Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By David A Kolman
Englander Transport specializes in team driver deliveries from the Mid-Atlantic region to the West Coast, as well as single driver deliveries to points all along the East Coast. Among the customers of this Monroe, Virginia-based carrier are such brand name companies as Nestle; Harco, a producer of ductile iron and PVC fittings; CB Fleet, a manufacturer of personal health and beauty care products; and Barr Laboratories, a generic pharmaceutical company.
Interestingly, Englander Transport did not start out as a trucking company, even though “on-time deliveries” have come to be its hallmark. Rather, it was begun as an off-shoot to England's Stove Works, a business begun in Monroe in 1975 by Bob England and his son Ron. The two started making wood stoves in the family's garage. The business grew to the point that some five years later, it needed to find a way to deliver stoves from its plant to retail stores.
This was around the time Carroll Hudson joined England's Stove Works. With a background that included commercial sales and work in the transportation field, he helped Ron England start what would become Englander Transport. They purchased two used tractor trailer rigs in 1981 and starting delivering wood stoves.
The venture had some immediate challenges, recalls Hudson. “Our trucks would go out loaded with stoves and come back empty. Plus, wood stoves is a seasonal business. To cut down on empty miles, and to avoid laying off our drivers when business got slow, we decided to start running our trucks in the off season.”
That tactic worked out “pretty good,” he says. “After a while we bought two more used rigs.”
The operating strategy changed again in November 1986, when the wood stove business incorporated Englander Transport as a separate business entity. At that time, the company had four drivers, four tractors, and four dry van trailers.
A year later it purchased its first refrigerated trailers — also used, and began hauling stoves, as well as other dry goods, to Florida, then backhauling produce. A couple of years later, the company expanded its operations by running dry freight to California and bringing back mixed produce.
“This was about the time the stove business started to change,” explains Hudson, president of Englander Transport. “The retailers who handled our stoves — stove dealers, DIY (do-it-yourself) stores, and “big box” centers — began using their own trucks to pick up their stoves. We do very little hauling for England's Stove Works now.”
About 75 percent of Englander Transport's freight is delivered to the West Coast by team drivers who are trained in hauling produce. They routinely leave the Mid-Atlantic region and arrive at their West Coast destination within two days. Upon their return, the teams drop their loads in the company's yard. The teams are on a regular schedule and typically do a turn in five to six days.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.