Joining me today is Doug Grawe, head of communications of Dart Transit Company. Doug, welcome.

Doug Grawe:

Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it.

David Compton:

Hey, Doug, I want to start out with some very basics about dry van hauling with our audience today. Let’s just start at the very basic. Doug, tell me what is dry van hauling?

Doug Grawe:

Well, Dave, great question. What is dry van hauling? Dry van hauling is hauling goods that don’t need to be temperature controlled. They don’t need to be frozen or warm.

David Compton:

Cool. That could be even bottled water. Even though it’s a liquid, is that a dry van product? As long as it’s sealed tight, is that something that’s dry van?

Doug Grawe:

Yes, Dave. Anything that would be sealed tight like that, like bottled water or even alcohol like beer and soda. That type of stuff is a dry van product because it doesn’t need to be frozen.

David Compton:

Cool. When I’m hauling dry van, is there any special permits? Me, as a CDL holder, do I need to have anything special?

Doug Grawe:

Great question. If you want to haul anything, what kind of a permit you need for dry van is just a class A CDL with the ability to go interstate. Some carriers might ask you to have a hazmat endorsement. At Dart, we have a little bit of hazmat for you, not a lot, but that can get you some more freight opportunities if you can haul hazmat.

David Compton:

Got it. Got it. I think every sector of the trucking business has challenges to it. What about dry van? Are there any challenges to that segment of the industry?

Doug Grawe:

The dry van industry does have a lot of challenges. The dry van industry’s challenges have to do with irregular routes and irregular shipping. The shipper doesn’t have product ready at the same time every day to go over the same amount of distances. One day it might take you four hours to load. Another day it might take you two. Another day it might take you 12. The irregularities of the shipping [inaudible 00:02:08] is probably the biggest challenges. Traffic are big challenges. The nature of freight today is it’s a lot more competition, a lot more focused on providing good service. There’s a lot of competition out there.

David Compton:

Got it. Are there any areas of the country where dry van is just really prominent or is this a sector of trucking that’s kind of distributed across the land pretty evenly?

Doug Grawe:

When people ask me about where is dry van most prevalent, what parts of the country, I think to myself, it’s mostly the population centers. There is more truckload drive van freight East of the Rockies, but it is definitely nationwide. Wherever there’s people consuming goods, there’s going to be dry van shipping.

David Compton:

Cool. Tell me about Dart Transit Company. Give me a little history lesson.

Doug Grawe:

Dart Trans company is a great company. It’s been around since 1934. We’re family owned. We’re in our third generation of family ownership. Even the fourth generation is coming along. We’re professionally managed. Our president and CEO, his name is Dave Ables, is a great man. Dart, at the end of the day, we’re about innovation. We’re about owner-operators and company drivers and being a safe harbor for customers and drivers alike.

David Compton:

Great story. Great story. You mentioned competition a moment ago. What makes Dart different than the other dry van haulers out there in your opinion?

Doug Grawe:

Well, what makes Dart different than other carriers is we are that safe harbor and we’re innovative. Because we’ve been around since 1934, we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs in the industry and with shippers and other carriers. We’ve stood the test of time. We are that safe harbor. We’re going to be there. We’re tried and true. We’re also innovative. We’re not just doing the same thing. We’ve come up with new trailers. We’ve been on the forefront of technology in trucks. We’ve done a lot of things differently. We pay a little bit differently. We do a lot of stuff different for drivers and contractors.

David Compton:

I know you guys are hiring. Tell me, in just a broad brush stroke because I know there’s specifics that probably you look for in a candidate, but in broad brush strokes, what are you looking for that new CDL hire that’s going to go to work for at Dart?

Doug Grawe:

Great question. What are we looking for when we’re trying to bring on a new driver or a new owner operator? We’re going to look at two buckets. One, we’re going to look at what’s it look like on paper. We are going to care about your record, and what your safety record is, and what your service record is, and your experience, and so on. We have some minimums, but what else we’re looking for is just the quality of individual. Are you committed to doing the right thing out on the road? That means being safe and providing excellent customer service. Are you committed to doing those things? If you’re committed to doing those things and your record backs up that commitment, we want to be your home.

David Compton:

Cool. You actually answered pretty much all my questions about dry van. If somebody wants to get in touch with Dart, we’ve got the link that we’ll put on the screen. Doug, thank you very much for joining us today. Everybody that’s Dart Transit Company. Thanks, Doug.

Doug Grawe:

Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it.

David Compton:

Take care.

For over 30 years, the objective of The Trucker editorial team has been to produce content focused on truck drivers that is relevant, objective and engaging. After reading this article, feel free to leave a comment about this article or the topics covered in this article for the author or the other readers to enjoy. Let them know what you think! We always enjoy hearing from our readers.

COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here