Truck drivers for Wisconsin-based truckload carrier Marten Transport say they received two fleetwide messages Tuesday afternoon from the company’s top executive thanking them for their patience as the company continues to work “through some systems issues” it started “experiencing Sunday.”
However, some drivers say there was little communication from the company about the systems issues prior to receiving those two fleetwide messages from Tim Kohl, CEO of Marten, through Omnitracs, the trucking company’s fleet management system.
“We are working through them and we are getting more of our systems up and running,” Kohl said in his message, obtained by FreightWaves. “I don’t have time to get into all of the details now on the systems. You just need to know us and how we’ve changed pay in the industry.”
Kohl also reminded Marten drivers not to believe “any bull you may hear” about the publicly traded company (NASDAQ: MRTN), headquartered in Mondovi, Wisconsin. The carrier has nearly 3,500 power units and 3,100 truck drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.
In his fleetwide message, Kohl said drivers were able to “get fuel as always” and would get paid as usual on Friday. At the end of his message, he added that Marten would “not be increasing the cost of our health insurance to you and your families for yet another year, in 2022. You’ve earned this for a job well done.”
Marten’s attorney, Randall Pattee of Fox Rothschild LLP, headquartered in Minneapolis, told FreightWaves late Tuesday that company executives would not be issuing a public statement outlining its systems issues.
In a letter sent from Pattee to FreightWaves, Marten denied that its operating system was knocked out, that “the cyberattack did not occur around 2:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday.” The company also denied that it was “unable to send rate confirmation or track loads in its systems and that its phone lines were not down.
FreightWaves reported on Monday that, according to sources, the company suffered an apparent cyberattack and was unable to send rate confirmations or track loads in its systems.
Drivers reached out to FreightWaves on Monday after receiving a fleetwide message around 11:30 a.m. Sunday that Marten’s system was down and didn’t “have an ETA for when it will be back up. Text messaging seems to be the only thing that is working.”
Kohl said in his message Tuesday that Marten people “were in Sunday night and early Monday morning to support you. Ditto today as we get our systems back up.”
A second message sent to drivers around 12:39 p.m. Sunday said the company was “experiencing issues with Omnitracs and related programs” and asked drivers to be patient as “communication delays will happen.”
One dedicated account driver set to leave Monday morning on his weekly run told FreightWaves he tried contacting his fleet terminal in Texas on Sunday afternoon after receiving the vague message.
“I called my terminal and couldn’t get through so then I tried calling all of the other 12 terminals and couldn’t get anyone on the phone. So then I tried to call corporate and no one answered there either,” the Marten truck driver, who lives in Texas, told FreightWaves on Tuesday.
The driver told FreightWaves he received a message from his fleet manager stating that Marten’s systems were down but the company was “going to do our best to run normal.”
“If you are under a load, then deliver it or pick it up. Write down everything. Trailers you pick up/drop, numbers and locations, times and places … keep track of everything,” said a message sent to Marten drivers, obtained by FreightWaves on Tuesday.
This is a developing story.
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