CHARTS,etc. Inc. keeps on truckin' with host of customized services
RAVENSWOOD - For owner Jill O’Dell, her new company, CHARTS, etc. Inc., keeps on truckin’--and keeps truckers in four states doing just that.
According to O’Dell, “If you take it down, CHARTS, etc. Inc. stands for Compliance, Hazardous and Radioactive Trucking Solutions. Etc. stands for anything else you can think of. It was a brilliant idea, name-wise, but we’re having a problem with people knowing just what it is we are and what we do.
“We can work with any type of business, but our primarily focus is with trucking companies, large and small. Our client base varies from an individual owner-operator to a coal company. We’re blessed in the sense that we’ve been able to branch out. There are literally volumes of regulations and they change every day, so it’s a lot to keep up with for owner-operators and big companies alike. What we try to do is get our clients into compliance and keep them there.”
A lot of the time, people don’t know they need us until it’s too late. If they get audited, they’re only getting the bad part and then they bring us in to get it cleaned up for them.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has started a new program which grades each trucking company and each driver, so that as a client you can go in and pull the scores up to see if you want to use them as a carrier or not. If they have high driver fatigue, you probably won’t want to use them because of their “basics” they may wreck with your load. CHARTS, etc. Inc.’s role is to keep the company/truckers from getting to that point. If they do get to that point, CHARTS works with the company/driver to restore them to good standing with the feds.
“We do a lot of training, including hazmat training,” O’Dell explained. “There are so many rules that are in place for hazardous materials. It would shocking to know how many hazardous shipments go through these days. A lot of times its hazardous or even radioactive material shipments. There are special regulations and we get the carriers where they need to be, and manage that process for them as well.”
CHARTS has been able to develop good relationships with their clients to the point that they are handling other duties as well, including payroll, log sheets and safety.
Services include but are not limited to drug and alcohol test management, employee handbooks, hazardous and/or radioactive material management, training services, driver qualification file management, hours of service, and much more.
“It’s interesting,” said O’Dell. “No two days are the same.”
O’Dell’s 14 years experience in the banking industry and the regulatory process that accompanied it actually led into her new, successful business venture. She was looking to change her lifestyle of heavy travel, something she could enjoy and that would allow her to be more grounded in her home community. The services her new business provides here formerly cornered in the Charleston area. There was a need for those services elsewhere, helping people figure things out and get compliant.
“It’s been a life change,” laughed O’Dell. “A mid-life crisis, maybe. But trying to make some life changes, is how it all started.”
Yet CHARTS, etc.’s clientele has quickly expanded beyond the bounds of Jackson County to include Buckhannon, Beckley, Clarksburg and three other states (Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia).
“We’re all around, when we thought we were going to be more localized,” O’Dell said. “Our business has expanded through networking, references, those types for things. We’re actually going to try to start a broker division. I’ve just applied for the authority to do that. It should be interesting--brokering loads between the truck drivers and the businesses. It’ll be something I’ve never done before, and that’s how I am. It has to be challenging. And this has certainly fulfilled that need for a challenge.”
CHARTS, etc. Inc.’s staff currently includes O’Dell, office director Kim Anglin and Lauren Chambers and is housed in offices at BESL Trucking, south of Ravenswood. O’Dell actually started the business out of her home.
“Kim’s been here almost a year and Lauren, whose been on the job for a few weeks, will be going back to school (college) and working some three days a week. It’s worked out nice that I have people I know and can trust. If we’re able to get into brokering, it will lead to more staff,” said O’Dell. “We’re also looking at adding 24-hour emergency response contact in case a wreck occurs involving a hazardous shipment.”
“I call it boutique trucking, which is so ironic because who would picture boutique with trucking. But in almost every communication I have with a new client, I call it that since we customize to whatever the specific needs are. Primarily, we get data from our clients, make it electronic and then manage and monitor for them, filing required information with state agencies, associations, etc. There’s a lot of email communication and texting.”
CHARTS, etc. Inc. get a lot of walk-in business at its offices. “This is the perfect spot for us,” said O’Dell, “and the reason we came here is because we started doing random drug testing for BESL out of Cincinnati. This is their terminal. Random drug testing is another huge part of our business. We use a scientific, federally-approved software program, but we do it locally. We also go on-site to collect test samples. We’re trying to keep the trucking industry safe with so many trucks on the road now. We’re definitely working in a man’s world with the trucking industry.”
In her spare time, O’Dell gives piano lessons and play piano for church. She is active in supporting the Jackson County Junior Fair. She’s also a big football fan.