There was big news out of Omaha, Nebraska this morning. Werner Enterprises’ Derek Leathers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, announced the acquisition of FAB9, Inc., better known as Baylor Trucking, Inc. (Baylor). Baylor is a best-in-class carrier, with multiple “Carrier of the Year” awards from Walmart (four times), and in 2021 Baylor was named “Diversity Carrier of the Year” for the second time.
Drivers should expect a smooth transition, and the usual paperwork involved
For the 234 drivers and numerous other personnel in shops and offices, they should expect a smooth transition as they move under the Werner umbrella. The new parent company hopes to absorb all current employees and equipment in a timely, but thorough, fashion.
Drivers can expect the usual paperwork that occurs when a company is bought. A criminal background check, a driver violation report request, and a drug screening might be a part of the absorption process.
Since Baylor will be a stand-alone company, drivers should not have to change trucks or “move the house.” Werner intends to keep all of Baylor’s equipment in service, including the existing 200 trucks, 980 trailers, two terminals in Ohio and Tennessee, and main headquarters in Indiana.
Being a smaller fleet meant being at the back of the line for parts and new trucks
Last year was rough for Baylor and many smaller companies. The semiconductor and similar parts shortages meant equipment that was broken down had longer repair times than usual.
Baylor had to cannibalize its own fleet for parts. Normally, 10% of a fleet is available for “swaps” of parts. That percentage had jumped to 15% during 2021. That left some trucks offline at a time when the industry was already facing a capacity crunch. Missed opportunities and profit potentials are not something that a leading carrier wants to report.
Cari Baylor, president of Baylor Trucking, spoke during a panel discussion at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition in October 2021. Baylor Trucking had placed orders for 40 Class 8 trucks, and all of those orders were canceled by the OEMs, she said.
Per the press release, buying power was a topic that helped seal the deal. I don’t think the mega-carriers have much of a problem getting their way, because their corporate partnerships give them an edge over “mom-and-pop companies,”
Todd Maiden, FreightWave’s finance editor, has posted this article on FreightWaves.com with further details. This is a developing story and Back The Truck Up and FreightWaves will be watching this merger for more information.