Sammons Trucking

In 1962, the Beatles released their first recording, “Love Me Do,” “West Side Story” was in theaters and the First Wal-Mart discount store opened in Bentonville, Ark. That also was the year Sammons Trucking started hauling lumber and commodities between the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.

The Beatles became the most iconic rock band in history, “West Side Story” won 10 Academy Awards, Wal-Mart is the world’s third-largest public corporation and Sammons Trucking continues to operate at full speed, covering the continental United States and parts of Canada.

The last five decades have been full of changes and challenges for the company. In 1976, the ownership of the company changed hands, from the original founder to the company’s management team and one of the owner-operators. A little more than 30 years later, Sammons Trucking was bought by Market Industries of Portland, Ore., and merged with the 17,000-employeee UTi Worldwide (UTIW) of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., a year later.

“The marriage of the two companies in 2006 has created seamless international transportation scenarios to and from the North American highways,” President Tim Burke said in a statement. “We offer a single source for shipping, tracking, tracing and billing of goods on international multimodes of transportation.”

Employee Focus

Although the company is part of large organization, it is 100 percent owner-operated, which means that the truck drivers either own the trucks or they are on a lease-to-own program set by the company. That is why Sammons’ main focus is keeping its owner-operators productive. The motto of the company is “operator success = Sammons success.”

“Sammons is one of the few trucking companies out there that really appreciates what you do for them,” said Mark Stefano, director of business development. “The president has an open-door policy with everyone who works at the company and he knows every driver by name. Nobody ever feels like a number.”

To make it easier for the drivers to be able to own the trucks, the company has a lease/purchase program. “The lease/purchase program is very different than any others I’ve ever seen,” said Joe Vandenburgh, manager of recruiting. “It’s based on percentages.”

The system is organized so the drivers always receive a paycheck. “Twenty-six percent of the revenue generated by the driver goes to him or her,” Vandenburgh explains. “At the end of the month, we take all the expenses for the truck, insurance, fuel, etc., and subtract it from the 74 percent remaining. The rest goes toward payment of the truck. They have the flexibility to adjust if they have a bad month and recuperate it on a good month.”

Kyle Masolo, owner-operator for Sammons, agrees that “it is a very easy system to understand. The better the driver does, the better the company does.”

“Our goal is to have the driver buy the truck, so we try to help them with the process,” Vandenburgh explains on  a company video. “We have a truck count that we need to have to serve our customers efficiently and they get to buy a truck to use as they see fit.” It is an arrangement that benefits both parties.

Corporate Head Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK
NR4 6AU

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North American Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611


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