April has come and gone quickly, but this month has yet again been busy for the J&M Family!

 

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This month is designed to help educated and remind drivers to stay alert and engaged with the road. Distractions can include texting, looking at your GPS, eating/ drinking, and so much more. Always remember that it can wait. We want you and everyone else on the road to make it home safe. 

 

Safe Driving Summit

J&M Tank Lines, Inc. announced our official partnership with the Lutzie 43 Foundation to help end distracted driving and impaired driving.

As partners, J&M’s drivers will serve as safe driving ambassadors, through the example they set through the 43 Key Seconds initiative. This initiative serves as a checklist for all motorists before they begin operating a motor vehicle of any kind. Ensuring a clear head, clear hands, clear eyes and clicking your seatbelt.

Thursday, March 31st, J&M participated in a Safe Driving Summit with Lutzie 43 and the Georgia Department of Transportation to help bring awareness to local teens about safe driving.

 

White House Visit

We were honored to have our CEO, Harold Sumerford Jr., and one of our drivers and America’s Road Team Captain, Darrien Henderson, as part of the nine drivers and nearly two dozen CEO’s to attend the White House lawn for a ceremony with members of Congress and Administration officials on April 4th. Those in attendance were there to recognize ATA’s recent approval as a registered apprenticeship sponsor by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

 

Social Media Tour

J&M’s Social Media Team took a tour of our Georgia terminals in April. They had the opportunity to spend time at each terminal. Learning from terminal employees and face-to-face interaction with drivers. Meeting with the many people of J&M allows for us to share the J&M Family with others through social platforms. 

 

We are looking forward to what the summer months have to offer!

March has been busy, but a memorable month for everyone at J&M. As we ramp up for the summertime, we took some time to acknowledge a group of great drivers, show some appreciation to our employees and give back to those in need.

Million Mile Awards

Friday, February 25th and March 4th, J&M held their 2019 – 2020 Alabama and Georgia Million Mile award dinners. These dinners were about honoring the career accomplishments J&M drivers who reached a million, or over a million safe miles. These drivers have been accident and violation-free for almost a decade. These drivers set the standard for the next generation of truck drivers, representing what it means to be a professional truck driver. J&M is proud to have safe, hardworking, and diligent drivers like these!

Trucking Cares

March 16, the trucking industry’s charitable arm – the Trucking Cares Foundation – announced it was donating more than $40,000 to a trio of organizations involved in Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts. “The Trucking Cares Foundation was established to help mobilize the trucking industry in response to disasters – natural and manmade – so providing relief and comfort to Ukrainians suffering as a result of this war is something we are called to do,” said American Trucking Associations Chairman Harold Sumerford Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines. We are proud to contribute our part in making a difference!

Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day was March 4th this year. A couple of our locations took the opportunity to celebrate with Chick-fil-A biscuits or a terminal cookout. After two years of COVID restrictions, we were happy to gather together. J&M appreciates every single employee for all their hard work and dedication!

We are now looking forward to the busy season summer brings!

J&M is well-known in the industry for our signature orange trucks with chrome accents and a white stripe that runs from the side of the hood, across the door and to the back of the cab. In 2013 our orientation van, the “Mobile Training Unit”, was designed to replicate that of our trucks. A J&M orange van with a white stripe along both sides was branded to maximum capacity to prevent any confusion about who we are. When that orange van pulled up, you knew a group of elite drivers was pulling up with it.

That iconic orange van served J&M and an estimated 2,000 drivers, in their career as they joined the prestigious tank truck industry. If the walls of that van could talk, we suspect it would speak volumes to the knowledge its many passengers held, stories of “back in the day” as well as the ups and downs that come with trucking. Many will remember the van’s primary operator, Keith Wisener, who served J&M as a Professional Driver, Driver Trainer, Orientation Instructor and Director of Driver Training before his retirement in 2021.

After eight years of service to J&M, the orange van was laid to rest in 2021. While we will miss the unmistakable presence of this orange van, we will forever carry the many memories that were made with it.

2022, kicked off with a bang as we upgraded to a new orientation van to keep our new drivers riding comfortably and in style. This new van is branded with J&M’s circle logo and can seat 14 people comfortably. We have high hopes this new van can make just as many, if not more, memories as J&M continues to grow and bring on some of the industry’s finest drivers. While we may have a new van, we will maintain our reputation of the quality drivers it holds while in orientation.

Make sure to give us a wave if you see us out on the road!

America’s Road Team

January 18, the American Trucking Associations announced 22 professional truck drivers who will be 2022-2023 America’s Road Team Captains. This
is a group of professional truck drivers with superior safety records. They will speak at schools, attend industry events, or meet policymakers on behalf of the trucking industry. This year’s class includes drivers from 13 companies, 17 states, and drivers with more than 564 years of experience and 45,774,455 miles of accident-free driving. Among the group was J&M’s own, Darrien Henderson, out of Mobile, AL. It is a great honor for J&M to support Darrien as he travels the country in ATA’s Interstate One Image Truck. Below are 2022-2023 America’s Road Team captians. Click the link below the picture to meet the captains!

https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/ata-names-22-professional-drivers-newest-americas-road-team-captains

2022 Managers Meeting

J&M was able to hold our annual Managers Meeting in-person after two years apart from COVID-19. It was great to see everyone after some very challenging years.

Friday night, employees were invited to Civil Axe, where new and existing employees were able to network and challenge each other in axe throwing.

Saturday, managers and office staff heard from our CEO and executive team in relation to the company’s goals for 2022, and our plans to reach them.

Lutzie 43 Partnership

Saturday during the managers meeting, the group heard from guest speaker Mike Lutzenkirchen of Lutzie 43 organization. J&M is patnering with Lutzie 43 to end distracted driving. We are looking forward to this partnership and all that 2022 will hold.

To learn more about Lutzie 43 and it’s mission visit: https://lutzie43.org

The end of the year has come and gone and we have been hard at work. The holiday season is often the slower time of year, however, we have not slowed down one bit.

Wreaths Across America

J&M has been involved with Wreaths Across America for several years, typically delivering wreaths to cemeteries throughout Florida. This year, however, J&M was given the opportunity to deliver, to Arlington National Cemetery. It is a great honor for J&M to do our part in sharing this mission and thanking our nation’s heroes for their service and sacrifice. 

This year our driver was Nathan W. out of Sylacauga. Nathan is a marine who served from 1995-1999.

You can view our Wreaths Across America video below.

Extra Mile Award

A Quality Improvement Committee has been established to act as a sounding board for culture-based concerns that may arise and to promote our new company mission and values throughout J&M. This committee also launched a variety of programs and opportunities for all employees. The “Extra Mile” Award nomination form is available for all employees. This is where you can nominate each other to be recognized for displaying behavior or action that aligns with J&M’s Mission & Values, no matter the size of the gesture.

Darrien Named ATA Road Team Finalist

The American Trucking Association released the list of 36 professional drivers named as finalists for the 2022-2023 term of America’s Road Team. J&M’s own, Darrien Henderson, out of Mobile, AL, has been named a finalist. The chosen 2022-2023 America’s Road Team will be announced on January 19 following a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. See the link below to view all of the finalists.

https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/ata-names-36-professional-drivers-finalists-2022-23-americas-road-team

This year started off busy and we have not slowed down one bit! The pandemic and the driver shortage has come with challenges, but J&M and the trucking industry continue to stay essential. Check out what we have been doing these last few months.

Birmingham Terminal Opening

Last month we opened a new terminal in Birmingham that is located off I65N behind the Flying J. This new facility is very nice! We will mainly haul cement, fly ash, and calcium carbonate out of this terminal. The terminal has three maintenance bays, office space, upgraded breaks areas and restrooms.

New Mission Statement and Values

On Friday October 15, 2021, our CEO, Harold Summerford JR., addressed the company with a new clear mission statement and core values. This is for a better work environment throughout J&M. While most of our employees already hold these values and characteristics, there is always room for improvement so we can continue to grow. You can see our new mission statement and values below. 

Values:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Safety
  • Empowerment
  • Teamwork

Mission Statement: 

J&M Tank Lines Inc. strives to provide quality service to all built on a foundation of integrity and respect. Our purpose is to create an empowering environment for our stakeholders, encourage a team mindset and to exceed industry service and safety standards. 

Virtual Picnic 2021

This year’s Employee Appreciation Picnic was held virtually, again, because of COVID. Although we were unable to come together in person, we still hosted our traditional raffle for employees and their families and provided all employees with a $50 Visa gift card to spend with their families. You can see some of the winners here. Employees and their families were entered into a raffle, according to their terminal, to win some great prizes. We are hoping next year we will be able to get back on person and see everyone’s faces!

Harold’s Chairmanship

Our CEO, Harold Sumerford Jr. was inducted as the 77th Chairman of the American Trucking Associations. During his year as Chairman, Harold will have the opportunity to influence and promote legislation focused on trucking, tort reform, infrastructure and more. He will travel the country representing and sharing everything the ATA and J&M stands for and strives to be. This is a great honor, and we are proud to share our great leader with the ATA and the industry as a whole. 

Thank you to all of our employees that make everything possible. We are looking forward to what the end of the year has to offer!

Summer has officially started here at J&M Tank Lines and things are off to a great start! Summertime is often the busiest time of the year for tankers and J&M is following that trend after a year that has not let up!

J&M Launches New Pay Plan

June 1, 2021, J&M announced a new pay plan that would go into effect company-wide starting June 7, 2021. This new pay plan allowed for all terminals to be on the same pay plan, simplified the pay structure for employees to follow as well as a 5-10% increase in annual pay.

Specific updates include:

  • Increased Loading Pay
  • Increased Unloading Pay
  • Increased Holiday Pay
  • Increased Per Diem
  • Increased Driver Trainer Pay
  • Increased Mileage Percentage
  • And more!

“We believe our professional drivers are some of the best in the industry,” said Harold

Sumerford, Jr, CEO at J&M Tank Lines. “These pay updates will continue to provide our drivers

with a comfortable income to support their families and accurately reflect the work they do.”

By moving all drivers to the same pay plan, the programs for all involved have been simplified and provide a clearer understanding to drivers about how their pay is calculate and the different factors that play a role.

Darrien NTTC PTTDY Finalist

In January 2020, the National Tank Truck Carriers announced J&M’s Darrien Henderson, as one of eight finalists in the Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award. Shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, putting much of the world on hold, including the Driver of the Year ceremony.

After 18 months of waiting the NTTC was able to hold its annual conference in Indianapolis, along with the Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award ceremony. Henderson, along with seven other finalists stood on stage in front of tank truck leadership and professionals across the country to be recognized for their dedication, commitment and accomplishments within the industry.

The 2021-2022 NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion was awarded to Ron Baird of Hoffman Transport. While Henderson was not selected as this year’s Grand Champion, J&M is extremely proud to have Henderson represent the company on a national level among so many incredible professional drivers. We would like to congratulate Baird on his award and to congratulate all other finalists, as to be nominated and selected as a finalist is a great honor in itself.

We are off to a great start this summer and cannot wait to see what else is in-store here at J&M! To learn more about our new pay plan, give us a call at 833-445-3370. To learn more about the NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year, click here or let us know about your interest in being nominated by emailing social@jmtank.com.

This year J&M partnered with Women In Trucking to host local Girl Scout Troops at a unique and fun event centered around the trucking industry. The girls had the opportunity to learn more about the supply chain process their Girl Scout Cookies go through to get to them, starting with the raw materials.

We opened our event for up to 50 girls from troops in the Birmingham area. While in attendance, girls and their parents participated in four different stations that touched on different career opportunities within the industry.

  • Tractor-Trailer Tour: Girls were able to sit in the driver’s seat, learn the different operating systems and tour both the inside and outside of the truck and trailer, learning the different types of products that can be hauled in pneumatic trailers.
  • Dispatch: Girls tested their problem-solving and critical thinking skills by helping get their cookies to their required destination at specific times.
  • Build Your Own Truck: using a variety of craft materials, girls were able to design and decorate their own tractor-trailer, varying in size, colors and accessories.
  • Thank You Message: Girls created and decorated a custom thank you message for our nations professional drivers after learning some of the challenges they face and just how essential they are to everyday life.

Girls of all ages and their parents had the opportunity to ask questions about the industry and share some common misunderstood assumptions about what the Trucking Industry is and what is does for the world.

J&M’s group of volunteers represented all departments within J&M as well as the many different functions within those departments. Following the event, girls who attended received a custom Transportation Patch as well as a workbook to further their interest and deepen their knowledge.

Thank you to all organizations for your involvement to make this event happen and to the girls and parents who came out! We are looking forward to more events like this in the future.

It is rare to find potential employee and employer stories such as Robert P. and J&M these days. There is a high demand for professional drivers throughout the industry, if one company is not a fit or requirements do not match up, there are hundreds of other options for that driver to choose from. Usually, phone calls wrap up with “Please reach back out…” or “I’ll give you a call when…” and you never hear from them again. Not in this case. Robert knew he wanted to work for J&M and stayed in communication with his recruiter, Rachel, for several months to make that happen.

In October 2020, Robert first applied for J&M, but fell short to meet our experience requirement. He knew he wanted to be a part of the J&M family, so he took a position with a competitor to gain the necessary experience he was missing.

Jump forward to February 2021, Robert reached out to Rachel, but again fell short to meet our experience requirements. Some additional discussion about the position and encouragement to keep in contact helped Robert to stay confident in his choice to work for J&M.

Finally, in March 2021, Robert reached J&M’s experience requirement and Rachel was able to start processing his application. After long period of waiting, approval from our Safety department, completing orientation and training; Robert is now representing J&M in our famous orange trucks.

We are proud to have so many dedicated and loyal professional drivers here at J&M. Stories like this prove that building strong relationships and communicating well from the very beginning allows all of us to be successful! Robert, we are so glad to finally have you as part of the J&M Family and we look forward to a long relationship!

This year is off to a busy start for J&M, as more business opportunities arise and other industry challenges come to light. The pandemic has created challenges; however, the Trucking Industry is as essential as ever. Check out all things J&M and Industry related from Quarter 1.

Referral Contest

The need for quality drivers is as high as ever, so J&M reached out to our top recruitment source to help fill our needs. On top of our existing Referral Bonus Program, which pays up to $2,000 per hired referral, J&M opened a contest over 90 days for one lucky driver to receive the normal referral bonus pay-out as well as a J&M Die Cast Truck and $1,500 toward a vacation of their choosing.

The contest opened in December 2020 and closed in February 2021 with the winner announced via Facebook on February 16.

During this 90-day period, any J&M driver who referred another driver, who is hired, had their name placed into a drawing for the J&M Die Cast Truck and $1,500 toward the vacation of their choice. There was no limit to the number of referrals, thus the more referrals a J&M driver provided, the more chances they had to win!

On February 16, two of our Driver Recruiters named the Referral Contest Winner, Taryl T. of our Americus terminal. Taryl received the sought-after J&M Die Cast Truck and $1,500 toward a family vacation he plans to take this summer.

Congratulations Taryl!

Wreaths Across America – Mobile Education Exhibit

J&M Tank Lines is honored to participate in Wreaths Across America since 2018 with a custom 53-foot trailer specific to the cause. Each year a J&M Driver is selected out of a group of volunteers to make the wreath deliver on behalf of J&M.

Following Wreaths Across America Day in December 2020, J&M had the pleasure to host the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit in February 2021 at our Corporate Office in Birmingham, AL.

Each year Wreaths Across America Representatives Stefan and Jennifer, travel the country spreading word of their organization and its message to REMEMBER. HONOR. TEACH. They attend a variety of private, local, state and nationally held events year-round with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Their visit provided J&M employees with the opportunity to learn more about the Wreaths Across America organization and thank those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

To learn more about Wreaths Across America or have the Mobile Education Exhibit come to your event, click here.

Drive Safe Act – Truck Driver Shortage & The Next Generation

America’s Truck Driver shortage has made national media coverage over the last few years, and we are now seeing the economic impact of what this means to civilians. A group of bipartisan legislators have introduced the DRIVE Safe Act to the U.S. House and Senate, which would expand industry opportunities for younger industry professionals.

Previously, 49 states allowed for individuals under the age of 21 to operate a Commercial Vehicle with a Commercial Driver’s License, Federal law limited these drivers to operate within state lines of which their license was provided.

The DRIVE Safe Act would allow CDL holders who are permitted to drive intrastate, to participate in an apprenticeship program, created to help master interstate driving while promoting increased safety training for the upcoming workforce.

To learn more about the DRIVE Safe Act and other industry news, click here.