Move-in is complete for Smokey Point Distributing’s (SPD) new home terminal in Arlington, Washington, just north of Everett, Washington. Company President Dan Wirkkala says it’s something to behold.
“Our new home is spacious, with beautiful décor. It’s a wonderful workspace and home-away-from-home for our drivers,” said Wirkkala. “It’s really something — jaw-dropping — and we’re incredibly proud to have the SPD sign on this complex.”
Built on a 16-acre lot, the new facility dwarfs the company’s previous terminal, which is less than two miles away.
“We designed our new terminal with growth in mind, and ample amenities for the here and now,” said Wirkkala. “We really liked the look and feel of Central Oregon Truck Company’s facility (a Daseke sister company), plus gleaned ideas from other terminals we visited. We also polled our drivers through our Stay Metrics survey as to what they’d like to see in our new terminal. This was built with everyone in mind, and the reaction has been tremendous.”
“The new facility is more than just a terrific building; it is a testament to the dedication that the Smokey Point team has put in over the past eight years since joining our family of companies,” said Don Daseke, CEO of Daseke Inc. “They deserve a quality facility that mirrors their quality work.”
Wirkkala said he appreciates and takes pride in Don’s sentiments and the awards Smokey Point received in 2016.
“We were honored as the Washington State safety fleet of the year (more than 5 million-mile category) by the Washington State Trucking Association, and by the Truckload Carriers Association as its safest fleet (in the 15 million to 24.9 million-mile category),” he said. “Our momentum continues to grow and this new facility just adds to our excitement.”
According to Wirkkala, drivers coming off the road can relax in a large entertainment room, featuring leather recliners and sectionals and a big-screen TV. A massage chair, complete with sound system, has also proven to be a big hit with drivers.
Washers and dryers give drivers an opportunity to take care of personal housekeeping, while showers and bathrooms feature granite sinks and other top-of-the-line fixtures. A spacious kitchen and lunchroom, computer room and expansive exercise room for cardio wellness complete the driver’s lounge. Outside, SPD built a dog run for those who have pets.
For the office staff, there’s more than four times the space of the previous location, and the maintenance department can now work on tractors and trailers in a seven-bay drive-through facility.
“We also plan to offer warehouse space,” said Wirkkala. “More of our customers are asking for warehousing, and we will be accommodating those needs.”
Wirkkala is most excited, however, about how the new home terminal will enhance the driver experience. “Drivers are our backbone, and we are fortunate to have a driver turnover rate below 25 percent, one of the lowest in our industry. We are thrilled to now have a top-of-the-line facility where they can come in and relax. I’m always excited to meet and welcome them to our family and assure them we truly listen to what they have to say,” he said. “I tell them that current drivers had a say in the design of our new building. I know our incoming drivers will enjoy it as much as everyone else in the years to come.”