Mark Haynes Celebrates Two Decades of Trucking with Van Kam

April 29, 2024

 

Meet Mark Haynes, an Owner-Operator at Van Kam, celebrating 20 years with the company. A seasoned trucker with decades under his belt, Mark has a trove of stories about the evolution of trucking. His career has mirrored the advancements in the industry, from the days of manual maps and payphones to the high-tech, efficient systems we see today. Choosing Van Kam for its expansive network and 24/7 support, Mark has found a home where he can thrive amid the challenges of long-haul trucking.

From Analog to Digital

Mark’s journey in trucking began in an era starkly different from today’s technology-driven world. “When I started trucking, we did not have cruise control, automatic trucks, or even power windows,” Mark recalls, painting a picture of a more challenging, more rugged time. The transition from that rough-and-ready era to today’s sophisticated logistics operations marks his career with milestones of technological leaps.

 

“Back then, you’d have to stop and buy a folding map if you were heading somewhere new,” Mark explains, highlighting one of the many drastic changes that have simplified life on the road. GPS and real-time tracking have taken the guesswork out of navigation, a convenience some truckers might take for granted.

A Decision for Stability

Mark’s decision to join Van Kam was fueled by a desire for a stable work environment that smaller companies couldn’t offer. “At a smaller company, there’s no one at the end of the phone when you have problems,” he points out. Van Kam’s robust support system and network of terminals across regions promised a level of security and professional support that was too compelling to pass up.

 

He compares the company’s operations to a finely tuned watch: “Like a costly watch, it’s the pieces underneath that you don’t see that make all the difference—dispatch, safety, the mechanics.” This analogy reflects his appreciation for the seamless, well-oiled machine Van Kam operates, ensuring that if problems arise, solutions are just a call away.

Witnessing Van Kam’s Evolution

Mark signifies Van Kam’s move from its old Burnaby terminal to the newer Surrey terminal as a significant upgrade in operational capacity and work environment. “It’s like, wow. Nice big building. And everybody’s in one building here,” Mark comments, appreciating the centralization that has enhanced coordination and efficiency.

 

The integration of advanced technology and the professionalization of processes, such as the adoption of seniority systems and union representation, have improved the workflow and workplace culture. “Everything here, all the work is done by seniority, which is good because it rewards your dedication,” he adds, noting the fairness in how assignments and routes are distributed.

The Freedom of the Open Road

Outside the rig, Mark enjoys the freedom of the open road in another way—on his touring bike. Riding his motorcycle allows him to unwind, clear his head, and enjoy his time off fully. “Everything else in your head just goes away,” he says about his bike rides, a sentiment many can relate to, regardless of their hobby.

 

Mark’s story is not just about the miles he’s covered or the freight he’s hauled; it’s about the journey through an industry’s transformation, witnessed from the best seat in the house—a truck driver’s. At Van Kam, he’s found a place where he can continue to grow and where his vast experience is respected and rewarded. Here’s to many more miles and stories on the road with Van Kam.

 

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