IT ALL STARTED HERE
Our humble beginning as Sandusky Truck and Trailer began in 1961 for the sole purpose of delivering fresh meat to market for the parent company, The Waldock Packing Company. Within a year, Ohio Eastern Express was born! For the next 20 years, we continued to deliver fresh pork to the East Coast for the Selected Meat Company while becoming one of the first carriers capable of hauling bananas “still on the stalk” from the East Coast piers in meat trailers. Not much has changed for Ohio Eastern Express (OEX) over the past 50 plus years as we have elected to stay close to our roots by doing what we do best, specializing in the transportation of time and temperature sensitive products between the Midwest and the East Coast.
Our customer base that once consisted of a local pork company and the big three Banana companies changed considerably in 1982 when the parent packing company was sold. We were forced to put ourselves into the marketplace to establish new anchor customers that could utilize our expertise in getting their perishables to the East Coast. We began soliciting Meat Houses since we already knew most of the customers and OEX had a good name in the industry, and slowly branched out from there. Today, we service over 300 customers transporting dry, refrigerated and frozen products in traffic lanes [primarily east of the Mississippi River.]
The size and configuration of our fleet has fluctuated over the years based on market conditions but has remained ASSET BASED! Our goal has never been to become too large, but to remain mid-sized and efficient while preserving the family atmosphere as much as possible. We feel that knowing all we can about our people and allowing them to know us, gives everyone a vested interest in the company’s well being. We offer year-round work for owner operators and company drivers, and offer a dynamic yet aggressive lease purchase program of trucks for dependable drivers willing to drive the distance.
KEEP THOSE BIG WHEELS TURNIN’
In 2018, long time employee, Gene Hartman, who at last position was Operations Manager, went through the channels to purchase the company. His goal was to maintain the integrity and hold the 90 jobs of the families who depended on a paycheck from OEX. With the support of his wife Gina, he made the purchase and in October 2018, became owner of Ohio Eastern Express. He quickly added CTR Leasing to design a company to purchase new equipment and allow the ability to lease equipment to other businesses for more capital. This allowed OEX to turn over old equipment at a faster pace.
To give our drivers more semblance of “home,” His first point of business was to renovate the Drivers’ Lounge complete with a lounge area, TV, laundry, vending machines and shower facility. He felt they need a place to relax and not remind them of WORK when they are off the clock.
Improving the Repair Shop was a major undertaking to improve the flow of the bays, clean and paint, change to LED lighting, label and barcode every part in the inventory. Hartman created an oil recycling reservoir and industrial fuel crusher, and the recycling-ability to use the oil for a heating source in the shop. An Auction in 2020 helped “clean house” on old, outdated trailers, equipment and parts that were taking up space and inventory.
OEX focuses on transportation and equipment repair. We provide our clients with friendly customer service and competitive rates. Our Shop technicians know our drivers, our fleet vehicles, and our lanes so each truck and trailer undergoes regular maintenance and inspections so they are ready to roll when duty calls. Along with keeping OEX equipment in tip-top shape, local and regional fleets depend on our Sandusky shop to repair their vehicles (i.e. Erie County, CINTAS, Corso’s).