran a fully loaded trailer on an 840 mile loop throughout California collecting critical performance data according to a news release, I’m wondering if that critical performance data highlights the, the headache that is California when it comes to truck drivers and just something I’ve heard in all of the ones that I’ve interviewed over at Volvo Trucks, North America VTN. A officials have unveiled the company’s Super Truck two with the debut on the VTN A youtube channel. You can find that over once again at Volvo trucks, North America on youtube. The Super Truck two program is a public private partnership with the US Department of Energy tasked manufacturers with achieving a 100% freight efficiency improvement over their submitted 2009 baseline Volvo truck Super Truck two will make its first public appearance in the Volvo trucks booth at the American Trucking Association’s 2023 management conference and exhibition taking place. October 14th through 17th in Austin Texas, which will offer a glimpse at styling and engineering cues for future generations of trucks. Meanwhile, Shell’s starship 3.0 loaded with shell Rotella engine oil measured sustainable freight, ton efficiency using ton miles of good transported per kilogram of CO2 emitted FTE co2 E as a damn math problem. All right. But these results were third party monitored and verified by the North American Council for freight efficiency. As was done with the first two versions of the starship demonstrations. The shell starship 3.0 completed the demonstration run while operating near the maximum permissible gross vehicle weight of £80,000 for class eight trucks. Shell starship 3.0 achieved improvements over the US average diesel class eight trucks of 2.54 times better freight ton efficiency assessed on a ton MPG basis and 3.23 times better FTE based on a ton miles per kilogram of CO2 emitted basis. There’s a lot of math in that. But what’s it mean? It means that this natural gas truck was 2.54 times more efficient when it comes to its carbon emissions. So listen, diesel six bucks a gallon plus out in California right now. So if they have AAA better fuel, a cheaper fuel that will be as efficient and run these trucks the way that they are meant to be ran and get things where they need to go safely in a timely manner. Then I think this is good news. I do see there’s probably a ton of money, more money than you would ever want to know going into these projects to, to try to figure out what is going to be the most efficient in the best possible route. I’ll tell you this right now. $6 a gallon diesel, ain’t it partner? Let’s move on to this next story. I’ve only got two for you here today. This one we might not see this as uh as good of news as what the natural gas shell starship 3.0 was. But I’ll let you make that decision for yourself. This story comes from the trucker.com as well and out of me, mountain view, California A P Moller Maersk and autonomous trucking outfitter Kodiak Robotics have launched the first commercial autonomous trucking lane between Houston and Oklahoma City. According to a news release, the freight lane marks an expansion of the collaboration between Kodiak and Maersk, which began with their first autonomous freight deliveries together in November 2022. As part of Maersk’s Global Initiation Center program. Kodiak has been delivering eight loads per week with a safety driver behind the wheel for MERS customers since August. According to the news release, Kodiak and MERS are completing four round trips per week on a 24 hour a day, four day a week basis between a Houston facility where consumer products are loaded on to 53 ft trailers and taking them to a distribution center in Oklahoma City. So, uh, autonomous trucking lanes are a thing. Now, that’s, I mean, that is what it says right here. This is the first one that I know of. At least it’s been running this much. And the one good piece of news here. I see because listen, I understand autonomous trucks are not it as far as what truck drivers want to hear about that sketch that’s uh replacing us with robots is what a lot of that looks like. And that’s true. However, it does seem like these trucks are packing a safety driver along with them. So these trucks aren’t running 100% autonomous at this point because there is a red blooded American human uh sitting behind the wheel. He might not be driving, but he’s in there just in case anything goes wrong. I got a $1700 computer sitting in front of me and this thing blew screens and I, I lose audio from time to time. What happened if that happens in a damn truck while you’re in the lane? Ok. Everything just shuts down and we got to go do a fresh reboot to get this thing back on the road. You need a person there to run that. It’s not something that you can do from a computer thousands of miles away. In my humble opinion. But it’s important to remember my humble opinion and 50 cents won’t buy you a cold still cup of coffee at the next flying J that you pass. So there’s that, that’s your breaking news for episode five of the Liquid Trucking Podcast. Let’s get on to the next interview, knowledge and stories from coast to coast. This is your driver profile. It’s time for our driver profile here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. And today we’ve got a great guest. You might know him as Brian Elmquist, but we all know him here at Liquid Trucking as polar Bear. Uh, polar Bear. Thank you so much for being here today. My friend, I’m glad to be on here. Now. You gotta tell me a little bit about the nickname because, uh, when I was hunting down guests for this podcast, I kept hearing the name Polar Bear over and over and over again. Nobody ever called you by your actual name, Brian. So tell me about the nickname. Is that AC B Handle? Where did it come from? All that good stuff. So it started, uh, gonna go back. I’ve been here 22 years now, almost 23 about 18, now, 15 years ago, went to a shipper and he used to call me big horse. And then my sister rode with me one day to go get a trailer, go back home and I was about knee deep in the snow with I wear shorts and tank top year round. Hence the name. So when we got back in the truck, she goes, I got a new nickname for you and she says polar bear. And I’m like, you know what I like that. So it stuck. That’s how I got my name. Shorts and a tank top year round. So you’re creeping on. What must be the most uncomfortable season for you? I hate, I hate summer. Yes, that’s my worst season. I’m, I’m getting ready to come into my comfortable time. Ok. So you like being cold? Then? I do. I don’t get cold. I only wear pants. Now, I’m not an idiot. If it’s 17 below out, I’m gonna dress up. But if it’s, if it’s, you know, if it’s around freezing or colder, I mean, I may wear a light jacket on top and a stocking hat because I’m bald, but I very seldom wear, I very seldom wear pants. That’s amazing. Well, I love it. Do they call you polar bear over the CV as well? Yeah. Like I’ve talked to a lot of drivers. The only thing polar bear. Trucking. Like my family, my immediate family knows about it, but my extended family, like aunts, uncles, cousins, they don’t know anything about it. So, it’s only trucking. Gotch you. So you said you’ve been doing this for? How long? And first of all, how long have you been trucking in general? And how long have you worked? For liquid just so I can get that straight. Roger in April of 23 or 24. Excuse me will be uh 23 years. I got started here in 01. I’ve worked for farmers. I, I have no trucking history but back in the day, if you were a farmer and you knew your way around equipment, that’s how I got hired with no experience. Ok, I got it. So what’s kept you at liquid all these years? The biggest reason is, uh, in 03, I totaled a tractor trailer, took a curve too fast. Three quarters loaded, went to sign my insurance papers and Roger’s like, are you gonna go back to trucking? I said, depends. Do I have a job? I’m not gonna go look for one and they kept me on. So I mean, that’s dedication to me. So like I’ve told a couple of the people that are liquid trucking have I thought of quitting every day. But the thinking part is different than doing. It’s, it’s an amazing company and I tell all the newer drivers, you know, if something’s not right, talk to them, you know, and when we’re in a bad time, there’s not a lot they can do about it. You gotta, gotta enjoy the good times or the bad times along with the good times for sure. It’s just like being in any family every day is not gonna be perfect. But uh the, the bigger picture is that it’s, it’s a much better situation than you might have elsewhere. That’s exactly it. Yeah. And make like any job, make it the way it is. Try to have fun with it again. You know, trucking is not what it used to be 20 years ago. What are some of the biggest differences that you notice, um, automatic transmissions? Um, the, the newer crowd? I mean, there is no, there is no courtesy out here anymore. You know, you can’t holler at anybody on the CB. Hey, what’s the chicken house behind you doing? Hey, what’s the weather like? You can’t do that anymore? Very, very sell them and just computers. I mean, it’s, I, I hate to admit it. I wouldn’t turn my automatic truck down. I really like it just because I’ve driven it for so many years. It’s, it’s just like I said, you gotta get used to your surroundings, you gotta get used to your job and this is computers. Is the new age. Do you feel like, uh, because of all the new technology and the automatic transmissions and everything that the drivers that are coming out of, uh, CD L school now are, are a little bit less prepared than what you were when you came out because they’ve got so many things that are helping them along the way now. 0 100%. I don’t trust like I pull a tanker. Hence, liquid trucking. Um, I don’t feel as safe with an automatic going down a mountain with my jake brakes as I do with a manual transmission. I just feel a lot safer with that gear shift in my hand. Sure, I can imagine. I mean, listen, you don’t have to see very many, uh, very many big rigs parked in those, uh, runaway ramps for you to really understand why, uh, an, an automatic transmission could provide a few challenges headed down some of these grades. Yeah, exactly. And like the saying goes, you can go down the hill 20 times too fast or too slow, but you’ll only go down too fast once. And, you know, and that’s the other thing that I do like about the automatic. So you’re cruising along at 70 mile an hour. Look up there three miles ahead of you. Oh, that word. And we’re coming to a complete stop. You just tap the gas pedal and it knows where you need to be a manual transmission. You gotta start downshifting quick. So that is a plus over it. Like I said, I’m, I’m, I’m with an automatic transmission. I’m, I’m the new, like I tell another driver I talked to, I’m, I’m, I’m a new age driver. Well, would you say that maybe it would be, it would better prepare, uh, some of these younger drivers if they did come out and have to drive a stick shift for a while before they transition to an automatic. 0 100% 100%. Yes. And the other thing, they’re making these trucks to where they have all these sensors on them to where you really don’t have to pay attention. It lets you know when you leave your lane, I do really like when you’re, you know, we have the front radar. I like it to let me know. Ok, I’m kind of slowing down. How fast are they going? And I got plenty of room. Let’s come around or I had it one time where just cruising along, not a care in the world and all of a sudden this thing just jetted me forward and I always keep it on the radar so I can tell how fast they’re doing. So I was doing about 65 and they were doing about 45. So cleared the lane and out I come, you know, they should have never been on the road, but it’s just my, my theory on the way these new trucks are and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s all about insurance. Right. Well, it, it seems like maybe you guys that have been at this 20 or 30 years at this point in time, your senses got sharpened when you were younger without all of these extra insurance aids if you will. And so now it’s like it doubles up for you because you still have these instincts in the back of your mind. But you also have technology helping you, uh, remember those instincts, whereas the guys that grew up driving with all of this technology are never gonna hone those, uh, those real kind of, I don’t know what the word that I’m looking for here is, but just those, those real basic instincts that make you, you know, have complete control of the truck while rather than allowing a computer to do it for you. No. Exactly. And I know what you’re talking about. So you’re getting ready to take the mountain. You know, let’s say Arizona, which is a 7%. You know, the theory is you should be, you should go down one year higher than you went up. That’s or lower. However, your theory is, and that’s exactly. You’re doing 70 mile an hour getting ready to go down to 7%. Your truck doesn’t know that you have to overthink your truck. You have to hit your jake brake. You have to, you know, try to get it to a slow speed before you hit the main part of the mountain. For sure. You know, I’m over here on the west coast polar bear and there’s 11, I guess mountain pass that I had to drive all the time when I was a kid and, and also now into my adult years and that is Cabbage Hill, uh on, on interstate 84. And, uh, I think it’s about 7% as well, man. I see some rigs flying down the backside of that hill and it’s always made me wonder, is that, is that something that started before they got ready for it? Like, are they going that fast just because they didn’t prepare for it like you’re talking about? No, I think I see that all the time too. They come flying around me and it’s like, well, I’ll see you in the ditch on the way down the other thing. Unless they’re a flat bed, you don’t know if they’re loaded or not. You know, you can go a lot faster down a hill. That’s my theory. Or when I’m chugging up a hill, you know, like the Arizona mountains, which I do a lot of, I 40 are used to and, uh, you know, I’m chugging up a mountain doing 35 mile an hour and they’re coming around me doing 7075. Well, do they got a, you know, do they got ad D 22 that, you know, as, you know, 8000 horsepower to the ground or, or are they empty? Right. And it, it’s conventional logic would say probably empty if they’re moving up the mountain that fast and you can slow down a lot quicker. And there’s a really good chance that they know that mountain, there’s a really good chance they take that area a lot. So they know, you know, ok, I’m good for three miles going down this straight away and then I get up here and, you know, I can do 65 70 75 down, but four miles up there, I need to get down around 60 there’s a good chance they know that, I think for sure. At least you hope so. Hope so. Yeah. Crossed anyway. So where are you at today? And where are you headed? Uh, I lost out on the load in Billings, Montana due to they could not hook up to our trailer, needed to have a, like an extension pipe and it was just gonna be too much. So in the trucking world, I have a full load of sailboat fuel on right now in a tanker. So if you can’t figure that out, I’m empty. You know, I’m bouncing all the way back to our, our Bardo yard in South Sioux City, Nebraska. So my fuel mileage is gonna be awesome. And remember the mills I told you about, I’m gonna be going across 2, 12 up some mountains. So I’m gonna have that DD 22 to the ground. Perfect. Well, I mean, at least you’ll get home quick as long as you get home safe. That’s all we’re concerned about. Right. That’s 100%. It. Yep. I got kids and grandkids at home that my wife likes it when I’m out here because I’m making the money. But my, my, uh, kids and grandkids like to see me at home for sure. How old are your kids? And, uh, how many grandkids? And how old are they? So I’ve got, the oldest boy is 33 just turned 33. And then the next daughter is, uh, 28 and then the next daughter is 20 let’s see, 2825. And then, um, as far as the grandkids, the oldest grandkid is a boy, he’ll be 11 in, uh, January 4th. And then the next one is eight B nine in April of next year. And then the next one is uh, yeah, six and then the next one is gonna be four. That’s what I told the dog. I told the kids don’t have any more. I know their ages and I know their names and I know all of it, you know, but you’re running out of capacity for more, right? I am. Yeah. Yeah. Like all the kids I gotta start at the oldest and then six and then three and three years apart. It’s just exactly like the grandkids and the oldest one brody is he lived with us from an infant, uh, just his mom and I, we decided, you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna live with us, you know, she didn’t have a lot of money. So he’s my, he’s my knight in shining armor. However you want to say it. He’s everything to me. I bet, man. And they’re getting to those ages now where you got baseball games and you got soccer games and you’ve got school concerts and all that fun stuff to go to again. Right. And, well, yeah, that I miss, I miss everything because I’m a long haul driver. I pay for everything. I just, yeah, they’re in, the two boys are in, uh, flag football right now. So I, uh, yeah, I paid for all of that because it’s, you know, it’s something they wanna do once again. That’s why I’m out here, I’m out here to help them. That’s awesome. Well, you know what, it takes, uh, some type of motivation, whether it be a lot of motivation or just a little to do the job that you do. Uh, polar bear. And, uh, it sounds like you’ve got more than enough motivation waiting back at home for you. I do. Yep. But once again, you go home, the money don’t come in and you spend money because I gotta buy this and this job here that I’ve been putting off, I gotta get and guess how, that’s how that stuff gets paid for. So, like you said, you think about quitting every day but you’re never gonna do it. Right. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna have to take me out of this truck. That’s the way I want it. I don’t want to do anything else. My back and my hips and my knees are shot. I can’t stand, I can’t walk. I mean, to a point, you know, I wouldn’t be able to do an eight hour job standing there pushing buttons for, at a robot wouldn’t be able to do that and the money, I mean, anybody that says they don’t truck for the money is not telling the truth. That’s the only, that’s the biggest reason we’re out here without going hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to sit behind a computer to make, you know, let’s say 75 80,000 a year, you know, you’re gonna go into debt for it. And how long is the job gonna last? And I don’t know that I, I don’t know if I’m a suit and tie person. I don’t think I am. I can definitely echo that sentiment. Polar bear. I, uh, you know, every now and then I put it on. My wife likes the way that it looks, but I’m uncomfortable the whole damn time. I’ll be 100% honest with you. Give me a t-shirt and jeans or a t-shirt and shorts. I’m happy. Yeah. Well, one of our, one of our drivers, his sister, brother-in-law had passed away, so they had a tie of two polar bears on it. So he got it and gave it to me. I got it hanging on my mirror in my, in my pickup that I drive and the wife seen it and she’s like, what’s that polar bear thing for? I said when I got to wear a tie, I got a tie to wear. She goes, well, what shirt are you gonna wear? I said I’m gonna wear my tank top you’re gonna wear a tie with a tank top. I’m like, do you not know who I am? You know, just a joke. I’d love to see it though. You gotta get us a picture for the podcast if you ever end up in the tank top and the polar bear tie. Uh, that, that ought to be how they take your company photo if they ever need one of those. Yeah. And back to that there is probably less people that know my real name because I’m about the only one in the company that has a nickname but, you know, like I’ve said, be here this long through the thick and thin. I thought it was cool because, uh, when I called you to set this interview up, uh, we missed each other and when you called me back, your phone, your number came up on my phone as polar bear. It’s, it’s in there. I mean, the phone company even knows you as polar bear phone company. Yeah. I, uh, I didn’t know that my wife set it up but this was about four years ago I was trying to get a hold of a customer and just couldn’t. So I kept calling back and the guy answers the phone. He goes, ok, I’ve talked to Santa Claus and another one, I can’t remember something to do with winter. He goes, now I got the polar bear. He goes. Where am I at? And I’m like, what wait a minute. How do you know that? And he goes, well, I’m looking at it, it come up polar bear. So I asked my wife about it and she started laughing, you know, you can put a nickname on your phone because every time the accounts in my name, so she would call somebody. Well, it comes up my name. Well, they wouldn’t answer or didn’t know who she was. So that’s why she put mine and hers and both daughters, we still got one on there. But you know the, that’s where she put the nicknames on there. I like it. Yeah, that’s quick thinking man. And look, there’s a lot of nicknames out there that don’t do the person justice. It sounds like polar bears. A pretty fitting one for you. It is. I had to help the youngest daughter. Her car got totaled due to hail. Um, so we totaled the car. So since it was in my name just to help her out, you know, the insurance and she made the payment, but I paid the insurance. So when I’m talking to the insurance lady and we were just idle chit chat. She goes, how long you been driving? And I said, 0, 22 years, the same company. She goes are you infamous in your company? And I said, I bet there ain’t nobody that doesn’t know who I am, especially in the winter time. They can look clear down to the trailer shop and see some nut walking around in shorts and a tank top with snow on the ground is gonna know who that is. I just thought that was kind of funny when she asked me that. I’m like, yeah, I’m infamous or famous, infamous. It does you a disservice? I think famous on the company is a better way to put it. Yeah, just the way she said it or I’ll be sitting at the break room with somebody not knowing who they are. And I’m like, hey, I’m Brian or, you know, I’m like, hey, you know, who are you? And I’m like, I’m polar bear and they’re like, oh, yeah, I know who you are. We met here and I’m like, ok, as long as you remember, all of them will say, yeah, I’ve heard of, you know, that’s why I love it, man. Well, uh let me ask you this real quick, you know, uh we, we had an episode last week about the gold standard of drivers and how liquids looking for, you know, pretty much drivers at the very top of their game. If there were any prospective liquid employees listening to this podcast that we’re trying to maybe get on as a driver for liquid, what type of advice would you offer them polar bear? So one thing I would definitely tell him is Tanke is a, is a, you know, a career in its own uh uh you know, uh an equipment I guess you would say it’s one of them. You, you can’t not respect it. It’ll make you respect it, you know, hence my, but, and then this is one of the companies that we’ve got long haul, we’ve got short haul, we’ve got home every week. So, you know, there’s options, however you wanna do it, you wanna stay out, they’ve got it, you know, if you wanna be home every week and you know, let’s say something comes up and you need a couple weeks off, you know, they will accommodate you. So they’re, they’re very giving in where you wanna run, how you wanna run and your home time. I mean, every other weekend I gotta be home because I’ve got a kid or a grandkid or I need, you know, and then, hey, I was just home, but next weekend my grandson has a football game. I need to be home for it and they, you know, as long as you put in the time, they’re gonna make sure you’re home for it. That’s awesome. I, I’ve heard that a lot so far and, uh, it seems to be a place that drivers really like to work and, and it really takes care of you guys. They think of you as a big family rather than just a number. Um, so all these things are great. Well, well, hey, Brian, I’m coming up on, excuse me. Hey, polar bear, I’m coming up on the end of our clock here. So I want to give you the real quick, if there’s anything you would like to say to any of your fellow liquid drivers or any of the staff back at the front office, they might be listening to this. So please, the floor is yours? Well, like I’ve told the Schmidts every time I thank them for keeping me employed through what I did and through all my, uh, hard times that I’ve had with them and, you know, not telling them how bad they are, but just giving them a hard time and just, it’s a good company. I just can’t say enough. I’ve, I’ve always gotten my check. There’s, you know, we’ve got a lot of people, drivers, the girls, the wash out guys. You know, we got a lot of people on this team to make sure we run in a straight and we do really good at it. It sure seems like it. That’s Brian Polar Bear, Elmquist Liquid Tanking driver, uh, for more than 20 years. Thank you so much for sharing some time and, uh, some insight with us today. Polar Bear, we really appreciate it. Well, this has been fun. I, like I told you, I’ve never been on a podcast and it’s, it’s like, you know, it’s like my, my wife always says, I, you know, I, I can talk to a pole and get an answer and I, I can talk to a stranger and, and talk to him, especially football. So, yeah, we’re both strangers, but hopefully we know each other a little more now and I appreciate you thinking of me. Well, and now you mentioned one of my, one of my hot buttons. So, uh, you’re, you’re out there in the Midwest, you got a Nebraska phone number. Are you a Nebraska Cornhusker fan? Are you a Hawkeye fan? Where do your allegiances lie during college football season? Hawkeye? And I’m not really a college. It’s just, it’s family. My mom’s side is all big, big Hawkeye fans. So I just follow them and I’m not really a Nebraska fan just due to the, you know, the way the Osborne days, how everything was. They were number one. And, yeah, I just kind of followed the Hawkeyes more but more NFL. I like about every team, but I’m a huge Kansas City fan. Oh, that’s gotta be easy to do these last five or six years. I’ve been it through all the thick and thin. Yeah, when I’m like, come on, anybody want to win, play the, play the Chiefs, you’ll guaranteed, get it, you know, bring your high school team, you’ll get it, you know. So, yeah, so this Patrick Mahomes tenure has been a long time coming for you is what you’re saying, you know what they’ve got him tuned in and he’s tuned in. He’s not going anywhere. They’ll make sure of it. Look at that last contract and I don’t know, like I always say they’re the luckiest, unluckiest team out there. They can be 40 to nothing and still come back and win it except for when we, except for the Super Bowl, when we played the, uh, the, uh, Tampa Bay Bucks with Tom Brady, which I’m glad he retired. I think we all are. And, uh, I’ve got some personal experience with you guys in the Super Bowl because I’m a diehard 49er fan from the day I was born. And so, uh, we got one less trophy that has Patrick’s name on it right now in my eyes. So we’ll see you back there again and I’m pretty sure of that. Yeah, that, that, that was the first year that we won it and that was, that was a good, that was a good one. They say that’s what they’re predicting 49ers and Chiefs again and I hope it’s the same outcome. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, no feelings, man. That’s football, but I’ll tell you what if they make the Super Bowl again, I’ll get you back on the podcast leading up to it so we can trade punches. All right. Oh, man, that would be awesome. Keep my number. Yes, I will for sure. Polar bear, you be safe out there. Keep the shiny side up and we’ll be in touch. Ok? I sure will again. Thank you for calling me and I’ve really enjoyed this. All right. That’s awesome. That’s Brian Polar. Bear Elmquist, Liquid Trucking Driver. Thanks Brian. And as I say, polar bear out. All right. All right, bye. And now Bartow terminal manager, Chris Baltushis. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. We’ve got Bartow terminal manager, Chris Baltushis coming at us from South Sioux City, Nebraska. Chris. Thank you so much for being here today. How are you doing? I’m doing outstanding. How are you doing? I can’t complain, man. It’s a little early over here on the west coast, but that’s all right. You know, it’s, it’s that time of year where you get up and it’s dark outside. You just got to deal with it. Yeah. Gonna be that way before long here too once we get in the winter time. Yeah, I’m imagining you guys are probably looking at another uh crazy winter out there in the Midwest now. Uh We’re talking about what liquid and Barto are hauling right now and I just wanted to get in touch with you uh out there in South Sioux City and see what you guys have got kind of trending right now for your loads. Well, trending right now, I mean, chemical is always chemical. You know, we still haul the sulfuric acid and caustic soda ethanol plants with harvest coming on. Um full swing. You know, the ethanol plants we fired up, do a little more processing. A lot of it depends on oil prices. You know, it’s just the typical market has been for years. Uh, this time of year you’re getting the fall feed. So we’ll start moving a lot of different molasses ingredients out of North Dakota and Minnesota going down into Iowa out to Michigan stuff like that. You know, it just just depends, you know, you mentioned Molasses there, Chris and whenever I hear the word molasses, I think thick, heavy sticky does that stuff, uh, haul different than, you know, some of the ethanol gasses, some of the things that are a little bit lighter that you guys tow around. So, yeah, Molasses was generally loaded between 7090 degrees depending on where you’re loading at. And that’s, that’s a heavier product. I mean, it probably, it probably weighs in that, you know, 10 to £12 per gallon range and in the wintertime it gets thick and becomes kind of a pain in the butt to pump off. But, you know, we, we train our drivers to, you know, work efficiently. They, they’re able to heat the product up to get it up. They’ll flow through the valves and, you know, it’s not as bad as what people think. But yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a thick heavy ingredient. I imagine the washouts for Molasses are kind of a pain in the ass. No, not really up here in our tank wash. You know, you run about 200 degree water so you put, you know, that kind of water through a trailer, it’s gonna cook everything out of there. Yeah, that’s true. I, I was fortunate enough to stand up on the catwalk above one of the tankers when they were washing it out when I was down there visiting. And, uh, that was just a crazy amount of steam that was coming out of that truck. I, those guys hats off to the tank wash crew because, uh, that’s not a job that I want. No. No. Yeah, that’s, that’s a very, very, uh, in depth and, uh, I don’t know how to word it, but, yeah, them guys do a heck of a good job for us. Yeah, they really do. Uh, back to the topic at hand here, Chris. Uh, what do you see off the future? Do you guys expect anything to kind of bump up as far as, uh, how much you’re hauling it as the year comes to a close here? Well, like I said, you know, this time of year you’re getting in the fall feed season. So, you know, your molasses is moving so that farmers can make lip tubs and stuff for their cattle, their sheep, their horses, stuff like that, you know, because they’re not gonna be able to get natural food out of the ground with snow pack. So that picks up, that runs pretty good in through January, February. And then you start getting into, uh, Springfield for fertilizer. So I’ll start moving that afterwards as far as business model forecast, you know, for the rest of the year at the beginning of next year, it looks about the same as it’s been all year. You know, it hit and mess. We’re busy, then we’re, you know, steady, then we’re busy, then we’re steady. This industry, it just kinda stays the same, you know, I mean, it really doesn’t change much. You, you might, you might haul, you know, to the same place five or six times and then the next thing, you know, you’re hauling somewhere else five or six times and then it just changes all over again. You go somewhere completely different. Um, the tanker business is just different. Sure. Sure. Well, hey, that’s one of the reasons we’re doing this podcast. So, uh, I’m glad to hear that, you know, and especially because I get to talk to you guys who know it so well. It, it, it plays very well here on the podcast to talk about it a little bit of a different, uh, trucking company. Yeah, I, I just, I really appreciate the time today. Chris. I did want to ask you, um, have you put the Harley away for the season yet or? You still got that thing out? You ride it around, what’s going on there? Oh, no. Harley. Harley doesn’t get put away until it’s so cold. I can’t stand it. Iii I, I’ve ridden in below 32 degree weather with snow on the ground, probably 3 ft high. You’re a mad man. Hey, you know what, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Well, hey, I, I love it, man. I’m, I’m really looking forward to getting to uh, talk to you more on this podcast and I, you’ve got some great stories. Uh We were chatting about that a little bit before we came on one of these times. We’re gonna have a little bit of a story time with you. Here’s some of the great uh experiences that you’ve had while out there in the Bartow Terminal. Uh, but thank you for being on here today. We really appreciate it. I know you’re, you’re tight on time. So I’m gonna let you get out of here. Ok? No, you’re fine. You’re fine. Just add this to a podcast, you know, just, you know, uh we appreciate every single drag that works for us. You know, they have a hard job to do. Um We want them to be home and, and safe with their families at the end of the week and we just thank them for everything they do for this company to make us who we are very well. Said that’s the Bartow terminal manager, Chris Baltushis. Thanks for being here, Chris. You bet. Thank you. Have a good day. You too time to back this puppy in and shut her down for the night that puts the brakes on episode five of the Liquid Trucking Podcast. Again, we want to thank all of our guests today, Peyton Rockwell, Cory Liles, Brian Polar Bear Elmquist and Chris Baltushis. Uh Really appreciate the interviews. I’m loving how this thing is shaping up so far. We’re only five episodes in and we have talked to some great personalities from Liquid Trucking and we will only be piling those up. Uh I’ve been in contact with Jason about this. We’ve got some great ideas for this podcast moving forward. So please, once again, like I said at the top, go ahead and subscribe. It doesn’t cost you anything. But if you click that subscribe button on whatever podcast platform you use to find this podcast, it will tell you every single week when a new episode drops. Now we plan on dropping those episodes at 5 a.m. central every Wednesday, but there has been a time or two in the past where, you know, maybe somebody’s sick, maybe we’re having technical difficulties and we have to issue an episode like a day late or something that happens very, very rarely. But if you’re subscribed on your favorite podcast platform, it will not not bug you at all because you will know exactly when the next episode is available. So look for him. Wednesdays 5 a.m. central bright and early before the sun comes up. We’re out there for you to listen to. I think that’s about it. You guys thank you so much. Once again for being here, it’s the Liquid Trucking podcast. We’re here for a good time. And we’re also hopefully here for a long time. Remember that? 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.