Driven to Succeed: Oakes and Sons, Mayfield, OK

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Driven to Succeed: Oakes and Sons, Mayfield, OK

Bobby Oakes, of Mayfield, Oklahoma, grew up in a truck driving family. His grandfather and father were both truck drivers and Bobby learned young how to handle the big rigs. When he was old enough to work, he took a job as a truck mechanic and, at 21, bought his first rig and began hauling freight.

In 2006, Bobby and his father combined the lessons they’d learned working for others to start Oakes and Sons, a flatbed business.

Success Tip #1: Learn From The Companies That Succeed

“Learn from others. If a company has managed to stay in business for many years, they’re probably doing something right.”

Bobby’s skill as a mechanic gave him an edge while he was establishing his business. When he had a mechanical problem he could sometimes fix it himself and get right back on the road. He also realized, early on, the importance of maximizing profit per trip, not just per load.

Pro
Tip

“Learn from others. If a company has managed to stay in business for many years, they’re probably doing something right.”

 

Success Tip #2: Maximize Round Trip Profits

“I’m not too proud to take a little bit cheaper load coming back to make my round trip profitable. Owners need to think about the round trip profit, not just how much you’ll make going one way.”

The Great Recession in 2008 also brought hard times. Some good customers went out of business and competition for loads was fierce. “We had to cut back on some owner/operators,” Bobby said. “It hurt, but you do what you have to do to stay in business.”

For Bobby, doing whatever it takes means being willing and able to do any job in his company.  “I’m a driver, mechanic, phone answerer, and office helper,” he said. “If you want a company like this, you have to do everything.”  He’s still looking for ways to make his business better. “I always want to improve a little bit every year.”

Pro
Tip

“I’m not too proud to take a little bit cheaper load coming back to make my round trip profitable. Owners need to think about the round trip profit, not just how much you’ll make going one way.”

 

Success Tip #3: Be Willing To Do A Lot Of Different Jobs

Know your business from the ground up and be prepared to jump in anywhere you’re needed.

Bobby now works with about 20 trucks. He expects that if things go well in early 2013, he may add four or five more. He wants to keep Oakes and Sons a family business as long as possible.

“I have two daughters,” he said. “When they’re old enough, if they want to learn the business, I’m going to teach them.”

Pro
Tip

Know your business from the ground up and be prepared to jump in anywhere you’re needed.

 

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