Overdrive Small Fleet 2020 Champ

Overdrive this month is profiling nine semi-finalists in the inaugural Small Fleet Champ award program. Three finalists will be announced in early August. The winning small fleet will be unveiled during the Overdrive‘s GATS Week program of events August 24-28 and profiled in greater detail this fall. The Small Fleet Champ program is sponsored by Pilot Company’s One9 Fuel Network, which offers benefits for small fleets.

For most of the 20 years that have passed since brothers Jay and Joel TeBrake bought out their father and a partner in Truck Transport, the small fleet has been a bulwark of stability through a variety of market changes. The fleet hauls heavy equipment on a variety of platform trailers, mostly double-drop RGNs.

“For the last 10-14 years,” Jay says, the Willmar, Minnesota, fleet has stayed around 20 trucks, with 80-85 percent of freight coming via direct contracts with equipment dealers, manufacturers, auctions houses and private parties. Brokers accounted for the rest. The company has a fairly low debt load, considering the capital tied up in expensive trailers.

Truck Transport works with 200 to 400 customers in any given year, most acquired through word of mouth. The company operates its own brokerage, TTI Logistics, to handle any overage.

That diversity of customers has kept the fleet moderately busy through the COVID-19 pandemic. Its customers include big manufacturers, like Case New Holland, private individuals or “small farmers and small business people who don’t move a lot