Trucking through the generations: it’s all in the family
It has long been part of my daily work here with Overdrive, whose history now goes back six decades to a time long before my own birth, let alone my own family’s points of contact with trucking – my father was a dispatcher for a short time with a mostly unionized transporter from Spartanburg , in South Carolina, as a young man, before a career most of which was devoted to the treatment of industrial water and wastewater. Cousins in his extended family in North Carolina were owner-operators when I was a child and deregulated with long-standing business models, enterprising owners with a willingness and adaptability among those who would come out of the 1980s and 1990s with the upper hand.
All the while, trucks were being bought and sold, children were being born, growing up to adulthood in love with the truck technology of their time and / or the time of their parents and grandparents, as the case may be. Owner-operator businesses were built according to patterns passed down and / or passed down from generation to generation themselves, and Overdrive was busy covering everything.
Later, from my first days with Overdrive in 2006, a concern for this story and the 45 years of magazines then archived in a small hallway that ended in a single room of Tuscaloosa’s office, was put in place. It all started with that first instance – I can’t remember today who it was, maybe longtime transporter Monty Rhoades, or Tennessee-based Andy Soucy (both of whom I have met very early on via the old Truck.net online community post. board), which said, “Hey, you had a picture of my truck in the magazine [insert year here]. I don’t remember the month. Do you think you could help me find it? ”
Even later, such a request quite often involved a family returning to the legacy of a deceased loved one – this was the case with the story of Eddie Karwaski, the small owner of the Apple House fleet leaving Pennsylvania. for many years. I spoke with her daughter in the winter of 2019 on the anniversary of her death in 2018, as she tried to amass a collection of memorabilia from her decades in the transportation of commercial goods, including two projectors in 1979 and 1981 numbers Overdrive. This then virtually brand new 1979 KW rig from Karwaski was Tractor of the Month in March 1979, and a photo we helped his family find in 2019 at the time of this story.
As with many small trucking companies, Karwaski’s two sons have been involved in a variety of ways, from transportation to managing parts of the back office and workshop. And there are many other stories like this that have been the bread and butter of OverdriveThe highlighting of the trucking culture over the years, based on family – hereditary or familial shared affinity for the company, more and more apparent today as online networks strive to break down the old limits of the place.
For today’s edition of our 60th Anniversary Monday dispatches, I have collected just a few examples. Follow the links in the caption to each photo that follows to read the multigenerational story embodied in each story.
Do you have your own family story to tell? Leave a comment below or email me directly through tdills [at] randallreilly.com