Blog Posts Saddle Creek Driver Adds Value from Behind the Wheel
Going the extra mile is an integral part of the corporate culture at Saddle Creek, and Johnny Chestnut takes that commitment seriously. One of our 556 company drivers, he has traveled over 3.5 million miles during his 40-plus-year career – many of those from behind the wheel of Saddle Creek’s trucks. He’s a living example of how we do Whatever It Takes! for our customers every day.
We caught up with Chestnut to talk about how he got started, what it’s like to drive for Saddle Creek, his impressive safety record, and keeping customers satisfied.
Q: How long have you been driving trucks?
A: I started back in 1976. My dad had trucks and hauled produce, so I’ve been around trucks all my life. I learned to drive one when I was 14!
Q: How long have you been driving for Saddle Creek?
A: I started driving for Saddle Creek 21 years ago and just fell in love with it. It was a much smaller company when I started, of course. Saddle Creek has been a great place to work. I love the people and the environment. And I’ve always appreciated the “open-door” policy. You can always talk to your supervisor – or anyone in management. Saddle Creek has grown a lot, but that’s still true today.
Q: You have a remarkable record for safe driving. What’s your secret?
A: Every year, Saddle Creek recognizes me for my accident-free driving record. They’re very focused on safety and make sure that us drivers are too. I always take time to make sure that everything is loaded correctly, that the lights are working, check the brakes. On the road, I’m always cautious. That means being aware of other vehicles on the road, following the speed limit, paying attention to road conditions.
Q: Saddle Creek is committed to doing Whatever It Takes for its customers. How do you ensure service excellence?
A: The customer always comes first. If it weren’t for the customer, there would be no Saddle Creek. I’ve been delivering to the same customer for 21 years. I have a long relationship with them, and they trust me. I’ve gotten to know the people there personally and really understand what they need.
I haul high-value items, and it’s very important that they’re stacked a certain way. The customer can’t afford to have damaged products. They trust us to handle them carefully. I make sure it’s done right.
If there are issues, that “open door” policy I mentioned earlier comes into play. I can have one-on-one conversations with my supervisors. They always listen and work to improve things. Together, we always do our best to take care of the customer.