John Flathau named Third Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that John Flathau has been named the 2018 Third Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence. Flathau has been with Kottke Trucking since 2007 and has been driving for nearly three decades. We are beyond grateful that over a decade of that has been with us.

Members of the Kottke Trucking Executive Team shared their thoughts on Flathau and his receiving of the award.

“John is always a team player, he looks at the big picture and realizes that we are all working for the same end result.” – Kurt Kottke, President

“The quiet professional.  Does his work and goes his way.  Does things so well that it is easy to forget about how good of a job he does.” – Kyle Kottke, General Manager

“John is a great Owner Operator to have on board. He gets his paperwork in on time and rarely has any issues with his settlements.  Because he performs his job so efficiently, we don’t talk to him often but when we do, he is very pleasant and polite.” – Pam Kottke, Vice President of Finance

In the 11 years that Flathau has been driving for Kottke Trucking, he has received a safety award every single year.

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence each year are also the finalists for the annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year award. The fifth annual award banquet will be held in January 2019. Mike Doty was the 2018 First Quarter recipient and Les Richling was the 2018 Second Quarter recipient.

Congrats, John! Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Click here to apply to be a Kottke driver!

Dear Dad – A letter to Duane Kottke a year after his passing

Saturday, September 29, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of Duane Kottke’s passing. For those of you that might not know, Duane was Kurt, Kory and Kyle’s father and the second generation owner of Kottke Trucking. He along with his wife Connie were the visionaries of the business and integral to how we operate to this day.

Kyle wrote the below letter on Saturday to his dad.

Dear Dad –

You would be embarrassed of the recognition you have gotten one year past your passing. You would say that you were nothing special, yet my Facebook timeline is full of your stories (you barely understood what Facebook was, but the concept you would love!).

Your granddaughters are posting things that make me cry. Your friends are posting notes of pure joy. Those you have passed a few times are sharing fun joys and yet at the center of all of these stories are true passion and love.

You have Laurie and Ted donating their time to the Truck Convoy again… in your memory.

I did the fuel run today and found myself on Hwy 13 in Savage. I don’t know where Dan Patch’s bar would have been but if that place could validate some of those stories, we would all probably laugh!

I remember things of you as well…

  • your true passion, love and dedication to life, your family and your business.
  • how you believed in tough love.
  • how you held us to a higher standard because you could.
  • staying in Hudson, WI for weeks at a time with you.
  • going on one long trip a year with you in the truck.
  • Eric and I making you mad and all you had to do is turn the hall light on and hold a belt (we both know you would never hit us).
  • you helping me buy my first stock (Canterbury Downs) at about 12 years old and asking me every week what the price was.
  • you leaving early in the mornings but yet taking the time on every sporting event to congratulate a success or wish me well.
  • you attending a few sporting events but not many. When you did, you never told me I did well but rather that you were proud of me.
  • you spending extra time with me when I joined the family business.
  • you being able to make a MTA chairman’s address and you told me that you were proud of me.
  • I remember your ability to do a lot of math in your head and fast.
  • you teaching me that a full bushel isn’t one of money but of love.
  • reflecting on life and being happy of what you had done. I remember you telling me that you hoped that I would be able to live life to the fullest and have fun with it.

You had a knack of how to do things. You knew when to shake peoples hands, when to tell stories, when to listen to every word and when to give someone a hug. And your laugh! You could change the mood of the room with one laugh.

Your ability to communicate was wonderful. Your choice of words sometimes was less than perfect but because of your constant passion, your message was always clear and heartfelt. People loved you because you loved them. People loved working in our company because Mom and you truly made it a big family.

Every morning I put my shoes on hoping that my feet are too big for my shoes. I am hoping that one day my feet will fit in your shoes. I understand that this goal could very possibly become a burden and the chances are as good that I will not succeed as I do. I also know that you sure as heck would not accept me to do anything other than live my own life my own way and if that was to live up to a standard I set, you would expect that I would try to succeed.

So, this morning, after finding my shoes still fit, I saw an image. One that had to be you telling me to continue to push forward, one year after you left my side.

Tomorrow… I plan to do just the same.

My dad, my mentor, and my friend left me a year ago. But he left me with a great impression of what a good man looks like. I sure hope those shoes fit…

Love you, Dad.

PS – You’re welcome to put a little tissue in my shoe tomorrow morning to make my feet feel a little bit bigger, it would be a good laugh for us both… Let’s go!

Kottke Trucking announces second driver pay increase in six months

For the second time in six months, Kottke Trucking is happy to announce that we are increasing our driver pay package. The pay increase will go into effect on August 14, 2018. This increase results in a pay increase for all of our drivers, including new drivers to the Kottke Trucking family.

Here are some details on the new driver pay package for individual drivers:

Base Pay Single Driver: (paid weekly, two weeks behind)            

  • First year – $.46 cents per mile
  • Second year – $.47 cents per mile
  • Third year – $.48 cents per mile
  • Fourth year – $.49 cents per mile
  • Fifth year – $.50 cents per mile

 

Drivers that waive out of insurance (with proof of coverage) or want 50% premium coverage on single status is:

  • First year – $.50 cents per mile
  • Second year – $.51 cents per mile
  • Third year – $.52 cents per mile
  • Fourth year – $.53 cents per mile
  • Fifth year – $.54 cents per mile

 

Here are details on the new driver pay package for team drivers:

Base Pay Team Drivers: (each)

  • First year: $.29 cents per mile
  • Second year: $.295 cents per mile
  • Third year: $.30 cents per mile
  • Fourth year: $.305 cents per mile
  • Fifth year: $.31 cents per mile

 

Drivers that waive out of insurance (with proof of coverage) or want 50% premium coverage on single status is:

  • First year: $.31 cents per mile
  • Second year: $.315 cents per mile
  • Third year: $.32 cents per mile
  • Fourth year: $.325 cents per mile
  • Fifth year: $.33 cents per mile

 

In addition to the pay tiers increases, Kottke Trucking has reaffirmed our bonus plan with one exception. We are moving $.01 per mile for the in-network fuel program and paying it out weekly (included in the increase above). In the second quarter only one driver missed the bonus, so it makes sense to give it to our drivers weekly and have a deduction to the bonus for those that don’t follow the in network fueling protocol.

In total, our drivers can earn an additional $.07 cents per mile with achievable quarterly bonuses.

Regarding Health Care, Kottke Trucking will continue to pay a single’s coverage at 100%. For those that would rather pay 50% premium on a payroll deduction or those that waive out and have coverage in other means (proof required) will get an additional $.04 per mile.

Kottke Trucking is proud to continue to place the importance of our drivers highly and making sure that the gains in the marketplace equal gains in driver payroll. We have one of the best and safest fleets in the trucking industry and we are honored to work with them every single day.

Click here to apply to be a Kottke driver!

Les Richling named Second Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Les Richling has been named the 2018 Second Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient. Richling has been with Kottke Trucking over four years with 17 years of overall driving experience.

This is what was said of Les when he was nominated for the award: “Les is always in a good mood and pleasant to talk to. When he is about to go on home time, he always asks if we need any help with local work before heading home.

“He is always very professional, well mannered, and a face we are proud to have represent Kottke Trucking.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of our first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of excellence this year are the finalists for the fifth annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year award which will be awarded in January 2019. Mike Doty was the 2018 First Quarter recipient.

Congrats, Les! Thank you for your had work and dedication!

Pictured below: Kurt Kottke (right) presenting the Second Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence to Les Richling (left).

Click here to apply to be a Kottke driver!

Mike Doty named First Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Mike Doty has been named the 2018 First Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient. Doty has been with Kottke Trucking just under two years along with 57 years of over-the-road experience overall.

This was what was said of Mike when he was nominated for the award: “Mike is a reliable veteran driver that quietly and effectively does a great job for Kottke and outruns a good portion of the fleet.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of our first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of excellence this year are the finalists for the fifth annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year award which will be awarded in January 2019.

Congrats, Mike! Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Pictured below: Kurt Kottke (left) presenting the First Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence to Mike Doty (right).

 

Anna Buboltz and Brock Luthens named ALL Mustang winners

Every spring, Kottke Trucking teams up with Buffalo Lake – Hector – Stewart High School to recognize one female and one male from the graduating class with the ALL Mustang award. On Sunday, May 20, graduating seniors Anna Buboltz and Brock Luthens were presented with the ALL Mustang awards at the 7th annual ceremony held at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo Lake. In addition to the award, Kottke Trucking presented both winners with a $500 scholarship.

The ceremony honors the monthly winners from the past academic year who have had great achievements and shown excellence in athletics, leadership and learning.

This year’s monthly winners were: Anna Buboltz, Tessa Cook, Payton Diepold, Dylan Edwards, Jacxl Fernandez, Adam Forcier, Victoria Garcia, Alex Herrera, Natalie Karl, Sara Kottke, Brock Luthens, Hunter McFall, Jessica Novotny, Zachary Reuber, Cody Walstrom and Calissa Weispfennig.

Kottke Trucking would like to thank the following for making the ceremony possible: 18 Wheelers Relay for Life team for the meal preparation, Dan Krause for being the master of ceremonies, Brad Dobberstein for being our guest speaker and the various coaches and advisors at BLHS who voted for the ALL Mustang awards throughout the year. Another hearty thanks to the friends, family and everybody in attendance for making the event a success.

The past ALL Mustang winners are: 2012 – Jessica Kalenberg and Taylor Broderious, 2013 – Carly Schmalz and Baron Juhl, 2014 – Rebecca Ebbers and Christopher Schmidt, 2015 – Ashley Petersen and Scott Buboltz, 2016 – Mariah Paulson and Trey Weispfennig, 2017 – Keighly Daak and Jake Watkins.

Pictured below: the two recipients, Brock Luthens and Anna Buboltz, with Kyle, Kurt and Kory Kottke. Also, a pictue of this year’s monthly winners.

Kottke Trucking announces driver pay increase

Kottke Trucking is happy to announce that we are increasing our driver pay package. Effective March 5, 2018, all drivers, including new drivers, will see an increase in pay. In addition to that increase, Kottke Trucking will continue proudly to be part of only 15% of the trucking industry to offer full driver health insurance which is a value worth $0.05 to $0.10 per mile depending on the driver’s age.

Here are some details on the new driver pay package effective for loads dispatched March 5, 2018 and later:

  • New/current driver with less than a year tenure starts at $0.43 per mile
  • One year of employment anniversary raises pay to $0.44 per mile
  • Two year of employment anniversary raises pay to $0.45 per mile
  • Five year of employment anniversary raises pay to $0.46 per mile
  • Detention waiting time reduced to two hours
  • Layover has increased to $150

 

Also remaining in place is Kottke Trucking’s current quarterly bonus program. This program allows up to an additional $0.08 per mile for drivers that qualify.

For teams, the chart will increase to:

  • New/current team with less than a year tenure starts at $0.28 per mile
  • One year of employment anniversary raises pay to $0.285 per mile
  • Two year of employment anniversary raises pay to $0.29 per mile
  • Five year of employment anniversary raises pay to $0.295 per mile

 

Moving forward, Kottke Trucking will continue to monitor freight and driver pay. Kottke Trucking will do this to ensure we stay ahead of the market and remain one of the best places to call home in the entire trucking industry.

Click here to apply to be a Kottke driver!

Kottke Trucking’s Fourth Annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year is Carlo Garcia

On January 6, 2018, Kottke Trucking held its fourth annual Driver of the Year banquet at Jackpot Junction Casino and Hotel in Morton, MN. The fourth annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year award was presented to Carlo Garcia.

Garcia started with Walbon on July 1, 2014 and came on to Kottke Trucking following Kottke Trucking’s acquisition of Walbon’s over-the-road division in July 2016. Garcia was named the First Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence honoree which qualified him for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year.

Kottke Trucking statement on Garcia:

“Carlo believes in team, meaning that Carlo believes that everyone in Kottke Trucking is all one big team and we should all help each other succeed. Whenever you need anything done, you can count on Carlo. You have to be careful to no over wok him, that is just how hard of a worker Carlo is.

“If Carlo has a bad day, nobody would know about it – he is professional and always puts his best foot forward. When someone says Kottke, they may think of Carlo and that makes us proud.”

Kottke Trucking’s Driver Board created the idea of the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year and it was carried out by our staff. The Driver of the Year award is named after our second generation visionaries: Duane and Connie Kottke. Their ability to build the foundation that our company stands on today, does not go without notice.

Garcia’s fellow nominees come from the other quarterly winners of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence winners: Second Quarter winner Don Braegelmann, Third Quarter winner Ken Kottke and Fourth Quarter winner Dennis Gray. The award is named after Kottke Trucking’s first long-time driver and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering.

Previous winners of the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year are Tom Erickson, Ricky Pautzke and Jeff Bass.

Kurt Kottke, Kyle Kottke, Carlo Garcia and Kory Kottke after the presentation of the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year award.

Carlo Garcia, the fourth annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year.

Dennis Gray announced as Fourth Quarter Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking, Inc. is proud to announce that Dennis Gray has been named the 2017 Fourth Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient. Gray has been with Kottke Trucking for a little over a year now but has quickly proven he is one of the best in the industry.

This is what Dennis’ nominator said about what made him a great candidate for the award, “In the short time he has been here, he has showed great respect to all the staff and he has done anything needed with no complaints. His common response is ‘Just give me a load, don’t matter where to, just a load.’ He makes the very best of his hours he has available to him.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of our first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award which will be awarded in January 2018. The first quarter winner for 2017 was Carlo Garcia, the second quarter winner was Donny Braegelmann and the third quarter winner was Ken Kottke.

Kottke Trucking’s friends and family raise over $10,000 worth of toys for Trucks and Toys

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

This year the Trucks and Toys campaign has been beyond amazing. We went in to the year with a simple goal of beating the little over $5,000 we raised last year. Our employees, friends and family more than doubled that this year with a grand total of donations worth $10,291.

That is absolutely incredible. We had a feeling that we’d have a big year this year, but in our wildest dreams never did we think we would double last year’s total. Our hearts are full with gratitude and pride for everyone that helped make this all come to fruition this year.

Special acknowledgements should be made to Laurie Leonard and Laurie Scutt and Buz Scutt for their hard work in Minnesota and Florida, respectively. Their hard work supplied a great footing for how amazing this year’s campaign went. Thank you so much.

Of course, this drive is not possible without every single person that contributed. If you donated $5, $15, $50 or $500, you made a difference in a child’s life this holiday season. No donation is too small. Every single dollar makes an impact on a child’s life. Thank you for your support.

We are blessed to be able to share these donations with multiple different organizations around our terminals. The following are the wonderful organizations we have teamed up with this year to help spread Christmas and holiday cheer:

  • Renville County Santa’s Closet
  • McLeod County Christmas Project
  • St. Paul Lutheran’s Closet, Hector, MN
  • Common Cup Ministries, Hutchinson, MN
  • Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Live Oak, FL
  • Wildwood Elementary School, Wildwood, FL

As the Kottke family, we’d like to give everyone a special thank you for making this a huge year for Trucks and Toys. This campaign is one of our favorite things and it was for Duane and Connie Kottke, too. We are just three months removed from Duane’s passing, but we can feel his spirit pulsing throughout the donations this year. Duane and Connie would be incredibly proud of what has been accomplished this year. We are proud. Thank you all for donating and thank you to our employees and friends for being a part of our family.

We wish to you the warmest of feelings this holiday season. May your light shine bright! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!

The Kottke Family

(800) 248-2623 (320) 833-5385

Kottke Trucking, Inc.