September 18, 2015
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is winding down, but here at D&D Transportation, we believe our nation's truck drivers and transportation industry professionals deserve appreciation all year round. It's with this sentiment that we share our first "Faces of the Fleet" story.
We begin our Q&A series with Dena Freeman, D&D's own Billing Manager.
During a typical day, Dena answers billing questions, keeps customer rates up-to-date, monitors fuel prices, resolves payment discrepancies, audits loads to ensure accuracy, updates and verifies customers' websites, provides documentation to customers, and assists the D&D management team with miscellaneous projects.
"Dena has stepped up to the plate many times when we were in Emergency Mode," says company VP Jennifer Graves. She recalls a time when a D&D employee needed immediate heart surgery and was out recovering for months. Dena temporarily handled the responsibilities required of her colleague, but she also kept up with her own job duties.
"If I need something done that is time-sensitive, I always look to Dena," says Graves. "And I never have to worry about tasks I send her way—she is detail oriented, always follows through, and goes above and beyond." She adds, "Dena has also been cross-trained into our entire structure here at D&D, so all new employees train with Dena at some point—she is a great teacher and an inspiring role model."
When she's not working at D&D, Dena is involved with her local community. She currently serves as the Gooding PTA Treasurer and helps with most of the PTA’s events and activities. Dena also enjoys spending time with her family—and her children have benefitted from her example. "Dena has two beautiful, smart daughters whose behavior demonstrates that they have learned their mom's same work ethic and values," says Graves.
Read on for an in-depth discussion with Dena about her professional role at D&D, what she enjoys about the trucking industry, and how she and her family benefit from her employment.
This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. How do you feel truck drivers make a difference/a positive impact in our communities?
*How frustrated would you be if your local retailer was out of what you needed? Imagine it’s your lunch hour. You’re running errands, and trying to figure out how you’re going to find time to actually eat lunch. You run into your local retailer for a package of much-needed toilet paper. You quickly turn down the aisle and come to an abrupt stop. There before you is nothing, completely empty shelves.
Truck drivers deliver a vast majority of the products you buy to the retailers you purchase them from. Most business, in an effort to cut costs, have reduced or even eliminated storing inventory. So it’s crucial that truck drivers deliver product to their locations on time, or else a company can be shut completely down due to the lack of materials. Truck drivers not only deliver the final product, they deliver the raw materials, packaging materials, and anything else required to create the final product. Basically, truck drivers keep the whole cycle going.*
What do you enjoy most about working for D&D Transportation?
We’re a family. We may disagree, but at the end of the day, we all care and want to do what is best to keep this company moving forward. I feel that everyone here cares and takes pride in doing a good job for the benefit of the company, the drivers, and coworkers. Here are just a couple examples: If the person on call has something important come up, one of the other dispatchers will switch weekends. And, our receptionist (Carmen) warmly welcomes the drivers when they stop by the office; she even has treats for their dogs!
What do you enjoy about your industry?
This industry is always changing—new technology, new regulations, new trends, and new challenges.
What do you think sets D&D apart from other transportation companies?
I think that there are two things that set us apart. First, because we're a small company, our drivers are not just a number, they’re a huge part of the D&D family. Second, in keeping up with the advances in technology. I’ve been working here for just under ten years. During this time, there have been several upgrades—not only to our software, but even to the phone system. With the latest upgrade, the driver can now scan all of his paperwork into the office by using the Qualcom. This is a huge advantage to D&D. Not only does it allow the driver to turn in paperwork for payroll quicker, it also allows us to bill the customer more quickly. Another huge change was when our drivers were converted from paper logs to e-logs.
How has working for D&D allowed you to spend more time with your family and doing the things you enjoy?
*With two daughters in school, there are multiple school activities, field trips, and sports events that most working parents are unable to attend. Thankfully, I have been able to attend most of them by making up my hours by coming in on the weekend or staying late. I also have been able to do things for the PTA, for example, assisting at assemblies, setting up/cleaning up for PTA events, and attending meetings with principals, teachers, and staff.
Before D&D, I had never worked for a company that allows you to take time off for family. My husband was in the hospital recently, and I was able to spend time with him. My kids also appreciate that I'm able to be involved in their school lives. If there's a field trip I want to take with my daughter, I can go—I just make up my work hours another day.*
"Dena is truly a star here at D&D," says Graves. "She brings positive energy to our work environment." In addition, her industry knowledge, hard-work, dedication, and community involvement are highly valued by our team and keep our company strong. "I am grateful she has chosen to be a part of our company," says Graves. "Dena's honesty, hard work, dependability, and positive attitude moves us forward each and every day."
Stay tuned to our blog, where we will be sharing more stories from our dedicated truck drivers and staff. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week may be ending soon, but we say: let's keep the momentum going.