Transportation Company Owner Follows Pioneering Path
For more than 35 years, Lynne Rehmel has been blazing her own trail through the transportation industry.
“I started in driver orientation and permits. Then I went into customer service and operations. I have been in outside sales, a terminal manager, safety director and a brokerage manager,” she said. “I helped start up two companies for power only. I have experience in almost all aspects of transportation.”
Her industry experience culminated in July 2015 when she launched L&R Transportation & Logistics. The power-only transportation company connects owner operators to loads and manages insurance and plate requirements as well as the permit process.
“Our owner operators haul anything that can hook up to a 5th wheel, ball hitch or pintle hook that is up to DOT standards. We haul empty trailers, frac tanks, moving vans, carnival rides, staging equipment or trade show equipment,” she said.
Lynne leads her team, which also includes husband Randy as main dispatcher, with an eye to the importance of being a strong, cohesive unit.
“My owner operators were just waiting for me to have my own company. They feel like they are building it with us, which is really nice because everybody is part of the crew here and we are all doing it together,” she said. “I feel our company is unique because of the people we have at L&R. I read an inspirational quote that said: Surround yourself with people who encourage you, inspire you and believe in your dreams.’
“That is what I have done not only in our office but also with our owner operators. It is truly unique that we all want the same for L&R. We all want each other to succeed. We treat each other like family.”
Lynne has a passion for her industry that has grown and developed since she first entered the field out of high school.
“People do not think about how much transportation affects their lives. Almost everything that we have, that we eat, that we do in life has involved transportation,” she said. “Whether it’s the food on the table or the table you eat on, or the car show you go to or the play or concert you’re seeing, transportation has touched almost everything we do.
“I strive on putting the puzzle together for our owner operators, getting moves for them to keep them running and making money, yet at the at same time making sure I take care of my customer. I am very dedicated to both my customers and owner operators because without the one, you do not need the other.”
As a woman in a male-centric field, Lynne has worked to move beyond typical female roles and shine a light on industry tendencies to favor men.
“I have worked for many companies in my career and I always had to do things their way. Transportation is a male-dominated industry,” she said. “In all the companies I have worked for, women would never go as far in the company as the men and are treated differently. I was tired of making money for the owners that knew what I did for them, but never gave me the respect that I deserved.
“I hope I am a role model. I want women to realize what they can do: If they put their mind to it, they can accomplish anything.”
Originally launching L&R with seven owner operators, Lynne has increased that to 15 and is on target to hit $3 million gross revenue by her one-year anniversary.
She has worked with NW-ISBDC business adviser Gary Brownlee on the financial aspect of her business.
“Gary has helped me tremendously in analyzing my business and my goals. He helped me with projections and with the procedures of getting with a bank to work on a small business loan,” she said. “This is one of the areas in my life that I have never dealt with in business and he has helped me every step. I truly thank Gary and the SBDC for everything that they have helped me with to become successful.”
While she looks to continue to grow, she hopes to keep the pace at a steady level.
“I do not want to grow so big that I do not remember why I started L&R. I want everyone that is working for L&R to be successful, enjoy what they do and keep the family atmosphere,” she said. “Some of my owner operators have said that they are enjoying what they do once again working with L&R … being treated with the respect they deserve.
“If everyone really treated each other like they want to be treated, and respect each other, our world would be a much better place. I know I love going to work every day and I want everyone at L&R to feel the same.
“A lot of companies say that, but I truly mean it. I know if you were to ask any of my owner operators or anyone in our office, they would tell you that is the way I really try to operate our business.”
For more information, contact Lynne and her team at (219) 263-0809.