Jeff Loggins, 63, founded Loggins Logistics in 1997. Loggins was raised in Corning and went to work for Fred’s Discount Stores right out of high school, eventually becoming supervisor of five stores by the time he was 22. Loggins bought his first tractor and became an independent owner-operator in 1987. He now employs 65 owner-operator drivers with 10 company trucks.
What are your main goals as chairman of the Arkansas Trucking Association?
I have had the pleasure of serving as ATA chairman over the past year, representing the interest of our 349 member companies. In the end, that is what the ATA is all about, our members. Membership in the ATA is an investment in your business that you can’t afford not to make. Specifically, during my time as chairman, I have been able to stay informed and even get involved in shaping the laws and regulations that impact trucking. So as the chairman, my main goal is to stay ahead of the laws and regulations that affect not only my company, but other trucking companies across Arkansas.
How does your experience as an owner-operator help you as an owner-boss?
I can relate to them because I have been there and done what they are doing. I can communicate with them because they know that I understand what they are going through. In the office, it helps me to have our employees better understand what the drivers are going through.
How did you get involved in the trucking industry?
My big brother, Jerry Loggins (“Dusty,” as he was known on the CB). I wanted to follow in his footsteps, but unfortunately he passed the year I started the company and didn’t get to see our success. He would be so proud right now realizing we have made it 26 years so far.
He just taught me flat bedding and how to work on my truck and the work ethic to be successful as an owner-operator. He also made sure I treated everyone with respect, from a janitor to a mechanic to a dispatcher to a forklift driver, because one day they might be the person you’re asking for freight from.
What was the motivation to start your own company?
After starting in retail out of high school managing stores and employees. That’s where I learned how to run a business and how to treat employees. But growing up on a farm, I knew I couldn’t work in a store the rest of my life. I liked the freedom and earning potential I saw in trucking. I know my brother would not have helped me get going if he didn’t believe in me, and then I’m the one that decided with my background I could make a go with the company being started. I just felt like with the experience I had, I could run a trucking company and treat employees how they wanted to be treated.
What is the current state of recruiting and retaining drivers in the industry and at Loggins?
Recruitment is very difficult because we have done a poor job of getting the younger generation started in the industry. The ATA is doing a great job trying to turn that around with the Be Pro Be Proud and the Road Team campaign traveling the state to promote our industry in schools. We also have the pilot program now that allows 18-year-olds to drive intrastate. Retainment is getting better due to upping the pay package and getting drivers home every weekend.