Industry Spotlight

April 2018
Interview with Mark Hagedorn of A/T Transportation Llc.
Mark Hagedorn stands with several of the A/T Transportation tractor-trailers
INTERVIEW BY:
  • Mark Harter
PHOTOS COURTESY OF:
  • Mark Hagedorn

Mark: Hello Mark. Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. Would you mind beginning by telling our readers a little about yourself and background? How did you get involved in the trucking industry?

Mark Hagedorn: I grew up around trucks as my parents owned a gas station and repair shop across the street from where A/T Transportation resides. The gas station is still there and is a nice reminder every day of where hard work and determination can take you.

I began as a truck driver and eventually moved into dispatch and safety. I wanted to learn all facets of the industry so that I could one day start my own version of a successful trucking company.

A/T Transportation International Prostar tractor-trailer
A/T Transportation office and tractor-trailer

Mark: How did the idea come about to start Automated Transportation, now known as A/T Transportation?

Mark Hagedorn: While driving during the 1980s, it was very obvious that truck drivers were not appreciated. This stuck with me and it became my dream to one day start a trucking company that would be centered around the driver. We have “Welcome Drivers” On all of our doors leading into our office.

A/T also has 5 full-time employees in our office that have active CDLs and still make deliveries when needed. As the owner, I still have my CDL, and continue to make deliveries when needed.

The drivers appreciate that our office staff understands the job that they are doing out on the road. Recently, one of our drivers won a competition to establish our Company’s official acronym, which represents what it means to be an employee of A/T Transportation. The Acronym is D.R.I.V.E. and stands for Dedicated, Respected, Innovative, Valued, Employees.

Mark: Can you tell us about AT Transportation? Where are you based/headquartered? What kind of services does AT offer to customers?

Mark Hagedorn: We are a family owned company located just south of Interstate 64 in Ferdinand, Indiana. A/T Transportation has 70 drivers including both company and owner operators. The company also has a Brokerage division (Automated Logistics) and a Maintenance Shop (Berg’s Big Truck Shop).

We do specialized hauling for our customers in the form of Truck Load, Less Than Truckload (LTL) and warehousing. This freight mainly consists of furniture. A/T was fortunate enough to win Masterbrand Carrier of Year for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017).

A/T Transportation International Prostar tractor-trailers

Mark: What kind of equipment do you operate?

Mark Hagedorn: We operate mainly International Pro Stars with Cummins Engines in them. We also have a few Volvos and one Peterbilt. We haul our freight using 190 dry vans and 6 carb compliant reefers.

Mark: What do you look for in a driver? If a driver is interested in working for you, what are your requirements?

Mark Hagedorn: A/T looks for safe, reliable drivers with two years of Over-The-Road experience. We value drivers that want to find a home and join our A/T family.

Mark: Do you hire Owner-Operators?

Mark Hagedorn: Yes, we hire owner operators. Our owner operators are paid 1.05 +Fuel Surcharge on ALL MILES (loaded and empty). This means that they will have no dead head miles. Currently, with fuel surcharge, our owner operator’s mileage pay is $1.37/ mile. All of our stops will pay $50. Our average revenue per mile for 2017 (before our raises this year) was $1.42/mile. A/T Transportation pays all of the scales, tolls, permits, and quarterly fuel taxes, IRP base plate as well as the Cargo and Liability insurance. We also issue our fuel cards (with our discounts passed on), best pass and Peoplenet system.

Mark: What do you feel sets AT Transportation apart from other carriers?

Mark Hagedorn: We are a small trucking company that strives to operate as family with an emphasis on valuing our drivers and employees. I built this company from the driver’s perspective and I think it is visible in everything we stand for at A/T. Our acronym illustrates this; D.R.I.V.E. (Dedicated, Respected, Innovative, Valued, Employees)

A/T Transportation International Prostar tractor-trailer
A/TTransportation 53' trailer

Mark: AT operated a Western Star Show Truck for a few years, driven and cared for by our mutual friend Tim Begle, do you have any plans to do another Show Truck in the future?

Mark Hagedorn: Not in the immediate future, but down the road I would like to make it happen.

(Editor's note: Check out A/T's 2007 Western Star 4900SA show truck here.

Mark: As a fleet owner, what do you feel are the greatest challenges right now for the Trucking Industry?

Mark Hagedorn: I think this industry is ever-changing; it is our job to evolve with it.

We have to find a way to bring our youth into this industry as older drivers retire, and the driver shortage tightens. We need young people to realize the benefits of being a truck driver. This is paramount, because we all know the trucking industry is the lifeblood of the American economy, it makes the wheels go round.

Mark: Thanks again Mark, it's been great speaking with you. We wish you and A/T Transportation continued success!

Mark Hagedorn: Thank you Mark, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. We are very active on Facebook and our company website is www.attransportation.com, Thanks again!

EDITOR'S NOTE:
  • Special thanks to Mark for taking time to speak with us. If you are a customer or truck driver and looking for a great company to work for or serve your transportation needs, we suggest contacting A/T Transportation today!

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