During this week’s episode of the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett is joined by Adam Clanton and Eric Peebles to dive deep into Oakley’s IT department. They discuss several things including IT’s role in communicating with Oakley owner-operators and Oakley’s technological advancement.
Key topics in today’s conversation include:
- Responsibilities of the IT department (6:56)
- Finding your settlement in the Transflo app (13:02)
- Working between Oakley’s many locations (16:52)
- IT’s job on the boats (18:52)
- IT’s room, atmosphere, and team (20:34)
- How far Oakley’s technology has come (23:27)
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.
Adam Clanton 0:12
We wear a lot of hats in IT for sure. You know, one minute we’ll be talking with an owner operator, helping them. Then we’ll sit in a meeting with Transflow to kind of help out with that, and then we’ll go hop out on a boat to, you know, repair a computer. We all wear a lot of hats, but mainly I focus on helping trucking out with their programs that they use.
Jeremy Kellett 0:32
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.
There’s Jeremy Kellett, Direct and Recruiting at Oakley Trucking. I’m your host for this podcast. This is episode 99. So on today’s podcast we are going to talk with Bruce Oakley’s IT department. Yeah, I know it. We’re gonna dive deep into the IT department. I got two guys here sitting in with me that have been with Bruce Oakley’s IT department for a while and we’re gonna pick their brain on a few things. We’re gonna let you know how big a role that the IT Department plays it communicating with Oakley’s independent contractors. I think you’ll be surprised. We’re also might be touching on a little bit of technology and how Oakley has come a long ways in the few years that these guys have been here so we’re gonna get started with that here in just a second. But first let’s get started with Arrow Truck Sales.
Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales in Springfield, Missouri is currently offering $1,000 off your first month’s payment when you finance with transport funding, or $1,000 off the truck price if you bring your own financing. They’re also discounting the cost of an extended warranty by $500. Arrow Truck Sales has been a longtime partner with Oakley Trucking and that’s because they specialize in first-time truck buyers, they don’t do any leases, they have the best-used trucks money can buy (because used trucks is all they do, they don’t sell any new trucks), and the biggest reason that Arrow and Oakley are partners is service after the sale. It is very important to us at Oakley that when we refer you to a company, that they are a good company with good people, they do what they say, and they understand our requirements. So give Keith a call at 573-216-6047 for a good used truck and tell him you heard about it on the Oakley podcast.
Now also, before we do this, I want to talk about the Mid-America Trucking Show coming up in March the 24th to 26th. And that’s so we’re going to be located in the west wing booth 67192. And I want everybody to show up if at all possible because you know, we haven’t had it in the last couple years and it’s just something that Oakley is going all out on this thing head to Mid-America Trucking Show we will have more people to play there. We’re actually going to do this podcast at the truck show. So we’re gonna have spots available where people can sit down with us got a lot of guests already lined up. And if you want to do that you need to you know, holler at me, we’ll get you there to truck show and talk to you and get on the podcast. We’re doing some Facebook Live. The main thing is just, you know, seeing everybody then you got to see everybody in long time and we’re really looking forward to the Mid-America Trucking Show. Keep in mind that is March 24 through the 26th. So make your reservations to be there.
Okay, got Adam Clanton and Eric Peebles here from the IT department. How you guys doing?
Adam Clanton 3:50
Eric Peebles 3:50
Glad to be here.
Jeremy Kellett 3:51
First thing I like to do is if you would introduce yourself and we’ll start with you, Adam. Kind of give everybody a little about who you are so they know.
Adam Clanton 4:00
My name is Adam Clayton. I’ve been with Oakley for three years tomorrow, actually.
Jeremy Kellett 4:04
Adam Clanton 4:04
I really appreciate it. Yeah, I started back in 2019 on the IT team fresh out of college and really grew with the company and love working here. It’s a great team graduated college. I went to University of Arkansas, Little Rock, you learn things until you went to UVA. Yeah, it actually started here while I was still still finishing my last year there. So yeah, there’s a month period whereas you know, go into class come come to work here and pedo wife family. Yeah, yeah. So I’m married to Andrea Clinton. We’ve been married since 2017. You know we get nice house and everything and Alexander got a couple dogs and yeah, just just rocking it out.
Jeremy Kellett 4:43
What do you do on the weekends?
Adam Clanton 4:46
Oh, man, we might even play video games together and like that. I also like to go fishing and stuff like that. You know, we need to pick that back up. We hang out a lot outside of work. So Oh, yeah, you guys do Absolutely. All of you out there. Sure. Yeah. Yeah, we have a really close family structure in it for sure. Yeah. Like take out and spend time with each other.
Jeremy Kellett 5:06
I’ve heard that before around Oakley. That word family seems to keep coming back. What about you, Eric? Tell us about you.
Eric Peebles 5:11
Hey! Eric Peebles. Been with Oakley since 2016, so I’m going on six years this April. Very beautiful wife named Amanda. Three kids: 22, a programmer in the Air Force. His name is Chase. 12 year old Fletcher (aka flex) and nine-year-old Scarlett who’s growing out of saws now shoots
Jeremy Kellett 5:34
That’s good stuff, man. That’s good. And you do the same thing on the weekends as Adam was telling us about?
Eric Peebles 5:39
No, man. I like lift weights into house on the weekend. I play video games. I cook a lot. I like to barbecue smoking smoke meats. Yeah, we’re that’s another thing we do. We do barbecue together. It’s a local radio show. Hosted party. Listen. I won a trophy.
Jeremy Kellett 5:54
You did? Come on, what place?
Eric Peebles 5:56
Second in ribs. Yeah, but that was only one year and then almost broke my leg.
Adam Clanton 6:02
We won third in sauce last year, too.
Eric Peebles 6:03
Oh, yeah, that was a joke, man.
Adam Clanton 6:06
Mistake some sweet baby Ray’s threw some blueberries and called it an A. Third place. Yeah.
Eric Peebles 6:13
And it was scorched. Oh, I think they’re adding up the score wrong, too. Yeah,
Jeremy Kellett 6:17
They want to get a trophy for third.
Eric Peebles 6:20
No, no sauce doesn’t get a trophy only meets get a trophy. All right.
Jeremy Kellett 6:26
I really appreciate you guys doing this because I know you’ve dodged me several times you’re in a bad in a busy start of the year. It is good and busy. And that’s why I just wanted to take a few minutes. And you know, it’s it’s, first of all this podcast. So if you guys listen to it very often, but it’s the it’s a tool to communicate with our operators and their families. And I just like you, it’s interesting. One and IT department doesn’t get enough credit on what they do every day and day in and day out and the stuff you guys go through. And I just think it’d be great to hear from you all that some of the responsibilities you have that are daily, but also that connection from from the IT department to the truck driver and how some of that works. You said you have a couple examples, Eric.
Eric Peebles 7:07
Yep, so I’ll just well, for the for the most part, I do work for all of our companies. But like accounting work and like pulling data for different divisions totally trucking recently, let’s see auditor stuff, just stuff to send to the auditors right programs. If you get a CSA bonus by then that you’re welcome. Because I get all those numbers into the system each month. So you calculate those numbers? No, I don’t calculate them. I get them from I get them from externally into our system so that we’ll have them on time so we can pay people. Okay, right now.
Jeremy Kellett 7:41
That’s uh, yeah, that’s because that’s one of our things here is we pay based on their CSA paying. So you got to get that into the system that we use data, we know the amount to pay the driver.
Eric Peebles 7:54
Yep. And another one, if you’re if you’re out around the Oakleys, Port 33. In Oklahoma, you might use a website where you come in and check in your order number, right. When you get onto the property. It’ll tell you to go to the north or south skills. Because it’s a pretty big place out there. I wrote that too. Is that is that app? Yeah, it’s it’s a little website that you can go to that they hand out to all the truck drivers when they arrive. Oh, that’s right. And I tells him, Yeah, where’s it gotten to Gideon? Because those lines get longer.
Jeremy Kellett 8:23
And it’s good to know if you’re in the wrong line. Yep. Then you go. You find that out? Back out? Yeah. Go to the back of the other line. All right. That’s good. What about you, Adam?
Adam Clanton 8:34
Oh, man. So you know, starting out, really, we had one guy before for both Nick and I started handling both trucking in fertilizer it. And when Patrick brought us on really Nick started handling fertilizer, I started handling trucking. So you know, started out just you know, answering calls, helping owner operators and stuff like that, and also work with our jam trainer, fleet Boat Company, you know, work with them with any issues those boats have on the river. And but really the thing about it is it’s, you know, we wear a lot of hats and it for sure, you know, one minute we’ll be talking with an owner operator helping them that will sit in a meeting with TransFlo to kind of help help out with that. And then I will go hop out on a on a boat, real repair computer, you know, so we all wear a lot of hats, but mainly I focus on helping trucking out with their programs that they use EB team W train trains flow. Yeah. All that stuff. So you know,
Jeremy Kellett 9:29
That’s amazing ’cause lot of people don’t think about that, but there’s so many different parts of the company, whether it’s trucking, fertilize grain boards, and a lot of them I guess they all use different programs. Absolutely. Yeah. So you have to know all those programs or figure them out, and I guess in some cases y’all made them, haven’t you? I know you made the recruiting program.
Eric Peebles 9:53
Yeah, we write many custom in house applications, a recruiting program that was more of a conversion from access. You guys had there? which is not useful for multiple users in it at once. So, yeah, we made that until web application. And then where you apply it to be an owner operator, we did the online application. Yeah. So when I started, the one you guys had, was not mobile friendly. It was pretty terrible. So I rewrote that. Well, and terrible for mobile purposes. I just duplicated it. Because you know, work. But anyway, and then had to build a new management for that, so that you guys can manage the guys that are approved.
Jeremy Kellett 10:29
Yeah, and that’s been a great help for us to be able to do that. And I tell you, what’s, a lot of companies don’t have an probably speak for employee in this place. But when we contact you guys, Man, y’all are on it. I mean, there’s not a bunch of red tape, you know, that you go to go through, we got we contact here, go, Hey, we got a problem with the recruiting program. And it’s like, okay, what is it? You know, I know you want to stop and get it done, that that kind of communication is good, because that helps. Mike that application that’s beneficial to the recruiting department that the truck drivers trying to fill out and make it simple. You know, we’re trying to make it simple to do so. That’s it. And you know, the simple things with like, you do add in most of the trucking, the phones. I know you got your hands full with phones.
Adam Clanton 11:17
Oh, yeah. Your talking about our in-house phones?
Jeremy Kellett 11:23
How hard was it when everybody was working remote?
Adam Clanton 11:26
Man, really, it we were kind of set up from the get go and with certain things like LogMeIn, and, you know, by that point, we had already made the move to to DJI which was actually one of my it was my first project when I started here was kind of helping, you know, get phones plugged up, set up profiles and ring groups and all this crazy stuff just to make our phones continue to work. And that was actually I turned in for my senior project. My last year was Oh, really? Yeah, it turned into a 50 page essay on you know, all the work we did for for the job project. So I got an A Mr. Yeah, the other semester, but that one, that was a pretty good one. But yeah, we were pretty much set up you know, every computer had had our remote software that we and it used to log in so we just, you know, now we have it where people can log in if they’re working from home, they can log in their own computer and uh, you know, with with our phone system, you can just download that app and you know, obviously you know, relies on your internet connection stuff like that, but is pretty much set up and we didn’t have a whole lot issues with people working for phone maybe in the start, you know, not having cool home computers. So we had to set up new computers for them and you know, when the mouse and stuff like that, but yeah, yeah, we were pretty much ready for it. I would say it was an ordeal. It was a lot.
Eric Peebles 12:41
On some people, like Roger, Roger Fraser. I just went to his house to help him. There was no helping him.
Jeremy Kellett 12:49
You just went straight to the house.
Eric Peebles 12:50
I was like, just tell me where you live, man. I’ll run over there. but it’s good to be getting
Jeremy Kellett 12:54
That’s great. Got him fixed up, though.
Eric Peebles 12:56
Jeremy Kellett 12:57
That’s good stuff. The driver portal. Do y’all have anything to do with the driver portal? I know our independent contractors log into the driver portal all the time, but they also I guess they could either do the driver portal to see their settlements or they just do the Transflo app, right?
Adam Clanton 13:21
Right, yeah. We have a connection running. You know, normally it goes from our AV software to the driver portal. And then trains flow just basically has access through the app to see kind of what’s on the driver portal. See those settlements and stuff. Okay, so So we set up Yeah, worked with them to set up that integration where they can see their settlement straight from the app.
Jeremy Kellett 13:44
I should know this, but can they see their projected bonus on that Transflo app? Do you know, Eric?
Eric Peebles 13:51
I do not know. I don’t work with Transflo or the driver world as much.
Jeremy Kellett 13:55
I think they got a log into the Driver Portal.
Adam Clanton 13:58
Well, I do know any any document that would appear under the settlements tab on the driver portal. If it appears there it should appear.
Jeremy Kellett 14:08
Okay, until after it’s already paid because right we have that I know a lot of guys have as I go in there and look and see what their bonus is built up to a lot of times on that on that Transflo app. So that’s good to know. Y’all work directly, you know, Transflo app, how that works and make sure it keeps working. If a truck driver goes on to the Transflo app and he can’t see his settlement, he needs to call y’all?
Adam Clanton 14:33
One thing they can always try is if you can see it because you can still get to our grammar portal from your phone if you go to BruceOakley.com and sign in if you can see it there, but you can’t see in the transfer lab. Most of the time. It’s something you know some sort of weird thing with the train school app. So usually a good kind of rule ahead is maybe delete the app, reinstall it log back in and see if it kicks back on. Sometimes we were transferred pushes out those updates and stuff. There’s some some weird stuff that kind of gets hung up in the background or you know as work Right. So if you have you can see it on your driver portal but can’t see it on transpo. You know, it’s something with apps not working right? Always reinstalling it usually fixes does most of the time.
Jeremy Kellett 15:10
Yeah, just a quick break in here from the LubeZone.
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Only other thing I was gonna talk about maybe the locations. We touched on it briefly. But, you know, if y’all got some input on that, you know you’ve gone to St. Louis or you’ve gone to Seneca said Cincinnati or whatever, you know. Yeah, that helps a lot. So alright, let’s start, you know, before we go, because I know you guys got stuff to do today and plus I stay busy for sure had to twist your arm, you know? No, we’re good. So I got a couple more questions. For you. One I was gonna talk about the locations. I don’t think everybody realizes that you know all the locations that Oakley has. Plus, here’s a little insight. The next episode, I’m going to have Justin Oakley on for our 100th episode. And we’re going to talk about that might be a lot of what Oakley does, where all the locations are. But you guys got to go with these locations. So we have if we get our something you got to go there and get it set up. Oh, yeah. Yeah, round up. You got to change everything or what? Where you been, Eric?
Eric Peebles 17:21
Recently, it started last year, I guess it was the end of 2020 We got a location facility at Kochi, Illinois. And when we got there, it was just, it was just being finished built. But there was no system in place. So we had to come up with a way to make it an automated system to where trucks could come in and and scan a card and go dump some grain onto a belt that goes out to a barge and then get out automated you know, scan a card to scale out and stuff. And we didn’t have any of that good all we had to figure out and build all that. That was recently it was the biggest one reason had you figure out how to do that. A journal on paper. You know, me and Patrick were just discussing it, but Patrick’s no boss, we’re just discussing it and sort of threw together a design we heard from the guy who was going to be manage it. This is what other locations do in the area. So we just sort of drew it out on paper and started putting hardware together.
Jeremy Kellett 18:19
Good. We did that with you, you know draw on the recruiting program on paper in the beginning and then you guys can take it you can take something from Piper and and think about it and make it happen. What other locations y’all been to?
Eric Peebles 18:36
I’ve been to, let’s see, St. Louis for sure.
Adam Clanton 18:38
Rosedale is probably my most common one. I go into Jane training facility Lincoln Rosedale Miss Yeah, I got KATUSA.
Jeremy Kellett 18:46
That’s with all the boats down there.
Adam Clanton 18:48
Yeah, correct. Yeah.
Jeremy Kellett 18:49
So what’s on the boats that you got to do?
Adam Clanton 18:51
Well, so on the boats, they have two laptops, one for their their wheelhouse up there and then also their engine and then they have a main computer that they run a software called rose point on which kind of keeps track of their GPS and monitors other boats going up and down the river. That kind of helps them monitor all that stuff. And so you know, they have a lot a lot of different technology they have a GPS system and AIS system, honoree all that. So, you know, we kind of got to help them out with any kind of issues. But you know, it could be something as simple as, Hey, by emails not working, you know, they’re just running off a little hotspot. So they’re, you know, lots of things that can go wrong with that.
Jeremy Kellett 19:28
I’m assuming you come across things like that that you don’t know anything about. You got to learn it.
Eric Peebles 19:34
For sure. Yeah.
Jeremy Kellett 19:35
You have to research it or what?
Adam Clanton 19:37
Um, yeah. We also work at like for Jane trade, for example, there’s another company wheelhouse that we work with, where they’re kind of more there locally and have more expertise on that kind of stuff. So one of the most important things that it that I learned here at Oakley is you know, if you don’t know how to do something, well, don’t be afraid to you know, tell it out or reach for help, you know, get get someone to help you out because otherwise you’re just gonna make the problem worse. You know, if you don’t admit to yourself that you don’t know what you’re doing in this situation so there’s no shame in you know, asking for help and stuff so yeah, that was a that was a very important lesson we learned early on for sure.
Jeremy Kellett 20:12
So who do you hear from the most? No, I’m just kidding.
Adam Clanton 20:18
I’m not gonna be able to walk out of this room.
Jeremy Kellett 20:20
Well, I mean, there’s a lot a lot of things with those computers that are just fumbling to a lot of people right and believe me, I mean it you know, I don’t understand a lot of this stuff, but I’m glad you guys do know help us a whole lot. What is the… You’re in the dungeon. What do y’all call it down there in a computer room? The dungeon?
Eric Peebles 20:40
No, Patrick calls it something.
Jeremy Kellett 20:42
You got a different name for it?
Eric Peebles 20:44
Jeremy Kellett 20:45
Bunker. Down in the bunker. So all y’all are down in the bunker. What kind of atmosphere is down in the bunker?
Eric Peebles 20:52
About the same as it is at the Oakley party, if you’ve seen the T departure there.
Jeremy Kellett 20:56
Oh my gosh. On the dance floor?
Adam Clanton 20:58
Yeah. You know, we’re kind of we’re packed in there like sardines. But, you know, luckily, we all get along really well. And it kind of can play off of each other. And, you know, a you can get kind of loud in there. Especially these, Patrick were the loudest ones on phone calls. I you know, we get excited on there. Yeah. And we won’t realize that new John or or Nick are right there, you know, two inches from our face while we’re screaming.
Jeremy Kellett 21:23
You get along.
Adam Clanton 21:24
Jeremy Kellett 21:25
You got to be able to do that to work and confinements. Yeah. Yeah. But I guess it’s, you know, I know Patrick’s good. He’s been here a long time. And as your supervisor, he’s real good. A delegate. Yo, in certain areas of where you expertise is, yeah, that’s a skill. Yeah, absolutely. That’s good. Because I know, new jobs real good. And you know, you’re the one to do it a rotten program.
Eric Peebles 21:48
I literally have a thing new John is probably passing me up on like user interface. I do that way back in programming and integrations and stuff.
Jeremy Kellett 21:56
Good. Y’all got a good group down there. You got Austin. What’s Austin do?
Adam Clanton 22:01
So Austin, he’s been handling more of our network security on that role Servers Server. Yeah. Just back us back in a militia. Yeah, that’s a whole nother issue that Oh, yeah. Especially nowadays.
Eric Peebles 22:13
Yeah, he’s really busy growing a mullet.
Jeremy Kellett 22:15
Oh my word. We’re gonna have to show him the clean cut appearance policy again. And let’s see, we got Nick down there.
Adam Clanton 22:29
Mm-hmm. Nick. Yeah, yeah, those helps out with fertilizer and you know, boss, our bosses. Yeah. Sage, you know, pretty much any of the software and stuff that fertilizer green people upstairs here use?
Jeremy Kellett 22:41
Right, and who we missing?
Adam Clanton 22:44
Jeremy Kellett 22:45
Yeah. New guy, Cooper.
Eric Peebles 22:47
He’s general support for the divisions almost like kind of looks like it was Yeah. Nick. Both you’re tracking some other companies like fertilizer and stuff.
Jeremy Kellett 22:56
So how many is that, Danny?
Eric Peebles 22:57
Oh, we’ve got six, seven.
Adam Clanton 23:00
Yeah, yeah, I think seven total supporting all those different locations.
Jeremy Kellett 23:05
That’s what’s crazy is that locker down there? Has a lot of control of what’s going on I Bruce Oakley.
Adam Clanton 23:11
Anything that goes through this company.
Jeremy Kellett 23:13
I mean, again, go through you guys. I don’t know if it makes me feel good or nervous.
Adam Clanton 23:19
Makes me feel good.
Jeremy Kellett 23:21
I’m just kidding. It makes me feel good guys got control it. Just since y’all been there? We’ve been here six years. You said three years? How far have we come? In your time here.
Eric Peebles 23:33
When I started? Trucking was pretty much in a good spot. They had a lot of stuff going. I mean, other than the recruiting program and some big accounting reports and stuff, but they were pretty much going it’s the other companies like Oakley fertilizer and stuff that I think have changed the most since I’ve been as far as going from almost pen and paper Excel stuff to actual programs and data communication to all their different locations because they’ve increased their locations like now five or six since I’ve been here.
Jeremy Kellett 24:03
What about you, Adam?
Adam Clanton 24:05
When I started like I said just going from our old phone system to to new phones and the transition over to this building and stuff like that then you know, on the backend all the security stuff and new features. Just all the investments and technology we’ve been making we’re we’re at a really good point I think compared to when I start not that we were in a bad place you know, like he was saying technology a lot of this you know, we’re using ABB team W we have been I just feel like we’re in a much better place as far as security.
Jeremy Kellett 24:35
Security is a major issue now cuz I know you guys, y’all make us watch a little video, you know, email us and we got to we got to make sure we complete those are y’all have a list back then she put us on? Yeah.
Adam Clanton 24:48
So we actually had no before you know, that’s that’s one of the biggest threats right now is just people clicking links on email, stuff like that. So you know, education has been a big part of that the Really that’s all automated we don’t touch it too often actually sees it feel your emails been exposed on the dark web things like that kind of tournament. Okay, this guy you know, he’s he’s a bigger risk, you know, we’d better make sure you know get some nice stuff. Yeah, he’s gonna be a huge target for…
Jeremy Kellett 25:18
Spam or some sort of scam or anything, I guess.
Adam Clanton 25:21
Jeremy Kellett 25:22
You gotta be careful out. I try to watch it a lot click on it.
Eric Peebles 25:26
Yeah, there’s you’re not the worst we get to see you the worst offenders are. You’re not up there.
Jeremy Kellett 25:33
Oh, that’s good to know. Well, I try to report it to you whatever that word is, clickbait.
Adam Clanton 25:41
Yeah, we threw Patrick’s face on custom.
Eric Peebles 25:42
But that’s our report legitimately most of that just for fun.
Jeremy Kellett 25:49
Well, good stuff, guys. I appreciate y’all doing this and explaining a little bit to the owner operator to our listeners. I mean, there is a connection. And I know it’s a complicated when it comes to, you know, technology and what y’all do in? And a lot of our owner operators, it’s hard for them to understand, I’m sure yeah. And then there’s some that are great with it. But boy, it’s a it’s a challenge for a lot of people. That means anything change that we’re doing. So I’ll just, it feels good. We got some good support with you guys down in the buffer. And I hope this helps our owner operators realize that a lot. Oh, you guys do it, helping this company do better. So thanks for joining me. I appreciate y’all hanging in with me for a little bit. And we appreciate everybody out there. You know tuning into the podcast every week comes out every Wednesday morning, we got a new book coming out. This is episode 99 Be sure and watch the one next week. Episode 100 gonna have Justin Oakley back with me because he did the very first one with me. appreciate everybody watching. Be sure to subscribe and lock comment and all that stuff. We appreciate you talk to you next week.
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