Dakotas. The company has two locations – a home office in Blair and also a shop and small office in Oskaloosa, Iowa, to support operations in that state. About a dozen of the STS trucks are based there. The company started with four tractor-
trailers and has grown slowly but steadily to about 30.
Most of its new business has come
through customer referrals, but it’s also expanded by creating new companies. In 2008, STS Truck Services was born offering heavy duty repair and maintenance for customers. It was started after other local trucking companies inquired about Sterling’s own repair and maintenance services. It also sells diesel fuel. “We had customers or people that came
to us needing help with that, and we have a great crew of maintenance staff, and so we pivoted a little bit, not just to take care of our own vehicles but to help other people take care of their vehicles,” Adams said. In 2013, the company extended its reach
nationwide by creating Sterling Brokerage Services for hauling bulk agricultural and industrial goods. As with the repair and maintenance services, it grew from requests by customers who wanted to ship to areas where STS didn’t cover. “That’s been a newer and exciting part
of our business,” Adams said, “and that is really because we have customers that needed help moving things in areas where we didn’t have trucks, and so by starting the brokerage company we were able to, again, extend our services out to people in a new way to help them.
“I think it’s an extension of what we’ve
done before. Our customers enjoy working with us because we’re reliable; we’re trustworthy; we do a good job; we do what we say we’re going to do. That gives us the ability to do things nationwide in places where our trucks aren’t at or be able to take on larger jobs, too.” That same year, the company started
Platinum Xpress, which offers long-haul trucking in the eastern half of the country, also for bulk and industrial goods, using six Volvo trucks with walking floor trailers. As with other services, it was started as a result of customer demand, and the plan is to grow that part of the business.
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Adams said his role in
the company is to “bring on the right people and let them do the right things,” and to “develop the systems process and people.” And as Sterling Transportation Services has expanded, his role has changed. “When we first started
it, we were pretty small, so I had to do a lot of things hands-on myself,” he said. “As we’ve grown, and grown into some, I guess, different types of business with the repair and maintenance business and the brokerage business, there’s been many, many things that I’ve learned, and my role’s changed from doing to more leading.” Adams describes himself as hard working
and a self starter, as well as an early riser who takes charge and gets things done. He likes to learn and knows his company can always improve, and he’s determined to help it do so. He also likes helping others succeed.
“I enjoy learning about the industry, our
customers and their challenges,” he said. “There are hardworking and outstanding people throughout the industry. People trust us to support their businesses, and that feels good. There is a sense of satisfaction when a job is done right. I truly enjoy watching our team help customers by taking their ‘pain’ away by providing transportation solutions for them.”
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