DJ Knoll Transport

How to Win the Best Fleets to Drive For Award

33 years ago, Dan and Helen Knoll started D.J. Knoll Transport Ltd. with one truck, working out of the basement of their home. By 2012, they had grown to over 80 power units and 100 trailers. D.J. Knoll services the oilfield and agricultural industries in Canada and the United States with super-b’s, vans, and tankers. In 2012, D.J. Knoll Transport Ltd. received the Truckload Carriers Association award for being one of the “Best Fleets to Drive For in North America.”

We recently interviewed Dan and Helen Knoll, along with their controller, Tim Moorman, at their head office in White City, Saskatchewan.

D.J. Knoll recently received an award as one of the Best Fleets to Drive For in North America. Congratulations! 

Helen: “Thank you! I think Axon helped us win the 2012 Best Fleet to Drive For because of the records that it keeps and all the statistics that we have. Being able to track our fleets in what they do, how fast they go, the fuel consumption, the service: everything is there that we need. Being able to monitor them closely helps our drivers do their jobs. I think Axon was a huge help.”
Dan: “We download our satellite locations from Shaw, so our drivers don’t have to track the different provinces or state the miles they drive manually. They love that. They were all happy when we got that software. It’s worked very well.”

Since we implemented Axon, we’ve gone from 12 trucks to 80 trucks, and we’ve only added four people – two dispatchers and two administrative staff.Dan Knoll, Owner

Tim, this isn’t your first experience with Axon.
Tim: “I have a long history with Axon. At D.J. Knoll, we’ve been using Axon for nine years, but I’ve been using it for almost 22 years now. I started working with Axon back in 1991 at a company called Jay’s Moving and Storage. It’s blossomed into more than I even imagined back in 1991.”

D.J. Knoll has grown a lot since starting with Axon, how has that affected your staffing?
Dan: “Since we implemented Axon, we’ve gone from 12 trucks to 80 trucks, and we’ve only added four people – two dispatchers and two administrative staff.”
If you didn’t have Axon, how many more staff members would you need?

Helen: “Oh, gosh. I don’t even want to think about that. We’d probably have double the staff. I can’t imagine doing everything the way it used to be done before Axon, and that’s when we were a much smaller company. Now, as much as we’ve grown, to have to go back and do it the old way, it would be impossible, impossible.
“I can see needing at least two people. and possibly in some areas three people. to do what each person is doing now. For example, a payroll person deals with 45 to 50 drivers and their pay every week. That would be horrendous to do everything manually. And the fuel gets downloaded automatically from the fuel companies – without that alone we would possibly need three more people.”

What kind of a return on investment do you think you get with Axon?
Tim: “How quick does the software pay for itself? It pays for itself within a year. If you get the program and you want to grow your business, it will grow with you. It will pay for itself within a year. If you just want to maintain the same number of trucks you have, you’ll save yourself the money in a year to pay for the program.”

Tell us some of the problems Axon solved for D.J. Knoll.
Tim: “The biggest thing with D.J. Knoll I’m really seeing is the ability to integrate with the other systems in the company – payroll with the banking systems and the fuel cards and the satellite systems. The entire integration of all the pieces of the transport industry is really, really making this work.”

A lot of people do ask me about my experiences with Axon. Companies call me regularly about Axon, and I tell them that this program will do the job for you. It will do it inexpensively; you will only need one program; and that program will be Axon. – Tim Moorman, Controller

Describe how Axon’s changed the way your company does fuel tax.
Tim: “Before, of course, fuel tax was labor intensive – get the log out, write down the mileage, break it out into the jurisdictions, and so on. With Axon, we just download the satellite system and boom, we know where the truck was, how many miles in which state or province. It integrates with the fuel downloads, so the fuel tax is now fairly simple; it’s just a matter of checking to make sure that everything is right.”
Dan: “With Axon, every quarter when they have to do the fuel tax, they just push the button, get the report, and it’s there.”

How do your drivers like the driver statements?
Dan: “I think the drivers really enjoy the idea that they can see where they were, from point to point, and they can even use it to go back in their records, 12 months later when they’re doing their own income tax and say ‘Oh, yeah, right. I had to go to Ontario’ or ‘was five days down in Minnesota’. All those things.”

Do you review the Equipment Revenue Reports fairly regularly?
Dan: “Oh, yeah, in terms of control, the breakdown of revenue reporting for each unit is essential to figuring out what that truck is doing. But not only that truck, because we run various types of units – the vans, the tankers, and the hoppers – it’s important to be able to figure out the rating and the costs for those various units and that’s where that unit report comes in.”
How does Axon help you with your customer relations?
Tim: “The Business Partners setup gives us the ability to track various people in the different organizations that we deal with. Not only their accounting staff, but their sales staff, their branches. And we have instant email ability. Just a click and we can send an email to somebody; and the fax numbers are all there. Communication is substantial, and you always have that person’s name there.”
Dan: “Our customers like the information they’re getting. When we’re invoicing, all the information is there for them. When they want information, for example when we deliver the load, our dispatchers can easily give them everything that they want – what product we hauled, how much we shipped, and it’s instantly there.”


I think Axon helped us win the 2012 Best Fleet to Drive For because of the records that it keeps and all the statistics that we have. Being able to track our fleets in what they do, how fast they go, the fuel consumption, the service: everything is there that we need. Being able to monitor them closely helps our drivers do their jobs. I think Axon was a huge help. – Helen Knoll


How has Axon affected your staff morale?
Dan: “They’re a lot happier. They were very frustrated with the system we had before because they were always duplicating their work. With Axon, they don’t have that duplication and if they need any type of information, it’s right there for them. All the employees like Axon, from our mechanics right up to our dispatchers and operations manager. They all use Axon.”

Tim: “The integration is the biggest thing, I think, for the staff. Everybody can use the same program and see where the truck is. We don’t have to go from Accpac or Simply Accounting to Axon or from Shaw to Axon. Everything is available inside Axon, and that really keeps it simple for the employees.”

How would you describe your experience with Axon to someone else in your industry?
Tim: “A lot of people do ask me about my experiences with Axon. Companies call me regularly about Axon, and I tell them that this program will do the job for you. It will do it inexpensively; you will only need one program; and that program will be Axon.
“Axon will do it all for you. It integrates the various aspects of your business and the program will get you everything you need to save you money, to know what you’re making, and to know what your costs are.”

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