With a focus on its core values, Omaha, Neb.-based Arrow Stage Lines rightfully believes the entire team’s effort is key to its longstanding success.
“In my opinion, if our employees don’t match up with our value system and what we are doing, it ruins your culture,” says Luke Busskohl, chief operating officer for Arrow Stage Lines. “Having a servant/leader approach is a big thing we look for in our employees. We look for people that strive for personal excellence and are continually looking to improve, not only themselves but ways to improve us as a company.”
At the core of Arrow’s values is safety. The operation goes the extra mile by offering more than 80 hours of training for beginning drivers as well as ongoing refreshers throughout the year. The company recently gained Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX) approval for its best-in-class safety practices. TSX is an independent rating organization that inspects, monitors and reports on the safety performance of motor carriers.
“When you look at our initial driver training programs and the continual training and investment we provide throughout the year, I believe safety is a huge strength of our company,” says Busskohl. “To help increase safety, we also invest money into the technology in our motorcoaches.”
Each of Arrow’s vehicles are equipped with GPS, enabling drivers to run paperless logs and its maintenance directors to be immediately notified, if there is something wrong with the coach, so they can begin troubleshooting the problem. All of the operation’s vehicles also come with DriveCam, which Busskohl says the company uses as another training tool for drivers.
Arrow also boasts top-flight equipment.
“We have really nice motorcoaches in our fleet,” Busskohl says. “Many people don’t even know the difference if we pull up in an eight-year-old bus or a brand new bus, which is really a testament of how well our mechanics are able to maintain our vehicles.”
The company is currently in the process of adding 10 motorcoaches, including four J4500s from Motor Coach Industries (MCI).
All of the new J4500s will be powered by engines that meet the latest Environmental Protection Agency standards for reducing emissions and include safety features that are standard on Arrow’s vehicles, such as lane departure warning systems, electronic stability control and fire suppression.
Busskohl adds the operation likes to “spec up” the vehicles more than the average bus company and does so by adding wood laminate flooring, leather seats and 15-inch flat screen monitors, as well as offering 110-volt outlets, DirecTV and Wi-Fi on many of its coaches.
“One of our sayings around here recently is we want people to ‘enjoy the journey,’” Busskohl says. “Everybody has a destination, but we want our customers to be able to enjoy their ride and the experience they have riding in our motorcoaches, just as much as their destination.”
To further enhance the customer’s experience, Arrow is working on a solution that would enable customers to use Wi-Fi on the coaches to connect to a media server that will allow them watch live TV and/or download movies. The operation is also working on a project that would include a decal at each seat with a QR code customers could scan that would take them to a landing page where they can access additional entertainment, including the company’s own marketing video and games they could play while they are on their journey.