From Single Hopper Farm to Fleet of 130 Trucks

(Click the PLAY button to begin listening)

(subscribe to our Spotify or Apple Podcasts channel now and receive notifications to hear our weekly podcast on your phone)

Listen in Spotify    Listen in Apple Podcasts
Jared Flinn [00:00:24]: Hey, guys. Jared Flynn with the Bulk Loads podcast. Got Tyler with me. Tyler Allison [00:00:28]: What's going on? Jared Flinn [00:00:30]: I gotta brag a little bit. Tyler Allison [00:00:31]: Deal. Let's hear it. Jared Flinn [00:00:32]: So I spoke on the last podcast about deer hunting and our fellow deer hunters out There, my oldest boy got his 1st buck. Now he shot a button buck last year, but he not he got a nice 7 pointer. Actually, Joe, if you'll put the slide up on there, but, yeah, this is a picture of Nice. It, on it was this past Sunday afternoon, And, man, it was it happened so fast. Tyler Allison [00:00:55]: Did he get the buck fever? Jared Flinn [00:00:57]: Yeah. He did. But this like, this buck was moving. It was not stopping. I even whistled at it. It was 100 yards out, and, yeah, he nailed them. So, yeah, it was a proud nation moment. So I told him I was like I was actually 12 when I bagged my first Dear. Jared Flinn [00:01:12]: So Yeah. Hats off to you. Did you That's awesome. Were you able to go? Tyler Allison [00:01:15]: I have not made it out yet. I'm planning on it this weekend. I had some things come up with my with my pops, and I was waiting on him. So we'll be in the tree stand this weekend, so hoping to hoping to get some luck there. Jared Flinn [00:01:25]: Yeah. Well, if you're listening to this, maybe drop Down below, especially if your list are watching on YouTube and maybe post the picture that we can see, we would love to see that for more fellow deer hunters. Yeah. For sure. Many of our members are Out there? Tyler Allison [00:01:38]: Yeah. Yeah. On speaking on that, man, we got some, camo hoodies in stock for Oh, Jared Flinn [00:01:43]: yeah. Tyler Allison [00:01:43]: Season as well. So, if you wanna hang around till the after, we'll talk more on that about how you can get one. Jared Flinn [00:01:49]: Yeah. We actually had some a while back, And we got another order in, and they're looking pretty slick. Have you guys have them? Tyler Allison [00:01:55]: Yeah. I do. They're real treat. They're really nice. Jared Flinn [00:01:57]: Yeah. Tyler Allison [00:01:58]: Yeah. I'm excited to wear mine. Jared Flinn [00:01:59]: Well, today's podcast, we're gonna bring on a long time bulk loads member, Autumn Logistics. Yep. And they have been with us So for since pretty much in the beginning, and I should correct that it's Autumn Transport and Logistics. There's 2 different companies, but, They again, since we started, they've been on there, and I've got to know them a little bit. But you are gonna be amazed with the story that they tell today. You probably maybe caught your eye with the intro or with the, title of the podcast, with a a farmer And getting it to where the company is today, but I think this is a very inspirational podcast, in my opinion, especially we know a lot of you out there are business owners or operators looking to expand your business maybe. And how do you do that? How do you scale from 1 truck Tyler Allison [00:02:56]: And it's cool to see them be a member, and we were we were able to serve them, over the years of their growth. And they've even got their own podcast. Right? Jared Flinn [00:03:05]: Yep. And we'll put the link to their podcast in the episode notes. If you're watching, you can drop down and view them. But, yeah, they, I've listened to a couple of them, and, yeah, they have, A couple people that host that, and, yeah, we'll get access to that as well. Tyler Allison [00:03:20]: Awesome. Jared Flinn [00:03:20]: So with that said, here is My interview with Autumn Transport and Logistics. Brent and Najena, thanks for coming on. Brenton Balvin [00:03:30]: Thanks for having us. Jenna Slipka [00:03:32]: Thanks, Jared. Thanks for the opportunity. Jared Flinn [00:03:34]: Yeah. You bet. Well, Autumn Transport Logistics, you guys have been members for now 13 years. Actually, I I was I just looked at, you all were with us in the very beginning, and, I don't know if you specifically were you all, but, man, thank you To Autumn for for being bulk load subscribers for the past 13 years. Brenton Balvin [00:03:55]: Yeah. You're welcome. I spoke with, couple of the other freight managers In preparation for this, and they shared how much they utilize the site and how important it is with their daily business and the things that they're doing. So for putting a great tool out there. Jared Flinn [00:04:10]: Yeah. Awesome. I appreciate that. Well, I love the autumn story. I did my research, and I I knew a little bit this before. I'm connected with Julie, the the CEO. I follow her on LinkedIn as well. But if if you don't mind giving us just the the high level autumn story, because again, like many of our bulk loads members And our connection with the agriculture community, man, Autumn started with, a farmer in a grain trailer. Brenton Balvin [00:04:40]: Yeah, we started as a company in 1980. It was founded by Lowell Rieks and his wife Bev. Sadly, Lowell passed away a few years back here, but his daughter Julie has taken up the mantle and continues to run on transport. They had a small farm and were selling their grain and started wanting to transport their own grain. So they bought Attempt e trailer and started hauling grain and decided, man, we need a few more trailers. So that's kinda how it took off. Talked to Julie this morning and and she said that it really started out of desperation and faith. Just what are we going to do? How are we going to grow this farm and keep things going here? And, faith is a big component of their life. Brenton Balvin [00:05:31]: Christian faith and Wall was always an entrepreneur and a businessman. He kinda had that mindset of How can we build this thing? How can we continue to grow this thing? And that's what he did. It just 1 trailer and now we're how many trailers do we have? Jenna Slipka [00:05:49]: A 130. Jared Flinn [00:05:50]: Yeah. So Yeah. I I looked on the FMCSA. It was showing, like, a 132 units ish. So Yeah. That's phenomenal. I you know, speaking from a being a fellow entrepreneur, business owner, running this and some other companies, what was The founder, like, you did you ever get to meet him or experience how he was in to interact within the office, with other people, management, truckers? Brenton Balvin [00:06:15]: Well, I'll I'll I'll take that one and then Jenna, you can share kinda like what you've heard since you weren't able to work with Wall. But, I was able to work with Lowell. I've been here at Adam for 10 years, and so I had some years with Lowell and he was He was an exciting guy. He was high energy, he had a military background, so he was fairly regimented. He knew what he was wanting and expecting out of his employees, and so he would hold you to that standard. But at the same time, he was a lot of fun. In fact, his, nickname was the NN. So he was the necessary nuisance. Brenton Balvin [00:06:53]: And every morning, you could Back to WALT, walk down to your desk and check-in with you, find out what was going on in your division, things that are going well, things that weren't going well, what you were doing to change those things. And then one day, he might walk down to your desk wearing a grass hula skirt because it was somebody's birthday. So he was that combination of high expectation, but at the Same time, love to balance that in, love to have fun. Always had a candy bar at his desk. Love to eat. Autumn and food Go together, you know, you have your your freshman 15 when you join Autumn because we're always doing a potluck or something like that at the office. And that's really Something that Lowell would drive to build that family atmosphere at the company. Jared Flinn [00:07:42]: Yeah. I I absolutely love that. Jenna Slipka [00:07:46]: Yeah. He I'm bummed I never got to meet him. I joined Autumn about 2 years ago now. His legacy definitely lives on through Julie and Bev, his family, and through everyone here because you can just feel it. Everyone respected him. He is the autumn dad, I guess you could say. Just Awesome values and good guy to work for. Jared Flinn [00:08:09]: And talk about a little bit when, You said he passed away, and, Brenton, did you get to kinda witness experience kind of the transition from Him to the next generation to Julie, and and kinda walk us through that. Brenton Balvin [00:08:26]: Yeah. So he passed away after a fight with brain cancer in 2015. And what as much as it was hard losing him, the transition was very smooth. Julie, his daughter, has been with the company, basically, as long as the company has, you know. Her family, it's Julie has a sister and then they would refer to Autumn as the other sibling in the family. So Autumn has always been a big part of their family, of course. But Julia sat in every seat in the office. She worked in dispatch, she knows safety, she, Grew into an operations management position under her dad. Brenton Balvin [00:09:08]: And so when Walt did pass away, Julie was right there, 100% up to speed, Stepped right in. She's brought her own unique, leadership to the table, but the company has continued to thrive under her leadership. Things, have gone really well. Jared Flinn [00:09:26]: Hey guys, I absolutely love getting on the road and visiting with Members of Bulkloads and customers of all of our platforms, but, was visiting with a guy earlier this week and just wanted to share this with you. He just got started in the hopper industry and within 8 months He's got 17 hoppers on the road. One thing that I wanted to really bring up to you, man, he has figured out a way to outsource and Scale up with that. He actually has, different people that do his accounting. He's got people that do his dispatching. He's got people that does his maintenance and allows him to focus on his business. He is a user of TMS. He uses that system to, manage his freight and scale up that way. Jared Flinn [00:10:15]: But yeah, I just encourage you, if you haven't checked out TMS yet, Maybe you're working in the business. Man, you are busy as all. Get out. You don't have time to work on the business and figure out your next strategy To scale up, man check out You can go to bulk loads, give us a call. We'd love to show you what you can do, but we have so many Automations, and I'm talking years of experience putting things where we can make you scale your business and work on your business and not in the business. There's just too many manual things, and we want to show you how you can automate that. So, give us a shout any day at, or you can call Bulk Loads and we'll direct you to the right person. Jared Flinn [00:10:52]: Thank you, and god bless. I can tell from the sidelines just some of the social media posts that she puts on. Like, She still seems to carry on that fun tradition with jokes, or I was watching I don't know if it was some kind of challenge where someone was getting either Soaked or pie in the face or something like that, but it seems like she's kinda carrying around, are carrying those same, traditions that Lowell did. Brenton Balvin [00:11:20]: A few years ago, after Lowell had passed, but, we sat down and we went through a process of trying to define what are our company values. What really is the heartbeat of Autumn? What defines who we are and what we're trying to do? And through that process, we were able to identify four Key values. And these are things that that really drive us, that we think about and talk about often. We have them Written on the wall of the office, so as soon as you walk in to Autumn, you you see these 4 words. And those things are integrity, service, Leadership and family. And the family was probably the easiest value for us to identify as we went through that process. Because everything we do here has a family feel, starting with Lowell, carried on through Julie, everyone that works here, Even our drivers, right down to our drivers, one of the things that you'll hear the most about being an owner operator partner at Autumn is that you feel like you're part of the family. So we eat together, we play together, we work together, we laugh together, we grow together, but No one is more important than anyone else around here. Brenton Balvin [00:12:30]: Everyone loves on each other, takes care of one another, and has that heart of a family for one another. And that was something that Really started with Lowell and has continued on strong through Julie's leadership. Jared Flinn [00:12:43]: When we look at bulk freight trucking today, And I would say almost even trucking at large, you know, you have some of these companies with 50, 100 plus trucks, Even 500 plus. But if you take those 100 plus trucks, my audience knows this, you put them into 1 bucket, that's that's still such a small percentage of the industry. Really, it's like 7%. That other 93% are are 1 to 5 truck operators. Brenton Balvin [00:13:11]: Sure. Jared Flinn [00:13:13]: So in my mind, it takes a lot for a company, you know, to be a 1 to 5 to scale up to a 100 and Thirty units. I mean, that I mean, it's very rare, for someone to have that success story. On top of that, it's very rare to see a bulk company. I've been in this space now 20 plus years, but there there's just very few bulk calling companies, to that size and scale. If you don't mind, talk a little bit about that success or how Autumn was able to do that, and maybe even dive in because Autumn, I know there's Several different units within autumn. I mean, there's different divisions. There's the tanker, the, pneumatic, in dump, and stuff like that. Brent, if you can kinda guide us through or talk about that, I think that's amazing that that you all have grown and, to scale at that size because very like, I mean, It's gotta be just a small I mean, a fraction of the percent of people in your space that are doing that. Brenton Balvin [00:14:09]: Well, thanks for for pointing that out. Yeah, currently, our pneumatic division is our largest division. We have about 75 owner operator partners in that division. The liquid bulk division, which I oversee and manage here, we're sitting about 45, owner operator partners. And then like you mentioned, we have n dumps and hoppers as well. And from from what I've seen and experienced here, the one One of the keys to that is we've always taken a very responsible approach, and tried to manage risk responsibly. So as opportunities have arisen, the company has always been willing to to take a risk, Balancing that against, the wisdom of that risk. So they're not willing to just go out and buy 50 trailers on a whim And hope that it works out. Brenton Balvin [00:15:03]: But if we have customers that present us with opportunities and they look like good long term opportunities based on The relationship that we've built over time, the company will invest and buy some trailers. And really what we've done, Is we've just added little bit by little bit over the years as our revenues have increased and our opportunities have increased. We've really leaned on those. We have a lot of long term partnerships with, you know, our customers and some of the brokers out there, Primarily, just create long term relationships with customers that we work with. And so as those companies have grown, they've kinda taken autumn along with them and, we've we say we're values driven service delivered. So I mentioned those 4 values as what guide us here at the office. And then once We're with our owner operator partners. It's what can we do to provide top notch service, service that people aren't gonna find elsewhere. Brenton Balvin [00:16:01]: So autumn's not always gonna be the cheapest option out there. We're not just gonna come in somewhere and cut Whoop rates way down low to try to steal a bunch of business in terms of volume, but we're are gonna say, hey. We're gonna give you service that other people aren't gonna We're gonna help you solve problems that you that you're having. We're gonna go above and beyond to get loans delivered for you. And what that has done is it's built long term relationships, and so we've been able to leverage that, adding to our driver account, reinvesting in equipment, And that's helped us to go over that that hump like you're talking about there. Jared Flinn [00:16:42]: Just so our audience is clear, and I knew this so most of your fleet are owner operators. Is that correct? So you all own the equipment, and then Then you have, owner operators. They own the the unit they lease onto Autumn. Is that correct? Jenna Slipka [00:16:57]: Correct. Yes. Jared Flinn [00:16:59]: Okay. Cool. Brenton Balvin [00:17:00]: No. We don't we don't have any company drivers. Everybody is an owner operator. Jared Flinn [00:17:05]: Okay. Perfect. And then on top of that, you also have the logistics side too, the brokerage business. Can you talk just a little bit high level about that? Because I know that's where probably you all interact a lot on on bulk loads on on the brokerage side. Brenton Balvin [00:17:17]: Yep. We do. We have a a logistics arm, that has had some different leadership over time, but that is probably our Greatest interaction with with bulk loads, particularly in the hopper space. Haven't Use ball codes as much for tanker or pneumatic freight. It is something that I've been checking out every once in a while to see what's out there and seeing the opportunities. But Katie is currently our logistics manager and she's doing a great job. She had some really great feedback for how much She appreciates the site and how that's helped her to find carriers for the loads that she has. There again, it's about relationships. Brenton Balvin [00:17:58]: So Mhmm. Autumn Logistics has relationships with the numerous shippers who turn to, to Autumn Logistics to move their freight. And Katie has leveraged bulk loads and other relationships that she has to get those covered with other carriers that are in the market. Jared Flinn [00:18:14]: It's interesting. The more and more of these podcasts I do, it the the the underlying we hear relationship all the time. We always talk about Building relationships, having relationships, Brenton Balvin [00:18:25]: because at the Jared Flinn [00:18:25]: end of the day, I mean, it's really about the relationship. Trucking's trucking, and again, it's a service, but It's the relationship that you build around these customers is where the value really stands strong, in my opinion. Brenton Balvin [00:18:38]: Yeah. Definitely. And, you know, we wanna be, the 1st call for for someone. So when Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:18:45]: A Brenton Balvin [00:18:45]: customer has a load that they want moved, we want them to think, Oh, I know a guy in Autumn. I know a gal in Autumn that can get this covered for me and is gonna do a really great job. And even through the logistics Died when customers need freight moved. You know, our logistics team has those carriers out there that they can call right away that they know I can trust will cover this load for us and will do a great job even if it's not on an autumn asset. Yep. It definitely is about relationships at the end of the day and Who's providing that great service and who you can trust to carry that forward. Right? Because you don't want to, put a load on a a carrier who's not gonna be reliable and is make auto logistics look bad either. So they're really building those relationships with the carriers they work with. Jared Flinn [00:19:30]: Yeah. This is a perfect segue, and and, Jen, I'm gonna turn this over to you. When looking for owner operators, at least on To autumn. I mean, you're not obviously, you wanna find someone that's gonna fit the mold, fit the culture of the company. That truck driver, as we all know, They're gonna be the face of the company when they're picking up, delivering. That's who represents the company. It's that owner operator. They're they're the ones that really that's That's what's ingrained, whoever that receiver is, that shipper, who they see at the end, is really how they interact. Jared Flinn [00:20:04]: Talk about What you all do from an autumn standpoint, from recruiting, and kind of how you do that, who you look for, How do those people fit the bill? We all know, you know, we can say there's a driver shortage, but, I mean, there's a shortage of finding good quality drivers out there to perform a task, I believe. I I guess, in my opinion, I don't wanna go down this rabbit hole. I don't believe there's a driver shortage. I think there's a good quality driver shortage and a and a driver pay shortage when that, when it really boils down to it. But talk about just the process. You know, if I'm listen to this, and even and I'm a small business owner, you know, I guess, well, like, you know, how what what do I look for when recruiting somebody, to come onto my team? Jenna Slipka [00:20:48]: Yeah. And I would agree with what you just said too, Jared, about I every time I saw there's a driver shortage, whether it was on LinkedIn or Facebook or an article, I didn't really feel that here. Jared Flinn [00:20:59]: Yep. Jenna Slipka [00:20:59]: And I don't know. Maybe this is just a quick brag, but I think it's maybe a shortage of Good companies out there too at times, so Jared Flinn [00:21:07]: we didn't Jenna Slipka [00:21:08]: do that. But, yeah, when it comes to recruiting, I it's not just Them finding it's not just me looking for a good fit. It's them looking for a good fit too. Right? And so like Brenton said, I I always have family in the back of my head. I'm not gonna try to force a square into a circle and just get a guy through the door or a girl through the door because I need numbers. It's we have a 130 trucks and trailers. It's me and one other recruiter. We work together as a team To get the right people in the door, we aren't lying to get them through the door. Jenna Slipka [00:21:47]: We're you know, that's something I hear from a lot of these candidates. We tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly and just make sure it's really the best fit. And I'm really When I'm talking with candidates, I'm really thinking, okay. How would they interact with the team? Like, that dispatch relationship is super important too. Right? Because that's what's gonna make them super Successful in their time with us. And so, yeah, just really feeling them out that way and making sure we check all the boxes, you know, that we're looking for, and and for them and their family too for home time and just, yeah, everything that they're looking for. So Jared Flinn [00:22:23]: What, yeah, I think about even we don't have to get in the details, but you all run I mean, you guys race up in Minnesota, but Is there attraction to drivers? I I I know a lot of guys are attracted to Bolt because some of the lanes, and it's not sometimes not coast to coast per se. But can you talk a little bit about is there, do you find a lot of guys like working for Autumn just in the type of work that you guys perform, on the bulk side, but even specific lanes, Or it may not be a factor. I know with a lot of companies we do, and probably more on the grain side, these guys like you know, they're they're more focused in smaller State areas, you know, it maybe just be Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska. You know, they're not having to go to California per se. But I don't know if if there's If there's count if there's some lanes that you all run that that's really attractive to drivers. Jenna Slipka [00:23:18]: Yeah. I I mean, That's where it comes in is, like, what what are they looking to do. Right? And then that might determine them running different divisions for us. So for example, like our hopper work, we're primarily in the south. If some someone's coming in looking for just that, we would place them in a division based on what they're looking for in a better fit that way. I mean Brenton Balvin [00:23:38]: Now it's kind of a mixture of what we offer. They we do have some dedicated business in certain sectors of the country. And so Jenna's gonna go after a driver who is interested in that and try to match them up with that. And at the other time, on the other side of that, we have lanes that, go all over the place. And so a lot of the dispatching that we do and a lot of the drivers that we bring on is just the Expectation that, you know, we're gonna try to connect a, b, and c, and we're we don't know exactly where that's gonna be every week. But, the earning potential that is being offered is, a good fit for what the driver is looking for from that respect. We're not gonna bring somebody on board in an area that we never go to. Where it's gonna be impossible to get them home or they're gonna be frustrated with How many empty miles they gotta drive to get to a load or to go home. Brenton Balvin [00:24:31]: We're very upfront about that at the very beginning. And, we're very upfront about, You know, if you come on board, you may have to drive up north. So if you're a guy who lives in Alabama and Georgia, and you're afraid of the white stuff that falls on the ground 6 months of the year, auto might not be the best place for you. But so we try to have those conversations up front so there's not any surprises when they do decide to lease on here. Jared Flinn [00:24:55]: Okay. Last question, then we'll maybe turn to just maybe more fun in my opinion, but, I saw that, Julie, your founder's also involved in a company called King Solutions. Is that part of the umbrella, or is that a separate company from Autumn? Brenton Balvin [00:25:13]: King is a completely separate company from Autumn. Yeah. Well, Julie and her husband had the opportunity to be involved with King, and So, that's an additional thing on her plate, but it's separate from Autumn. Jared Flinn [00:25:27]: Okay. Is it and then just kinda high level, we don't get details. Is it a trailer? Do they build trailers? Is that what it is? Or I just saw that she Brenton Balvin [00:25:36]: It's a it's a completely different company. They do a lot of, van hauling Okay. And things like that. So Jared Flinn [00:25:43]: So it's another freight business? Brenton Balvin [00:25:44]: Yep. It's another freight business. Jared Flinn [00:25:46]: Okay. Cool. Well, last 1 I wanna talk about, like, I found you all through your all's Podcast, the, the is it Autumn Logistics podcast? Brenton Balvin [00:25:54]: Just the Autumn Transport podcast. Jared Flinn [00:25:56]: Autumn Transport podcast. You guys are, I don't wanna say newbies, but you guys are getting into that. So, yeah, congratulations with that. I listened to a couple podcasts that you all have produce. Jen, I I know that you do even some maybe impromptu bids around the office, interviewing drivers. But, yeah, talk about kind of what started that and the reason behind and kinda your goals with Yourall's podcast. Brenton Balvin [00:26:20]: Cool. Well, Yeah. We we kinda launched our 1st few episodes this year back in April. It was an idea that I had in my head for a little while, something that I wanted to bring to the company. We're pretty small company in the office, even though we have A 130, 140 drivers out there on the roads. The the office side of things is pretty small, so a lot of people wear a lot of hats around here. We don't have a a marketing team or anything like that, but social media and podcasting and marketing was, has always been an interest of mine. And so earlier this year, I approached our owner, Julie, with the idea of starting a podcast. Brenton Balvin [00:27:01]: The goal is to, highlight our drivers To bring some industry experts, into the mix and produce some content. Really, I thought, You know, what does a truck driver do most of the time? And it sit and listen to the radio, listen to a podcast, things like that. I drive 40 miles to work everyday and so that's what I do. I listen to podcasts on the way to work and the way home from work. And so, I thought what a great way for us to get information into the ears and minds of our drivers. What a great way for us to highlight The awesome owner operator partners that we have out there on the roads to tell their story. You know, drivers love to talk. They love to hear about other drivers and what's going on, and so, I approached Julia with that idea, and she kinda said, Hey, Go for it, run run wild with it. Brenton Balvin [00:27:54]: And so, I started doing that, and then I thought, well man, I I'm I don't know if I'm entertaining or cool enough to do this by But I know somebody else who's pretty freaking cool. So I was like, Jenna, you gotta be my co host on this podcast. And she was kinda like, I don't know if I can be the do that. And I said, hey, I'll do the play by play, you do the color commentary. Well, like this, you know, like a sports combination. And she gave it a try. I think you love it now to be honest. Jenna Slipka [00:28:22]: Yeah. It it It turned out pretty good. I was a little, a little scared at first, but we just gotta dive in, and it turned out okay. It's not really fun. Brenton Balvin [00:28:31]: Yeah. So we we've had the opportunity. We had, Minnesota State Trooper, on come into the office, and we talked about, You know, safety on the roadways and what troopers are looking for and inspections and all that. We've had the president of the Minnesota Tracking Association, Come in and be a guest on the podcast and hear what's going on with Trucking in Minnesota and the things that the MTA are doing. We have a really cool guest coming up here in a few weeks who's gonna talk about health and what drivers can do to be healthy out on the roads. So we try to hit a variety of topics. Oh, we even had a couple people from a law firm come and talk about having a will and a power of attorney and What drives That's good. When to protect themselves should something tragic happen to them, while they're on the road. Brenton Balvin [00:29:20]: So, Yeah. We try to interview drivers and highlight their stories and then bring in some people who can share really great informative content to make drivers, you know, Healthier, smarter, better at their job, more prepared for the future, all those kind of things. It's been a lot of fun. Jared Flinn [00:29:36]: Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. We started Almost 6 years ago, but it was the I said that oh, I always said the exact same thing. Like, a lot of times, our clients can spend more time driving, And what can they do more than anything and listen? You know? They can't be watching, but they can listen. And what better way to, share Our thoughts and visions and and bring really valuable content to them. You know, and I'll say this encouragement, or encouraging you all. Know, some of the feedback I've always got is actually a lot of our truckers that listen to the Volklos podcast actually want the podcast to be longer. Jared Flinn [00:30:10]: You know, we and we release one 1 a week, and, probably the the single most feedback I get is your shows need to be longer. You record long, which I'm, like, I can I can talk, and I can keep talking if you want? I don't know if it's gonna be invaluable. But, but, yeah, we release 1 a week. Do you all, I know you said, is it 18 so far? Is it 1 a week? Is that your all's goal, is pushing 1 out, or what's the rotation? Brenton Balvin [00:30:37]: That's kinda where we were at, where we were really ramping up to over the summer. The challenge, like I mentioned, is We're just pretty small here at the office and we've really kinda been going all hands on deck the last few months. Just building up the business again. Jenna's been really busy Adding new drivers to the fleet. And, I've been pretty pretty tied up running the liquid tank division here. So we've kinda got off that a little bit, but that is the goal that going for it. Yeah. Yeah. Brenton Balvin [00:31:05]: And our times are they like that. If if we miss the week, we got some guys who will who send me a text and ask, you know, hey, When's that new podcast coming out? No. They hold us accountable on that one. Jared Flinn [00:31:16]: Yeah. That's awesome. Well, yeah, congrats on that, man. I look forward to see you seeing you both Continue to create content and push it out there. I think there's just extreme value, for our customers to be learning more about that. I'm a little biased too. I think there's there's so many podcasts out there for truckers that probably aren't filling them up, It's the best way I can say it, and and, it's one of my personal goals is to, give valuable content and and share Faith and light with with our trucking community, and it sounds like your culture does the same thing. So, Jenna and Brenton, we're gonna put the Pod your podcast in our show notes. Jared Flinn [00:31:56]: So if you're listening to the Bokel Kids podcast right now, you'll be able to drop down and find the the link to, to click and subscribe to their podcast. But, yeah, congratulations on doing this. I look forward to kinda seeing you. I'm waiting for you all to do the video, as well. Hint hint, hopefully. And you guys can get that out there. So, hey, thank you all for joining us on the book load show. Brenton Balvin [00:32:18]: Yeah. Thanks. It's, been our pleasure. Send Julia a message on LinkedIn to buy us a camera. Jared Flinn [00:32:24]: I will. Well, you know, as a matter of fact, I I I asked her, like, a year ago come on my show, and she never responded back. Maybe she'll respond back to that one. So Oh, yeah. I'll see if she Brenton Balvin [00:32:33]: will. With that one. Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:32:34]: Snow. Oh, I do have 1 last question, one last favor. Brenton Balvin [00:32:38]: Yes, sir. How can Jared Flinn [00:32:39]: I get one of those hats? Jenna Slipka [00:32:40]: Okay. So I put Jared Flinn [00:32:41]: it on the shelf back here. Jenna Slipka [00:32:43]: We will we will help you add to that repertoire for sure. Brenton Balvin [00:32:46]: Yeah. Let's, let's Take Jenna Slipka [00:32:47]: care of that. Brenton Balvin [00:32:48]: Do a little swag exchange. Just, send us your info, and we'll hook you up here. Jared Flinn [00:32:52]: Awesome. Cool. Thanks again, guys. Appreciate Thanks, Jenna Slipka [00:32:55]: Jared. Jared Flinn [00:32:55]: Thank you. Tyler, I've again listened to Brenton and Jenna on a couple of theirs. Actually, if you go to their YouTube channel, they posted a couple. And, Brenton, I think he's He's a little comical like myself. So, yeah, he's pretty entertaining to listen to. Tyler Allison [00:33:09]: Yeah. Those I always love the podcast whenever That's lighthearted and fun rather than the just business and easing down a business. Yeah. It makes it easier to listen to. Jared Flinn [00:33:17]: But a couple of things I wanted to just point out. I love their faith aspect. If you don't know us now, we're we're very strong, about our faith here at BullClothes. Yep. And we love other companies that are. We're it's Awesome to see how they have grown over the years. I love what Brent talked about, their core values, you know, talking about integrity, service, and family. So I think these are all just little takeaways that we can do and, maybe implement in our own business Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:33:45]: To grow. Tyler Allison [00:33:46]: Yeah. And speaking on the faith aspect, Jared, you know, I think that's a crucial part, and they they'll even tell you in the episode of how they've been able to grow so fast, but, you know, they had a little part in there where they were talking about, you know, how they treat their driver, and they're able to, retain drivers. Reason a lot of it has to go, with their faith and how they involve faith within their company and how they treat their drivers stuff. So it's just awesome to see that being a huge role in their company. Jared Flinn [00:34:14]: Yeah. I told, Brent especially that I wanna come visit them maybe, Maybe when it gets warmer. I know we're getting into the winter months, but I wanna go up there and see their operations. Tyler Allison [00:34:23]: And he Jared Flinn [00:34:24]: said, yeah, to come on up, so I'm excited to go up there. Lastly, before we kinda close out here, I wanted to show you just a quick story. 1 of our bulk loads members and friend of mine, Dale Williams, He actually took some of our semi Sam books to the classroom over in Illinois, and he got to hand them out to some of the kids. And here's we're gonna throw, an image of that, but, it was awesome for him to go out there and just, thank you, Dale Williams, for sharing semi Sam. What was interesting, and I'm gonna try to do this without getting choked up, but, he said a couple of those kids or one specifically said that, he was excited to get the book because it was gonna be his Only Christmas present this year, and he said that his parents said that they weren't gonna be able to do Christmas and that this was a way, that he got that book. So, Again, Dale, God bless you, my friend, and thank you for, sharing, the semi Sam stories with other others out there. But I also wanna say out there, if you're listening to this, you can go to Amazon and, you can get copies of semi same off there. We do have copies here. Jared Flinn [00:35:28]: If you know of a Child that would love this, I would be absolutely honored to autograph it. Yeah. I don't think much of it, but, like, I know kids do. Happy to write a little, address it to whoever, and send them a copy free of charge, just from, from me to you out there, and from our Bulkloads family. To them to bless other kids out there. Tyler Allison [00:35:49]: Yeah. And, Jared, is it true that they were kinda geeking out that Dale knew the author of the book? Yeah. He did. Yeah. Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:35:58]: Don't fill me up. Yeah. Tyler Allison [00:36:00]: I'd also encourage our audience, to do what Dale's doing. I mean Yeah. These guys, You know, these kids, they really get a lot of enjoyment whenever a trucker goes to their classroom and, you know, Not only is able to read to them, but I've heard many stories of bulk loads members taking their truck to the classrooms and, You know, parking their big rig outside and letting these students come out and tore their trucks, sit in the big rig, you know, honk the horn. And, you know, we've been talking with Rob Grover, a vocalist member who who does a similar thing, but, man, I'd love to, you know, see some pictures or some videos of our members Doing that and really getting involved to showing, you know, these kids what they do and and really just how logistics plays a huge part, especially the bulk industry of how, you know, food gets from farm to table. Jared Flinn [00:36:48]: You don't really realize these small things can make A big impact, especially from a a child. I can remember specifically my dad. It was, during Christmas time at School, but in 4th grade, he actually brought in the Christmas tree for our classroom. He had cut down the cedar tree off of our farm, but, like Yeah. I can still vividly remember him coming in the Classroom, he had on his rubber boots, big beard, and, you know, Carhartt coat on, but he dragging this Christmas tree. But I got to say, man, that was my that's my Yeah. Brenton Balvin [00:37:17]: It hit Jared Flinn [00:37:17]: my, you know, to my classmates and, man, it was just a cool moment, in my life. So maybe you can if you're listening out there, you can do the same for a classroom. Again, semi sand books. You can find them on Amazon. We'll put the links down below. Happy to send 1 free of charge and sign a copy too for any child out there, that's in need. So Anything else before we freight out here? Tyler Allison [00:37:37]: We've got a huge amount announcement. The Bulklets Conference tickets are on sale right now. So whenever you're hearing this, you can go Online bulk freight, click buy tickets. You'll be able to purchase them right there and learn more about the conference. I know we've been saying it every episode for Probably 6 months now, but they are actually on sale now. And you guys will actually probably see a banner on bulk loads, prompting you to or directing you to the conference website to Learn more. So if anybody has any questions, reach out to us. You can simply do that by, podcast at Tyler Allison [00:38:10]: We'll be happy to answer any questions regarding the cost. Jared Flinn [00:38:12]: Man, we would love to see you there. We don't do this as a moneymaker. We do this to bring people together. There is a fee to go to try to help kinda cover all the costs because we have to rent the facility, the food, all the, sound system. I mean, there's just a ton of cost involved, and we tried to do that to honestly break even. It's not a revenue generator for us. So I say that out there, Candelique, because we want you to be there. And if there's, if you can be there, let us No. Jared Flinn [00:38:37]: If you can't afford a ticket, let us know. We want you there. I wanna meet you personally, especially, if you've been on our board and I've talked to you before. So make up Or make sure and come to the Bulk Loads conference. Tyler Allison [00:38:47]: Yeah. And, Jared, we're doing it big this year. We're actually going to have our own conference app These guys can download Oh, yeah. Jared Flinn [00:38:53]: That's right. Tyler Allison [00:38:54]: Help yeah. Network. That's good. It's pretty sweet. You'll be able to scan people's badges and actually network. We wanna, Make this conference about networking, and I know a lot of our, members come together come together during this time, and and really shake the hands of people as they've been dealing with and doing business with for years. But now this conference gives them the opportunity to meet up and actually get to know each other. Jared Flinn [00:39:18]: Yeah. Cool. Well, as always, we thank you for listening to the Bulk Loads podcast. As we always close out of here, if you have a prayer or prayer request Out there, send it to prayer at We would love to pray for you, your family, or anyone out there. We know this is the Christmas season, And sometimes that can bring a lot of different motions, positive, but also maybe, challenging Yep. Emotions as well. So we are here for you. Jared Flinn [00:39:44]: We're not just in it for, you know, the business side. We are humans as well, and, we care for other people out there. So if there's anything we can do Out there, specifically prayers or other blessings, contact us at prayer at