As soon as Trevor Bennett started working at SeQuential, the driver was encouraged to learn about other roles at the company. “From the get-go, when I started as a Class C truck driver collecting and servicing grease traps, they also trained me to collect used cooking oil at the restaurants,” Bennett says. This approach is very helpful for logistics and staffing at the company, but also good for employees who want to explore their options at SeQuential. “You already know the process if you ever wanted to move up or do something different,” Bennett adds.
SeQuential and its parent company, Neste, are large-scale renewable fuel producers on the West Coast. Used cooking oil recycling takes place by collecting cooking oil from Northwest restaurant partners and transporting it to a production facility located in Salem, OR. SeQuential also offers grease trap services to food service establishments in Washington, Oregon, and California. The production facility in California is in Bakersfield.
Career Path Mobility at SeQuential
Bennett has driven trucks with other companies and had always wanted to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and drive larger trucks. “Once I got to SeQuential, it was really nice,” says Bennett. “I could get my CDL and still work for this company that I like so much.”
Starting as a Class C Service Technician for grease traps at restaurants, Bennett took the leap to qualify for a Class B CDL. “When I talked to my manager at the time, they said that they will do whatever they can to help. So, with my permit, I was able to ride along with another CDL driver to get a feel for what the job would be day by day if I chose that path – which I did.”
Bennett used his own time to get the CDL, taking the course while still working. “The managers at SeQuential were able to navigate my work schedule around training with the school. So, at the end of the day, I had my Class B CDL, and now I’m going through the same process to get the Class A.”
During a four-year career at SeQuential, Bennett also received a promotion. “Sometime in between getting my Class B and working on my Class A, they thought it was awesome for me to be a depot captain, have a little more responsibility, and get a little more pay, which is always great.”
Daily Duties at SeQuential
Coming into work between 2 and 3 a.m., Bennett prepares for that day’s route. “I fuel up and make sure I have everything I need: tools or keys to get into certain places. After that, I’m on the road to my destinations. Once I get to a destination, I collect used cooking oil, and after identifying the location of the bin, I do my paperwork and then get to pumping out the oil from the bins. Once I’ve pumped it out, I close it up and I’m off to my next location,” says Bennett, who averages about 20 stops a day.
At the end of the eight-to-10-hour day, Bennett arrives at the Salem plant and offloads the collected cooking oil into a tank. At the plant, employees pump out the tanks and bring the recycled cooking oil inside to start the process in the refinery.
“For me, it’s a pretty cool process,” says Bennett. “It’s really nice to know that as I’m collecting oil from different restaurants, we are refining it, making it into renewable fuel, and having a better carbon footprint in the world. It’s satisfying at the end of the day, knowing you are contributing to that.”
Work Environment and Culture at SeQuential
When asked what makes SeQuential stand out from other employers, Bennett has a quick answer. “For me, it was the honesty upfront.” During the panel interview, Bennett was given details about working at the company. “They explained everything from benefits, which start on day one, to the pay scale and how it increases as you move up in years or if you get different licensing.”
There was a promise that safety comes first, as well as an open-door policy. “They were open to things that someone who just started at the company, kind of at the lower end, had to say. They are willing to hear me out and allow me to grow with the company. That’s the best part right there,” says Bennett. “It’s been a great journey. I love the people I work with. They are all nice, and we all get along, it’s just a great company to be at.”