Simple beginnings often create vast opportunities that only years of dedicated and careful utilization of resources can bring to fruition. This is a snapshot of WHITEFORD; it is our legacy and our future.
WHITEFORD was born in 1929 when David Whiteford bought a slightly used REO truck with a stake body and began hauling goods from Detroit to various destinations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Despite the crunch of the Great Depression, this infant company grew to two trucks, then three and four, as word was passed from one shipper to another that David Whiteford was honest and reliable. If he made a commitment, he kept it.
Growth continued – slowly but steadily. The operation moved to South Bend in 1934 to be more centrally located along the Chicago/Detroit corridor.
By the time David’s oldest son, Ron, joined the business in 1961, the fleet numbered 18 tractor-trailer units. A year later, Ronald W. Whiteford, at the age of 28, bought the business from his father, beginning a new chapter dedicated to the same principles of honesty, reliability and excellence.
The 60’s saw WHITEFORD sign its first leases with private carriers and expand through the acquisition of several local cartage companies. The 70's saw WHITEFORD acquire Indiana intrastate general commodity authority, open new leasing branches and trucking facilities and be granted a Kenworth truck franchise.
The 80's saw WHITEFORD acquire more leasing, trucking and dealership businesses and move into new, expanded, modern facilities in South Bend. It also saw the third generation of Whitefords, Ronald W. Whiteford II, enter the family business. The 80's concluded with the sale of the Leasing business and the LTL and Truckload Van business. The 90's experienced intense renewal, renewal of excellence. WHITEFORD's core businesses were set to include Truck Dealerships, the addition of Whiteford Trailer, plus dealership supporting services including leasing, and Common Carriage including Flat-bed and Dedicated Logistics.
This renewal included fortification of its capital base and focus on serving transportation customer needs by enabling creative transportation solutions and operational excellence by enabling employee success with communication, training and other valuable programs.
In 2001, Ronald W. Whiteford II purchased the Dealership business from his father, becoming the third generation to own and operate the business. Continued growth allowed the Dealership in Lima, OH to open in 2001 and in 2002 the Dealership in Westville, IN was added. However, the growth story did not relate to the business model at Whiteford Trailer. Trailer manufactures started to sell direct to the customers leaving the dealerships to adjust for the loss of sales.
In early 2008, many in the United States started to feel the beginning of a recession. It was soon apparent to some that this recession would not be mild or brief. The management team at WHITEFORD were quick to prepare for the worst early on. Although not without its challenges, WHITEFORD survived the Great Recession without a loss.
With its long record of success, commitment and excellence, WHITEFORD is well placed to exploit its advantages in a highly competitive business.