Transporting America’s infrastructure and products is challenging, rewarding, and exciting for those willing to do their due diligence. If you'll give me a few moments of your time, I'd like to explain the value of proven experience and results.
My name is Brian Bakken, the Fun New Guy (FNG) on the Sales team at Perkins STC (PSTC), and while my background is in Sales, the foundation of my career at PSTC was built in the field. I’m here to tell you about why the transition back into the office is more than just another move.
For the past three decades, I bought and sold complex computer systems for clients around the world. Communicating with customers on virtually every continent, the need for physical movement kept gnawing at me. My eight-to-five work week made the walls of the office close in and the excuses to interact (golf) with partners more convoluted than ever. I like tinkering, traveling, and the kind of challenge that not only keeps you on your feet, makes you wonder how to improve upon the solution.
There are times when you’re just ready to get your hands dirty and take the next step because it feels right. It turns out that changing careers from computers to transportation was one half fate, one half luck, and 90% chance. It wouldn’t be easy, but my research, friends, family, and especially my wife, were all navigating me to jump in with both feet. Little did I realize then…heavy haul was the perfect fit to my calling.
With my CDL in hand and after a week of orientation, my first trips were full of escorting and Tillerman training. Learning to steer loads around corners and back up loads into tight spots with room to spare. I knew within a short time, this was the change I was looking for, this was FUN! People were astonished by the feats that we considered routine, although each was different. There was an important balance of time management and safety protocols with each maneuver. It wasn’t about getting there fast or first, it was about getting it done safely and on time.
I mentioned travel.In the past four years I was on the road for 976 days of 1,314 to the point that I’ve lost track of all the miles. I’ve seen parts of this country that I never would have… or should have! Yes, there are still hotels that maintain the fine décor of orange Formica counter tops with avocado green fixtures and matching towels. We travelled a lot of back roads and went through a lot of small towns that were right out of a Woodie Guthrie or John Prine songbook. Our origins and destinations varied from power plants and seaports to fertilizer plants and fabrication shops. Some were getting (a much needed) upgrade and some were just getting started. In most places security was visible and it was apparent that regardless of where we were physically in the country, we were a small part of something much bigger.
I mentioned challenging. It comes with long days, hard work, extreme heat, bitter cold, mud, sun, dirt, grease, tired, sore, but the trade offs were getting to work with great people who were doing great things. That alone has a tremendous sense of accomplishment attached to it. It’s one thing to load up the family SUV and go to the shore for the weekend. It’s a whole other baby when you load up and chain down a strange looking 175-ton tank in order to travel from Houston up to Alberta down some two-lane farm roads in the winter! Best part? You go right back and do it all over again!! No two loads are the same, even if dimensionally they are identical. The only thing to expect was the unexpected, which is why the planning phase is so critical to each project’s success. It’s the experience and plans A thru Z that allows cargo to be successfully delivered.
I mentioned rewarding. The majority of the heavy haul crews I’ve worked with are hard-working, honest, safety conscious, salt of the Earth folks that work hard and play hard. Working together to ensure the safety of the general public, the equipment, the cargo, and the crew was like watching a moving ballet. Each day began with a safety and goals meeting to ensure people and tasks were on the same page. In the middle of it all, if something didn’t look right, you said something! If something changed, you reworked the plan. When all said and done, I got to interface with some of the best crews and leaders alike; Executives, Project Managers, Logistics Coordinators, Crane Operators, Security Supervisors, Workers, and Safety Directors. While others hustled doing their part, we faced bouts of down time, which could be hard when you’re used to a fast paced environment. Some of the best ‘hurry up and wait’ moments were enjoyed touring museums, playing disc golf, snowboarding, and grilling with new friends. But you had to leave time for others to play their part while you were gearing up to finish yours.
Lastly, I mentioned exciting. I’m off the road now, back in the office finding the right loads for the crews I was on. I know without a doubt that Perkins STC is one of the elite heavy haul companies in North America and I am excited to continue to be a significant part in that. I may be just getting my feet wet on the Sales team, but the support I have behind me is one of a strong caliber, you can trust in that.
Admittedly, there are times when the travel bug bites. My wife sometimes thinks I miss the nomadic road life (I hope she’s not hinting!). And while I do miss the crews and the adventures, my experience on the road has provided me with the tools necessary to make this move just as challenging, rewarding, and exciting because I've lived it.
In the grand scheme of things, our customers deserve only the finest of transportation solution with confidence in the plan. I can speak for the rest of the Sales team in that we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to reach out or invite us for a round of golf so we can deliver the confidence directly to you.
~Brian Bakken, Account Manager at Perkins STC
If you have any suggestions, concerns, or want more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to introduce you to all our capabilities, schedule a tour at our Northfield Operation Center, in Northfield, MN or provide insight in transportation industry related goals and initiatives.
1800 Riverview Drive, Northfield, MN 55057