Fikes Truck Line, Hope, Ark., which has been a flatbed operator for decades, also diversified last year into the refrigerated business. Salisbury, the TCA chairman, also is president and CEO of Fikes. He noted that unlike flatbed operations, in refrigerated operations, trailers often are “dropped” — left at a customer’s location to be unloaded at the customer’s convenience and picked up later by the driver. To keep track of dropped refrigerated trailers, the carrier had to rewrite some of its programming, something Fikes did with in-house IT talent, Salisbury said.
“We write our own programming. We have it built specifically to fit our needs. Fortunately, we have a couple of gentlemen who are very, very good,” he said.
Six months into the refrigerated business, Salisbury was asked how many trailers Fikes is running.
“I would rather not [answer that],” he said. “I’d rather keep the competition guessing.”