Knight shares philosophy on business with Brundidge Rotary

Published 11:58 am Saturday, February 11, 2012

The slogan for Knight & Son Trucking in Brundidge could be “Keep on trucking” because the company has done just that in its seven years in business.

Jeffrey Knight, who is the “son” in the Knight & Son Trucking, was the guest speaker at the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday and opened with a reference to last week’s meeting when Chuck Caraway, owner of Southern Classic Foods, informed the Rotarians as to how many sandwiches can be made from 3,000 gallons of mayonnaise.

“I wanted to have the facts on how many sandwiches we could put in one of our trailers,” Knight said, laughing.

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Although he hadn’t figured that one out, it was evident that Knight has a good grasp on how to run a trucking business.

He earned a business degree at Troy University and worked his way through college at Wiley Sanders Truck Lines.

“My dad was in trucking as an owner/operator and my granddad was in trucking so that’s what I knew about and that’s what I decided to do. Go into trucking,” Knight said. “My dad and I got into the business with two trucks.”

Knight’s dad knew that trucking can be a cut-throat business and told his son that they could be successful in the trucking business if they got no bigger than 10 to 15 trucks.

“We soon were running that many trucks and my dad upped the number to 20,” Knight said. “We had good people working for us and we kept growing. Dad changed the number of trucks to 30. We now run 32 trucks.”

Knight said the secret to the success of Knight & Son Trucking is in its employees.

“We have logged more than 15.8 million miles and have almost no driver turnover,” Knight said. “We are very careful in our dealings with our drivers, with all our employees. We do what we need to do to keep the people we hire. We have 40 families that depend on us for their livelihood and we treat them like family. Cash flow is important but we believe that principle is more important than the bottom line.”

Knight & Son is a long haul operation, with trucks running in 47 states and hauling primarily food and paper products.

Although it’s tough to make money in the trucking business, Knight said there will always be trucks on the road.

“If you use it, wear it or eat it, then it’s probably been on a truck at some time,” he said. “We have been blessed in that we’ve been able to grow from two trucks to 32 in just seven years. Over that time, our revenue has been $21.5 million and we only have $4,000 that has not been collected.”

Knight said his dad has not set the next limit on the number of trucks they can handle and they have gotten into a new venture – a recycling business.

“It’s all about creating jobs,” Knight said and we are committed to that.