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​ Schuster Company – Delivering Family Values and Respect

By Steve Pollock

November, 2017

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LeMars, IA… “Treat people the way you would want to be treated” states Schuster Company President and CEO Steve Schuster. Sage advice that Schuster Company has been practicing since it was founded by Steve’s father Orville in 1956. The company’s mission statement also reflects the same principle; “Schuster delivers their customer’s products with dedicated efficiency and steadfast stability. We work to balance a positive work environment, solid home life, strong customer affiliations, and respected peer relations.”

Steve Schuster began greasing trailers at Schuster Company in 1970 at the tender age of 12. He drove truck for the company for a while and has done nearly every job at Schuster Company. Steve says, “I wouldn’t ask anyone here to do anything I wouldn’t do myself… except for maybe our IT guy.”

Understanding what each of your employee’s job entails provides great insight into what they must deal with on a daily basis, which is why employees at Schuster Company have respect for one another and the job each person performs, especially the company’s drivers. Everyone at Schuster Company understands that the company’s drivers are the most vital link in the supply chain, supplying everything that we use on a daily basis. That is why Schuster Company drivers are treated with the respect they deserve. The company strives to create a good working environment for them as well. It must be working, because Schuster Company enjoys a driver turnover rate of 40-45% annually, well below industry averages. Employees and drivers treat each other with mutual respect and the company takes the time and expense to make the drivers jobs just a little bit easier.

Recently, Schuster Company was featured on the Reality TV Show, “World’s Greatest”, where they were named as the “World’s Greatest Trucking Company” because of their Wellness Program, surpassing many companies much larger than themselves to earn the title. Schuster’s “Driving Wellness” is a voluntary company sponsored Wellness Program in which 87% of the employees and drivers participate. Schuster Company pays for annual biometric screenings (blood tests) for all employees who want to participate. Their goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle and catch any health issues with their employees before they become a major problem. The screening includes cholesterol, blood pressure, LDL, HDL, and A1C for diabetes. Employees can then be proactive rather than reactive to their health. Schuster promotes Wellness events like “Walking Wednesday” for Schuster Company employees where prizes are given to those who have walked a certain distance. The company also offers health coaching to help employees address their personal health needs and live a healthier lifestyle. One driver at the company has lost nearly 300 pounds with help from the Wellness Program and implementing lifestyle changes.

Schuster Company also strives to make the driver’s workday a little easier. The company runs all late model power units and trailers, reducing downtime, as well as out of service violations. They have just added 100 new 2018 International LT tractors, all equipped with APU units. Most tractors and trailers are spec’d with disc brakes and the fleet is 100% Cummins engines. Presently the power units are 50% auto shift and 50% manual shift. The trucks have 72” high-rise sleepers and space for the driver’s appliances. Each truck has onboard scanning for the driver’s convenience in uploading paperwork, and Schuster Company has been ELD compliant since 2011. Another great feature are the Thermo King President Refrigerated Units with direct telecommunications to Schuster’s shop. Many problems are diagnosed before the driver gets to a repair facility.

Schuster Company utilizes central dispatch from their LeMars, Iowa headquarters. The company’s fleet consists of 400 power units and about 800 trailers made up of 650 reefers and 150 dry vans. Schuster hauls frozen food and general commodities. The company is the house carrier for LeMars based Wells Enterprises, makers of Blue Bunny Ice Cream. They also haul ice cream cones, frozen boxed meats and dry goods. Pickups and deliveries are made in all 48 states and Canada. The primary lanes are I-35 from Minnesota to Texas and I-80 from coast to coast. Drivers located along these routes will get the best hometime, but the company is hiring throughout all 48 states.

Schuster drivers, on average, receive one day at home for each week they spend on the road, a ratio that is negotiable with dispatch. To apply, drivers must have at least 1 year of verifiable driving experience and no HazMat is required. The average length of haul is 650 miles and solo drivers can expect to run 2,500-3,000 miles per week.

Currently Schuster Company employs 350 company drivers and leases 60 owner-operators. With new initiatives developing, Schuster Company is looking to grow their fleet, creating additional driver employment opportunities. Schuster offers industry leading pay and a comprehensive benefit package with a company matched 401K program. They also offer additional compensation for verifiable experience as well as quarterly bonuses. For more information, contact the recruiting department at 888-546-5124.