Trucking runs in our blood. If it runs in yours, you should join us in #BleedingBlue.

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Roll on, eighteen wheeler, roll on

As the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic continues around the globe, Kottke Trucking General Manger Kyle Kottke sent out this letter to our drivers and staff. 

There was a time in the early 1980’s that a boy ran around his house with a toy semi-truck singing Alabama’s song “Roll On”.  His daddy was a trucker and he asked him momma when he was coming home.  Fast forward a few decades and everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon of calling each of you heroes.  For some of us, truckers have been heroes all our lives.

I live with the regret that I never told my daddy that he was my hero, but I get the chance to pay that forward.  I get to call 225 of you my heroes instead. Everyone appreciates what you are doing day after day and when the other side of this comes and eventually your stardom fades similar to the heroes of 9-11; I want you to know, you all will still be my hero.

I am deeply troubled that the virus has taken away many of the personal living gains on the road.  I hate hearing about bathrooms closed.  I hate hearing about places that don’t give us an alternative.  These deeply disappoint me and trust me when the other side is here, I will be the first one to fight to get what we had and hopefully more.

Closer to home, we are seeing the restaurant side of our business start to slow.  We are working hard to replace that freight with grocery things, and we have had some good wins.  We will continue to work our way through this to the other side.  I am confident that some situations will be pretty darn smooth, and others will have some challenges and bumps to them.  We will do our best to find more smooth than bumpy.  Let me know if there is anything, I need to know about what is going on for you personally.

Brenda has been working hard to get more supplies to our offices to help you with your on-road needs.  I believe we have a supply of gloves, sanitizer, tissues, etc.  So, if you find yourself not able to find some, please feel free to find Brenda to get your hands on some of our supply.  If you have a need that we are not supplying, feel free to ask Brenda if we can get it for you.

Knowing that social distancing, doing a job, having a life away from the truck and at a time in all of our lives that is different than ever before (and hopefully never again), if I can do anything for you – please ask.  I will do my best to help as many as I can.  Even if it is just an ear to talk to, don’t assume I am not here to help as much as I can.

In closing, I want you to know that those notes, emails, texts and calls you are sending are my fuel.  My tank needs refilling too, and it is your stories, your notes and sometimes just your smile on the other side of the line that keeps me driving through the next challenge to find my way.  You see, you are my hero to that little boy singing “Roll On”.  Roll on family, roll on crew and roll on eighteen-wheeler, roll on!

Thanks for helping define #BLEEDINGBLUE.

Until next time, Keep on Keeping on!

Kottke Trucking’s 2020 Valentine’s Day Coloring Contest

Time flies when you are having fun! We are almost a month into 2020 already and that means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Valentine’s Day at Kottke Trucking means it is time again to start thinking about our annual coloring contest!

Our coloring contest is open to anyone and everyone! You don’t need to work at Kottke Trucking or have a relative that works here to enter. Heck, you don’t even have to know who we are to enter!

We will have prizes for the winner of our age groups: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13+.

Please drop off your submissions at any Kottke Trucking location, send your submissions to Kayla McDonald via email at kayla@kottke-trucking.com or via US Mail. Our mailing address is:

Kottke Trucking

% Valentine’s Day Coloring Contest

PO Box 206

Buffalo Lake, MN 55314

Most importantly, have fun! We can’t wait to see your submissions! To be eligible for prizes, the submissions need to be in by February 14th.

Here is the link to this year’s coloring sheet: Valentines Day Coloring Contest 2020

Kottke Trucking wins back-to-back-to-back TCA Fleet Safety Awards

We strive to make safety one of our top priorities at Kottke Trucking. We do our best to make sure that safety resonates throughout every division of the company and everyone knows just how important it is. We are proud to pass along that for the third straight year, Kottke Trucking has been named the safest fleet in Division III by the Truckload Carriers Association.

We’d like to pass along congratulations to everyone in Kottke Trucking on this wonderful achievement! It is truly a team effort to earn this recognition. Thank you all for #BleedingBlue and making us the safest fleet in our division in back-to-back-to-back years!

Here is the TCA’s press release:

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has recognized 18 companies as division winners in its 44th Annual Fleet Safety Awards competition. Sponsored by Great West Casualty Company, the awards identify trucking companies who have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to safety. The top three winning companies in each of six mileage-based divisions had the lowest accident frequency ratios per million miles, annually.

“For yet another year, TCA is honored to present the Fleet Safety Awards to our members who continually prioritize safety in their operations,” said TCA President John Lyboldt. “These awards showcase the best of our industry and set these carriers apart as truly maintaining the gold standard when it comes to protecting their drivers, their loads, their equipment, and the greater motoring public.”

The 18 division winners are now invited to compete for one of two grand prizes – one for carriers with a total annual mileage less than 25 million miles, and the other for carriers with mileage greater than 25 million miles.

Division III Winner

(15-24.99 million miles)

1st Place

Kottke Trucking, Inc.

Buffalo Lake, MN

Congratulations again, Kottke team! We are incredibly proud of this achievement. It is all due to having one of the best driver fleets and teams in the business. Thank you all for #BleedingBlue!

Kottke Trucking’s Sixth Annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year is Sam Harman

On January 4, 2020, Kottke Trucking named Sam Harman as the Sixth Annual Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year. The banquet was held at Jackpot Junction Casino and Hotel in Morton, Minnesota.

Harman has been with Kottke Trucking since March 2011 and has been in the trucking industry for over 35 years. Harman was named the 2019 Second Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence recipient which qualified him for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award.

Kottke Trucking’s statement on Harman:

A good quote to set the stage for Sam Harman is this: “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.

Sam is the most selfless person one can imagine. He is always someone that is looking out for others more than himself. That not only makes a great truck driver, but that makes an amazing human being and that makes you #BleedingBlue.

Sam often does his job so darn well, that you forget about his daily doings. His tremendous record is one of always doing his best, day by day and trip by trip. His excellence is what makes him truly special and an excellent recipient to be added to our Hall of Fame and being honored as our Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year.

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 and is felt every day.

Harman’s fellow nominees for the award come from the three other Jim Doering Award of Excellence winners: First Quarter recipient Paul Wright, Third Quarter recipient Brad Reid and Fourth Quarter recipient Ettienne Alberts. The quarterly 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 if the Year are Tom Erickson, Ricky Pautzke, Jeff Bass, Carlo Garcia and John Flathau.

Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Sam Harman.

Kyle Kottke, Sam Harman & Kory Kottke.

Kottke Trucking, friends and family raise $9,080 for Trucks and Toys

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all from all of us at Kottke Trucking!

It is truly the most wonderful time of the year, because we get to share with you all that our Trucks and Toys toy drive was once again a success. Our toy drive this year was again a success thanks to all of the Kottke Trucking employees, friends and family who helped raise $9,080 worth of toys and goods this season.

Over the past two years we have raised $19,001 in our efforts to make it as merry of a Christmas as possible in Minnesota and Florida. The organizations that these donations go to surround our terminal locations and help ensure happier holidays for those in need. We are proud to support the following organizations with this year’s donations:

  • Renville County Santa’s Closet
  • McLeod Country Christmas Project
  • Common Cup Ministries
  • City of Davenport Toy Drive
  • The Mission of Winter Haven
  • Helping Hands Angels

 

Whatever you may have donated or however you may have supported this amazing cause, we thank you so much for your support. There are many individuals who put in so much time and effort into making the Trucks and Toys program a success year in and year out and we thank them for their time, dedication and love. Their efforts result in every cent going towards making the holidays a little bit brighter this year.

As the Kottke family, we thank each and every one of you for everything you do to make this program a success. We appreciate you and are blessed to have such amazing people in our lives. We could not do it without you. The Trucks and Toys program was one that was near and dear to Duane and Connie’s hearts and we smile wide this holiday season knowing they would be glowing with pride on how successful Trucks and Toys has been again this year.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

May your light shine bright this holiday season! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!

Pictured below: Members of the Kottke Trucking staff shopped at Target in Hutchinson, MN to purchase toys to donate from monetary donations received this year! Thank you, Target, for your support!

Marlene drops off a portion of the toys with the folks at Renville County Santa’s Closet!

Ettienne Alberts Named Fourth Quarter Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Ettienne Alberts has been named our 2019 Fourth Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence Winner. Alberts has been with Kottke Trucking since May 2015 when factoring in his Wayne T. Fellows hire date. It has been great having Ettienne as part of the Kottke Trucking family since August.

Ettienne’s nominator said that Ettienne always has a smile on his face. It doesn’t matter if he’s coming in, going our, or somewhere in between, he always appears happy, pleasant, courteous and professional. He greets and speaks to everyone he sees, all with the utmost manners. He has an outstanding work ethic, a bigger smile and an even bigger heart. He is #BleedingBlue and will be an asset to Kottke Trucking for years to come.

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 are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Our other Quarterly Award of Excellence recipients for this year are Paul Wright, Sam Harman and Brad Reid.

Congrats, Ettienne! We thank you for your hard work and dedication for #BleedingBlue with us at Kottke Trucking!

Ettienne Alberts with Vice President of LTL Operations Donna Fellows-Coffey.

Brad Reid named Third Quarter Award of Excellence recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Brad Reid has been named our 2019 Third Quarter Jim Doering Award of Excellence Winner. Reid has been with Kottke Trucking since January 2017 and has been driving professionally for 24 years. It has been a pleasure having Brad as part of the Kottke Trucking family for the past nearly two years.

Brad’s nominator said that Brad is a laid-back guy that never complains and is always willing to help. Brad is an excellent communicator, plans trips well and has zero customer complaints. Brad has been flexible with his home time when we’ve asked of him to be. Brad always has a great attitude even when things don’t go right.

Throw in zero accidents and zero citations, Brad is a great person to be receiving the Jim Doering Award of Excellence. We thank Brad for being a great part of the Kottke Trucking family!

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 are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Our other Quarterly Award Of Excellence recipients for this year so far are Paul Wright and Sam Harman.

Congrats, Brad! We thank you for your hard work and dedication for #BleedingBlue with us at Kottke Trucking!

Kory Kottke with Brad Reid.

Kottke Trucking announces the creation of True Blue Supply Chain Management

Read the original post over on True Blue Supply Chain Management’s website.

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce the revamping of their brokerage with the creation of True Blue Supply Chain Management. Kottke Trucking founded its brokerage in 1992 to support the trucking part of the business and with the creation of True Blue Supply Chain Management the division has now converted to a full supply chain management company.

True Blue Supply Chain Management will be able to help with any logistical needs in the continental United States. True Blue can help with needs in the world of dry, refrigerated, regional, long haul, dedicated, temperature controlled LTL, managed services, supply chain and logistics.

With the creation of True Blue Supply Chain Management, Kottke Trucking welcomes Kara Usher to the Kottke family. Usher will serve as Vice President of Logistics for True Blue.

“I am excited to join the Kottke family with True Blue Supply Chain Management. I look forward to being a part of the expansion of our supply chain offerings with having a leading role in our logistics team,” Usher said. “I believe my diverse background working on the shipper, carrier and 3PL side over the past 12 years will help develop and continue to drive long lasting business relationships with both customers and carriers. The support and trust that the Kottke family has already provided is unparalleled and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!”

“We are always looking for ways to make our offerings unique and with the creation of True Blue Supply Chain Management, we are doing just that,” General Manager Kyle Kottke said. “With True Blue and the expanding asset side of Kottke Trucking, we will be able to offer things many cannot. It is an exciting time to be #BleedingBlue. We are glad to have Kara join our family and we are excited to move forward together.”

True Blue Supply Chain Management will utilize Kottke Trucking’s assets in the souteast and midwest, but it doesn’t stop there. True Blue Supply Chain Management can help with your logistical needs from coast to coast.

Dry. Refrigerated. Regional. Long haul. Dedicated. Temperature Controlled. LTL. Managed Services. Supply Chain. Logistics.

True Blue Supply Chain Management and Kottke Trucking have you covered.

Vice President of Logistics Kara Usher

The 90 Best Trucking Songs Handpicked by Kottke Trucking and Friends

Have you ever been driving down the road and craved to hear a bunch of trucking songs? We sure have and now you can do just that!

Recently, we asked on our social media pages, what everyone’s favorite truck driving songs are. We kicked things off by mentioning the Kottke family’s love of “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)” by Alabama. The responses rolled on in with a bunch of great songs.

With those suggestions and a few more filled out by Kottke family favorites, we came up with a list of the best trucking songs. To start, we have a list of 90 songs with a run time of just under four hours and 45 minutes. We complied all of them together in a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.

Enjoy songs from the legends of the trucking songs like Jerry Reed, C.W. McCall, Red Sovine, Red Simpson and Dave Dudely. Plus, hear songs from superstars like Merle Haggard, George Strait, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, Willie Nelson and so many more.

If you have trucking songs that we missed, let us know! We’d love to keep growing the list of the best trucking songs!

Kottke Trucking Purchases Wayne T. Fellows, Inc.

Kottke Trucking, Inc. has acquired Wayne T. Fellows, Inc. a trucking company focused on refrigerated less-than-truckload and truckload shipping based out of Davenport, Florida. In the acquisition of Wayne T. Fellows, Inc., Kottke Trucking will be adding 43 truck drivers and 22 non-driving positions in accounting, warehouse, dispatch and shop to the Kottke Trucking family.

Kottke Trucking has prided itself on family values since the first day of operation in 1938. Wayne T. Fellows, Inc. has held those same core family values in their decades in the industry as well, making the combining of the two companies a great match.

“We are always looking for ways to better our company and this was a great opportunity to do that. Bringing together the two companies will make a stronger company than the two would be apart. We are excited to have the Wayne T. Fellows family join our Kottke Trucking family,” Kyle Kottke, co-owner and General Manager of Kottke Trucking said.

“As I get ready to retire, I am extremely excited to announce the purchases of Wayne T. Fellows, Inc. and Fellows Truck Brokers, Inc. by Kottke Trucking,” said Tom Fellows, CEO and General Manager of both entities. “The similarities and core values of both companies have led my wife, Sue, and I to believe that we will complement each other very well as we blend together and be able to continue to provide the quality service that customers of both sides have come to know and expect. The entire Fellows family and team are looking forward to joining the Kottke family and the next chapter.”

“This is an extremely exciting day for our family and our entire staff,” said Donna Fellows-Coffey, CFO/COO for Fellows Trucking. “I’ve had the great honor of watching my parents, Tom and Sue, build this company from the ground up, and have been blessed to work alongside them and learn from them each step along the way. On behalf of the entire Fellows family, I want to thank every current or former staff member, customer, or vendor that has helped us enjoy the success we have and helped the realization of my father’s dream become reality. I look forward with hope and anticipation to continuing our family’s fourth generation of trucking tradition as a member of Kottke’s team. I am tremendously proud of my parents and all that they have accomplished and can’t think of a better family to be blending with than the Kottke’s. I’d like to think that my grandfather Fred and great-uncle Steve, who taught my Dad the trucking ropes. I know they are standing alongside Duane and Connie Kottke in heaven today, looking down with a smile and toasting to jobs well done. Starting today, the Fellows family is honored to say that we are #BleedingBlue.”

Kottke will continue to maintain operations in the Buffalo Lake, Minnesota, Eagan, Minnesota and Wildwood, Florida terminals, in addition to bringing in the terminal sites via Wayne T. Fellows, Inc. in Davenport, Florida and Winter Haven, Florida.

This is Kottke Trucking’s second acquisition in the past three years. Kottke Trucking purchased the over-the-road division of Walbon & Company, Inc in the summer of 2016.

Kottke Trucking, Inc. is a third-generation interstate hauler that focuses on refrigerated and dry van transportation. Kottke has been in operation since 1938 and currently operates over 200 semi-tractors. Kottke Trucking is proudly based where it all began 81 years ago in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota. Kottke Trucking also holds terminals in Eagan, Minnesota, Wildwood, Florida and now in Davenport, Florida and Winter Haven, Florida.

From left to right: Wayne T. Fellows owners Sue Fellows and Tom Fellows. Kottke Trucking owners Kyle Kottke, Kurt Kottke and Kory Kottke.

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

Kottke Trucking, Inc.