"We're in a very competitive environment, and those who operate most efficiently will win," Jones, 55, co-founder, CEO, president and majority owner of Mesilla Valley Transportation, one of the largest trucking companies in this region, said last week as he sat in an office in the company's ultramodern, 32-acre terminal in East El Paso.
Blackberry, responding to one of about 200 e-mails he
Many of the e-mails are pricing questions, which Jones handles.
also gets regular reports on operational costs.
It now costs Mesilla Valley
4 cents a mile to maintain its trucks.
Three years ago, it cost 12 cents a mile, Jones
The company is now focused on reducing maintenance and fuel costs by tenths of a cent, he
Jones and his partner Jimmy Ray are constantly looking for new technology to reduce fuel costs for the truck fleet.
Joseph "Jody" Mullings, a senior vice president at Chase Bank in El Paso, where Mesilla Valley does its banking, said Jones is great at watching the pennies and coming up with innovative ways to save money.
Jones, an Anthony, Texas, native who started driving a tractor-trailer rig at age 18, founded Mesilla Valley in 1981 with Jimmy Ray, then a truck mechanic, and three trucks in Las Cruces.
Jones, who doesn't like to sit still long, also owns a truck-driving school, Mesilla Valley Training Institute; Border International Trucks, a new and used truck dealership; Ideal Lease, a truck-leasing company; R Leasing, a trailer-leasing company; J.H. Rose Logistics, a transportation and warehousing brokerage; Royal Properties, a Las Cruces rental property company; and Grindell and Romero Insurance in Las Cruces; and he's part owner of Global Alternative Fuels, an El Paso biodiesel company.
also part owner of El Paso Speedway Park and Southern New Mexico Speedway, which fuel his
"He's always been a driven person," said Royal "Bumper" Jones III, one of Jones' three children, who is the company's operations manager.
wants to be the best and Number 1 at everything he
Sometimes I wonder why he
But I don't think that is in his
likes the competition and challenge of it.
And once you get trucking in your blood, "it's like a drug, it doesn't go away," said Bumper Jones
, who grew up riding in the cab of his
family spend most weekends driving race cars in El Paso, Las Cruces or other cities.
And just as in racing, Jones
has made a competition out of cutting costs at Mesilla Valley
with cash incentives awarded to managers and departments for hitting various benchmarks.
Seven hundred of the company's trucks are model years 2008 or newer, Jones
and Ray are constantly searching for new technologies to reduce trucks' fuel consumption.
That's improved fuel mileage on trucks by four-tenths of a mile per gallon, Jones
reported as he
drove a golf cart around the service bays of the mammoth El Paso terminal.
Improving gas mileage by only one tenth of a mile per gallon translates into a savings of 15,000 gallons of diesel per month for Mesilla's truck fleet, Jones
Besides the relentless attack on costs, Jones
said, the company's success also revolves around its loyal work force.
can't stand to hear "It's not my job," and he
makes sure everyone understands that kind of attitude isn't accepted at the company.
"I never hear anyone here say, 'That's not my job.' Us keeping in business is everyone's job.
You could be called to do anything," Jones
greets employees and takes time to talk to them, which makes a difference, he