Despite the major changes that have occurred at Jim Palmer Trucking in recent years – a bankruptcy, ownership change, management change – the company has rallied to retain its core mission of recruiting and retaining the best drivers so it can deliver the best service. The temperature-controlled transportation company with a fleet of 350 tractors and 500 trailers has been in operation since 1964, and in 2009, Jim Palmer Trucking went through a major overhaul that has put it on track for another 50 years.

With live animals and meat products, most shipping has to be just-in-time. The 98 percent on-time delivery record of JBS Carriers lends itself to this type of shipping, and having its own leased fleet of tractors and trailers enables it to provide a level of reliability that is exemplary. “Most of our loads are just-in-time,” JBS Carriers President Rodrigo Horvath stresses. “We are measured in minutes.”

When Hondo Railway six years ago moved from San Antonio to a new location 30 miles away in Hondo, Texas, the company assumed it would be providing the same services in its new home. For the previous 24 years, it had operated a transloading facility in San Antonio to handle food-grade sweetener. At its outset, the new facility continued serving this market as its main customer base.

“I was put in charge of finding a new spot for our company,” COO Miles Lee says. “We found Hondo. It was a cotton field beside the track that BNSF and UP had access to. We had to do our own switching and decided to build our own railroad to handle the traffic coming from these two big railroads. We put down initially 13,000 feet of track to serve food-grade transload. Shortly after we got going, that’s when the Eagle Ford Shale came about and we started getting new opportunities to transload for Eagle Ford.”

Holland Special Delivery has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1973. As CEO Jim Albers tells the tale, the company started out as a cab company based in Holland, Mich., that eventually added package delivery to its services. From there, the company bought some small trucks and started hauling goods throughout Michigan for some of the larger manufacturers in the area. 

J.P. Delaney, president of GDS Express Inc., admits that a truckload carrier can be seen by many as a simple commodity business, but that doesn’t mean GDS Express is just like others in its market. The company has been in operation for 23 years and has been profitable for each one, while also creating a loyal base of retail and other customers. Delaney credits this to the company’s focus on service and ongoing dedication to professionalism.

Dean Sexton’s career in the trucking industry might not have happened if not for a little joke played on him by friends. According to Sexton, he was working as a high schooler for Schreiber Foods – one of the world’s largest dairy companies – which at the time had a small fleet of company trucks. When the company sought drivers for a new truck to be added to its fleet, Sexton’s friends jokingly put his name in the running. He ended up getting the job, and that experience led him to go into business for himself years later as D&D Sexton Inc.

Its vision to add services and products as a third-party truck maintenance operation is keeping Clarke Power Services on the cutting-edge of its industry. From providing mobile truck maintenance for a fleet of vehicles to renovating like-new “glider” trucks with new cabs and rebuilt components at 75 percent of the cost of new models, Clarke Power Services is innovative in its business approach.

Some might see the City of Edmonton’s Fleet Services as a branch that merely repairs vehicles. But instead, the branch is vital to keeping Alberta’s capital moving on a daily basis, Director of Fleet Operations Steve Rapanos says.

“We can’t have ambulances, police cars, and [other] emergency services [vehicles breaking down],” he says. “[Our people] play a role in making sure this equipment is up and safe.”

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