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Faith-Based Trucking: Bennett is a Believer
January 16, 2018
In the transportation industry, there are often small differences between carriers. One may offer slightly different pay percentages, while another may offer a sign-on bonus. In the short term, differences in pay and benefits may seem important, but what happens when your truck breaks down? If you have a medical issue, will the company you are leased to be sympathetic to your situation? What about the sense of loneliness you feel every day on the road away from your family? So many of the real issues that arise in trucking can only be addressed by people that truly care for your needs and are led by a higher purpose. Before making the switch to another carrier, it’s beneficial for you and your family to test a trucking company’s core values.
Bennett Founder and CEO, Marcia G. Taylor established the Spiritual Commitment that is at the core of the company.
Faith-based Trucking Company
Since purchasing Bennett in 1974, founder Marcia G. Taylor has relied on the guidance of God for all her decision making. It is reflected in the company’s Spiritual Commitment Core Value: Bennett is founded on and operates with the belief that our blessings come from God, and we give thanks for receiving and sharing them.
Over time, the company has nurtured its spiritual commitment in the people it hires, the policies it maintains, and the decisions it makes, making Bennett a good example of a faith-based trucking company. Studies show that building a company that lives up to its core values not only boosts company morale, but also helps employees to grow both personally and professionally.
Mrs. Taylor says she has always been a faith-based person. She believes she wouldn’t have gotten this far in her 43 years of owning this company if it weren’t for God’s blessings.
“Of course it’s very important to us to be successful and profitable and to grow, but it’s equally as important that we use this company for good. That we are sharing with others. We know not everyone is faith-based and that is certainly understandable, but we try to portray the love of God in all that we do. If there are big decisions to be made, we’re going to pray about it. I say to people that I need to sleep on it, and the answer will come. And it always does.”
Decisions Guided by Giving
Mrs. Taylor acknowledges that the company is far from perfect. But as a faith-based trucking company, we operate under our core values. We make all of our decisions based on those values. We have a volunteer charity committee that conducts a food drive for the food pantry, and packs over 300 bags of school supplies twice a year for children in need. When the hurricanes hit Houston, she says our people were instrumental in sending down trailers full of food.
She says, “Our people have huge hearts and it just amazes me sometimes the types of things they do. About four years ago, it was laying on my heart, and we started the Taylor Family Foundation. I wanted my children and grandchildren to understand about giving back. We take 10% of our earnings total each year, and it goes into this foundation. My grandchildren all sit on this board, and they help make the decisions of where this grant money goes to. I am blessed they have such giving hearts.
Faith to Support Your Business
We know that our blessings come from God, and caring for our drivers is our first priority. This is one reason so many of our owner-operators end up staying with us for decades and driving millions of miles for us. At Bennett, we care about our drivers’ long-term well-being. That’s why we have had Pastor John Dewberry as our in-house chaplain for four years.
Pastor Dewberry has known the Taylor family for over 30 years, and is quite the busy man – he is also a chaplain for NASCAR, as well as the Henry County Police Department. However, he always makes time for Bennett drivers and employees.
“Drivers will call me when they are going through challenges with freight, loads, and even personal issues. In turn, I have the opportunity to get to know them and learn how they think and deal with things. I make sure they all know that our conversations are confidential, and not to be repeated. Several of them call me Pastor, they don’t even refer to me as Chaplain anymore, and that’s what I am: their pastor. They are on the road so much, and they call me because they know I care about them and our conversations are free of judgement.”
Pastor Dewberry echoes this sentiment. “These drivers know they can call me, day or night, and I will be an outlet for them. Bennett is also an awesome experience, because you have so many different facets of the business. I’ll have the opportunity to talk to someone who may be pulling a three-axle tractor, or someone hauling a step deck trailer. They all have different challenges. I tell drivers in orientation: ‘Human beings run this company, so it may not be perfect, but every day we will strive for perfection.’”
Pastor Dewberry hosts a bible study every Wednesday at 12pm in our McDonough, Georgia office. He also leads a worship service on Sundays at 10am at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
You might say, “This is all well and good, but what does it really mean for me? How does a faith-based trucking company really affect my life and career as a truck driver?” For Bennett, it means looking at everything we do through a Christian lens. Our principles and philosophy stem from the words of Jesus Christ as written in the bible:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 New International Version (NIV)
Listening to Understand and Help
We listen to the concerns of drivers, and what’s important for your family. We look to faith to help create solutions. Benita Coffey, our VP of Operations who has been with Bennett since 1994, says this is reflected in our Driver Relief Fund. Every year, she manages to raise money through raffles and various events through the year. Drivers can elect to donate from each load they haul, and this money goes directly into the fun. In unfortunate circumstances when a driver falls on extremely hard times, Bennett offers this fund to make sure they are taken care of.
Every year, Bennett sets a goal of $10,000 to add to the fund. Benita says it can be a struggle to reach this goal annually, but they manage to do it. There have been families who’ve lost everything to the hurricane in Houston. Drivers who have had medical issues with themselves or immediate family, or family members who have passed away.
“When I’ve called the drivers and told them they’ve been chosen to receive the Driver Relief Fund, I have seen grown men cry. All we ask is that when they’re back on their feet, try to pay it forward to future drivers in need.”
It’s not just drivers who benefit from Bennett’s spiritual commitment, but also their families. Every year, Bennett tries to send at least 100 children, of employees or drivers, to Camp Bennett in Florida. Many times, these children wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to go to camp. So, each year, teenagers from all over the country have a week of fun and fellowship down south.
Mrs. Taylor says, “It’s a wonderful place for kids to go and have a week of fun, and learn about God. We had several children saved at camp last year, and that makes it all worth it.”
Mrs. Taylor acknowledges that while many people choose Bennett because of our Christian values, that may not be the case for everyone. She says, “We have people who come to us because we are a faith-based trucking company, but not everyone is, and that doesn’t matter to us. I just want to use this company for good. At the end of the day, that’s what is most important to me.”
If you’re looking for a faith-based trucking company rooted in Christian values, or if you’d just like more information, visit www.drive4bme.com, or contact one of our recruiters at 888-712-3036!
Vallerie Hayden got into driving because of her husband, Harold. He drove for five years and she enjoyed going with him. After raising their children, she started driving with Harold as a team driver. They have been driving together for the last 13 years and have been married for 43 years.
Darla McDowell has been driving for five years. She started her career as a bus driver but wanted to do something different. When she started driving for Bennett, she was at the lowest, hardest time of her life. She says Bennett was the best thing that ever happened to her and this job has given her confidence, strong will, independence and a determination of steel. She had to do a lot of falling forward and picking herself up but now she feels that she is at the top of her profession.
Lisa Little has been driving for 10 years and is an excellent driver. She is always ready to go above and beyond to help other drivers. Her peers say she is a joy to work with and is always smiling, happy and will welcome anyone with open arms and a warm hug.
Terry Davis has been driving for 42 years and as a team driver with her husband, Clarence, for 24 years. She drove by herself for 10 years before meeting her husband. Terry prefers to drive during the day while her husband drives during the evening. On her shift, she takes care of everything. Terry will get the truck loaded, unloaded, axle out the weight, make repairs on the truck or trailer all while taking care of the paperwork and giving excellent customer service to Bennett customers.
Violet Helferich has been with Ace Doran/Bennett since the inception of the Wind Division in early 2016. In her family, driving a truck is a tradition. Her father owned a farm and raised her to be independent. Violet started driving a feed truck at the age of 14 and by the age of 16, she was hauling cattle. She always knew that she wanted to drive and got her Commercial Driver’s License at the age of 18.
Kara Leppert grew up in Ohio and started driving in her early 20’s. After getting married, she and her husband ran as a team. The husband and wife team for the last 10 years have driven separately for an Owner-Operator.
At Bennett, we like to say we’re “large enough to serve, but small enough to care.” As members of the Bennett family, our drivers aren’t just truck numbers. We strive every day to provide drivers not only with great freight, but also with a phenomenal support system that’s one of the best in the industry.
We believe Bennett drivers are the cream of the crop, and we take pride in celebrating them any chance we get. Every year at Bennett’s Annual Symposium, we honor those drivers and name our Driver of the Year. Last year, Jimmy James, who lives in Houston, received some news he was not expecting. His dispatcher gave him a call and told him he was being named Bennett’s 2016 Driver of the Year. His first reaction was simply, “Wow.”
Like most drivers, owner operator Rodney Glaspie isn’t happy about the elog mandate, but he’s figured out a way to manage his electronic logs so he can keep on making a good living driving. Maybe it’s his fixation with Superman that has him so determined to conquer the challenges that are leading some drivers to retire early.
The American Trucking Association designates one week per year as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Bennett International Group, LLC celebrated along with the rest of the country by holding Drivers Appreciation Week festivities throughout the third week of September. Staff and leaders at the company spent the days celebrating those who sacrifice so much to keep freight moving on the open road.
Bennett International Group was invited to attend Locust Grove Elementary career day May 7th, 2015. Hundreds of kindergarten, first graders and second graders toured one of our step-deck trailers and learned some valuable information about trucking from our Owner Operator, Carl Nelson and Dispatcher, J.R. Rushing. Check out the exciting video below and take some time to read the “thank you” notes from all of the amazing kids. The future of trucking looks bright!
Harold (Griff) Griffith served in the U.S. Army for nine years, from 1980 to 1989. Stationed in Germany. A portion of his time was spent serving as a combat engineer building bridges and using explosives to tear them down, and his secondary job was in transportation where he spent time as a 64Charlie, now called an 88M (88Mike).
As Bennett International Group celebrates its 40th anniversary, the company wanted to have something big, something significant and lasting to mark the occasion. After 40 years in the transportation industry, perhaps there is nothing bigger and more fitting than a new Kenworth truck!
At Bennett, we know your challenges, from payment delays to adapting to evolving technologies and ELD regulations. We provide all the essential tools and services for you to grow and remain competitive.
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