Celebrating Alan Hardgrave: 25 Years of Puzzle-Solving Dispatch at Van Kam

May 30, 2023
Image of Alan Hardgrave

In the complex world of trucking, the people behind the scenes make the wheels turn seamlessly. One of these people at Van Kam Freightways is Alan Hardgrave, our PM City Dispatcher, who’s celebrating a remarkable 25-year work anniversary. Alan is an instrumental part of our operations, applying his skills, forethought, and a unique approach to his role, creating a game out of his everyday tasks.

Playing the Game of Dispatching

To Alan, dispatching isn’t just work; it’s like fitting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. He views it as an exciting game that needs foresight, planning, and a deep understanding of shipping. “Dispatching is like solving puzzles. It’s a job for some, a game for me,” Alan shares.

Alan began his journey with Van Kam in our former Burnaby office. With the relocation to Surrey, he continued serving in the City Dispatch role, making a difference every day for the past 25 years. “Dispatching needs vision,” he says. “You need to see what’s coming, plan 4/5 hours in the day, and be ready for whatever the day brings,” he adds.

Perfecting Simplicity

Alan’s knack for dispatching lies in the simplicity of his approach, encapsulated in the KISS principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid. He illustrates with an example, “Sending five trailers to pick up ten skids each when fewer could handle the job and still leave room for more freight, isn’t efficient.” His technique of matching areas and closing times to trailers highlight his skill in resource management and commitment to customer satisfaction. It’s this simplicity and efficiency in dispatching that keeps Van Kam Freightways on the move.

Image of Alan Hardgrave in Dispatch Office
Alan, Van Kam’s dispatching maestro, ensuring efficient operations.

Flourishing Veggies and Fightin’ Fish

Away from the buzz of dispatching, Alan finds tranquillity in the simple pleasures of life. He has a deep affection for gardening and describes his backyard as a flourishing vegetable garden that he nurtures in the summer.

Alan has an adventurous side, too. Twice a year, he escapes to his timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. There, he immerses himself in the thrill of fishing – a pastime that once had him wrestling a massive 354-pound hammerhead shark, a triumphant endeavour completed after three adrenaline-filled hours.

A Valued Journey with Van Kam

Alan’s journey with Van Kam has been fulfilling and enriching. “Van Kam has been good to me, I’ve enjoyed working here, and the people I’ve worked with over the years. And a special thanks to the Henry family for the opportunity,” he acknowledges.

With his planned retirement next year, Alan leaves an inspiring legacy of dedication, smart work, and unwavering love for the job. As we celebrate his remarkable 25-year milestone, we applaud his contribution and commitment to Van Kam, his insightful approach to dispatching, and the vibrant life he leads beyond work. Congratulations, Alan!

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