The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley has been operating under this powerful two-word motto: Rise United. After the turbulence that was 2020, it’s difficult to imagine a better slogan with which to lead the charge in providing relief and support to those who need it most. And Aim has proudly stood behind the United Way, Rising United with the non-profit to participate in academic success programs as well as employee-led fundraisers.
In spite of last year’s pandemic-fueled economic instability, the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley prevailed, raising $3.3 million, the second-best campaign since the chapter’s inception 101 years ago.
The United Way, at its annual meeting, on April 27, honored the donors and volunteers who made exceeding an annual fundraising goal of $3 million possible. Among the 200 attendees (both in person and virtually) were representatives from Aim, who were recognized and awarded a plaque for taking part in the Adopt-A-School program. The Adopt-A-School program is part of an initiative called Success After Six, which provides wrap-around services helping to break down barriers thousands of students and their families face daily.
For the last few years, Aim has happily adopted the Liberty Blott Guy PK-6 school, which is near Aim’s headquarters in Girard, OH. One of the ways this program works, for example, is recently Aim recruited a tutoring team who virtually meets with students once a week for 30-minute one-on-one sessions. During that half hour, an Aim volunteer helps and encourages their student while reading e-books together using simple screen sharing and audio technology. At the end of each tutoring session, the software provides the teacher with feedback on the student’s performance.
In attendance from Aim at the United Way annual meeting were Scott Fleming, Co-President; Geoff Fleming, Co-President; Patty Durkin, VP of Human Resources and United Way Board of Directors member; Eleanor Arnold, Director of Talent Management; Sandra Osborne, Human Resources Assistant; and Donna Smith, Senior Executive Assistant. Also in attendance was Scott Fleming’s wife, Erica, who also generously volunteers her time to the United Way as well as donates from her company, Mega Barre Youngstown.
“It’s uplifting to see businesses and community members unite to provide such a huge, positive impact on those who need it most, especially those who have been devastated by the pandemic,” Scott Fleming said. “Hearing the positive results today furthers how proud I am of Aim and the effort our employees make to give back, whether through volunteering or monetary donations.”
Many Aim employees donate directly to the United Way through payroll deductions. Many also volunteer their time for several of the community-enriching programs the United Way offers (such as food drives and clean-up efforts).
“Whether it’s helping kids succeed in the classroom or providing relief to families struggling just to get by, the work the United Way, Aim and the community as a whole do is vital and necessary,” said Durkin, “and the fact that support of the United Way’s mission didn’t slow down during a time of crisis is heartwarming beyond measure.”
To achieve everything the United Way sets out to do, it relies on time, effort and donations from the community it serves. If you would like to get involved, head over to volunteer.ymvunitedway.org to see what you can do to make a difference. For non-local residents, you can visit www.unitedway.org to find volunteering opportunities near you.
“In 2020, many of the volunteer programs had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 health concerns, but we look forward this year to getting back some of those pre-pandemic opportunities,” Durkin added. “But, no matter what, Aim is committed to continuing to help the less served in our community.”
What’s harder than finding commercial truck drivers? Most industry professionals would answer: “Nothing.” The struggle associated with the driver shortage is reaching every link of the country’s supply chain and is forcing companies to rethink how they operate their business, and for many companies, dedicated contract carriage at Aim has been the answer they were searching for.
Aim Integrated Logistics (Aim Integrated), the division of Aim Transportation Solutions which partners with customers to create customized dedicated solution, has responded to this change in the market by kicking it into 5th gear. “We’re in major growth mode and there’s no end in sight,” said Aim Integrated Chief Operating Officer, David Gurska.
Aim Integrated has over doubled their business development staff, most recently brining on industry expert, Bryan Bilchik to help identify and adopt new opportunities in the Sothern region of the United States.
Bilchik, who comes from a background in both transportation and software, was an easy choice for the new position designed to match Aim’s technology-focused-solutions-for-business-efficiency with firms who may not even know what they’re missing. “Bryan understands what Aim Integrated does – we create a better business for your business,” said Gurska. “Bryan is the perfect person to help others adapt to a better, more successful business model with us.”
In addition to internal growth, Aim Integrated has recently moved up from the 2020 position of 23rd to the 2021 position of 22nd in Transport Topic’s 50 Top Dedicated Contract Carriers list. This list is widely regarded as the most comprehensive rating system in the transportation industry within the United States.
“We recognize that for many, the cure for the driver shortage is a dedicated solution and we’re the best dedicated solution out there,” Gurska added. A dedicated solution, like Aim’s, allows a customer to maintain capacity and customer flexibility without the huge initial capital investment, without the incredible risk involved in maintaining your own fleet, and [now-more-than-ever] without resource-crushing task of keeping drivers in trucks.
“You don’t change the oil in your car at your house because your time and the effort are worth more than the cost to have someone else do it,” continued Gurska. “Your business shouldn’t operate its own fleet based on the same principle.”
Still not sure what dedicated contract carriage is? In the big picture, Aim works as an extension of your company by absorbing the entire distribution function of a business. You retain your control while we take on the headaches that go into managing your supply chain. What you’re left with is consistent spend, a fully staffed and efficiently running distribution program, and time and resources to put back into your business.
For over 100 years, the United Way of Youngtown and the Mahoning Valley has been caring for and enriching the local community it serves. For more than 20 of those years, Aim Transportation Solutions has extended its helping hand—in the form of donations, education assistance, community relief and positive change—to support the organization’s mission to help those who need it most.
One of the United Way’s primary areas of focus is and has been children and their educations. The non-profit employs several programs to make sure kids not only keep up in school but also encourage them to excel and realize their full potential. Aim employees have happily lent their time and effort in support of these initiatives and continue to do so even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, a team of Aim volunteers have been taking part in the Vello program.
What is Vello? Simply put, it’s a one-on-one reading tutoring program that makes volunteering easy through a safe, secure and helpful virtual environment. Vello was a program several out-of-state United Way locations were already using, and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley recognized the benefits it could offer local students. So, with the help of Aim, the United Way launched the Vello program at the Blott Guy PK-6 school, in Liberty, OH, where students are able to use computer kiosks to connect with their designated Aim tutors.
The United Way’s Vello program starts with local companies—such as Aim—sponsoring a classroom. From there, the company recruits a tutoring team. Their job is to connect with students virtually for weekly 30-minute one-on-one tutoring sessions, where they read e-books together using simple screen sharing and audio technology. At the end of each tutoring session, Vello provides the teacher feedback on the student’s performance.
Aim’s Vello tutoring team—as seen in The Aim Vello Tutoring Team photo (l-r)—is made up of Scott Fleming, Co-President; Carli Kuntze, Director of Human Resources; Tom Reda, Integrated Logistics Vice President of Business Development; Sandra Osborne, Human Resources Assistant; Eleanor Arnold, Director of Talent management; Susan Wieder, Backhaul Coordinator; Patty Durkin, Vice President of Human Resources.
“Aim has always been of the mindset that an investment in today’s youth is an investment in the future, whether that’s for the betterment of our community, the country, the world and, as a result, even Aim itself,” said Fleming. “While we’ve always recognized the importance of this, the pandemic has underscored how vital our commitment to this idea is, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to lend our time and effort to the United Way’s virtual tutoring program.”
During a typical weekly session, Mrs. Osborne, for example, will connect with her student through Vello, which harnesses Zoom’s online conferencing technology. For the full 30 minutes, her student has full control of the screen. So, he picks the e-book, turns the pages and reads at his pace. It’s Osborne’s job to encourage him and help him along the way. At the end of the session, he has the option of taking a quiz covering what he just read. The Aim tutoring team began meeting with their students in January and will continue to do so through the end of the school year in May.
“Aim, as well as myself, has been working with the United Way for many years, and I’ve seen firsthand how important its initiatives are to our area, particularly those that focus on a child’s success in the classroom,” said Durkin, who is a member of the local United Way’s board of directors. “So being able to continue to help these children succeed when the pandemic has disrupted so much means a lot to me, our company, the community and especially the kids.”
The importance of Vello—and particularly tutoring in general—when it comes to reading can’t be overstated. Studies have shown that one-on-one tutoring is one of the most reliable ways to improve reading outcomes. And when kids become confident readers, they begin reading more frequently, which enhances how they perform in school overall.To achieve everything the United Way sets out to do, it relies on time, effort and donations from the community it serves. If you would like to get involved, head over to www.ymvunitedway.org/volunteer to see what you can do to make a difference. For non-local residents, you can visit www.unitedway.org to find volunteering opportunities near you.
Aim Transportation Solutions has long been a trusted and reliable fixture in the used commercial truck market. Aim’s stellar reputation as a used equipment dealer begins with the source of its inventory, which is primarily made up of units coming off lease that, since their first mile, have been under the care of experienced, expert Aim technicians. In other words, Aim sells used trucks you can depend on.
Aim, a family-owned and -operated company, isn’t just committed to providing a quality product. It’s also dedicated to providing a seamless and pleasant buying experience. From browsing available inventory to being handed the keys, Aim is dedicated to making the process a great one.
As part of that effort, Aim has launched its Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Facebook store, adding to its already robust multichannel selling network for certified pre-owned vehicles. The Facebook store is designed to improve the shopping experience for customers by giving them the option to shop for pre-owned equipment using the convenient functionality of the Facebook mobile app and website.
Last year, Americans spent, on average, between two and three hours a day on social media, with Facebook being the most popular of all the outlets. Facebook’s popularity is partly based on its efforts to become an all-in-one resource for not just connecting with friends and family but shopping and conducting business as well.
Recognizing this, Aim wanted to make sure Facebook users in the market for used trucks can quickly and easily view Aim’s available inventory without leaving the application, creating a seamless experience. On top of being able to browse the entirety of Aim’s pre-owned equipment inventory, the new Facebook store provides users with vehicle specifications, pricing and contact information for follow-up. Additionally, users can take a deeper dive on any given unit by tapping the Vehicle Website link, which will take them to Aim’s official webpage for used truck sales, listing out even more details about the desired truck or trailer.
“The ultimate goal is convenience,” said Aim’s Director of Used Trucks, Eric Samp. “Whether someone wants to purchase a truck by picking up the phone or while talking to their friend across the country on Facebook, they can do that. I believe providing a diverse range of purchase points is extremely important to the consumer and valuable to us as a company.”
Additionally, The Aim Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Facebook store will play an important role in the Used Truck department’s inventory expansion efforts, a move to help Aim meet surging demand through a process of careful selection and revitalization.
If you’re in the market for used commercial trucks or trailers, take the new Facebook store for a test drive. You can also check availability at www.aimusedtrucks.com as well as by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or getting in contact with an Aim Used Truck manager at 330-269-5329. And be sure to Like the official Aim Used Truck Facebook page to stay on top of the latest used truck inventory.
For roughly a decade and a half, one major, seemingly unsolvable issue has plagued the trucking industry: an ever-dwindling pool of available drivers; also known as the driver shortage.
Pre-COVID-19 crisis, the industry as a whole was short around 59,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Association. Current estimates as we emerge from the pandemic? Around 80,000, a nearly 20,000 jump in roughly a year.
Several factors contributed to this spike, like the temporary closures of BMVs and CDL schools as well as the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearing House, which resulted in roughly 45,000 drivers essentially being wiped off the board after failing to comply with the initiative’s return-to-work requirements. These are just new problems piling on top of old ones. And while driver shortage forecasts always predicted things would get worse, not better, 2020 seemed to have accelerated that trajectory.
What we in the industry can do is do our best to weather these challenges by implementing tried-and-true best practices for hiring and retaining good quality, professional truck drivers as well as utilizing new, inventive ideas to combat new challenges as they spring up. Aim has some of the best in the business at doing just that. And, for your benefit and the benefit of your operation, some of those experts recently hosted a webinar talking about the state of the driver shortage and how Aim attracts and keeps skilled and reliable drivers for our valued and diverse customer base. You can watch the replay of the webinar below.
As always, if you’re struggling to hire and retain drivers for your operation, Aim is here to help. Our dedicated fleet division, known as Aim Integrated Logistics, is unmatched with its ability to create solutions that are effective, reliable and cost efficient. If you want to hear more or even give Aim Integrated Logistics a “test drive,” simply reach out to email@example.com to start the conversation.
With the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck set for May 4-6, the 72-hour commercial vehicle inspection blitz will be unleashed upon the industry—ready or not—before we know it.
As is tradition, the CVSA sets categories of focus for roadside inspections during this annual high-volume, high-visibility event. This year, law enforcement officials will be taking an extra careful look at vehicle lighting and hours of service (HOS) as they primarily conduct the 37-step North American Standard Level I Inspections.
A quick rundown: Inspectors will ensure a vehicle’s brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims, hubs and windshield wipers are compliant with regulations.
The call for heightened scrutiny regarding HOS and lighting stems from last year’s numbers. During the 2020 Roadcheck, HOS was the number-one driver out-of-service violation, accounting for 34.7% of all driver out-of-service violations; while, during fiscal 2020, inoperable lamps accounted for 12.2% of all vehicle violations and 4.4% of all vehicle out-of-service designations, according to the CVSA.
For clarification, the term “inoperable lamps” not only refers to what we think of as the traditional bulbs and wires that dot a truck’s exterior. It also refers to reflectors. While a broken reflector on a trailer, for example, will result in only a minor violation, a piece of equipment operating with a headlight or turn signal out will result in a more serious violation—not to mention putting the driver and those around him or her at risk.
“Combating light violations always begins with consistent and thorough pre- and post-trip inspections,” said Chris Disantis, Aim Senior Director of Maintenance. “It’s also important to identify the root cause of the issue. Most of the time the solution is as simple as a light needing replaced; sometimes, however, lighting outages could be symptomatic of a more serious underlying electrical issue, and it’s important to identify and repair those quickly before they wreak havoc on your equipment, jeopardizing the safety of the driver and those around him.”
The focus on HOS will be a big test for the HOS rule adjustments that went into effect last September. It’s crucial that drivers not only know the rules and abide by them but that they also know how to use their electronic logging device (ELD) and what law enforcement will want to look at during a roadside inspection.
For further clarification on the HOS rule changes, you can watch this video of Aim's Vice President of Safety & Compliance, Ron Bourque, covering this topic as part of Aim's ongoing series of webinars.
As a reminder, the basics drivers should be prepared to show inspectors are:
- Commercial driver’s license
- Medical certificates
- Bill of lading, hazmat information (if necessary) and any other required load-related documentation
- Roadside view ready ELD
- Proof of periodic inspections
Vehicles passing inspection without critical vehicle violations should receive a CVSA decal. Typically, CVSA decals are valid for three months, during which the vehicle won’t be re-inspected. Instead, officials concentrate their efforts on vehicles without decals. That, however, doesn’t mean a vehicle with a CVSA decal is immune to further inspections. As always, it’s vital to stay compliant and safe to avoid injury and operational disruptions.
Continuing from last year, law enforcement personnel will conduct inspections following their departments’ health and safety protocols as it pertains to COVID-19 considerations. In addition, as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, every effort will be made to get vaccine shipments to their destination quickly and safely. COVID-19 vaccine shipments will not be held up for inspection unless there is an obvious serious violation that is an imminent hazard.
Aim customers can always contact their local Aim representative with any safety- or compliance-related questions or concerns.
Maintenance is the foundation of Aim Transportation Solutions’ day-to-day operations, and businesses choose the Aim brand for its prompt, accurate and trusted response to vehicle upkeep and repairs. Recognizing that, Aim has always committed itself to building a robust maintenance infrastructure, which has forged the company’s more than 40 years of growth and national success. And that infrastructure starts with strong, focused leadership.
So, it is with great excitement that Aim announces a new era of maintenance leadership with the promotions of Chris Disantis to Senior Director of Maintenance and Steve Shacklock to Director of Maintenance (Eastern Operations). LeRoy Casali will continue his role as Director of Maintenance (Western Operations).
This trio is the embodiment of strong, focused leadership. Their more than 60 combined years of service at Aim along with their dedication and inherent expert approach will spread throughout the department and continue to propel Aim as one of the most trusted and reliable brands for commercial fleet services.
A major reason why businesses choose to lease, rather than own, their commercial trucks and trailers is they recognize the value in having dependable, well-maintained equipment; after all, uptime and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. Anyone can hand someone the keys to a new truck and send them on their way. The real worth is in the effort and commitment that goes into supporting the operation of that vehicle.
“At Aim, we’re all about service, which begins with having the right people in the right spots,” said Aim Executive Vice President & COO, Terry Dimascio. “We have a proven history of cultivating tenured employees who not only excel at providing our customers the best service possible, but are some of the brightest, most skilled individuals in the business as a whole, and Chris, LeRoy and Steve are proof of this.”
When Disantis started at Aim, 33 years ago, he began as a Lead Technician, and while climbing the ranks he held the positions of Service Manager, Regional Service Manager, Regional Director of Maintenance and, just prior to this new role, Director of Training and Field Technical Support. He is also a member of the Technology & Maintenance Council and currently holds a seat on the organization’s board of directors.
“Maintenance is an integral part of our day-to-day operations, the backbone of all that we do,” said Aim Co-President Geoff Fleming. “Aim has more than 11,000 vehicles in its care, and I can’t think of a better team of talented individuals than Chris, Steve and LeRoy to oversee keeping that equipment on the road working for our customers.”
Casali stepped into the commercial transportation industry 33 years ago as a 20-year-old Fueler-Washer. Just four years later he switched over to working under the hood, becoming a mechanic and then a foreman two years later. In 2001, he joined the Aim family as a Service Manager in Denver, CO, a position he would hold until 2009—earning multiple awards during that span—before being promoted to Regional Maintenance Director. By 2017, he would come to hold his current position of Director of Maintenance for the West.
Quickly ascending through the ranks, Shacklock began his Aim career in 2010 as a technician at Aim’s shop in Wheatland, PA. In just two short years, he became the location’s Service Manager. In 2014 he took on the title of Warranty Manager, and, in 2018, he rose to the position of Director of Maintenance Support. The self-proclaimed gearhead credits his success to his technical expertise and his unwavering dedication to Aim and its customers.
Shippers count on routine maintenance and a quick response for the unexpected breakdown. This keeps their operation running efficiently and, as a result, their customers happy. That’s precisely what Aim is, and forever will be, committed to delivering, and why businesses from coast to coast rely on Aim for all of their fleet needs. And all of this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t rooted in the knowledge, ability and dedication of Aim employees and leaders, like Disantis, Casali and Shacklock.
Where pedal meets metal is where you’ll find Aim’s freight brokerage service, better known as Aim 3PL. What began as a service to further support customers with a dedicated fleet through Aim Integrated Logistics, in just a few years’ time, it developed into a standalone offering among Aim’s robust menu of commercial transportation services. Now, fast forward to today: Aim 3PL has outgrown itself to the point Aim has acquired additional office space and hired some new faces to tackle increasing demand.
For those unfamiliar: Freight brokerage is one of those rare win-win scenarios in the business world. Typically, products follow a direct sequence of distribution: from production to truck to customer. However, a freight broker, like Aim 3PL, steps in the middle of the shipment process, connecting shippers with qualified and carefully vetted carriers—at negotiated rates—and then managing the shipment from start to finish. This provides businesses instant flexibility and scalability with the benefit of saving time, money and resources. It’s like having a large-scale shipping operation without all the overhead (or the headaches of managing it!). For shippers, it’s a cost-effective set-and-forget-it arrangement.
Two components play a huge role in Aim’s success in this venture: Aim’s extensive network of carriers and several decades’ worth of industry knowledge and experience serving a wide range of industries. This combination creates the perfect marriage of cost, efficiency and reliability for shippers.
Aim's Director of Marketing, Jessica Deane, chats with Aim's Director of Operations, Brandon Stieb, about Aim 3PL's success and expansion.
As mentioned up top, to handle increasing demand, Aim has had to expand its walls and its team. To fill the newly acquired office space, Aim has hired two new brokerage agents: Brandon Mellott and Joseph Siguenza.
“We’ve had significant growth over the last few years, and the workload is more than what the current team can handle, which is a good problem to have,” said Brandon Stieb, Aim Director of Operations. “So, Brandon and Joseph are coming on to provide additional operating capacity, and they’ll play significant roles in the continued growth and evolution of Aim 3PL.”
Mr. Mellott has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University. His previous work experience as a logistics account executive gave him a fundamental knowledge of logistics as well as proficiencies in customer relations, carrier relations and negotiation strategies.
Mr. Siguenza graduated from Pennsylvania State University with bachelor’s degree in psychology. He comes in with an array of logistics experience, including: LTL, international shipments (air and ocean), expedite, full truckload and intermodal. Siguenza will also utilize his experience and knowhow garnered from his time as the co-owner of a logistics company, which afforded him experience in all aspects of business, including accounting, sales, marketing and operations.
Freight brokerage is a service that has a lot of moving parts, so the all-around expertise and experience of the team plays a crucial role in setting Aim 3PL apart from its competition. For example, when Aim connects a shipper with a carrier, that process goes far beyond make a couple of phone calls. The Aim team thoroughly vets the carrier and manages the delivery through each stage; on top of that, Aim’s brokers take into account components like optimal routing, material handling, scheduling, cost, compliance and the rest of the innumerable variables that go into getting a product from point A to B in the safest, most cost-effective and efficient manner.
“Our customers, as well as companies who aren’t yet customers, have a need for carriers to handle loads that exceed their internal capacity,” said Aim Co-President, Scott Fleming. “Anytime our customers have a transportation need, Aim seeks to fill that need and do so more efficiently than the competition. In this current climate, that carrier need is growing. We recognized that we had to expand Aim’s 3PL division to meet our own standards of customer service.”
“Most companies aren’t in the business of shipping and do it out of nothing more than necessity,” said Stieb, “and so they turn to us and our capabilities to allow them to focus more on their core business and leave things like securing capacity, managing compliance and controlling costs to Aim 3PL.”
To take advantage of Aim’s unparalleled freight brokerage service, call 330-318-4268 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aim’s safety-first culture is built on four core values: integrity, trust, accountability and commitment. And it’s one thing to adhere to these ideals; it’s another to embody them, to be someone others can point to and say, “That’s integrity,” or, “That’s trust.” For those individuals who exemplify these core values, Aim has developed and launched the President’s Core Value Awards program will identify and honor employees who go above and beyond demonstrating these four principles.
Aim’s core values received extra attention last summer during Aim’s first Safety Week initiative, a program rooted in Aim Co-President Scott Fleming’s time in the military. During that five-day event, daily discussions were held company-wide going over each value, what they mean to Aim’s culture and how employees can best weave these ideals into the fabric of all that they do.
This award program is an extension of that initial initiative. It’s a way to celebrate those individuals who have talked the talk and who are now walking the walk. Recipients of this honor are those who have set the standard for safety to a level for which others should strive.
“We had a ton of positive momentum coming out of Safety Week last year,” said Ron Bourque, Aim Vice President of Safety. “And we wanted to harness that energy and turn it into a way to not just recognize the employees who are upholding Aim’s core values to the highest standard, but also make those individuals the bar for everyone to strive for, someone the company can look at as an example of the embodiment of integrity, commitment, trust or accountability.”
To select Aim’s first two honorees, management across the company submitted their nominations, which ended up being around 30 candidates. From there, the Executive Safety Committee reviewed all of the submissions and narrowed it down to one individual from Aim Integrated Logistics and one from Aim Leasing Company, the two companies that make up Aim Transportation Solutions.
From Integrated Logistics, Matt Zaller, who drives for Aim customer Joyce Manufacturing, received the President’s Core Value Award for Commitment. For Aim Leasing Company, Javier Figueroa, a working foreman for Aim ProShop customer Hensley Beverage Company, also received the President’s Core Value Award for Commitment.
Matt Zaller was awarded the President’s Core Value Award for his commitment to performing proper and thorough equipment inspections as well as his dedication to comprehensive training for new drivers joining the Joyce account are part of what warranted his recognition.
“You’re out there going above and beyond, and you’re doing it to a point that people notice,” said Aim Co-President Scott Fleming while talking with Zaller. “When people notice, then that makes people around you work better, work harder and be better people.”
And for Javier Figueroa, it was his relentless commitment to making safety front and center at his shop, whether in the form of promoting safety messages and reminders or implementing better, safer guidelines and best practices, that ultimately positioned him as the winner of the President’s Core Value award.
“You’re a changemaker, you’re a difference maker, and you move the needle for Aim,” said Fleming. “You have our utmost appreciation and gratitude for the job you’re doing.”Zaller and Figueroa are the first ever to receive the President’s Core Value Award and both received a $2,000 bonus.
“These two gentlemen are the example for the coming year of everything that’s good about working at Aim, and what we can accomplish at each one of our locations,” said Bourque.
To keep up with increasing demand, Aim Transportation Solutions’ Used Truck department will now seek out and purchase equipment from reputable outside sources, which will then be reconditioned to the highest of standards by Aim’s certified, experienced technicians and made available for sale to Aim’s growing customer base.
As a commercial truck leasing and rental company, Aim has always had a foothold in the used truck market for decades; taking vehicles from its rental fleet and those coming off lease and reconditioning them for resale has always been a part of Aim’s business practice. Because of this, Aim has developed a strong reputation as a respected and reliable seller of pre-owned vehicles, so much so that, over the last few years especially, the company’s used truck department has grown exponentially.
“I recognized a gap in the supply we had of certified pre-owned vehicles for sale versus the demand in the market,” said Aim Co-President Scott Fleming. “Not all companies or individuals are at the right spot in their business life cycle for a full-service lease or dedicated contract carriage agreement with Aim, but they can still benefit from Aim’s industry high maintenance standards by purchasing a previously owned vehicle that was maintained and revitalized by Aim.”
“This is a huge opportunity,” said Eric Samp, Aim’s Director of Used Trucks. “Most lease-rental companies don’t do this as a practice, but we saw the opportunity, and we have an excellent network out there to bring the trucks in and get them turned around.”
From top to bottom, the transportation industry is an ever-changing landscape, especially when it comes to how businesses prefer to obtain (and operate) the commercial trucks and trailers they rely on to get their products and services into the hands of their customers. One of the big variables decisionmakers face is the question of new or used? The answer can have a lot to do with the economy, and with the current volatility of the markets, buying pre-owned has grown in popularity. The main reason for this is it’s cheaper upfront to buy used. In a time when uncertainty permeates a lot of business decision, not having as much capital tied up in your fleet can be the right move.
Aim Director of Marketing, Jessica Deane, talks with Aim Director of Used Trucks, Eric Samp, about Aim's Used Truck expansion.
But there can be a bit of trepidation when it comes to buying used. One of the main anxieties is reliability. And that’s really a question of proper routine maintenance. That is, has the vehicle undergone proper maintenance at regular intervals? With Aim, that answer is always yes. But what of acquiring vehicles externally?
“The equipment that we do purchase externally will be from known sources we’ve worked with in the past,” said Samp. “The equipment will be coming to us in very good, trade-term condition, and then we’ll bring those pieces of equipment into one of our three used truck centers to have them reconditioned by our technicians, who have been doing this for decades on our own lease-rental equipment.”
Beyond vehicle quality and dependability, what sets Aim apart from other used truck dealers is the diversity of its inventory. Aim has a vast leasing customer base doing business in a wide variety of industries. This means not only does Aim deal in a wide range of commercial truck types (like cube vans all the way up to sleepers and everything in between), but it also has a wide range of equipment specifications to choose from (things like swing doors, side doors, lift gates, etc.). Moving into the practice of purchasing vehicles externally for resale will take this benefit to the next level. This means customers who choose Aim will have an easier time finding the type of vehicle they need for less.
“Through purchasing gently pre-owned vehicles from outside sources, having Aim’s top-of-the-line maintenance team restore them to the highest possible standard and marketing them, we can give more people out there access to the Aim equipment advantage,” said Fleming.