Redmond-based Central Oregon Truck Company Joins the Daseke Transportation Company

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As Central Oregon Truck Company joins with Daseke Inc., it brings another premier flatbed hauler into the Daseke family of businesses. The addition of Central Oregon Truck further expands Daseke’s geographical footprint, and adds more equipment, more diversity of equipment and a state-of-the-art terminal to better serve its customer base. The combination places Daseke deeper into the top 20 for flatbed and specialty carriers in North America.

Central Oregon Truck Company has grown from being a flatbed carrier throughout the 11 western states, into a national player with customers and loads throughout the lower 48 states and in Canada. It joins Arlington, Washington-based Smokey Point Distributing (joined December 31, 2008), West Fargo, North Dakota-based E.W. Wylie Corporation (joined December 29, 2011), and Gaffney, South Carolina-based J. Grady Randolph (joined May 31, 2013), as other Daseke transportation companies.  

Daseke’s executives strongly feel that the use of the words “merger” and “acquisition” doesn’t accurately describe what the company is trying to accomplish through the addition of new companies like Central Oregon Truck Co. Rather, says a company spokesperson, they look at it as an opportunity for a company like Central Oregon Truck Co. to maintain its own culture, identity, brand and management structure while taking advantage of the added resources that Daseke has to offer. These are advantages such as mentorship and shared best practices, as well as strong financial backing for growth. The link among all four companies is each company’s focus on specialty flatbed, and heavy hauling. The addition of Central Oregon Truck further expands Daseke’s geographical footprint, and adds more equipment, more diversity of equipment and a state-of-the-art terminal to better serve its customer base.  The combination places Daseke deeper into the top 20 for flatbed and specialty carriers in North America.

Daseke has found companies with strong management and highly personalized customer service; companies with high integrity and excellent expansion opportunities; and companies that have great safety records and are asset-heavy in specialized equipment.  

Unlike other companies, which often think short-term, Daseke has a long-range vision: cultivate great companies into a network of premier carriers.  Each Daseke company maintains its own autonomy, management team, operating functions, employee base and maintains its original branding and identity. Smokey Point Distributing: This 3-decade-old company has been a leader in aviation-related trucking with a highly diverse trailer fleet featuring a large inventory of curtain trailers in flatbed, step-deck and low-profile step-deck configurations.  Smokey Point also regularly handles over-dimensional and super loads. They deliver throughout the United States and Canada and operate terminals in Arlington, Wash.; Wichita, Kan.; Pomona, Calif.; North Charleston, S.C.; and Toledo, Ohio.

Safety, driver retention and growth are hallmarks of SPD — consistently earning annual Platinum Awards from insurance companies for an extremely low loss ratio.  The company has a driver retention rate five times higher than the industry average and a top-tier CSA rating.

“By being a Daseke company, we’ve been given long-term security in further growing our business,” said Dan Wirkkala, CEO of Smokey Point. “It gives us a competitive advantage with a strategic and long-term investor who buys into people and lets us fulfill our vision. The added resources by being a Daseke company – the mentorship and shared best practices, puts us on an entirely new level.”

E.W. Wylie Corporation: Founded in 1938, and operating terminals in West Fargo, N.D.; Denver, Colo.; Sanford, N.C.; and Houston, Texas, E.W. Wylie runs flatbed and step-deck trailers. In addition to flatbed deliveries, the company handles specialized, high-value hauls and provides oil field cargo services.  Its territory covers the United States and Canada with about 30 percent of Wylie’s business in Canada.  The company has won numerous national and state driving safety awards.

“When we joined Daseke, our culture remained the same, which was very important to our employees,” said Brian Gast, CEO of E.W. Wylie. “But from a growth standpoint the Daseke resources gave us the availability of the capital we needed for expansion. That, coupled with the mentorship of Don and the interaction with Smokey Point Distributing, has been extremely helpful.” J. Grady Randolph Inc.: A single truck in 1935 began a third-generation family business known as J. Grady Randolph. With locations in Gaffney, S.C.; Piedmont S.C.; Hiram, Ga.; Ashland City, Tenn.; and Richmond, Va., the company ensures unique loads can be matched with the right equipment in short-haul to long-haul moves throughout the United States and Canada.  JGR has received safety awards from the South Carolina Trucking Association every year, since 2005. “Prior to us joining with Daseke, I chatted with Brian and Dan to get a perspective on how our company could be positively changed by becoming a Daseke company,” said Mark Randolph, president and CEO of JGR. “The shared vision and passion for the industry, coupled with how they’ve been able to grow with help from Daseke, convinced us this was a great move for our company and employees.”

Central Oregon Truck Company:  This company, started by friends who were former drivers, know flatbed hauling inside and out.  Based in Redmond, Ore., Central Oregon Truck began in 1992 with a goal to offer premium service, with premium equipment with superior and safe drivers.  Once known for deliveries throughout western states, the company now delivers throughout the lower 48 and into Canada.  Its fleet of late-model Kenworth trucks, coupled with a new 28,000-square-foot driver facility, give the company’s drivers amenities unrivalled in the trucking industry.

“Safe deliveries, along with a tight-knit relationship with our drivers and customers, are top priorities at Central Oregon Truck,” said Rick Williams, a co-owner and CEO of Central Oregon Truck Company.  “Don Daseke and his team share that belief – we’re an excellent fit for them, and they with us.  They also want to see us grow and realize our potential as a truly premier flatbed carrier.  By becoming a Daseke company, we’ll be able to continue our momentum thanks to substantial financial backing.  Plus our ability to network, develop best practices, and build business strategies with other Daseke companies will be a great benefit.  Our future looks extremely bright.”

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