2013 US Trucking News — Interview with Andy Ahern of Ahern Associates

Ahern Associates
Andy Ahern
Andy Ahern, the head and founder of Ahern Associates recently gave his opinion when interviewed for Arkansas Trucking Report Magazine. His thoughts were about the reality of buying or selling a trucking business, considering the current economy.

On the 4th issue of Arkansas Trucking Report in 2013, Andy Ahern, CEO and founder of Ahern & Associates was interviewed and was asked about his opinions with regards to trucking industry’s state of acquisitions. With his reputation as a well-respected transportation and logistics acquisition specialist, Andy Ahern has offered his knowledge and expertise in over 420 trucking acquisitions. He is no stranger to the Arkansas Trucking Report and has worked with the well-respected publication in the past.

Ahern had been a “matchmaker” for buyers and sellers of trucking companies. On his most recent interview, he describes his role as a “Matchmaker” for trucking businesses. This has allowed him to observe the trucking industry, including news and reports about driver shortages, tax laws, federal regulations and so on. He emphasized that these issues faced by the industry can make any trucking company to become less successful in the business. With these pressures, many in the trucking business consider selling their business to larger competitors purposely for footprint expansion. However, Ahern asserts that many of these business owners who thought of selling their business are in reality not prepared to face the rough challenges that awaits them with regard selling. “Most of them don’t have an exit strategy. We say ‘Do you have any idea what your business is worth?’ and most of them think it is worth too much,” states Ahern.
Furthermore, Ahern continued to note that acquiring a trucking business can be truly gratifying for all the involved parties if a proper due diligence is in place. Ahern made clear about this when he said that there should be a clear understanding of each business’ objectives and goals, and some mental preparation.

With Ahern’s reputation for having to close a number of transportation acquisitions in 2014 and more coming for the 4th quarter, his commentaries with regard to the trucking industry became a knowledge resource for truckers. Ahern posts a weekly newsletter, the Ahern Advisory, which is regularly prepared for over 450,000 trucking companies and business owners in America. For his regular podcasts, he tackles on economics, business management and specific trucking issues.

Ahern & Associates are a Phoenix-based consulting company that specializes in transportation and trucking businesses. To learn more about Ahern & Associates’ transportation consulting services, visit their website at: http://www.ahern-ltd.com.

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.

Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. Skilled consultants of Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies, and in restructuring and evaluating existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the US and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability.

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2013 US Trucking News — Truck Driver Ronald Eugene Graybeal Sentenced to 12 Years

In June 30 2011 at Hillsborough, Tennessee, a truck driver crashed in Interstate 40 in Orange County, which resulted to a fatality that killed three people. The truck driver is now sentenced to 12 years of jail time.

Ronald Eugene Graybeal was charged with three felony counts of felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired, failure to reduce speed to avoid accident, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana and methadone.

Graybeal, the tractor-trailer driver, was traveling west on I-40 at round 3 p.m. where traffic was heavy and the three-lane highway narrowed to two. When the middle lane cars started moving, Graybeal’s truck slammed into a Ford F-150 pickup truck at 66 to 67 mph, said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman. Other vehicles involved in the incident were a 2008 Chevrolet Equinox and a Nissan Maxima that bursted into flames together with a 20-foot box truck. The accident killed three drivers: John Paul Llanio, 38, of Kannapolis; Barbara Boda Caldwell, 64, of Mebane; and Gary DeWayne Smith, 45, of Burlington. The box-truck driver, Reginald Keith Thompson, 49, of Greensboro, was treated for his injuries.

Authorities estimated that Graybeal did not reduce speed until he hit the cars. Also, Defense attorney Julian Mack did not agree that Graybeal was impaired since they found a bottle of methadone, which was allegedly for Graybeal’s painkillers together with four cigarette rolls of marijuana. Three hours after the wreck, Graybeal was concluded as really impaired, which was supported by blood toxicology.

Ronald Eugene Graybeal waived a jury trial and accepted a bargain to plea instead for the three counts of involuntary manslaughter. In addition, Graybeal pleaded guilty to the counts of marijuana possession as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was then sentenced to a maximum of 11 years and 140 days in prison by Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons. But before Graybeal was to be sentenced, he spoke to the victims’ families.

“My heart goes out to you. I just want to apologize to you. I’m very sorry for your loss,” he said. “I will carry this for the rest of my life.”

Six among the two dozen family members that represented the victims aired their feelings at the hearing, which includes Daniel Sekeras and Olivia Llanio. “Caldwell was a loving mother and wife, with a bubbly spirit and willingness to help a neighbor in need. She and her husband Richard were married for 47 years and were planning a 50th anniversary trip to Hawaii when she died,” her grandson Daniel Sekeras said. “Smith was and still is a vital part of his family and community,” his wife and sons said.

Olivia Llanio, 14, said her dad “was a really cool person,” who meant more to her and others than she realized. He will not be able to attend graduation or her wedding day, Llanio said. “Everything has to happen for a reason,” Llanio said. “He was a really great person that I’m really glad I got 12 years with, and it’s my job to help everyone… remember him, because that’s what I can do.”


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