How Did Truckers Find Loads 40 Years Ago?

How Did Truckers Find Loads 40 Years Ago?

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Gene Schultz has been in the trucking business for nearly 60 years. Ask him what technological advances have made his job easier over the years and three things come to mind:

  • Computers
  • Satellite trailer tracking
  • The DAT load board

“We take it for granted now because it’s so easy,” Schultz says about the DAT load board.

“You type into the computer that you need a load from this city to that city and a second later it gives you dozens of loads to choose from,” he said. “You can do more today with one guy and the DAT load board than we could do with 10 back then.”

The early days

Schultz got his start in the trucking industry working for his father’s produce-hauling business in Rochester, Minnesota in the 1950s. When his father died in 1959, Schultz took over the business. At that time Schultz Transit had six trucks. Schultz grew the business to 235 trucks, 242 drivers, and back-office staff of 42, including warehouse and cross-border operations staff in Laredo, Texas. He liquidated the business in 1991, and in 1997 he and two other partners started another trucking company, Hiawatha Transport, which they  later sold.

Rather than retire, in 2010 Schultz accepted a job in the transportation division of Ashley Furniture, the world’s largest furniture maker, based in Arcadia, Wisconsin. His job involves negotiating contracts, pricing, and finding loads for Ashley’s empty trucks after they deliver furniture from the manufacturing plants to distribution centers throughout North America.

Schultz says that DAT products have helped him fill Ashley trucks and have turned what previously were deadhead miles into a profit center for the company. He uses the DAT Power load board for finding loads, DAT RateView™ for pricing guidance, and DAT CarrierWatch® for some monitoring of carriers.

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