Bulkmatic looks for drivers with a passion for problem-solving and the desire to be part of a strong team environment.
Established in 1965, Bulkmatic Transport Company, headquartered in Griffith, Ind., is the largest dry bulk carrier in the United States. In addition, they are a top 100 common carrier as well as a top 10 bulk carrier.
In a conversation with Terry McAdams, Bulkmatic’s vice president of safety and human resources, Top Fleets learned that Bulkmatic’s fleet has a full range of specialized pneumatic equipment and they don’t compromise on providing customers with the precise equipment for their needs.
“We’re specialized carriers so we need a special driver who can deal with different situations that arise in loading and unloading,” said McAdams.
TF: Since you are specialized what do you look for in a driver?
TA: We look for someone who wants to do more than go from point A to point B and we look for someone who likes problem-solving opportunities. We like to have someone who is innovative and wants to be part of a team — a driver who doesn’t mind jumping in to help solve challenges. It’s not an 8 to 4 job, although 75 percent of our drivers are home each night.
TF: Can you give me an example of how a driver has solved a problem?
TA: One of our drivers came up with an idea for a hose stand that eliminates contamination.
TF: Do you have guidelines for a prospective driver?
TA: Here are a few of the basics,
• Minimum age is 23 years old.
• Must be able to pass a DOT physical and drug screening.
• Must have a valid CDL Class A license in their home state.
• Two years driving experience required up to age 25. After that one year is required and all experience must be verifiable within the past five years.
• A plus for veterans is that we will take military driving experience into consideration.
We also ask that a candidate verify a 10-year work history and of course we look for a clean record. You can read a lot more about jobs and Bulkmatic on our website at www.bulkmatic.com
TF: Do you incorporate training that encourages teamwork?
TA: We certainly do. Our drivers do more than steer a truck. They safely operate pneumatic equipment, load from railcars, evacuate silos, and build relationships with receivers and customers. All new drivers spend a week at Bulkmatic University in Griffith, Ind. BU classes teach new hires the basic principles of operating pneumatic equipment and Bulkmatic procedures. New drivers also ride with a local driver trainer for an additional two weeks before delivering loads for our customers. We also incorporate the Smith System safe driving program in our training. That’s a program which has been teaching fleet drivers safe driving habits for well over 50 years. Our customers tell us our training is what makes us one of the leaders in the industry. Non-driver Bulkmatic employees also go through two weeks of extensive training.
TF: What do you do to encourage safety?
TA: As I mentioned we include the Smith System and we’re proud to be North America’s first carrier to install the TRAM fall prevention device mounted to the top of our trailers. We consistently rank as one of the safest carriers in the U.S. Safety is not a slogan at Bulkmatic, it factors into every decision we make. Simply, no load is worth someone’s life.
TA: How is Bulkmatic recognized in the industry?
TA: As a company we like to say “We are quality driven.” Bulkmatic is a pioneer in the distribution of dry bulk products. Since 1970, we have developed bulk industry standards for transloading, sanitation, and transportation. We continuously work with our customers to make delivery of their products safer, more secure, and more efficient. This effort allows us to boast that 10 out of the last 12 years we have been recognized by Logistics Management magazine as one of the top five bulk carriers in their Quest for Quality Awards program. This is really a point of pride because we have to continually improve to stay on top.
TF: What does this mean to the Bulkmatic team?
TA: We know it takes an effort from everyone here and especially the folks on the frontline, our drivers.
TF: Do you have a driver recognition program?
TA: We sure do, anytime an employee comes up with a good idea, they are rewarded. One of the things we’ve done is use gift cards as rewards. This allows us to tailor awards to the preference of the winner. One driver might want a restaurant card while another would prefer a store card. We also recognize accomplishments with pins, patches and jackets.