From one truck in 1986, CEO Dave Van Handel has grown V&S Midwest Carriers to about 160 trucks and 400 trailers.
Van Handel started the business with his wife, Marge, and now their son, Eric, serves as president of the family-run trucking company in Kaukauna that delivers perishable and dry goods throughout the 48 contiguous states.
Eric Van Handel says V&S Midwest prides itself on being an industry leader.
“We’re passionate about driving efficiencies, safety and technology,” he says. “We’ve developed a lot of proprietary software and a mobile app. Some of what we’ve done has even been sold to other carriers for their usage.”
It’s not only in technology where V&S Midwest has set itself apart: The company’s environmental efforts have also attracted plenty of attention.
Van Handel says the carrier is constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions and lower its impact on the environment. Those efforts led V&S Midwest to be named a SmartWay High Performer by the Environmental Protection Agency in both 2017 and 2018.
V&S Midwest began its efforts to reduce its environmental impact in 2007 when fuel prices were astronomical. “We needed a way to curb fuel costs, but at the same time we wanted to find a way to get more money into our drivers’ pockets,” Van Handel says.
Since then, the carrier has implemented numerous measures, such as aerodynamic trailer tails and skirts.
V&S Midwest continues to take strides forward. To boost recruiting efforts, the company recently introduced a new pay package that offers drivers a flat pay salary versus being paid only by the mile.
Van Handel says plans are also being considered for a new corporate office in Kaukauna that would include a drivers’ lounge and showers.
“We feel that we don’t have to be a mega fleet to really provide some great service,” he says. “We like to think of ourselves as a niche carrier for customers who are looking for superior service.”