Pub. 1 2020 Issue 3

Kentucky Trucker 33 of the secret behind that is having different responsibil- ities and giving each other space to work. They have the same goal but focus on their strengths as individuals. The Benefit of Being a Small, Debt-Free Business The company is a hands-on business that has grown from 2-4 trucks to 30 trucks. They have hauled for large and small companies, moving everything from auto parts and grain to race cars. Being diverse with their customer base has helped to grow the business. The strength of a family business is the fact that it is small. There is a personal touch. When a customer calls, they will talk to one of three people who have extensive knowledge of the operation. Most of the drivers live within 20 miles of their central location in Springfield. That is something larger companies some- times can’t offer. Being financially stable has made the company very flexible. Having no debt was a blessing when COVID- 19 shut everything down. Jason says, “Our costs are strictly operational. If I had had truck payments or trailer payments, I can’t imagine having that hanging over our head.” After COVID-19 hit, manufacturing plants went into shutdown mode, and Pat Mattingly, Inc. almost came to a standstill. Jason said, “We had 25 trucks at the time and dropped down to 12. I had to lay a bunch of people off. We were fortunate, though. We still had some trickle-in business. We were diverse, and our eggs weren’t all in one basket. Livestock and fertilizer still needed hauling, so we weren’t totally shut down”. Pat had many opportunities with the business that would’ve caused him to gamble while going into debt. The problem was, taking on more debt could have gotten the company in trouble. “One thing I’ve learned about the trucking business,” said Jason. “Yes, you have contracts, but when it gets right down to it, if a customer discontinues something, or if anything changes, you have to be ready for the unknown. Business is ever-changing. You think you’ve got everything figured out, but the next day, it’s a roller coaster.” Jason continued, “You try to do your job to the best of your ability, but in business, you are only as good as your weakest link. From a business standpoint, we try to treat everybody well. Making everyone happy is a very difficult thing, but we do our best. I’ve realized it is different when your family name is on the truck. No Hills Too Steep - No Ditches Too Deep We’ll Be On The Go – Rain Sleet Or Snow Tony’s Wrecker Service, Inc. Truck Repair ● Air Bag Recovery ● Landoll Transport Secure Storage ● Crane Service ● Long Distance Towing Fleet Management ● Equipment Sales PH 502-426-4100 FAX 502-425-4050 Louisville’s Oldest Wrecker Service with over 80 years of Towing and Recovery Engineering You have more pride in what you are doing because “Mattingly” is across the door. Looking to the Future Jason thinks automated trucking will probably arrive at some point. He said, “In business, you are always trying to make something better and more efficient. When elogs were first mandated, they were a hindrance from a small-business standpoint because we didn’t have the resources that larger companies have. They made our job harder on the support side. Things have changed over the years. For years the only way to com- municate was with cell phones, text messaging wasn’t huge, and it took a phone call to find out where a driver was. Now we can look at our computer, see our elog system, and see our drivers’ exact location. It shows us everything except the color of their shirt.” He added, “You ride the wave of the economy and technology. The military flies drones now. Who is to say we won’t have automated trucks operated from a desk? Never say never. Large companies shape the way small compa- nies have to compete. If a large company finds a way to do something cheaper, the new approach dictates the freight market for all of us.” continued on page 34