Who are we?
THE COMPANY’S HISTORY
Our history with oversize transport began in 2007, when our first son was born. I was then almost 19 years old. Rafał completed his master’s studies with an engineer degree and was looking for his first, serious job in Poland to ensure the existence of his family. It all started and ended with one advertisement from the Labor Office. Later that day the phone rang and Rafał was supposed to appear for an interview in a…. black bus, at a bank, on the main street in our town. His return home brought good news, he got an office job for 600 PLN a month (+/- 130€), not far from home. You had to start with something 🙂
The first employer turned out to be one of the largest companies in the oversize industry. For the first two weeks, Rafał scanned tachograph charts and washed the drivers’ showers. After this time, his boss offered him the position of an oversize transport pilot with a significant increase, and this is how our years of family separation began. His absence was severe. We lived from arrival to departure. Most of the time together was only hours, a moment to sleep off the route, have a quick dinner, look at the family to remember it better and leave with an unknown return date.
I finished high school, got a driving license. I took the work of a cosmetics consultant more seriously since I was 16 and over the next year I became a sales leader and one of the best consultants in Poland. Days passed, filled with responsibilities. I remember myself with my son in a pram, laden from every possible side with bags filled with parcels with cosmetics for shipping. My son and I spent our days playing and standing in lines at the post office. I dreamed about the sound of duct tape at night 🙂 In the evenings my son stayed with his grandparents, and I went on tour to meet a team of almost 100 consultants.
When the son was 2.5 years old, he started his kindergarten adventure under the supervision of his grandmother, who worked in the village branch of it. “A moment of free time” I decided to invest in another job as a waitress in a restaurant at a gas station, which was located 2 km from my home. In the mean time I was studying cosmetology. Work became a second home for me, where I stayed more than my own. When Rafał was returning from the tour, I spent this time in class, often just falling asleep due to lack of strength.
It was 2011 when I called Rafał with tears in my eyes that I wanted to quit my job. I endured 8 months in conditions of humiliation in front of clients, insulting me in front of my co-workers, indicating at every step that I am a worse category of human being. It was then that I realized that I was not a submissive man. I felt the desire to create something different from what I experienced on my own skin.
Within 4 years, my husband changed jobs twice, thus increasing the salary conditions. He supported his employer not only by working as a pilot, mainly at night, but after some time he was entrusted with the supervision of the company’s permits, and he took care of them during the day. Working two jobs for the same salary brought a quick end to the dedication. One day he came home with a proposal to set up a company that would obtain transport permits for other carriers.
In the end, what we had been carrying within us for a long time sounded out. A week later, ie 09/09/2011, Schwerlast Aleksandra Ledwig officially entered the registers. In 2013, Rafał left his job as a pilot, fully devoting his attention to the company and finally the family. Natalia (who is still with us today :)) joined us. At that time, we provided services to large companies, important for the oversized transport market in Poland. Delighted by the success and proud of the developing business, we lost our vigilance. There is a company on the horizon with a very bad reputation.
They wanted to entrust us with the full service of the project. Numerous transports across many countries, a multitude of permits, coordination of civil and police escorts. Despite warnings from all sides, it seemed to us that the collateral in the form of prepayments, a reliable contract and insurance of receivables would sufficiently dismiss the vision of failure.
Unfortunately… we were so wrong. The fight for tens of thousands of PLNs resulting from unpaid taxes has begun. Debt collection, tax office, court, my second pregnancy is at risk and our company is in decline. A week before the date of payment of liabilities to the tax office, a company contacted us with a large, multi-month project. We played va bank. We demanded full prepayment with a vengeance for unforeseen situations. We felt an indescribable joy when our offer was accepted and its conditions were met for days. I settled our obligations on the last day.
We were saved, but mentally exhausted. We stopped trusting clients, tightened the terms of contracts, we moved away from cooperation with large companies in favor of smaller, safer as we thought. In the following years, we lost empathy and respect for customers, passing the mark on new employees. Work has become a constant struggle for money, for being right, for reputation. We have heard so many times on the phone that we will not succeed, that our conditions are ridiculous and no carrier will accept them. Despite the victory in 2016, the hope of recovering the money was lost, all the methods undertaken turned out to be ineffective.
I was busy fighting not only outside but also inside the company. I hired the wrong people along the way, among my friends and family. The constantly recurring conflicts between employees destroyed us, they destroyed me because they were my friendships, my family. Being at the end of my endurance, I started looking for help in personal development. I felt guilty and obligated that the changes had to start with me.
I needed 3 years to rebuild the team, dismiss people so close to me, and at the same time, as it turned out, so strangers to me. The whole process destroyed my health. I had to reach the bottom to catch the ground under my feet and rise firmly there. The process of recovery was learning to breathe again, restoring the rhythm of the heartbeat, stopping panic attacks and dangerous depression. I wouldn’t have anything to go back to, if not for the people who stayed, if not for my husband. It was thanks to them that I remembered the mission I carried in my heart 9 years earlier.
I wanted to create a workplace that would give us and our employees as much fun as our free time. A place you miss and a job you don’t want to take holidays from. The rebuilding was successful and a beautiful and valuable workplace existed, I looked at it, at my people and was grateful because it was an effort by all of us.
2020 has passed. Despite the difficulties I had to face personally and despite the adversities that we faced as a company, we discovered our potential; we changed. We understood our value because we have proved over the past 10 years that by choosing a path that defies the entire industry, you can achieve success. And so, we continue to execute orders after prepayment. And yes, our best clients do not exceed the payment deadline so we can work on time.
Thanks to this, today we are one of the largest abnormal permits companies in the country! But we don’t have to fight anymore, our work defends itself 🙂 We have set new goals, we reach for the next dreams, and by sitting with customers on the same side of the table, we have a real impact on their development and this fact alone gives us wings.
The oversize transport industry is a beautiful part of transport. People working in it must be courageous and responsible, meticulous and honest, and at the same time calm and full of distance to its unpredictability. I am grateful that Rafał made this one call 10 years ago. I feel a great joy looking at our 18-person crew, because it was for this moment that it was all worth experiencing. Thank you.