Treating your customers with courtesy and respect is paramount when running a successful business.

And that’s a big reason why ACC Midwest Transportation in Hutchinson has become such a popular and expanding business.

ACC Midwest Transportation provides non-emergency medical transportation in central Minnesota. Drivers will pick up individuals within a 30-mile radius of Hutchinson and Buffalo, but they also serve the counties of McLeod, Meeker, Sibley, Renville, Nicollet, Carver, Stevens, Wright, Kandiyohi, LeSueur, Redwood, Brown and Scott. Contributed photo

“Customer service is number one with us,” said president and owner Eric Labraaten. “We want our customers to be pleased with the entire experience of our services. I credit my staff as the reason for all of ACC’s success.”

Six years ago, Labraaten started a non-emergency medical transportation service out of his home with only a single van. Quickly, the word spread about his services, and today there are 37 mid- and full-size vans, buses, and even a “party bus” available in his fleet.

Because of its popularity, ACC Midwest Transportation recently added a second 5,000- square-foot building to house its vehicles.

Currently, there are 45 employees in the company, including 40 drivers and five office staff personnel.

ACC Midwest Transportation is a Certified Special Transportation Provider designed to transport individuals from their residence, senior living facility or other location to their scheduled appointment.

All drivers are trained in first aid, passenger assistance, and defensive driving. Drivers are also required to be up to date on HIPPA regulations and be in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) rules and regulations.

“We provide a safe and comfortable ride for all our passengers,” said Labraaten. “We also provide specialized transportation to weddings, funerals, museums, and other social events.

The majority of the clients ACC Midwest serves, though, are seniors in need of transportation for medical appointments.

“My mother is 96 years old, and she fell and broke her ankle this past March. She had surgery, and because she can’t get in and out of a regular vehicle, we started to use (ACC Midwest Transportation),” said the daughter of Ilo S., of Buffalo Lake. “She has used them to take her to doctors’ appointments in Hutchinson, Waconia and Chaska. I don’t know what we would do without them.”

ACC Midwest Transportation provides non-emergency medical transportation to several counties in central and south central Minnesota. Contributed photo

ACC Midwest Transportation drivers will pick up individuals within a 30-mile radius of Hutchinson and Buffalo, but they also serve the counties of McLeod, Meeker, Sibley, Renville, Nicollet, Carver, Stevens, Wright, Kandiyohi, LeSueur, Redwood, Brown and Scott.

“We will take them anywhere they need to go to an appointment,” Labraaten explained. “We have transported people to Rochester, Fargo, the Twin Cities or anywhere else they have had to go.”

Many times senior citizens or their loved ones will become stressed trying to find a way for them to get to various appointments in town or out of town.

“It’s a lot less stress for me now,” said Theresa N., of Hutchinson, who started utilizing ACC Midwest Transportation’s services two years ago. “I became disabled and couldn’t drive, and sometimes it was so hard to find a way to get to my appointments. I can call them any time, and a driver will be right on time to pick me up.”

Theresa N. also requires a wheelchair since she became disabled, and ACC Midwest Transportation provides that for her, too.

“It’s nice because I don’t have to bring my own wheelchair with when they pick me up,” she noted. “The drivers are so helpful and courteous. And they are easy to talk to. And the vans are always so nice and clean, inside and out.”

ACC Midwest Transportation provides ambulatory, wheelchair and stretcher transportation seven days a week.

“I’ve never had a problem when I call them, even on short notice,” said Ilo’s daughter. “And if we need to make an extra stop to go to the drug store or somewhere after seeing the doctor, that’s never a problem.”

Many of those people currently riding and paying for public transportation may qualify to ride with ACC Midwest Transportation.

Brianna Schornack, office manager, and Eric Labrraten, president, in front of one of the ACC Midwest Transportation vehicles. Contributed photo

“Insurance will often cover 100 percent of their medical transportation needs,” Labraaten said, “such as trips to the doctor, chiropractor, dentist, physical therapy, eye doctor, or other medical needs.”

Labraaten saw a need for a non-emergency transportation service while being employed at a senior living facility in Hutchinson several years ago.

So, he took a chance and started his own business out of his home, using only one van. Within a year, his business began to prosper and soon he purchased four additional vans. From there, the company has continued to grow each year because of his philosophy of always putting his customers first.

“ACC Midwest Transportation makes you feel like you are part of their family,” Bob C., of Hutchinson, remarked.

Labraaten named the company after his three children – Alexa, Carter and Carson – taking the first letter from each of their names.

Labraaten Bus Service, which is run under the same management as ACC Midwest Transportation, includes eight school buses and 10 full-sized vans available for transporting students in both charter and public schools to and from school, school activities, or field trips within a 30-mile radius of Hutchinson and Buffalo.

Midwest Premiere Limo Service offers a 20-passenger limousine that is available for weddings, parties, or other social events. And Midwest Premiers party bus is available on weekends for social gatherings that may need transportation.

After graduating from high school, Labraaten spent five years of active duty serving his country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as three years in the reserves. Now, he is serving individuals who find it difficult to get to non-emergency appointments due to medical problems, special needs, lack of transportation, or even if their vehicle breaks down on the day of a scheduled appointment.

ACC Midwest Transportation, located at 115 Erie Street SE in Hutchinson, is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m.-noon, and Sunday by appointment only. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday.

Brianna Schornack is the office manager at ACC Midwest Transportation.

For more information or to make an appointment for transportation, call 320-455-9200 or email them at accmidwest@gmail.com. Also visit them on their website at www.accmidwest.com or see them on Facebook.