wadhams family

Four Ways Wadhams is Different for Drivers: As Told by the 3rd Generation

One of the central values here at Wadhams is the importance of relationships. It may not be the same small-scale operation that it was when our grandfather Red Wadhams founded the company with a 10-year-old truck and a handful of farm customers, but the same values of integrity and hard work remain at the heart of our day-to-day operations. I’m a third generation member of the Wadhams family; if you’re considering driving for Wadhams, I would like to give you our take on the core values and differentiators: just four of the many reasons our drivers love working with us.

1. Family-Run, Family Values

One thing we (including my siblings, cousins, parents, etc.) can all agree on is that Wadhams is different from other trucking companies in the industry because of our a family-run business model.

I asked my cousin Peter to describe the atmosphere of working at Wadhams. This is what he had to say: “It’s a very close-knit family environment, and I think the drivers appreciate that. Even with over 700 employees, my dad [Rick] can still walk around the company and name most of the employees. And the 5% he can’t name is just because he hasn’t had a chance to meet them yet.”

My brothers Anthony and Jeffrey couldn’t agree more. For Anthony, it’s all about carrying forward the same values the company started with: “Wadhams is unique because of the values it was founded on. Honesty, integrity, loyalty – those are the things our grandfather [Red] wore on his sleeve, and my dad and uncle [Rick] did a good job carrying that through.”

If you wonder what it’s like to work in a company that has seen three generations of Wadhams family members at the helm, here’s how Jeffrey describes it: “We really care about our customers and employees. I don’t think many of our competitors have the same fun family atmosphere and 60 years of history.”

2. Passion & Teamwork: A Close-Knit Core

Friendships go a long way. We believe we have a strong team, and can continue to attract and retain skilled drivers, even as the trucking industry faces a significant driver shortage.

In part, this is because our drivers know and care for each other. During the bad winter storm last November, for example, our drivers refused to stand idly by when a driver got stuck on the interstate for over 30 hours. My cousin Andy remembers it clearly: “A couple of our drivers stepped up and said ‘Hey, we’re going to take a plow truck and go save him.’ And they did. There is a passion amongst our drivers. They care about each other. They work to get the job done, and that really says a lot to me.”

3. Quality of Equipment and Safety Standards

At Wadhams, we recognize the importance of constantly updating equipment and maintaining top quality safety standards as the industry evolves. Our drivers are like family, and that means we are committed to equipping them so that they can safely do their jobs to the highest possible standard.

My cousin Stephanie shares her feelings about Wadhams’ dedication to staying up-to-date on industry and safety standards:

“Steve and Rick meet with a group regularly and attend conferences to learn about changes in the industry. As far as equipment, our drivers complete pre-trip and post-trip inspection logs so that the shop can keep up to date on everything. My dad Rick is in the shops regularly, checking in on things. It’s very important to him to have safe, up-to-date equipment for the drivers. They [Steve and Rick] are always checking out trucks or trailers and purchasing new ones if the older ones are not adequate.”

“Safety is something that we’re always stressing to the drivers – taking care of their equipment so that it runs safely and the importance of pre- and post-trip inspections. And the Safety Department is always having meetings to update drivers on anything that might be coming up, or weather changes.”

We know that safety and quality equipment are drivers’ first priorities. A lot of them call and specifically ask, “What kind of equipment do you have? Is it up-to-date? What tractors are you using?” We understand that our drivers don’t just work with their equipment – they practically live in it. So they need to know that they’ll be well taken care of.

4. Recognized Legacy in the Community

When our grandfather Red passed away, in October 2010, our family was incredibly touched by the way the whole community came together to honor our grandfather. There were so many people – employees, customers – who came from miles away to pay tribute and respect to him when he passed. Seeing that really said volumes for us grandchildren… It was humbling to know that so many people supported us.

There are many qualities that make the company feel intimate, even as it grows and expands across the Northeast. In many ways, our long-established relationships have been key to our survival in such a competitive industry. Wadhams has always been committed to strong values, loyal relationships, and the highest standards for safety and quality – and that’s why our drivers love working with us, as one of the family.

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Gabrielle Wadhams

Gabrielle Wadhams

Gabrielle brings an outstanding work ethic to her management role in the RIST less than truckload (LTL) customer service department. Gabrielle has been in the business for many years as a Wadhams family member: granddaughter of the beloved founder Earl T. Wadhams ("Red"), and daughter of Steve Wadhams.