NEW LOTHROP (WJRT) (1/15/18) A Mid-Michigan trucking company has been growing by leaps and bounds.
A new product from General Motors and Navistar could help it grow even more. The company is prepared.
Wheeler Trucking, located on the Shiawassee-Genesee county line, specializes in hauling new pickups and medium duty trucks around the country.
Two years ago, the company was able to convince lawmakers to let them run 60-foot-long loads, which is the standard in most states. Business has been good.
"After seven and a half years we have six major customers and we pick up new vehicles in 29 locations in the U.S. and in Canada," said Rex Wheeler of Wheeler Trucking.
And there's hope that more trucking jobs could be created when production of a new medium-duty truck called the Chevrolet Silverado 4500 and 5500 begins later this year.
"They're going to produce it in Springfield, Ohio. It's going to be a joint venture with a Navistar plant," Wheeler said. "We already have a terminal purchased and operating right across the street from the plant."
To keep truck of all those trucks scattered around the country, a dispatch center has been created in Saginaw County's Maple Grove Township. Here, dispatchers monitor the status of each truck and send instructions on where the driver needs to take the load of truck chassis or vans and what will await after that.
"We have about 250 employees right now. About 130 of those are truck drivers," said Wheeler.
The company's main office is on M-13. Over the next few years a central location in Shiawassee County will be developed.
The central office, dispatch and mechanics shop will be in the same location. About 120 people work at Wheeler Trucking in Michigan and that number could grow.
"All around there couldn't be a better place to do business," said Wheeler.
Ford, Fiat-Chrysler and General Motors are Wheeler's biggest customers.