Farmers are the small-town heroes that keep our communities moving forward. In our series Harvesting Heroes, we celebrate agriculture workers, whose hard work and innovation make a difference. This month we check out Caledonia Haulers, a transportation service that hauls a variety of products throughout 48 states and Canada. 

Dennis Gavin: My name is Dennis Gavin, current President, and owner of Caledonia Haulers. Caledonia Haulers was started back in 1958 by my father and five other gentlemen who pulled some money together and bought their first bulk truck. Back in 1958, I think they just did Houston County, maybe a 50-mile radius of Caledonia. And now we’re nationwide.

We go to California, we go to the east coast, we go to Florida, and we go to Canada. We’ve broadened our horizons a lot since 1958. So now we haul all different kinds of ingredients and that’s where we’ve grown. We’ve just started work with one customer and then run into another one it has expanded from there. I think the community recognizes the Caledonia Haulers in the name.

You see a lot of people on the road recognize the truck and recognize home. Being here from the Midwest, there are a lot of hardworking, dedicated people. So, we’re trying to find people that care and want to be part of our organization or family.

Jim Gallup: Regional drivers operate around our area here or Cedar Rapids, Iowa; about a 60,700-mile radius. It’s more predictable home time for these drivers. They could probably get home by the end of the weekend. Some guys like to be home Monday, and Tuesday, so we’re very flexible.

Our over-the-road drivers run the 48 states., and if they do have a passport, you know, they can venture up to Canada also, and most of those drivers are gone 14 days. We have drivers that like to stay all three weeks and we just got a little bit for everybody.

We’re into the liquid food business. Everybody in the world is going to eat. So, there’s no shortage of work here. Doesn’t matter what the stock markets do on who their president is. There’s always work. It doesn’t slow it up.

Christina Resnick: The biggest attraction for me at Caledonia Haulers is you’re a person and not a truck number, and everybody makes you feel that way. From the mechanics to all the ladies in the office, to your dispatch to the owner. It’s almost like coming home when I come into Caledonia Haulers.

The support that you get, if you have a question, like when you get a constant need to deliver, you can call on the phone and they’ll talk you through what to do if you’re stuck. And I was given a step-by-step so that when I’m out there doing it by myself, I had a step-by-step instruction to just kind of keep on my side as a security blanket. So, I can’t probably say enough positive things about the support that you get here.

Jim Gallup: If you’re really interested in Caledonia Haulers, my best advice is, next time you see one of our shiny blue trucks and you see our driver, walk up and ask them, “hey, how do you like working here?” he’ll sell you our culture.