Episode 27:  The Benefits of a 100% Owner-Operated Fleet, with Mike Ernst

Mike Ernst has been with Mercer Transportation for 12 years. Mercer is a 100% owner-operated fleet of roughly 2300 trucks.

“We lose a lot of productivity time just by talking to drivers. It can be frustrating when you have important things to do, but they’re an important part of our business. You can’t really quantify how valuable spending that time is.”

– Mike Ernst

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The benefits of being a 100% owner-operated company like not managing equipment or needing a maintenance department
  • How Mercer achieves a turnover rate of 30-35%
  • How this business model allows drivers to work as much or as little as they want and how Mercer helps them reach their own goals
  • Why Mercer doesn’t have a lease program anymore
  • How the driver payment structure works and why Mercer makes sure the drivers know what the final pay number will be on a job before they accept it.
  • Mercer’s mobile application that allows drivers to scan in paperwork and get paid instantly (and the other great functions it provides)
  • The importance of nurturing relationships with drivers and why Mercer will take their drivers to lunch if they’re in the office around that time
  • Some of the sources Mercer uses to find owner-operators
  • Some books Mike recommends for becoming a better leader
  • Looking at your processes and making sure the way you are doing it is still the best way to do it

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