New President Learns About Camaraderie, Passion During First Year in Industry

Josh Jorgenson
December 2023

From a distance, Jon Sarrazin knew the transportation industry was full of passionate and caring people. Witnessing a tragedy firsthand sharpened that view for Quest Liner and Foodliner Mexico president. 

Sarrazin, who recently completed his first year with the McCoy Group companies, joined others from the organization in attending the Iowa Motor Truck Association’s Driving Championships in June. The atmosphere is typically festive when drivers from Quest Liner and sister company, Foodliner, participate. However, this year’s event took a dark turn when a Quest Liner driver experienced a medical emergency while competing and passed away later that day at a Des Moines hospital.

Amid these difficult circumstances, Sarrazin noted how a nearby competitor provided immediate aid to the driver, a prayer circle quickly formed, and there was an outpouring of support for the driver’s family and colleagues afterward.

“The camaraderie and passion that was displayed by the trucking community, I will always remember,” Sarrazin said. “When you see it firsthand, it’s like, ‘Wow, what a tight community this is.’”

Calculated Risk

In September 2022, Sarrazin took what he calls a “calculated risk.” After a successful decade-plus career working for manufacturing giant John Deere in the U.S. and Latin America, Sarrazin was offered the opportunity to join the McCoy Group.

“I was pretty fortunate to be in a great situation with my previous employer, with a lot of career upside,” he recalled. “I’m intellectual by nature. The opportunity that was presented, I thought, would stretch me in different ways.”

Specifically, Sarrazin said having the opportunity to sharpen his leadership skills and venture into a new industry helped convince him that rebooting his career was the right decision. Another factor, he said, was his familiarity with the organization from afar and the professional relationship he had developed with the ownership group, including Greg McCoy and Doug McCoy.

Now a McCoy Group insider, Sarrazin reports he has gained a different perspective, with a more intimate view of the organization’s history and growth curve. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year,” he said. “It really has been a great experience.”

Changing Roads

With a background in various leadership positions within John Deere’s construction and forestry divisions, Sarrazin jokes about the career switch. “I worked at John Deere in the off-highway business, and I came to the on-highway business,” he said. “I tell people that I simply moved from the dirt road to the pavement.”

Upon joining the McCoy team, Sarrazin had two immediate goals. “To learn and to build meaningful working relationships with my teammates,” he recounted. He considers both objectives to have been completed successfully. While he was busy studying all he could about the bulk transportation industry, Sarrazin credits his teammates and the culture that has been implemented at the companies with helping to build relationships.

Looking at the Future

“I view (the transportation industry) as the spine of the U.S. economy,” Sarrazin observed. “There are human assets and equipment that move 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It never stops.” He said it is humbling to know the sacrifices that those in the industry make to feed the planet and to provide a quality of life to which society has grown accustomed.

Nevertheless, trucking faces many challenges today that will continue in the future. Sarrazin sees variability in the supply chain and fuel costs, as well as challenging government regulations, maintenance, and repair obstacles as being “operational challenges all trucking companies, including ours, are going to have to face.”

Sarrazin forecasts a pair of other challenges will loom over the industry in years, if not decades, ahead. He identifies an inability to find a skilled and motivated labor force as a threat to the industry.

“It is (likely) that a lot, and I mean a lot, of companies, will go out of business or there will be intense consolidation, if stopgaps for the labor shortage are not found,” Sarrazin predicted. “Overcoming the problem is easy to say, but it is going to be difficult to execute.”

Providing trucking with an appearance makeover is essential to alleviating a labor shortage. “We have to improve the image of the transportation industry so as it becomes an attractive industry,” he said. To help in this effort, Sarrazin is a board member for the Iowa Motor Truck Association and serves on committees for the National Tank Truck Carriers.

Another industry challenge, according to Sarrazin, is to find ways to operate safer and more efficiently. He predicts technology enhancements, including the implementation of autonomous vehicles in some capacities, as beneficial to the industry. Regarding automation, Sarrazin sees the technology as a way to complement the skills of human drivers. He said automation provides for enhanced capacity, “allowing the industry to keep existing drivers busy, recruit new drivers, and manage the excess demand with autonomy” in some cases. Technology improvements can also continue to lessen trucking’s impact on the environment.

“Over time, we have a duty as an industry to be a good steward for the planet,” he said. “We have to be smarter, safer, and more efficient.”


Jon Sarrazin, Quest Liner president

The two other photos are stock photos of Quest Liner trucks. Please feel free to add captions if appropriate. Please give photo credit to Dusty Swiger