Saturday, March 17, 2018

Drivers, family values drive 60 years of success at Boyd Brothers

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gail Cooper, CEO of Boyd Brothers, and her son, Chris Cooper, president, both lead the Alabama-based flatbed/specialized trucking company begun by Gail’s father 60 years ago.  (Courtesy: BOYD BROTHERS)
Gail Cooper, CEO of Boyd Brothers, and her son, Chris Cooper, president, both lead the Alabama-based flatbed/specialized trucking company begun by Gail’s father 60 years ago. (Courtesy: BOYD BROTHERS)

ADDISON, Texas — Not many trucking companies can lay claim to 60 years in business. But if you’re Boyd Brothers, a Daseke company, and based in Alabama, that landmark is just a springboard of what’s to come.

“It’s wonderful to look back and see what we’ve accomplished over the past 60 years,” said Boyd’s CEO, Gail Cooper, whose father, Dempsey, started the flatbed/specialized trucking company with his brothers in 1956. “But the best is yet to come as we continue to expand our business offerings and grow our business.”

According to Cooper, Boyd’s recipe for success has been built on a culture of taking care of its people.

“We operate a family business and have treated our employees and drivers right,” she said. “We at Boyd have high integrity with a solid moral compass.”

Boyd’s growth has been especially strong in logistics and in offering full-service solutions. “We’ve also grown significantly with owner-operators and lease-purchase drivers,” said Cooper. “We plan to keep driving hard in these areas as we further expand as a full-service trucking and logistics partner for our customers.”

With more than 680 tractors, Boyd joined Daseke Inc. in 2013, but has kept management and “family” culture in place.

“Our way of business did not change when we became a Daseke company — Don Daseke shares our belief that people make the difference,” said Cooper. “By being a Daseke company, we’re able to build on the synergy we have with our sister companies. And we share in scale and best practices.”

“I am so proud of the Boyd Bros. team on this great milestone that celebrates three generations of dedication to people,” said Don Daseke, CEO of Daseke Inc. “Chris, Gail and their team truly embody family values. They live the importance of understanding and respecting your legacy while being focused on building the future, a future we are all very excited to build together.”

Boyd Bros. is a family-run business in the true sense of the phrase. Gail’s son, Chris, serves as president of the company. “We have family values in how we run our company,” said Chris. “The vision of my grandfather was to work hard, work smart and enjoy life and to value, respect and trust our people. That philosophy has never wavered.”

According to Chris, Boyd attracts “strong people” who care about its customers.

“We have three business practices that have been passed down to each generation,” said Chris. One is to “attract and develop good people. At our core is a group of hardworking, caring people who believe in Boyd and value our customers. We also diversify our product mix and customer base. This has allowed us to weather shifts in economic trends. Lastly, we partner with customers and vendors who value service and professionalism.  This has allowed us to develop relationships with these companies and move forward together. And that has meant our customers are willing to invest in carriers that can deliver their freight to their customers in a timely manner, error-free.  Their commitment to the customer affords us the resources to hire the best drivers [and] maintain the best equipment and technology, allowing us to provide excellent service.”

Boyd drivers are some of the safest in the industry.  One out of every seven Boyd drivers has driven 1 million consecutive accident-free miles. “Thirteen percent have been with us for more than 10 years; 25 percent for five years or longer,” said Chris. “We have a true family that is very diverse. In fact, 54 percent of our drivers have a minority status. We celebrate diversity and individuality.”

In addition, the company has a chaplain.

“We ‘do life’ with our drivers,” said Chris. “We support them during their highest moments — a marriage, or the birth of a child, for example — or during dark days with an illness or death. Our chaplaincy program is integral to our culture. We also have Teledoc — a concierge medical support program that provides medical attention on the road.”

According to Gail Cooper, Boyd’s attention to driver needs and customer needs will continue. “We’ve been honored and recognized in the past — we’re a past recipient of CCJ magazine’s Innovator of the Year award, and have been recognized by TCA as one of the country’s Best Fleets to Drive For — placing in the top 20 for three years and receiving the top award in 2010. But, internally we get most excited when we’re named as a shipper’s carrier of the year, or when we hold a celebration to recognize a Boyd driver who has reached a milestone — like Charlie Walker getting his 3-million-mile safe driving award with us this year.”

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