Tarheel Wheels - Fall 2015 - (Page 18)
Al Ganey (left), pictured here with
Roy Cox at the NCTA 2015 Annual
Management Conference, is
NCTA's new chairman.
Ezzell Trucking's Al Ganey becomes
NCTA's new chairman.
BY JEAN FEINGOLD
ncoming North Carolina Trucking Association
(NCTA) Chairman Al Ganey joined Harrells-based
Ezzell Trucking in 1996, but this company began
many years earlier. It was founded by farmer James
A. Ezell in 1951 to haul his own turkeys to market.
It evolved into a trucking company that hauled other farmers' turkeys and later moved refrigerated, dry van and
bulk commodities regionally and cross country. Today,
with six locations in North Carolina and one in Virginia,
Ezzell Trucking focuses on hauling wood residuals including chips, bark, shavings, logs and wood pellets for the
forestry industry in the Carolinas and Virginia. Major
customers include International Paper, Weyerhaeuser,
Georgia Pacific and Enviva Biomass. The company's 160
employees service three major paper mills, five sawmill
facilities and two wood pellet manufacturing plants. The
fleet consists of 70 company trucks slip seated with 130
company drivers and 10 owner operators using 270 trailers to move in excess of 1,700 loads per week.
After attending Cape Fear Community College in
Wilmington, NC, where he studied business administration, Ganey worked in the fertilizer industry for Kaiser
Agricultural Chemicals from 1974 to 1990. He held various roles focusing on logistics and operations.
"In 1990 I transitioned into the transportation industry
with MCO Transport, initially as a dispatcher. I moved
to operations manager and then sales manager," he said.
Ganey joined the Ezzell team as sales director and was
promoted to vice president of operations and sales the
following year, becoming president/COO in 2004.
In this position, Ganey's work concentrates on sales and
operations. Seven department heads report directly to him,
including human resources and safety. That places him as
the point man to deal with two of trucking's most important issues: driver turnover and safety. Ezzell Trucking
has figured out innovative ways of dealing with both.
"All of our drivers work within a 100-mile radius of their
domicile terminal and are home every day," he explained.
"This helps with both recruiting and retention." As a
family man himself, he sees the importance and value of
this type of working arrangement.
"I was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina,
and still reside there, along with my greatest supporter,
my wife Janice of 41 years," Ganey said. "We have been
blessed with three wonderful children and three grandchildren who are the light of our lives and all live within
five minutes of us."
Safety is a top priority at Ezzell Trucking. "Our company has a safety culture that was established by the
18 I tarheel wheels I www.nctrucking.com
Ezzell family," said Ganey. "It starts with our company
trucks being governed at 60 mph. Since our origin in 1951
we have never been at fault in a fatality. We also incorporate
a 'Ride A Long' program conducted by our safety managers, who spend a shift with each driver annually to ensure
safe driving practices are followed. This also allows us to
spend some 'face time' with our most precious resource,
Enviva Biomass is the company's largest customer. Chris
Wardwell, its director of kogistics, likes doing business
with Ganey and Ezell Trucking. "Their day-to-day commitment to serving Enviva as a customer is outstanding," he
said. "Al and his team provide a hands-on approach that is
greatly appreciated. Ezzell was extremely helpful and flexible during our plant's startup in 2011 and grew with us as
the plants developed to their full capacity. Al is a trucking
industry pro. We lean on him to keep us current in the
ever changing industry and how our operations could be
potentially impacted. Al is a 'mean what he says and says
what he means' kind of guy."
In becoming NCTA chairman, Ganey is upholding a
company tradition of industry service, as Ezzell Trucking's
CEO Grover Ezzell is a former chairman.
"I owe a great deal to Grover Ezzell for placing his confidence in me 19 years ago and entrusting me in my role,"
Ganey said. "He also insisted that I become involved with
the NCTA and supports our participation in all phases. The
NCTA has provided me with a fraternity of colleagues who
have provided direction and been an invaluable resource
for both me and our company. There have been several
companies who have provided multiple chairmen, but I do
believe we may be the smallest company to have achieved
this honor. I believe this speaks to our commitment both
as individuals as well as our company."
"When I began my career as a dispatcher I would never
have dreamed that one day I would be serving as NCTA
chairman and following in the footsteps of the leaders in
this industry representing our state, this association and
our members," Ganey commented. "It is an honor that I
hope to live up to."
Industry Issues in the Coming Year
Ganey plans to continue the work the association has
been doing on several issues.
"Over the past several years we have focused on remaining 'toll free' in NC," he said.
continued on page 21
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tarheel Wheels - Fall 2015
Top Tech Challenge
NCTA’s Truck Driving Championship
Scenes From the 2015 Convention
Index of Advertisers
Tarheel Wheels - Fall 2015