In a career that has spanned decades, trucker Frank Guzman has overcome nearly every kind of challenge on the highway, from potholes and weather hazards to deadly accidents.
Now he is navigating the road as a small business owner, dealing with all the potential risks and rewards that owning your own business brings. That reality hit home recently when his rig broke down and he had to pay thousands of dollars to repair it.
“There are some pretty heavy frustrations sometimes,” he says. “But that’s just part of being an owner-operator. I’ve worked and driven for a lot of companies in my life, and it’s clear to me that being an owner-operator gives you far more benefits in the long run.”
After several failed attempts in the past, Frank started his own hauling business last year — this time fueled by financing and guidance from Wells Fargo. And that has made all the difference, he says.
Frank secured a Wells Fargo Equipment Express® Loan to help buy his rig and also received guidance from small business bankers on managing his startup’s finances. He then landed a contract to haul for Expedited Logistics & Freight Services, an oil-field equipment distributor based in Houston.
Fred Lalumandier, owner of Expedited Logistics, says, “We are extremely fortunate to have owner-operators like Frank Guzman in our fleet, helping us keep professionalism behind the wheel. He has proven himself to be a true professional and a great example of an operator who holds steadfast to our motto ‘Safety First!’ ”
Frank credits his team — fiancée and business partner Chrisy Guillory, Expedited Logistics, and Wells Fargo — for keeping him on track and getting him through adversity: “It’s a team approach that makes all of this work,” he says.
Frank also cites Wells Fargo for helping him with money-management guidance. “They’ve been there to help every step along the way,” he says.
“All of this started when he came in one day and spoke with our business lending specialist,” said Trena Small, manager of the Wells Fargo store in Pearland, Texas, where Frank banks. “We earned his trust and helped him create a business plan — something that helps a lot of customers grow their business. And it has helped him tremendously.”
A version of this story also appeared in the 2014 Wells Fargo Annual Report (PDF).