Hoewing Trucking: From Construction Landfills to Agricultural Growth

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Hoewing Trucking, based in Canton, Missouri, was founded in 1993 by Wayne Hoewing and a friend who primarily did earth and construction work. The company’s first two trucks were a 1977 gasoline-powered International dump truck and a 1978 Mack dump truck.

Scott Hoewing, Wayne’s son and current owner of the business with his brother Mark, took over the business after Wayne’s death in 1997, when their father’s partner also decided to step down, allowing Scott and Mark to take over at 50/50. the partners. The brothers used the money from their father’s death insurance to wipe the slate off the business and get rid of debt for a fresh start.

The company then had five or six dump trucks – which still did a lot of dirt, asphalt, and road construction – and Scott then grew the company to 12 dumpsters at a time.

However, due to the ups and downs in weather-related construction work, Scott decided to cut out some of the dump trucks to buy road tractors and focus on farm work.

Today, Hoewing Trucking has up to 11 trucks with eight drivers, and Hoewing is among the 10 semi-finalists for Overdrive‘s 2021 Small Fleet Champion Award.

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He became familiar with the size of the fleet. “I’m definitely not getting fat,” he said, recalling a time when “I had 12 trucks, with maybe four or five owner-operators in some seasons. So I drove my 10 to 12 trucks and up to six owner-operators. But I also got down to seven trucks.

Among its 11 units, three are four-axle dump trucks, one five-axle dump truck and seven road tractors. He uses newer equipment, his oldest truck being a 2013 glider which he usually drives himself, towing a dump trailer carrying grain and feed.

The four dump trucks do a lot of work for the local concrete plants. They also haul rocks and work on construction sites. The rest of its trucks pull dump trailers, all of which are tied to farming and construction related operations.

This Western Star is one of three four-axle dump trucks that Hoewing uses in its clearing and construction operations.

Scott has noted difficulties over the years finding drivers willing to work five to seven days a week, which leaves a few of his trucks standing still most of the time.

“Everyone wants to make a fortune and do nothing,” he said. “I might as well save that $ 60,000 or $ 70,000 that I would pay them and use it to upgrade my fleet. “

Although, as noted, he has previously contracted with owner-operators, he had a bad experience when a landlord falsified workers’ compensation insurance documents and a company insurance audit company resulted in fines for Hoewing. Since then, “I’m just done with this deal,” Scott said. “I have all the guys in the company now. “

Of his eight current company drivers, one is paid on a percentage of the load at 31%, and the rest have chosen to be paid on a salary basis. Hoewing cuts their wages to five working days a week, and if drivers work Saturdays or Sundays during busy seasons, they are paid the same rate as their normal daily rate during the week.

[Related: Standardizing guaranteed pay in a power-only system with DeWitt Transportation]

It was difficult for drivers to get used to the salary at first, before shifting it to a daily rate, he said. “When it came to auction season, they couldn’t understand why they weren’t paid extra. I told them, ‘You were the one who wanted a salary – that’s how it works.’ But after about a year and a half, I said I would put them on a salary, but it would be daily, five days a week. So that means if they work Saturdays and Sundays during harvest and fertilizer season, it will only be $ 200 more per day or whatever your daily pay is. They liked this deal because now they are going to be paid to work and improve their wages. “

He said the extra pay for weekend work, if his drivers work a few extra days per month, can be $ 400 to $ 800 more per month.

Hoewing's Peterbilt tractor with hopperAfter using up to 12 dump trucks at one time, Scott Hoewing decided to diversify the fleet and add a few road tractors to help the business when construction slowed down. He now owns seven tractors and four dump trucks.

Scott said he has always had fairly good success in retaining pilots and that he has a few who have worked for him for over 15 and 20 years. Part of that success, he said, is due to flexible hours. If a driver wants to leave early one day, he has the option of staying out overnight to do his job earlier the next day. Most of the time, however, his drivers are at home every night.

It will also improve the trucks at the request of the drivers, as long as it is not an outrageous request.

“If they want extra lights, a new bumper, dual batteries, I’m forgiving enough,” he said. “If it doesn’t cost a fortune, I’m pretty flexible.”

Logo Overdrive Small Fleet Champion 2021This is the fifth of 10 Small Fleet Champ semi-finalist profiles that will be featured here on Overdrive before the announcement of the finalists later in October. Access all profiles via this link. The final winner will be announced at the National Association of Small Trucking Companies November 4-6 conference in Nashville, Tennessee.He also set up a Simple IRA retirement plan, in which drivers can contribute as much as they want, and Hoewing typically makes a 3% match on their contribution.

Other benefits include eight paid holidays per year, four to five paid personal days per year and a bonus at the end of the year.

“I usually do bonuses once a year, usually at the end of it, and see how my numbers work,” he said.

In addition to his drivers, he also has a part-time mechanic who does most of the minor maintenance work on trucks, including brakes and other maintenance work. He also hires three or four high school students who are interested in trucks and farm work as a wash and wax crew who also do other work around the workshop. In winter, these students are also part of the Hoewing snow removal team.

Around the community

Scott, his wife and two children all graduated from the same high school. He therefore sponsors many sporting events at school. He also works in other neighboring communities, where he has clients, to sponsor events and to advertise.

He is also involved in the local Relay For Life Cancer Walk and makes various donations for community members in need including tons of stones, monetary donations and more.

Logo of the National Association of Small Trucking CompaniesThe National Association of Small Trucking Companies is sponsoring this year’s Small Fleet Championship program. Finalists receive one year of association membership, with access to a myriad of benefits from NASTC’s well-known fuel program, drug and alcohol testing services and more. All will be recognized at the association’s annual conference, where the winner will be announced in early November. Learn more about the association via their website.“I also do radio advertising for Farmer Appreciation Week, Driver Safety Week and things like that,” Scott said. “It’s probably nothing that gets me business, but people hear our name supporting FFA or whatever. “

Hoewing also sponsors many events, such as youth basketball camps and more, at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri.

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