186: From Port to Porch: How Operations at Port 33 Help Care for Customers

This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett chats with Josh Taylor, Lucas Taylor, and Lee Coe from Port 33. During the episode, the group discusses Port 33’s operations and recovery from the 2019 flood. They highlight the port’s capabilities, including barge handling and storage facilities, and the resilience shown during the flood’s aftermath. The conversation also touches on the team’s efforts in maintaining operations, expanding the south side, implementing a QR code system for efficiency, customer appreciation, how the port has grown with Oakley, and more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Introducing Josh, Lucas and Lee (1:21)
  • Highlighting the operations of Port 33 (2:12)
  • History and Growth of Port 33 (6:10)
  • Significance and Capabilities of Port 33 (7:31)
  • Barge Loading and Unloading (12:21)
  • Unique Operations at Port 33 (16:41)
  • Products Offered at Port 33 (19:29)
  • Impact of the 2019 Flood (22:20)
  • Recovery and Adaptation (24:39)
  • Port 33 South Side Development (27:10)
  • Impact of Oakley’s Acquisition (32:29)
  • Trucking Business Expansion (36:48)
  • Customer Appreciation Event (39:27)
  • QR Code System (43:11)
  • Port Operations and Efficiency (00:45:46)
  • Addressing safety on the facility (48:12)
  • Regulations and inspections (50:00)
  • Training and experience of tugboat captains (52:37)
  • Appreciation for Port 33 and Oakley company values (58:31)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com


Jeremy Kellett  00:14

There’s a lot out of here. You service a lot of places.

Josh Taylor  00:18

We did have a map and I don’t know if Fred or he started to show every destination that has been trucked out of here. And it was literally just a, it ended up we took it down because it was falling apart. But I mean it was just full of pin marks. I mean, you really couldn’t see anything else on it.

Jeremy Kellett  00:39

That helps people see exactly what all people are coming from and where they’re going. Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family.

Hi, I’m Jeremy Kellett, director recruiter here at Oakley trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. Once again, appreciate everybody listening to us watching this on YouTube. We are definitely trying to get some good information out to you every week, and we have a new episode drop every Wednesday. On today’s episode, I’m in Oklahoma, we are at Port 33. And we are going to highlight the capabilities, the history, the services and what all takes place at Port 33. To do that, I got three of the guests in here that run this place. And I’ve got a lot of tenure here. And we’re going to talk to them about all of that stuff. And even more because it’s a roundtable we’re all sitting around here. And we figured this would be the best way to talk about everything that takes place at Port 33 the responsibilities that go on here, I’m gonna tell you what, there’s things that are done here that I didn’t even know go out to aka second or third tour yesterday out here and you find out some of the stuff and it’s really good to just learn more about the company. As you know, we’re trying to with this podcast, I wanted to reach out to different parts of Bruce Oakley. You know, we go into several different places and try to give all our listeners an idea of just the whole big picture of Bruce Oakley incorporated and what all it entails. So, today we’re gonna talk to Lucas David lico and Josh Taylor. Here at Port 33. Use semi

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Jeremy Kellett  03:29

I guess how y’all doing? appreciate y’all joining me. Let me come in and crash the party, wreck your office and take you away from your job for a little while. Let’s start. Introduce yourself. Josh, let’s start with you.

Josh Taylor  03:42

Yeah, I’m Josh Taylor, General Manager of Oakleys and port 33 in Muskogee. been with the company for about legally 29 years, legally, legally. So yeah, when I was 18, and got hired on work for my father and just worked through the whole channels of everything. So in a backup here at Port 33, about three years ago as a general manager, got a family. I Have a wife, two kids, one in college and one in high school. Oh,

Lee Coe  04:16

I’m Lee Coe . I’m one of the terminal managers here. I’ve been here for 33 years. I like Josh started out at a pretty young age here and I’ve worked with these two guys pretty much my whole career. Got a Family kid who locked the bass we’ve locked but loved the bass. Yeah, not very good at it, but I like it. I know better than I’ve been with a couple of you ever real good. I like it. I’ve worked with these guys. My whole career. So they’re like family just to me. You know, I grew up with them and they grew up with me. So it’s a pretty good group here about you, Lucas. Lucas

Lucas Taylor  05:00

Taylor, I’m the other co terminal manager here at Oakleys, Port 33. I’ve been here 10 years, but through high school, I worked on the work program. And then after high school, I went to the Marine Corps for 12 years, and then got out of the Marine Corps and came back here to Oakleys. Port 30, series started off back here as a logistics manager. And then within three years, I rotated over to co terminal manager with Mr. Lee Cole here. Now

Jeremy Kellett  05:33

I also heard you mentioned something yesterday, we were riding around. You were riding your bike here at a young age. Yes. So

Lucas Taylor  05:41

our father, Steve Taylor, would bring his kids out here during lunchtime, it was a slow day. And we would just terrorize the court on bicycles and what have you around the facility?

Jeremy Kellett  05:54

So you guys, I mean, this is pretty much but in your life, it’s all Yeah. So you know, I mean, you worked here the whole time. It used to be Johnston, Port 33. And I guess your dad ran it. Yeah. When did How long did he works, he

Josh Taylor  06:09

suddenly set and when he came down there in a cold room out of Kansas out of southeast Kansas. That’s how he caught word of it and came down. They hired him and started low petroleum coke and coal orders. And that was with Pillsbury. Yeah. And then after Pillsbury Johnston grain out of Enid, Oklahoma, wanted to get rich nectar grain here on the river. So he got to know Mr. Glue Meiburg. And in the real well, and talk Mr. Glue, Viberg and Biden Pillsbury out. So that’s really how Johnson started here on the river, bringing grain in and loading it out.

Jeremy Kellett  06:55

So it was already I mean, there was already a small port here, correct? I guess. Yes. And then we know when you guys are working, Johnston, Port 33 Just started growing. Drone grows and grows. Yeah. Yep. A lot of history here in a lot of history. Yeah. Not a good history. Not a good history. So you have somebody that doesn’t know anything about what a port does, you know, some of the significance of Port 33 And what you do here

Josh Taylor  07:30

well with the pandemic because what really brightened a lot of people’s eyes up when that happened, it slows everything down and it made people realize how important a river was and what they brought up the river from overseas to domestic that people had no idea that’s how it got here. I mean, from wood pulp for toilet paper and paper towels to clay for your ceramic tiles to steel coals for your oilfield pipe I mean, from one spot rod spectrum to the Nethers, people just don’t understand what bulk products we bring in. So

Jeremy Kellett  08:14

yeah, yeah, anything I want to add to that

Lucas Taylor  08:17

we’re just happy that we’re diversifying and so many different materials move on the river system to make it more economical and better for the environment. So we just keep growing and just within a short period of time Josh Taylor just being the GM here it’s really progressed in opening up on a lot of different aspects of materials and how to move it up and down the river.

Jeremy Kellett  08:46

I think you know, the general public don’t understand a lot of that, you know, the travels up and down the river. And then what all the port has to do to keep moving that material. So you have capabilities here of barge to truck barge to storage. What do you do there? Lee? Yeah, we do. We have the capabilities to do and barge to truck to barge. You know it? That’s our main ingredient right there. One of the main our real bread butters are for the ag industry. Of course the grand going out and the amount of fertilizer I mean, everywhere from Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, may we move a tremendous amount of tons of fertilizer into those areas that otherwise would have to go by rail or semi or because this is the farthest in line poor that you can go north I guess your way

Josh Taylor  09:51

west of the Mississippi

Jeremy Kellett  09:54

as far as you can get Bootstrap. Yes. That is correct in Do you know though? You know that grain has to move. The farmers depend on it. And there’s a lot of other people that depend on it, not just the farmers but even export markets. I mean, they depend on this river as a commodity. So you got them coming. I mean, the way up like Kansas word, a lot of the grain come from

Josh Taylor  10:26

Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, a little bit from North Dakota, but, you know, turning around and going right back with fertilizers go in Colorado. I mean, we’ve even trucked out to California, Utah, Utah, I

Lee Coe  10:43

mean, go figure. Out here, yeah, how to here. Yeah, service, a lot of places.

Josh Taylor  10:50

We did have a map and I don’t know if Fred or Lee started to show every destination that has been trucked out of here. And it was literally just that we took it down because it was falling apart. But I mean, it was just full of pin marks. I

Lee Coe  11:10

I mean, he really couldn’t see anything else on it. That helps open up the eyes to see exactly what all we were coming from and where they’re going to. Yeah, we’re gonna trucks I mean, you know, when it gets busier and a lot of trucks rolling through here. What’s, how many trips typically, any

Josh Taylor  11:28

given a day about 800? On busy days, you can see 1000 trucks in and out of here from kid fertilizer trucks going out, grain trucks coming in scrap steel trucks, petroleum code trucks.

Lucas Taylor  11:43

Aggregations? Yep.

Josh Taylor  11:44

Lightweight egg, pig iron. So I mean, products, there are a lot of trucks.

Jeremy Kellett  11:51

I mean, how do you keep up? It’s a

Josh Taylor  11:55

monster. And that’s if we call it the big monster. And it takes a lot to feed it. I mean, how many people are working right now? We have close to 90 people here, Port 33.

Lee Coe  12:06

I still don’t seem like enough. It’s not

Josh Taylor  12:11

so easy when you’re busy. Yeah,

Jeremy Kellett  12:12

you know, with drugs given out here and everything else. And then Bart is I mean Good grief, how many barges you load and unload every day, on

Lucas Taylor  12:21

average, around six. But within our docks, we have seven multipurpose docks. If we’re running at full capacity, we can put a bargain at each dock and say we’re doing fertilizer, therefore, we can unload. We’ve unloaded 12 barges of fertilizer in one day within our shift rotations and everything like that. And that’s been pretty good. Toilet orders in one day, correct? Yes. And then that’s also within those two rotations, that’s producing about 40 trucks in our outbound now this facility in order to get the trucks and get them out the problem, that’s

Jeremy Kellett  13:04

a lot, that’s a lot of tonnage moving.

Josh Taylor  13:08

Got to understand the history and how it was developed and grown. Steve, Our father was the main mind behind it. And then his brother Fred Taylor came in and helped support Steve for 32 years or 36 years, whatever it was, and Steve and Fred, they masterminded this whole thing, but it just didn’t take them It took our schedulers it took or lead man and you know, just like as I said, I’ve been here 2930 years Lee Lucas are guys scheduling coordinators down there. coordinating all the Borges the Wayne Georgia has been here close to 26 years harbor captain’s been here 25 You know, so it takes a lot this to keep the control monster I mean, it is what it is

Lee Coe  14:06

and inexperienced as I might be. We’ve been here for years. I mean, it’s I mean, it’s the same way Oakley Trucking is the same. You know, Jan Tran, a lot of people.

Josh Taylor  14:19

Yeah, we’re locking Oakland trucks into North Little Rock and seeing if these badgers were made.

Jeremy Kellett  14:27

That’s a sigh, how’s this? Yeah, this is organized? Typically not.

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Jeremy Kellett  15:21

So let’s cover some specifics on some things like we took the tour yesterday, Lee and you were, you know, you were showing me the tow boat, and you know, the capabilities of moving the barges in your fleets and stuff. And you got two or three, three or four tow boats. Yeah, we actually have five boats total. One of them’s at Muskogee. But that’s the one thing that kind of sets port 33. Apart from our closest competition, which would be Porter KATUSA, we run our own harbor service, we have our own fleeting areas, we have the capability to make a switch or a decision on what barges we’re gonna make. And when we’re gonna make it at the drop of a hat. A lot of other ports and terminals don’t have that capability. We can be loading an unloading fertilizer barge today and something will jump up and have another customer that needs done loading. Because they’re gonna run out, we can make those changes on the fly. And a lot of companies can’t do that, a lot of ports don’t have that capability. They got to call in, they got a call and a request. It’s as simple as Charlie Smith running our fertilizer. He’s also until it’s gonna run out of fertilizer. Well, they got a barge here. Well, we’re gonna make that switch into that barge next. Oh, auditor. ports and terminals don’t have that capability. We did throw around this leaking and drill our own disk probably gives you the customer service. Yes. Part of it is to give them something they just can’t get everywhere. And that is true. Helping trucking they call they get it done. It’s not a no, sorry. We get it done. And that’s by having your own town and being able to make those decisions. That’s pretty good. Yeah. What’s some of the you know, we were I keep going back to rattle around this whole plant yesterday and showing me some of that stuff. And I think it’s unique. The compost you’re doing now. Josh, you were talking that you’d come up with?

Josh Taylor  17:45

Yeah, Mike. Wow. harebrained idea. Yeah, there was a guy. You know, everybody loves it because we’re thinking out of the box on the whole thing. And we had our truck cleaned out for one of our trips, grand trips came in and dumb. They have to turn around and clean out so we have a location everybody, all the trips can clean out but we was having to spend quite a bit of money having this material grains hauled off so I’m scratching my head and came up to with bringing in mulch and compost in it with this or use grain and sitting on it, compost it and screen it out which we had all the equipment here we had all the infrastructure here. We really didn’t even have to go out and buy the thing to make this happen. It was all here in our hands. We just had to put it together and make it work. We’re into our second year of it now. It’s really starting to kick off. We’ve been starting to bag it. We got a bag of machines. Yeah, he was showing me the homemade bag and yeah, machine out there. That’s pretty neat. Yeah. And so it’s really starting to take off or more or less into nurseries right now is where we’re at or your mom and pop coops or farm elevators. And you know, it’s just going to pick up, you know, the organic side of everything is picking up new here and every day. So hopefully here for long will be into selling compost to some organic farms and things like

Jeremy Kellett  19:24

that, but it tells me what all you offer. Well all you have here

Josh Taylor  19:29

Right now we currently have our compost which is just a regular compost that we’ve developed. It’s all state a

Lee Coe  19:38

whim our our surrogate certified

Josh Taylor  19:41

certification and so we have a regular disk run compost there. And then we have our special blend that we have which has our

Lee Coe  19:56

compost dirt. We have the ability Have you had worm castings, also ComuS mulch, and it’s just kind of a good garden mix. So we have red, black, brown and natural colored landscapes. Yeah, they’ll be colored here they’ll go. We have to go out, regrind it, grind it and then color it. But then we have just regular dirt. topsoil, topsoil river or whatever, I have a little bit of river wrong. The topsoil kind of was a it was kind of a necessary evil force, because with having our own fleet those fleets have to be maintained in order to get barges into they have a depth they have to be well with flows, you always get silting. So we continuously had to dredge them. We’ve been doing that. I would assume even before I was here, that deregisters Gotta go somewhere. So we’ve been putting it on the land for the last 30 years. Plus, when Josh came in, he was like, No, we’re having to haul it farther away. To have a place to put it jaws have to dredge and our own call. Yeah, he’s like, we’re gonna start selling this stuff and get some of that money back. So we started screening it. We like to process it and screen it and sell it. It’s sales to y’all had to dredge the whole eight miles No, just start fleets.

Josh Taylor  21:35

branches of the river to work. The Corps of Engineers is responsible for it. Okay.

Jeremy Kellett  21:41

Y’all just get your Harley’s Yeah, get in and out. And that’s a lot of everyday Yeah, year round. I mean, we don’t dredge every day, but we need to, to maintain them, and we just want to quit. When do we have today? We just, I’m gonna say, keep up barely. Really? Yeah. What about sidetrack 2019 foot? Man? Ugly, wasn’t it though. Lando was everywhere. And Northern Rock will kind of figure that when you guys appear.

Lucas Taylor  22:19

Well, so much as an effect, not nearly as much as it did Muskogee. And Josh can talk about that at our facility. Nothing flooded was one foot away from breaking the crest, which is the first place to flood is down there at Southport. And it was one foot away from breaking the crest of our plane of land going into our warehouse. And so we got really lucky. So we just really consolidated all of our equipment on our guys and thereby like that kind of really held strong during that period of time. We stayed working and kept it together. So we got very lucky on our end. But as in Muskogee, our other facility was

Lee Coe  23:04

Yeah, I got over the banks. Yeah,

Josh Taylor  23:06

I got to the bank. Our lease facility was underwater, anywhere from nine feet to three feet of water so it wiped all our offices out. He was able to get all our equipment moved up and out. Rolling equipment, but all our warehouses domes, all our customers rebars everything not well room.

Jeremy Kellett  23:30

Did it run a lot of stuff? Yeah, it

Josh Taylor  23:33

ruined a lot of your fertilizers and rebar. Lots of iron, nickel, steel, coals. petroleum coke piles were moved around. I mean, it touched everything.

Jeremy Kellett  23:46

Fee. Just everything that is the highest you’ve ever seen? Yes. That was the highest ever recorded. It’s been here. lambic if it had come over here, I mean, what it is wiped out or got into this stuff on the south side. We even talked about where we were during the flood. We were as vulnerable from the backside as we were from the river, because of the creek debt lying all the bottomland that’s behind us. For the creek. The river was so high the creek backed up the feeds in salt Creek, which is down billows and it was just sea water all around us. We were just kind of the island sticking out here. Oh, we were as much of a thread of having water come in from the back as we were at the front. I guess. When it receded, y’all went to work? Well, we didn’t really go to work because there was no large traffic for seven months. Yeah, five, seven months.

Josh Taylor  24:46

So at the scoby we didn’t lay anybody off but they sure mowed the lawn before yesterday. You know, and they were happy to know, everybody came together just to know what they had. had the day well, was no fight or bicker and and I mean, we painted things, we clean things out, we

Lee Coe  25:07

Now we shoveled, and just kept busy doing that. Yeah. But when you have those challenges, I mean, that tells you who’s sticking with you. Yeah, you know, when you come together and really get a little culture, you’ll go through a little tragedy a little bit closer and learn from it. Yeah.

Lucas Taylor  25:29

Like I was just impressed with Lee in the boats. Because of all the barges that we had and leakin speak on the number just all the martyrs had to get put up on some fleets and those guys maintain those barges, make sure that they’re safe, consistently. All through the hours not through that flight.

Lee Coe  25:50

Yeah, we run 24 hours around the clock with people watching fleets. I mean, we went to fleets, we had a Gen, maybe two Gen Tran boats here at

Lucas Taylor  26:00

that time, and many, many bars we had

Lee Coe  26:03

we were around 160 something. It was every fleet we had was packed to the gills you can get on barges walked over fleet not ever get off of them. Like it was. I hope I never see that rot rot because it’s a stressful situation. Yeah. And we were very fortunate, you know, we were able to put things up and we had some people that came in and helped us get them all secured. I’m not sure if today we still had all the lines out of the trees. I mean, you go in there today and you look up, see, you know, 20 feet, there’ll be a line in a tree that was water level. It was tough on everyone. It was a tough dude, for sure. Let’s talk about the South Side. Because when we come in here, when people come in to the porch, you know, you come down the middle of it to the tee, and you got the left, which is the north side, which is all of the I guess the main part, and then the south side. So what’s going on the south side? Well, the

Josh Taylor  27:10

South side that was Steve Taylor’s drain. Once we developed port 33 On the north side, and we needed to grow another one. We had used all the property on the north side. So he started working on the South Side buying up acreage from the local area farmers they’re farming that land and worked with the Corps of Engineers and it took eight to nine years for us to even break ground them there which we dug a slip off the channel that has capabilities of having four docks, that barges can independently be worked on that slip. But we unload fertilizer. It’s a multipurpose dock we can unload direct to truck we have Sims fertilizer or Sims scrap steel, that loads scrap steel at one dock and then we have a loadout conveyor dock that unload at we have two warehouses, which is what we call one of them our newest one was our Oakley warehouse that we built there it has how many bins how much storage capability

Lee Coe  28:26

we would ask me that 36 36,000 And I’d

Josh Taylor  28:33

go back S3 truck load outs on these one side and on the other side we have our blend system, which are fertilizer, Oakley fertilizer,

Jeremy Kellett  28:41

explain. Explain what a brilliant system is. Go ahead and blend the system when you take multiple fertilizers like maps or hot ashes and urea and you actually blend them together to create a different analysis. You can add things like micronutrients like sulfur Z, boron, there’s just a whole host of micronutrients that you can add to blend, but it’s blending different fertilizers together to create old different fertilizer that’s more applicable for whatever the commodity is being grown whether it’s a special blend for cotton or just maybe a special grass blend for a special pasture that and become vacate the blends well that that also is not well the customer will do soul so they’ll do soul samples and then they’ll tell them well this is the blend that you need for your particular pasture field. According to what it’s deficient in and then they’ll go to Oakley fertilizer and either Kobe or Jerry are one of those guys and they say this is what my soil analysis is, this is the fertilizer I need. And then they’ll concoct up the blend and put it in a system and you were telling me if they were we were over there that I mean, you could blend it in a truck pull up. Yeah, the truck pulls up and you can get away from where these load numbers are and then he goes back to the blender, they pull it up on the blender, and it’s a pretty complicated system. It’s not a different hobby. Yeah. knows how much fertilizer of each kind to put into the blender and blends it right there and loads it on a drought.

Josh Taylor  30:36

I call it a smart fertilizer. It’s what we literally are, that’s what it is. It’s a smart fertilizer that the farmers need.

Jeremy Kellett  30:46

And you I mean, you figured out how to do it. How long have you been doing it? Does it blend but it since we did the blender and we built that warehouse in 2015 when for Oakley and then we did the blender right after that. So okay, and the 2015 2016 Oakley fertilizer, put the blender in. Okay, so, so we also added the capability to cope urea with that blending system. And you take a urea and you coat it with a chemical that helps it not volatize as badly, it slowly releases into the soil so you don’t lose your nitrogen. We do a little bit of that also, with the blender, that’s another and that that email said they will go Josh, but the wholesale side was about when do you start it but 2008 Is that what we said? Yeah. 2005 2008 Yeah, some more slowly be able to add originally. And you still have room to grill out there. Oh, yeah.

Josh Taylor  31:48

And we have room for two more slips. If needed. We still have plenty of acreage to grow. For different customers. We have plans to bring in bouton road off of our 412 P to help the traffic off before 12 P. So we have plenty of room to grow on that South End.

Jeremy Kellett  32:11

So you have future plans.

Josh Taylor  32:13

We have future plans. We’ve talked to a few different steel customers that have future plans that want to grow with us. So there is stuff in the words. That’s good

Lee Coe  32:24

to get the room to do it. Yep. Let’s talk a minute about an Oakley Bruce Oakley purchased Johnson for 33 that had to be a nerve wracking situation. Just because they can. As long as I’ve been at Oakley, if somebody came in and bought out Oakley trovato or Bruce Oakley, it would scare me. I can only imagine when that all came about back in. Let’s see. When was that? 2014 14. When did that happen?

Josh Taylor  33:01

It was seamless. It was a seamless deal. We went from one family company to another, our employees. Every day outside working employees. They didn’t notice anything besides the dress coming on their check coming from a different location.

Lucas Taylor  33:21

Like most of them said it was seamless, great, nobody did it. No, nobody left or did anything. Or anything that really changes the patch on their share


or like ERP isn’t really Oh, I was nervous because these guys are younger than me. I was thinking, Man, if I had to start over,

Josh Taylor  33:39

yeah, I had been around Dennis. And just Well, that’s a good point. Y’all know, yeah, we knew him. Through the years, we’ve worked together. I couldn’t say on projects or things, but we knew him and I think it couldn’t have been a better deal for the port in Oklahoma to grow and see where we needed to be at because Johnston’s is a great facility. They’re not a port facility. So, you know, that helped us in really working with the management side because Oakleys knew ports and rivers and how things work. So it was a shoo in for us. When that happened.

Jeremy Kellett  34:33

How’s it benefited? You know, true tremendously. I think. Johnson’s was a good company, the Meiburg and family’s good family, but they were very green minded. And everything that they did was green minded. Stephen Fred that ran, you know, retinas facility. They knew that there was something besides gray and you When Oakley purchases, they’re more rounded company and they understand that and it’s like Josh said it’s helped us to develop and grow and couldn’t be happier, better for the employees better for gist all the way around the board didn’t limit you didn’t know didn’t limit you and don’t try to control you not try to control you. And they had a, they had the same mindset that the port was built on, in my opinion. So I was very pleased. You know, it didn’t take me long to figure out that it was good, it was a good purchase really. Probably nerve racking there in a bowl. Yeah, yeah, one year, my age. What am I going to do now? If I had to find another job? Yeah, I’ll be at Walmart or something and keep everybody kept. Everybody didn’t lose

Lucas Taylor  35:53

not one person.

Josh Taylor  35:55

And management. We didn’t lose one person. Yeah.

Lee Coe  35:59

So I’m very happy that it turned out the way it did. Yeah, I am to tell you, this has been greater than seeing, like, it’s been that long since 2014. But it’s been great if you know it. And I don’t know if it messed y’all up or not. But we trucking got wind of it, of course. And we started wanting to come in and have a presence and realize there’s some opportunity here with some drugs and another terminal. And we built a new office over here. And that’s been great for us that has helped us and of course you guys have helped us tremendously working together just to be able to get that going and keep it going. Trucking, this trucking being here is that

Josh Taylor  36:47

It’s always an added plus when you can put a package deal together. You know, with Johnston’s, we weren’t able to offer what we were able to offer but we weren’t able to offer it under one name. So when can you tell Margit to handle it and then truck it for one customer? Does that get their attention? It gets their attention. I mean, I’ve worked on many deals with their customer Daltile. They love that one check, or that one bill, come on under one name. So don’t have to outsource anything else. Then when you can go to a customer and say I can take care of you from the front end or the back end.

Lee Coe  37:34

They love it. I can only manage it. Yeah, no, we use it. Pretty regular with a lot

Josh Taylor  37:40

and it also helps us on the other side of it. When we have a new customer that comes to the port that says we want you to unload or reload a barge force almost 90% of the time they say well, Oakley truck it has already moved and handled things for us. We love their quality of work and how they handle things. We want to be here at the port and keep that going with you guys. So let it help us sell each other and all the time.

Jeremy Kellett  38:15

Yeah, that’s a big added benefit from customary. Oakley Trucking is a 100% Owner Operator company. We specialize in Hopper, bottom and dump and pneumatic drivers. We provide the trailer free of charge and you provide the truck. We have a large customer base that reaches the whole United States as well as parts of Canada. Our owner operators live anywhere from Texas to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and everywhere in between and we get them home weekends. We take it seriously when you join Oakley trucking because we need you to be successful. Oakley offers great benefits and a competitive mileage base. So you know that when your wheels are turning, you’re generating money no matter if you’re loaded or empty. We understand that you want to make a good living and that you make our living. We only take on independent contractors and to be honest with you we are very particular on who we lease on. You must have a good driving record, good work history and a clean dependable truck. So if you’re interested in Oakley trucking or just want some more information, you can go to Oakley trucking.com Listen to our weekly podcast, the Oakley podcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Josh Taylor  39:21

What else? Yes,

Jeremy Kellett  39:23

We will uncover pig ale. Yeah, tell me what the pig is out? Well,

Lucas Taylor  39:30

on the other hand, the Oakley trucking. The Oakley trucking. Appreciation Day is always a good thing. Yeah, and I’m right after that. We always have the pig out so it originated with our father many years ago. And Josh keys be better on the ELA Yeah, they

Josh Taylor  39:50

originally would bury a pig. And we had originally started out for appreciation for the truck driver. And we buried a pig a year or two later. And sometimes that would go well, sometimes it wouldn’t when they were cooking the pig in the ground.

Jeremy Kellett  40:11

Let’s clarify, we’re not burying Okay, somebody will.

Josh Taylor  40:20

So we were barbecuing a pig on the ground. And after a few years when they got some smokers and just started growing into more of a customer appreciation, and it grew big, I mean, we are now up to three to four pigs on our smokers. And we smoke the pigs, we serve the food. And we have at least five 600 customers come in for that appreciation. It’s October. And it’s one hell of an event to everybody cuz it gets to see each other. And it’s one of the only events where our customers all come together like our fertilizer customers in the industry. Then we get them all heard at one time. Yeah. And it’s grown into something that you can’t quit now, no, can’t quit now. And families of different customers have said, well, I brought my kids and it’s just grown and grown them. And we’ve done it for over 37 years. And like you know from well, they come from way off, they fly, everybody flies it or drives it and makes an event. I mean, they happen on Thursday or Friday night and they come in and see their customers and come in and have a few drinks with us and eat some barbecue. So

Jeremy Kellett  41:51

you give them that personal touch I guess. Yes. They love it. Yeah, meet each other. And make John so you the facility goes along life. Good. What else y’all got on the list we need to cover? Oh, you think we’re gonna cover that QR code y’all were telling me about yesterday? Oh, yeah. We could be had when we could show. Yeah, uncle. Yeah. QR code. It’s the deal for the truckers to look up their load number of truckers, dispatchers. That’s one of the problems that the drivers have. You know, their dispatchers are supposed to tell them which side that loads on north or south, we have fertilizer on both. And it’s mainly fertilizer trucks that are on fertilizer. So our IT department developed a I don’t really I’m not it. I’m not a techie. So I don’t really know the right terminology. But it’s a place that they can go on the website where they can put in their load number. And that will tell them if it’s a first of all, if it’s a good low number, if it is a good low number, it’s going to tell them if it’s shipped, or not shipped. And then it’s going to tell them which side it loads on. And Oh. So it’s actually so they have to like scan this or they

Josh Taylor  43:24

are low numbers, scan that. And it loads up on their iPhone or their android for and then it’s an app. Okay, you’re on your phone, then you press on that app. And it brings up you put in your loan number and then it’ll tell you just what Lee was saying your still resides outside if it’s a good number or a bad number,

Lee Coe  43:53

or what our operations are.

Josh Taylor  43:56

So it helps the driver help our office personnel because they’re not getting calls. You know,

Lee Coe  44:05

It gives directions to David and has a map on it if you scroll down and show you where we’re at. So they need this QR code somehow. Yeah, yep.

Lucas Taylor  44:14

And if the guy has his book open, and he’s just like we do here, we even have the standard. We just stamp that right on this stuff. And that’s cool. From there. It’s the same thing.

Lee Coe  44:25

Yeah. Sure enough in the hands of dispatchers, dispatchers, dispatchers, a lot of our dispatchers already have it and they use it. And say Oakley buys fertilizer from somebody else, which happens in this industry on a regular basis and they don’t have access to those voting numbers. They can pull that up onto a low number and it’ll tell them what’s been picked over now with six or 700 trucks coming in here. You got to have some more unionization Oh, yeah. So yeah. And it’s always a little if you’re never been here. It’s always a little intimidating. Coming down a long road and you got all these. You got three lines of trucks, which we’ll get to Yeah. So you need to know ahead of time. Yeah. But through your dispatcher or hopefully he could send this to him. Yeah, or the dispatcher uses it. I mean, the dispatcher does, you know? Well, the drivers when they come in and out, we’ve, we’ve given that to them on their bill ladings. Okay, it was like that. That’s what the stamp is for. So they can stamp it right on the bill of lading. So they got into there, and everybody’s got a cell phone today is

Lucas Taylor  45:42

greatly streamlined. A lot of that confusion.

Jeremy Kellett  45:46

Y’all can turn them out of here pretty quick, Katie? Yeah, everything clicks, right. We can,

Lucas Taylor  45:52

oh, everything’s going we can 40 trucks in our little we

Josh Taylor  45:56

have 15 different loadouts

Lee Coe  45:58

for fertilizer. Actually, it’s actually 14 But 15 is when you include it in the blend. five

Josh Taylor  46:05

sets of truck scales. Seven docks,

Lee Coe  46:09

you got five trucks to hear you get down there. We have one other in the north. Oh, good. Yeah. Okay. Well, then we

Josh Taylor  46:19

can discharge fertilizer on the conveyor, two locations, one on the north side, one on the south side. And then there’s a season to help accommodate our customers. We are loading out. I mean, we’ll have a line of trucks. Sometimes we have up to 2025 trucks and we’re loading a truck out every seven minutes, but it’s still not fast enough. So we’ll set up on a dock and another will be discharged up, and we’ll unload through a hopper conveyor system, a mobile one that we have set up. And well, you did another conveyor source. Yeah,

Lucas Taylor  46:59

so it’s a mobile conveyor system that can go to any multipurpose dock and therefore can accommodate that product and go directly to the TRA.

Lee Coe  47:09

So we’re gel balena

Lucas Taylor  47:13

Josh’s mind. So they took an old fleet truck, Box Truck knocked off the box and Josh took a couple of welders and guys that were very good at engineering. So this was what I wanted. We guys made it happen and aspersions layers in the Boneyard. At first it was I don’t know now, it’s very well used and the guys enjoy using it.

Josh Taylor  47:39

That’s pretty easy, a waken loaded offload barge for customers like those two or three other docks, if needed. So, you know, when it’s fertilizer season, we open the door to help accommodate our customers and our drivers, our main drivers or main advertisement. They want to come here, they want to load here because they know they can get in and out. And we take care of them. So that’s what they like. I mean, we can’t make all of them happy. But we try.

Jeremy Kellett  48:12

How do you place the size and all the stuff that’s going on here? That’s what’s happening. Moving forwards? How do you address safety in a facility like this?

Josh Taylor  48:25

Well, we have a kitty. Well, let’s start with kitty. Well with kitty. He’s also been a main key we haven’t brought him up in this interview. Kenny has been with us 30 Some years too. And he’s been our safety director for 20 Some years Yeah. And Kenny first started working out on the docks with this grain department in the dock. So he grew up in the business, ran Warshaw in the wash dock and then we carried over to the safety side and kind of just grew into and have done very well. Kitty understands the employee side of things, the management side of things, but then it comes to the safety side. And we will look at certain subjects and try to make the best decision. So we can have the best outcome on how we need to handle or build or take care of our employees. You know, we have grown and grown with the safety side of things as the day or the years have gotten along with this. But we have to slow down sometimes and make ourselves Yeah, we have our monthly meetings, we have our computer automated safety meetings or training or sign offs. So we failed that we

Lee Coe  49:56

took control. I mean, do you have to report to on that who monitors you that OSHA Are

Josh Taylor  50:00

you OSHA, Coast Guard Coast Guard? Oh, but it stays on top of that 100%. And

Lee Coe  50:12

they do random inspections, they do random

Josh Taylor  50:15

inspections on the boat side they do you a test on the boat side of things so, and the Coast Guard has come along a lot to 30 years ago where they’re making us do a lot more than what we used to do boat inspections, to dock inspections to a life check and inspection. So we have a

Lee Coe  50:41

real good working relationship with our local Coast Guard. I mean, they know we toot our own horn here, but we know we want to do things right. And when they come on to the facility, they see things are clean, they see that we care about what we’re doing. So that makes them have a you know, they’re not, you know, if you walk in and it’s junky, you’re looking for something because it’s everywhere. Yeah. And we strive to do a good job for the Coast Guard. And we want to set the example not be the example. And so which makes me think of your captains, your turbo captains out here. And are they I mean, I guess they come in and do their job as they’re on that tugboat all day moving bodies, whatever, Dwayne still does. Are y’all doing down there all day? And they’re regulated? Right? Yes. regulated by the Coast Guard. And, of course, anything that’s on the water side is regulated by the Coast Guard. Those guys, Jimmy, I brought him up. He’s one of my senior captains. He’s been here. Probably close to 30 years now. Wow. These are the season captains had to get to that point. Washington barges. Jimmy started working for the team lead. Yeah, one of the guys that did contract Mark Gorshin here. And he eventually came to work at Port 33. He decK he worked his way up to a wheelhouse and spinner since and the you know, one thing that Mike’s if you go from safety, to operations to just in general, the port and it operating smoothly, whether it’s harbor side or landside, the one key thing is be if you don’t have good people, you’ll struggle. And that’s one good thing about Port 33, we’ve always had really good people that are willing to do what it takes to get the job done. makes a world of it, it makes a world of difference. And people that care about what they’re doing. I mean, that’s just the meaning, that’s the difference between night and day. And that’s the difference between good ports and ports that show good cones, good drugs and company. It’s all about people. And, uh, you know, we might be the ones looking over everything. But those guys are the ones that are making stuff happen. You know, they’re the ones that’s loading the trucks, they’re the ones that it’s decK and when it’s raining and cold. And if they were doing it wrong, then that would make your job a whole lot worse. That’s correct more Hey. So you gotta say that for them. But back to the harbor side of it, you know, that’s a huge responsibility. And that takes about a minimum of about four years to get a guy from the decK to the wheelhouse and so you don’t just run out and hire captains. You have to kind of breed them and raise them up here. And that’s kind of what we’ve done. You know, I can just imagine here’s one program driving one of those out there. Man, you have a lot of responsibility. Oh, yeah. Pushing some barges around. You got to bridge it. You got to maneuver around. I mean, he just got it all . It would be a challenge. The night and it’s raining and it’s 30 degrees out? Yeah, you do. Y’all do run on 24 on four. Yeah. So you got what? Four Seven? I mean, bulkhead and y’all. We currently have five captains. And they do a rotation. I really it’s four captains. And I have Charlie Smith. He’s now doing our fertilizer but he’s also a license get though is it? Yeah. So Oh, Charlie all around. And

Josh Taylor  55:01

yeah, we brought turning back in. Well, Luke got sick. So Lee was ready to pull his hair out when that when

Lee Coe  55:10

that went down. Yeah, one day, a whole day figured out. There’s not enough for me to do this. Yeah,

Josh Taylor  55:16

so brought Charlie back in which Charlie had been in that position before. And it was like, a shoo in, he just fell right back into took off with it. And really the team between the three operating from the fertilizer to the boats to the docks, it takes all three of them to control it. So they all work very well together. They don’t mind if they over speak to each other. If they step on each other’s toes. There’s none of that. And, you know, and that’s the one thing that works very well with all of us. And I think that’s because, hell, Steve, and Fred brought us up, they taught us and they taught us that even though you piss mountain bitch, fight, you still got to make this place work. And at the end of the day, they made this a priority. And that’s just how we live and

Lucas Taylor  56:10

very happy for Charlie, like Josh was saying, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and had an operation in April of this year and with the radiation, and got done with everything about two months, and I’m just very happy to be here at Oakleys back here in this van and you’re back and back at it. Yeah, slowly getting back at it. And because of these guys, and that’s why I like this place.

Josh Taylor  56:36

Justin, Justin was very well to

Jeremy Kellett  56:40

work there and that just, yeah. Oh, yeah. He got to Yes. Part of it, you know, for a family when you have those, you know, one family that y’all had prior to hopefully then you got Oakley and then you joined together? Well, then you become Yeah, you know, we might be debt brothers. But we are still family. Yeah, we even managed to face each other a little bit. We gotta get out here and go fishing once in a while. So that’s really good stuff. I mean, you know, to me, you guys sometimes get me to sit down and talk to you like this. But, you know, the foundation that Steve and Fred build over all those years, you know, 30 something years. I mean, they put their life into this place. Life

Lucas Taylor  57:30

was in this place. You couldn’t kick him out of here. Yes, he is, like I say, his DNA of this place. And he’s, you did an amazing job

Jeremy Kellett  57:39

for it’s a great person. He deals with Breadman DNA. Red Rock now working. It’s mine officer that’s really good with you, you built a fantastic place, or you got we brought it, for sure. Thank you. You know, like you’ve delivered and described some good stuff here that I think will help people understand. You know, customers understand the rest of the Oakley family because you know, as well as I do, we may all be under Bruce Oakley, but half the time, we don’t know what each other does, you know, so it’s always good to hear that kind of stuff. So anything else y’all want to add? Go over everything on notes. That’s about it. I think it was really good. I appreciate everybody’s listening. What a great episode here port 33. And we’re trying to highlight the you know, what, for 33 years and guys that work here the employees I mean, it just goes to show you what this companies live. Oh, please. And you know, when they bought it back in 2014, they knew what they were doing. Getting no person somebody that had the same values. That only makes such a great episode appreciated. I appreciate everybody listening to the podcast every week. We’ll talk to you next week. Thanks. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.