Sep 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Mary Davis
On the company management side, the carrier uses an in-house designed program for administration, including billing, fuel usage, and tractor performance. The next step will be to add data related to vehicle maintenance and parts inventory, says Barry.
“Our company is small, so we have to perform at top efficiency,” adds Barry. “The more data we process with computer programs, the more efficient we become.”
Well-maintained vehicles also contribute to efficiency. With the 24/7 delivery requirements for perishable products, there is no time for breakdowns. Although major repairs on the tractors are conducted through the leasing contract, the fleet mechanic handles almost all of the routine maintenance, as well as repairs and maintenance on tank trailers.
Just as the senior Schuh is often called on to fill in for drivers, he is as likely to don a mechanic's overalls and go to work on a vehicle in the three-bay shop.
“Working in the shop has always been one of my favorite things to do in this business,” he says.
The fleet includes International tractors, typically with Cummins 410-to 460-horsepower engines and Eaton Fuller 10-speed transmissions. Four are equipped with sleepers for the over-the-road transportation.
The tank trailers are supplied by Walker Stainless Equipment Co, Polar Corp, and Tremcar Inc, and typically have a capacity of 6,000 gallons. Tank hardware includes LC Thomsen foodgrade valves and ITT Jabsco pumps.
As for the future of the company, Clint and Barry say they anticipate growth to come as dairy farms continue to change from small herds to large ones similar to the customers they now serve.
Evan recalls when small family farms dominated the milk producing areas of Wisconsin. “It has changed significantly in the past 20 years,” he says. “Even since 1990 we have gone from handling 90 farms that produced about 75,000 pounds of milk to three farms with 300,000 pounds per day.”
As the changes occurred, his sons reached the age when they could take part in the business. “I asked Clint to join the business in 1998 and Barry came on board in 2001,” Evan says. By 2004, they were ready to assume control.
The brothers also are following in their grandfather's footsteps. He started a trucking company hauling hay and managing the small company along with his wife, who took care of the administration, typical of a lot of businesses of the time. Evan learned to drive a truck when he was about 12 years old and by the time he was 16, he was transporting products. The senior Schuh died when Evan was in his early 20s, so returning from college he was soon in the driver's seat — in more ways than one. Over the years, and in addition to running the company, Evan became an active member of the International Milk Haulers Association and will complete in 2007 a two-year term as president and board member.
This history of the company's founder, as well as his sons' vision for the future, work well together and indicate the company will continue to move forward with its third generation of trucking owners at the reins.
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