Diving into DMS: A Q&A with Richard Coombes, Operations Manager

October 2, 2023 Casey Nighbor

Diving into DMS: A Q&A with Richard Coombes, Operations Manager

At Centerline, our teams drive everything we do and is the reason we can offer our customers the best possible service. Our Driver Management Service (DMS) is the most hands-on with our customers and drivers because we’re managing an entire driving program.

To get a better idea of why this solution is different and how DMS operates, we spoke with Richard Coombes, Operations Manager for TA Dedicated about the importance of building a unique and safe driver culture.

1. How did you start working with Centerline?

I started my career in the military and served for over 23 years in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant.

My favorite role before retirement was as an instructor for leadership. I was a Master Certified Instructor meaning I helped certify other instructors and wrote doctrine. And I can apply all those skills to my current role. So those leadership lessons along with my military operations background made trucking feel like a natural fit and helped me get good outcomes with all my drivers.

2. Why do you think your team is different from others?

I had the opportunity to build this team from scratch, which I think has really made a difference. I customized the team and their roles to play to everyone’s strengths and be the best fit for the customer. Everyone was hand-selected and focused on the outcome of our customers.

3. How do you build driver culture here at Centerline?

Drivers are the heart and soul of everything we do. Without them, we can’t do our jobs, so our focus is always on them. We prioritize the well-being of our drivers and that drivers' engagement, which leads to high performance. I’ve built a culture of giving 110% to them and going above and beyond to keep them engaged. My team and I focus on relationship-building with each and every driver. They are all unique individuals, and all require different things to meet their needs. We do our best to always cater to those needs and help reduce barriers, so they can focus on the road. And I do not pass our drivers off to anyone. They are always our priority.

4. What about driver safety – are there things you do from a driver safety standpoint that make us stand out?  

I think the biggest thing with driver safety is leading by example. You need to walk the walk with safety and show your drivers that you’re also checking the equipment and conducting inspections. We also created a safety program that taps into their competitive side. The safest drivers win prizes and safety is more on their mind. Safety is contagious here and our drivers are motivated to stay safe.

5. You have been in the transportation and logistics space for 10 years. What do you feel sets us apart/differentiates us here at Centerline as you are working with the TA Dedicated team?

Our culture feels different here. We make sure our drivers are happy and having fun and go above and beyond each day for them. I want our drivers and our team to always come in with a smile. And we always make sure we are doing the right thing for the right reasons every single day.

To learn more about our Driver Management solution, get in touch with our team below

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