Cavaliers for the Community: Oakley partner Love’s Travel Stop raises millions for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Oakley is proud to partner with some of the nations finest companies, respected not only for their quality of service but also for their altruistic character. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is more than a family-favorite rest stop, they are cavaliers for their community. From August through the end of September, Love’s conducted their annual fundraising campaign for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The explosion of love and dedication to raise hope for children in need was unprecedented this year.
The famed travel stop company raised $2.76 million dollars for CMN Hospitals. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospital treats hundreds and thousands of children with trauma, diabetes, cancer, surgical needs as well as infants in NICU. These hospitals are governed under a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase funds to support gaps caused by medicaid and insurance coverages. Love’s stepped in to help fill that void through donations.
“We’re so grateful that Love’s Travel Stops’ employees and customers helped smash this year’s campaign fundraising goals,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, in a press released published by Love’s. “The generosity and dedication that everyone has shown to help their local communities and save kids’ lives is tremendous.”
To help acquire the finances vital for CMN’s services, Love employees facilitated a five week donation-focused campaign with activities that included 5k runs, bowling and fishing tournaments, cookouts and more.
Additionally, during National Coffee Day, Love’s utilized the help of caffeine lovers to increase their contributions. Every 24 oz coffee and cappuccino was discounted to $1, and every sale was accorded to the hospitals.
Despite hurdles that were met along the way as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, employees were still able to raise over $2 million, setting a new company record.
“Every year, our employees show passion for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and this year they also demonstrated perseverance,” said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love’s, in the company’s press release. “Other locations stepped up their fundraising efforts so we could still make a difference for kids while employees in storm-affected areas focused on recovery efforts.”
We are extremely proud to partner with a company whose efforts within the community speak volumes of the organization’s true character, Owner and Founder Thomas E. Oakley says.
“Loves philanthropic effort speak volumes of the organization’s true character, and we at Oakley are extremely proud to partner with the company, Owner and Found Thomas Oakley says. “Throughout our partnership with Loves, we see and feel their genuine care about the drivers on the road. These actions along with their contribution to the community are pillars of a strong partner."
Good afternoon, Oakley family! We are thrilled to finally be kicking off our Driver Appreciation Week at our headquarters terminal in Lake Wales. Each day we will be raffling off great prizes and announcing the daily winners below. Please contact the HR department to collect your goodies ;) Good luck to all of those participating in the drawing!
We look forward to seeing you this week. Thank you for all of your hard work!
Day 1 Winners
We are happy to announce that Day 1 of Driver Appreciation went splendidly! Our drivers enjoyed donuts and coffee for breakfast at the Lake Wales Terminal and then pizza and wings for lunch provided by Ryder. During the afternoon, we held a random drawing for some great prizes. The following 10 drivers were randomly selected to receive prizes (please get with HR to claim your prize.).
Day 2 Winners
On day two of our Driver Appreciation Week at the HQ Lake Wales Terminal, our employees enjoyed a delicious home-cooked breakfast of biscuits, gravy and sausage prepared for them by Brian Staten’s wife. Lunch was graciously provided by Boulevard & Bridgestone Tire! Below is the list of raffle prize winners for day #2. Congrats!
Day 3 Winners
Day 4 Winners
Day 5 Winners
Drivers and staff are the heart beat of Oakley Transport, and recently, a whole lot of love has been pulsing through their veins. After two powerful hurricanes sent a monsoon of tragedy flooding through Texas and Florida, an explosion of kindness arose from the most unlikely of places. Despite their own messes, Oakley employees have shown the ultimate act of selflessness by helping pump life back into the ventricles of their community.
When Hurricane Harvey practically halted life in Houston, TX. area, Oakley staff from around the country scrambled to move fleets to safety and lend a hand to those stranded in affected areas. A few weeks later they found their efforts on repeat in the south.
Because Irma’s treacherous winds threatened disaster upon Florida, Oakley’s headquarter terminal in Lake Wales made the decision to close for the week, even though it was imperative operations continued.
When a normally 24/7 staffed HQ is suddenly disabled, it takes an incredible team effort to keep the wheels rolling. Without fail, Oakley staff from around the country stepped up to the plate, working overtime to cover lost hours in Lake Wales and ensure the company did not miss a step. Even after Irma, those who had no water or power were still coming to the office daily.
However, these employees weren’t heroes merely because of their dedication to the job. It was by their simple acts of kindness to brighten people’s days that made them drivers in shining armor.
Generators, gas, food and air-conditioned hotel rooms were all provided for those who needed help getting back on their feet. Oakley even bought 50 pizzas one day just so their employees could enjoy the comfort of a hot meal.
The love also went beyond Oakley’s tight-knit family as staff went out of their way to provide for strangers in their community. People raved about their generosity on the company’s Facebook page.
“An Oakley employee named Ashley Stewart was in the Batteries Plus Bulbs store in Lake Wales today and realized we had no AC. She returned a couple hours later with three fans and a case of water for my employees. She asked for nothing in return, but I think she deserves a little recognition. You should be extremely proud to have such a fine person representing your company.” - Facebook Review on Oakley Transport
Texas and Florida experienced a lot of tumult and hurt in the past weeks. But Oakley demonstrated their true philanthropy by coming together to do what they do best, be a family and spread the family love to those around them.
Are you a fan of scoring great prizes? Starting this month, we have created a contest that is right up your alley. With iPad minis just waiting to be given away, we are looking to see which Oakley employees can do a stellar job at referring new people to our family. Are you ready to get on board?
Every month from September through December, the top two drivers who generate the most referrals will take home an iPad Mini!
If you’re part of the Oakley family, you’re eligible for the Oakley giveaway! Drivers, mechanics, maintenance personnel and office employees are all encouraged to participate.
In order for you to be eligible to receive the iPad mini, the driver you refer must complete a full application and hold a valid Class A CDL. If a previous Oakley employee is referred, the rehire must have been gone for a minimum of 30 days.
In the case of a tie, winners will be selected at random in a drawing.
How to enter for a chance to win an iPad Mini:
The name of the referrer must be submitted by one of the following:
1. An email or picture of a referral card emailed to email@example.com
2. An entry at http://drive4oakley.com/ref
3. Listed on the original application submitted
The month in which the application is submitted will count towards that said month's giveaway
Fleet Owner is a digital news source for the freight transport business and reaches 96,500 subscribers, many of whom are fleet executives and managers.
Recently, CCJ showcased Oakley Transport’s announcement of becoming the first liquid food grade transportation company globally to earn ISO 9001:2015 and 2200:2005.
CCJ Innovator: Oakley Transport takes the lead in food safety management, quality
In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act expanded the domain of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration beyond regulating food producers alone.
“Everyone in the entire food supply chain is now responsible to the FDA,” says Allen Warner, director of quality for Oakley Transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 139). “The FDA had rarely walked into a trucking company before, so that puts us on a different level of inspection and responsibility.”
With the FDA’s broad authority to regulate the food supply chain, motor carriers began to investigate how the agency’s new rules would impact their organizations. The wheels of government turned slowly.
“It kept going on,” says Tommy Oakley, president and chief executive officer of the Lake Wales, Fla.-based company. “The (FDA) would pass the ball from one group to another, and it never got traction.”
As the process dragged along, Oakley saw an opportunity to take the lead. Tommy, and the management team, began working with customers and trade groups such as the Juice Products Association, which represents the fruit and juice products industry, to establish standards and best practices for food safety and food defense.
Having been in the food industry since 1961, Oakley Transport had become familiar with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications. Many of the fleet’s customers had quality management systems; most motor carriers in the food sector did not.
More than three years ago, Oakley Transport’s management team decided to earn ISO certifications without being pushed by regulations or prodded by customers. The company started on this path to get ahead of FDA and customer requirements.
“We try to look five to 10 years ahead and see where we are at,” Oakley says.
ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard for quality management. ISO 22000 sets requirements for a food safety management system, but leaders saw opportunities to improve customer service, safety and other areas beyond food safety.
“The whole program is customer-focused,” Warner says.
Soon after Oakley Transport started on this path, the company hired Warner to steer its ISO certification process. He came from a 35-year career at Pepsi, where he led quality initiatives.
“We realized we had to convert a trucking company into a food hauler of all bulk commodities,” Warner says. “It sounds simple, but the company is much different now. We are no longer just a trucking company, but we are a food transporter that is customer-focused.”
Among the first orders of business was to revamp the fleet’s training programs, focus employees and change its culture to that of a food transporter.
Whereas many over-the-road carriers will dispatch a new driver after only a couple of days of training at the office, Oakley Transport’s driver orientation training takes a minimum of five days and can last up to two weeks.
“Most trucking companies want to feed the machine and get (drivers) producing,” says Ryan Walls, director of risk management and driver relations. “We can’t do that with what we do.”
In retrospect, creating new quality management policies and procedures for employee background checks, seal security, tank washes and other areas was the easy part. The harder part was change management.
“It was pretty painstaking, because we had to change the whole culture of the company,” Oakley says. “People had to be thinking these things every day, know the processes, and if they had a problem, they had to know where to go look for it.”
As Oakley Transport rolled out new quality management and continuous improvement programs, its customers and vendors took notice.
“The last thing we want and the customer wants is to contaminate food anywhere,” Walls says. “We absolutely work with customers to make sure their products are coming onto and leaving our trucks in pure form. That for us is the end game.”
Some shipper customers have asked Oakley Transport to certify the quality of their own private tank washes. The fleet welcomes such opportunities to audit its customers and vendors to help them be better, Warner says.
The focus on quality recently led to an alliance with one of its vendors, Quala, which operates more than 60 wash locations nationwide.
“They put in some first-class food bays for us, ” Oakley says. “We also partnered with them to put in terminals at their locations, which has created great efficiencies for us.”
Last year, the Juice Products Association, which includes many of Oakley Transport’s customers, held a meeting at the fleet’s headquarters to draft new testing specifications for the quality of tank washes nationwide.
“Food safety and defense has to be taken seriously,” Warner says. “When you help a customer or a supplier, everybody wins.
Unlike any food transport company, Warner says Oakley takes its customer complaints one step further and tracks its own internal errors. The company also conducts random simulated mock recalls to insure that the processes in place are being followed. Findings are acted upon and changes are made to continuously improve its processes.
Sometimes an error or “rejection incident” may be a shipper issue such as the loading of the wrong product in a tank trailer. Also, a shipper or receiver may have a capacity issue and not be prepared to take 7,000 gallons of product upon delivery.
Any type of incident, no matter how minor, is investigated by a team to conduct a root cause analysis and come up with a solution.
Oakley Transport’s acceptance rate — or loads without a rejection incident — currently is above 99.8 percent, which represents more than a “3 sigma” in terms of quality, Warner says. “We will continue to strive for improvement everyday and serve the needs of our customers by providing on-time delivery of cargo in the same condition that it was received.”
Oakley Transport also formed a cross-functional Performance Excellence Team that meets at least once per month to review all of the company’s quality initiatives and to discuss process improvements, Warner says. Each department has a subcommittee that executes the plans.
The fleet also works with its vendors and customers on quality initiatives. Trailer seal policies are one area where improvements have been made.
“We work with suppliers and shippers to make sure food stays safe throughout the entire supply chain,” Warner says. “For instance, some might use plastic seals. We insist on using a steel cable. This is much more difficult to cut or have an issue with.”
Every time drivers make a stop along a route to fuel or for another reason, they must inspect all trailer seals and send a macro message through the in-cab computing system to verify all seals are intact.
Upon delivery, drivers can use a mobile app to scan the bills of lading with the seal numbers written on the paper. The company strives to make things as efficient as possible for drivers.
“We are continually working to streamline the process for the drivers wherever we can,” says Zane Schwenk, director of national customer service. “It makes our lives easier, and it really makes the lives of our drivers easier who have one of the toughest jobs.”
In August, Oakley Transport completed the certification process for ISO 22000:2005 and ISO 9001:2015, becoming the first liquid food grade transportation company globally to earn both.
“This process has been a challenge, but it’s been terrific,” Oakley says. “It’s the best thing we have ever done with the company.”
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs.
At Oakley Transport, we truly believe the cornerstone of the transportation industry starts and ends with the professional driver. We take tremendous pride in being an industry leader in our segment of transportation.
We wanted to take this opportunity to truly thank our drivers, from the bottom of our hearts, for being the backbone of our company and for continuing to represent Oakley Transportation as a leader on the industry. Thank you for your hard work and dedication and thank you for being part of the Oakley Family. Happy Driver Appreciation Week!
Below is the calendar of events at our various terminals for our drivers to enjoy some food and camaraderie.
PLEASE NOTE - the Lake Wales location will be weather permitting in light of the current forecast for Hurricane Irma.
Again, Happy Drivers' Appreciation Week from your Oakley Family!
Lake Wales, FL - Rescheduled
Savannah, GA - Rescheduled
West Memphis, AK
South Gate, CA
W. Memphis, AK
La Port, TX
Baton Rouge, LA
Ft. Worth, TX
St. Gabriel, LA
“We are so very proud of this driver and his actions,” Zane Schwenk, national customer service manager at Oakley Transport, said. Sometimes the most valiant heros arrive in the most ordinary forms. Oakley driver, David Fredericksen was logging miles during a typical day of work when he witnessed a horrible catastrophe. With a courageous heart, Fredericksen put his life on the line to save another. Read more about the story from June Rivers on Little Things.com
Trucker Sees Horrific Crash And Goes Running, But Notices His Dash Cam Caught A Miracle
David Fredericksen, a professional truck driver, saw a car going the wrong way on an interstate in Biloxi, Mississippi. He watched in horror as the vehicle slammed into a truck and exploded before his very eyes. His dash cam recorded the tragic crash.
Within seconds, the entire car was on fire. David prayed, left the safety of his truck, and rushed to the scene with a fire extinguisher. He was terrified of what he would find, but he didn’t hesitate to help.
“God, please don’t let me have to deal with somebody halfway burned alive, screaming,” he thought to himself.
David thought the two people inside the car — an elderly woman and her 1-year-old granddaughter — were surely dead. But then something incredible caught his eye: he saw a little head pop up in the back window.
David tried to yank the door open as the metal began to melt. He prayed even more before climbing into the back seat, where he grabbed the little girl as the fire raged on.
There are many reasons why David says what happened next is an absolute miracle.
Click this link to watch the video
The training is finished; the job-offer is signed; the truck driver career has commenced; and now there’s so much to remember as you turn the ignition and drive out into your future. Stepping foot into the trucking industry can be daunting. What advice do you heed and what do you disregard? There is a lot of misinformation circulating. To make sense of the mess, we have assembled a “rookie driver survival guide” to put you in gear for a great future.
Standards that apply to veteran drivers are not the same for rookies, Brett Aquila from truckingtruth.com says. Amateurs are not expected to amass the same amount of miles as a veteran. The mind and body must first become acclimated to the demands of driving and the time management skills must be developed. So, here are a few things to recall to help refine your abilities.
Parking is an issue. The lots fill up quickly and its not uncommon to waste time hunting for a nook among miles of other trailers, Aquila states. Even arriving an hour later in the evening can make or break the chance of seizing a spot. Its exhausting, aggravating, inefficient and wasteful. “It didn’t take long for me to realize that if I can manage to get parked early (6 p.m.), and get up really early (2 a.m.), I’ll save a lot of time, energy and frustration.”
Traffic is a stress stimulator. While it’s impossible to completely avoid, it can be alleviated. Foolproof your schedule, Aquila instructs, by being astute with your time. Maintaining unorthodox hours (like 2 a.m.- 6 p.m.) can be the key. Not only will you be able to find better parking, but you can bypass traffic, arrive at appointments early and get loaded/unloaded ahead of schedule. If you can nail that timing you’ll generate better customer service, garner respect for your dispatcher and make more money quicker, Aquila exclaims.
Rest the mind and rest the body. “There is something critically important to know - the more exhausted you let yourself get, the less efficient your recovery time will be,” Aquila states. Listen to your body and sleep when you need it or else risk losing hours of energy and falling behind. “There’s a huge safety factor here too,” he claims. “You’re incredibly dangerous when you’re driving tired. Someone who has been up 24 straight hours has the same driving skills as someone who is legally drunk - it’s been proven through scientific testing.”
Drive Diligently. You have 60 feet of trailer behind you. Don’t narrow your safety margins by trying to slip into a tight spot in the lane next to you. Pass safely and properly, states an article from loadfti.com. And speaking of 60 feet, don’t get too frustrated when learning the art of backing up. It’s a technique the requires special maneuvering and calculating. Just remember to get out and look beforehand. Safety in the lot and on the highway should always be a priority.
Be cordial with your dispatcher. Launching a career by creating respected, professional relationships will render a respected image as a person and a driver, an article from gorillasafety.com says, and it will ultimately lead to further opportunities and success.
Lastly, be patient with yourself. Time management and tenacity behind the wheel are earned mile by mile. It takes perseverance and a willingness to learn along the way to evolve from a rookie to a veteran.
OAKLEY TRANSPORT BECOMES FIRST TRANSPORTATION COMPANY IN THE WORLD TO EARN ISO 9001:2015 & 22000:2005 CERTIFICATIONS
LAKE WALES, FLORIDA (August 2, 2017) — Oakley Transport, Inc., the premier leader in the liquid, food grade transportation sector with the synergies of complementary logistic services for more than 30 years, has become the first liquid food grade transportation company in the world to acquire International Standards Organization (ISO) certifications 9001:2015 and 22000:20005.
ISO certifies that a management system or manufacturing process/service meets all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance. The seal of approval is given after an organization proves it is compliant with the conditions of the chosen ISO system. Oakley Transport recently received two derivative certifications of ISO 9000 (QMS), ISO 9001:2015, a standard for superior management systems, and ISO 22000:2005, a standard for food safety management systems. Both confirm Oakley’s consistency in products and services and their ability to meet and exceed customer and regulatory requirements.
“Achieving ISO certification symbolizes our determination to be the best in the industry,” Allen Warner, Oakley Transport’s Quality Director, said. “It establishes a baseline performance level that we are all committed towards and sets Oakley apart from our competitors.”
To ensure they meet proper ISO criteria, Oakley is devoted to systematizing operating procedures, providing proper training and focusing on performance. Not only does this reiterate their commitment to exceptional service and encourage customer confidence, but it also shows their dedication to delivering the product to the customer in the same quality as it was entrusted to them.
“Oakley Transport has redefined excellence in the food transportation industry” Thomas Oakley, founder and owner of Oakley Transport, said. “ISO certification reflects our dedication to customer satisfaction, food safety and the integrity of our customers’ product. We have raised the bar for the entire industry and that is something of which we are very proud.”
Oakley has proven itself as a pioneer in the industry numerous times as they continue their continual pursuit of excellence. For example, the company’s newly endorsed operations are a testament to their commitment and understanding of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a sweeping overhaul of food security codes to prevent contamination of products.
“We had the expertise and vision to address the growing significance of food safety for our company, our customers and the consumers years ago when we began the pursuit of our ISO certifications,” Ryan Walls, Vice President of Safety and Risk Management, said. “We anticipate the needs of our customers and continue to look at what may be on the horizon, which is why we were also an earlier adopter of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), as well as SMARTDRIVE in cab event recorders.
For more information please visit www.oakleytransport.com/iso
About Oakley Transport, Inc.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Lake Wales, Florida, Oakley Transport has established itself as the premier leader in the liquid, food grade transportation sector with the synergies of complementary logistic services. The family owned and operated company enhances the customers' supply chain with over-the-road and dedicated transportation services in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. Oakley Transport prides itself in being an industry leader in the area of transportation, for quality, safety and driver appreciation. For more information on the company and its services visit: www.oakleytransport.com
It’s easy to get the munchies while you are logging demanding hours behind the wheel. Although fueling the body is important for stabilizing energy and aiding in concentration, many of the on-the-go options do just the opposite. Gas stations and drive-throughs don’t provide proper sustenance for nourishing mind and body. Even the “lighter” options are often sparse in nutrients. Thus, we created a simple crash course on healthier habits that will help keep you energized and strengthen for the long hauls. Check it out!
At this point you might be asking, “what are healthy snacks anyways?” Anything that is nutrient dense (high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals) and low in saturated fats and refined-sugar content, according to drivingjobs.landair.com. Protein is one of the best go to options and can be found in a lot of balanced foods.
“Protein fuels the brain much like the diesel fuels your truck! It upgrades your focus and concentration and gives you energy too,” a blogger from smart-trucking.com explains.
Since it is a struggle to find food at road-side gas stations or drive-throughs that meet these qualifications, our suggestion is to start packing snacks from home. Not only will you have a wider-range of options, but you will know exactly what goes into your stomach. Here are some good go-to food groups.
Tip - Eat fresh or dried fruit on an empty stomach for easier digestion. Fruit is also the best remedy for sugar surges. Pop a handful of grapes into the freezer for a frozen treat!
Tip - Don’t go for low fat or low sugar foods. Often, they are low in one ingredient and high in something else that is bad for you.
When in doubt, a tub of protein is what it’s all about. Mixing protein powder with water can act as a quick, nutrient-loaded meal when you don’t have time to shop. Buy brands with natural or even vegan ingredients. “A simple ‘protein drink’ can provide loads of top notch nutrition and can have as much as 27 grams of protein, about 1/2 of the daily requirement for the average male,” smart-trucking.com relays.
Learning to establish healthier habits is a skill that takes practice. But it all begins with taking the first step towards choosing the best fuel for your body, your brain and being behind the wheel.
Our employees are our most valuable assest.