Today, there are shows that go out in one or two trucks, but there are also shows that move in 30 or more. The dispatchers no longer rely on a set of index cards on the wall to keep track of trucks and loads – they now use sophisticated customized computer programs.
Clark teams don’t need to search for a pay phone to reach someone with an update, or in case of emergency – they are now linked by advanced technology so that they can stay in communication anywhere and under any conditions. The logistics of show business are now global, and Clark relies not only on trucks, but on planes and ships as well.
And drivers no longer fit the stereotype of brawny roughnecks working a timeclock. They are independent businesspeople who have made an investment and a commitment to getting the show on the road. Many are married couples who share the driving responsibilities and life in a Peterbilt or Freightliner.
Yet, according to Norma, the most important things have not changed. First among these is the commitment to the customer and the show. “They are the entire reason we are here; they are the alpha and the omega for us. They have treated us very well, and have given us a tremendous opportunity to serve an industry we love.” Also still the same is the “familyness” of the business. “All families have their quirks and conflicts, but we work them out together, and we take care of each other. It’s the only way I know how to be.”
Finally, there is the unique Clark Transfer culture which was fostered by Whitey, Matt, and Charlie. A culture in which, as Norma says, “We make promises and we keep them. We do what we say we’re going to do, and we do it on time. It’s really very simple, but it takes an extraordinary person to do it. The people who work for Clark Transfer are the most extraordinary people in the world. I don’t know why it must be something in the water in Pennsylvania, but they will stop at nothing. They do not give up. They do not fail. They keep at it until the job is done. That’s the quality that has kept us going for the past 50 years.”